Florida is great for people of all ages, from the beaches to the theme parks, there are many things to do in Florida to keep you busy. From coast to coast is only a few hours, and you can drive from forest to paradise in just a day.
One thing to keep in mind for your trip: it’s not always paradise. Whether you’re going to the beach or to the parks, here are some tips to make sure you’re safe and happy on your vacation.
1. Bring Sunscreen And Wear It
You’ve probably heard this many times, and you probably thinking this is common sense, but hear me out. This tip is especially helpful if you have skin that burns in the dark like I do. Always bring sunscreen. If you’re carrying a bag, put sunscreen in it and keep it with you at all times.
Wear Chapstick with sunscreen in it and put it on just as often as the on the rest of your body. The sun is strong here, and your best bet to staying happy after the first day of your stay is to apply it as often as you can – once every hour is a good amount if you’re going to be out in the sun constantly.
If it is cloudy this rule still applies, you can get burned when the sun isn’t out and it’ll be an unhappy surprise when you step in a hot shower at the end of the day and you feel like the wicked witch being melted. I know we all want that sun-kissed skin that shows everyone back at home that you had a great time at the beach, but it just isn’t worth it. Trust me.
2. Do Your Research for Know When To Go
If you’re coming to Florida for the beaches, anytime might be okay. If you’re used to the cold weather in a state that actually gets cold, the November and December might be beautiful for you! I’ve seen people in bikinis swimming in the ocean while I am walking on the beach in a sweater and running away from the cold waves.
As far as summertime goes, July and August might be too hot for long periods of time at the beach, and it rains almost every afternoon. If you do vacation during the summer months, hit the beach early in the morning and you’ll be tired and ready for lunch and a nap by the time the storms roll in.
If you’re going to Disney World for your “vacation” (more on that in a bit), check out the best dates to go to Disney on wdwprepschool.com. They have a bunch of tips and information if you’re going to Disney World!
3. Keep Your Eyes Open – Be Relaxed, But Not Too Relaxed!
Obviously, you don’t want anything upsetting to happen while you’re on vacation, but if we are being honest with ourselves, usually something does happen.
If you’ve paid attention to the news, you know that Florida has a big mix of interesting and colorful people. There are so many people here, you never know who you’re going to get when you talk to someone, so be careful!
Some common but helpful reminders:
- Always lock your car doors.
- If you’re leaving something valuable in your car (like a purse) put it in your trunk or under a seat out of site.
- If you’re walking around a busy area like a theme park, don’t keep things in your back pocket.
- If you have a child at Disney, hold their hand or keep on hand on them so you know where they are!
- Don’t talk to strangers!
Okay, that last one is the only kind of true. There are a lot of nice people here in Florida, but always be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be just fine.
4. A Disney Vacation is Not a Vacation
If you want a vacation, you go to a relaxing resort where you can be pampered and relax on the beach without a schedule or a worry in the world. If you want to spend way too much money and get pushed around by everyone trying to rush through the park, you go to Disney.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very fun place to go with your kids(I guess, I actually haven’t been to the Magic Kingdom since that picture was taken, but I think it was fun) and all of the other Disney parks have fun rides and attractions, but it’s going to be stressful.
First of all, it’s expensive; not only to get into the park but the food and not to mention the souvenirs you HAVE to buy. Although I do have to mention about the food, they’re very allergen friendly and will open up new things just to avoid cross-contamination.
If you get there right when it opens it won’t be that bad, but come one or two in the afternoon and you’re bound to be pushed around by the other people at the park, your legs will be tired, and you will be hot or drenched in rain.
Overall, just don’t think it will be a vacation, because a vacation is not supposed to be that stressful.
5. Don’t Go Outside at Night -Beware the Bugs
If you’re planning a trip near any body of water, or anything southeast of Orlando, prepare for lots of bugs. The mosquitoes are always a problem, especially if you’re near any preserves because they don’t spray those areas. Pack your bug spray and make sure to put it on once it starts getting dark.
If you’re in the woods during the day, or if you’re camping, wear it all the time or risk being itchy for many days(and possibly that weird disease that’s traveling through the bloodsuckers lately). If you’re camping in a tent, spray the outside of the tent for extra precaution.
If you’re walking through any tall grass (in some areas any grass at all) watch out for ticks and spiders! Spider bites are awful and there are some weird ones that are hard to see. I’m not sure how to prevent them other than stay on the trails that are heavily traveled so you don’t walk into any established spider webs.
Check for ticks under your socks and in hidden places after you’re done walking through the woods! The ticks are small and lately, there have been a lot of them, so be safe!
6. If You Planned it, It Will Rain
The general rule in my experience is, the longer you planned it, the harder it will rain. When planning your trip, you can look at the weather all you want, but it can change at any minute.
You can look at the weather for the next day and see sunny skies predicted from the weather channel, but still, wake up to clouds and rain. Try to have fun anyway!
If you’re at a park and can make it from one building to the next or see shows to wait out the rain, most of the crowd will leave during the storm and when it stops twenty minutes later you’ll have the park to yourself.