Florida is famous for its beaches, tasty seafood, sunny weather, and theme parks, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the sunshine state. If you plan on visiting Florida for a short trip or an extended vacation, you should avoid doing anything foolish, or you could wind up in trouble.
What to Do if You’re Injured in Florida
Tourists are well known for being risky, but they aren’t always the direct cause of their own injuries. In fact, car collisions caused by upset Floridian natives are one of the most common tourist accidents in the state. In total, over 340,000 car accidents happen in Florida yearly.
Besides car accidents, tourists are likely to be a victim of an accident on a tour bus while scuba diving, on a cruise ship, in a pool, and in a restaurant. They should also be careful in theme parks. But if you are injured on private property, you may be able to sue for a settlement.
A local Floridian law office, like Bagen Law, can help you navigate premises liability claims in the state. With over three decades of experience in the Gainesville area, Bagen Law offices can give you the tools you need to understand the process and pursue adequate compensation.
What Tourists Should Never Do When Vacationing in Florida
In a best-case scenario, you’ll experience an accident-free and fun vacation, but that’s only possible if you pay attention to your surroundings.
Here are ten things you shouldn’t do in Florida.
1. Don’t Mess Around With the Wildlife
It’s exciting to see the wild and exotic wildlife that only Florida can offer, but you shouldn’t risk getting your arm bitten off for a good picture. If you see shark warnings at the beach or signs that state alligators are nearby, don’t approach. Wild animals are not a tourist attraction.
With that in mind, don’t stand near or on a fire ant mound or try to feed the seagulls. Fire ants and seagulls will swarm you in seconds, so keep away from them (or avoid feeding them).
2. Don’t Sleep-In on Your Beach Day
It’s normal to sleep in on your vacation, but we advise against it. If you sleep past 10, you’ll have to wrestle through other tourists to get a great spot, and that can turn your relaxing trip into a stressful one. Make sure you’re wearing sandals on the sand, as it’s dangerous otherwise.
Keep in mind that jellyfish sometimes like to swarm the beaches in the early mornings, so if you don’t see a net or a lifeguard advises you to stay out of the water, just stick to the sand for now.
3. Don’t Stay Off Property at Disney
If you’re going to Florida specifically to see Disney, it’s a good idea to stay at an on-site hotel. While you will pay less money for off-site accommodations, you’re losing precious time going to and from the park. But if you stay at the park, you can experience up to 5 more attractions.
We also recommend investing in The Disney Vacation Club, especially if you plan to see the park once a year. Not only will you save more money, but you also get to stay at the park.
4. Don’t Forget Sunscreen and Water
Florida is hot and humid, so you’re going to be sweating a lot. Nothing ruins a vacation more than a bout of dehydration or a bad sunburn, which is why you should apply sunscreen every half hour and drink plenty of water. Even in the fall and winter, you’ll need to be very careful.
Fortunately, the tap water is safe to drink, and you can fill up a water bottle at the hotel. If you’re drinking a lot of beer or coffee, up your water intake, as both beverages can dehydrate you.
5. Don’t Skimp on the Insect Repellent
If where you live experiences all four seasons, you’d be surprised at how big and aggressive the insects can be in Florida. You absolutely need bug spray for mosquitos, roaches, and spiders, whether you’re going to Florida in the summer or winter, as the insects are all over the place.
If you have sensitive skin or you prefer something more natural, use a lemon and eucalyptus spray on your skin and clothing. Citronella and similar smells are great for repelling mosquitoes.
6. Don’t Assume It’s All Theme Parks
There’s nothing wrong with planning a Disney vacation and staying on lot the entire time, but don’t assume Florida is all about theme parks. Florida has some interesting sites, incredible cuisine, cool architecture, and fun destinations you’ll, unfortunately, miss if you stay at a park.
If you have the time, consider visiting the Dali Museum, the Edison & Ford Estates, the Natural History Museum, a local alligator rescue park, and St.Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S.
7. Don’t Get Annoyed When Driving
Anyone who’s lived in a big city can tell you how frustrating it can be to drive. The most popular highways in Florida, the I-95 and I-75, may drive you crazy. Try to stay calm when driving. If you’re constantly getting frustrated, consider taking the side roads or a break when needed.
Whether you’re driving your own vehicle or a rental, make sure you keep the car clean during travel. Remember that this requires a bit of forward planning and organization skills.
8. Don’t Assume Things About the Locals
The “Florida Man” meme is pretty well known at this point. You’ve likely seen those violent news headlines of people doing outlandishly bad things, but your typical Florida Man is pretty relaxed. Who wouldn’t be when you live in a place with perpetual sunshine, good food, and beaches?
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention when walking through an unfamiliar area or speaking to strangers. Just know that, like in any state, you’ll find good and bad people.
9. Don’t Forget to Make Reservations
Don’t forget to make reservations for your hotels, restaurants, and meet-and-greets at Disney. Since Florida is a popular tourist destination, there’s a high chance you won’t get to experience everything if you wait. Even if you don’t think you need a reservation, make one anyway.
For example, many parents don’t know that popular princesses at Disney have a five to six-month waiting period. If your kids really want to see Belle, Ariel, or Elza, don’t delay.
10. Don’t Expect to See Florida in One Go
Everyone wants to experience a destination state in one go, but it simply isn’t possible. Florida is a long state, with about 500 miles separating the very North and far South. It’s just too much to cover in one vacation, and you’d burn out if you tried, so just plan to visit one or two areas.