Travel Safety Tips for International Travelers
When you’re planning an international trip to Florida, the last thing on your mind might be safety and security. And although you can count on the Sunshine State to provide a welcoming, safe vacation, it’s always a good idea to be well-informed. Check out our go-to tips for international travelers, and make your stay worry-free.
Use Your Street Smarts
Before hitting the streets, browse through a map of the area, scout nearby neighborhoods, and get a feel for popular areas, or areas to stay away from. For the most part, GPS keeps us connected and on track. But even while knowing where you’re headed, always stick to well-lit streets or walkways, and avoid secluded, dark alleys or side streets. Unless it’s Diagon Alley, of course.
Keep Your Goods In Check
It’s easy to get lost in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Florida. But like anywhere new and unknown, stay alert. This is especially true in crowded areas, where pickpockets can easily access your purse or backpack. Try a cross-body or belt bag to keep your belongings close, and be weary of anyone attempting to sell you goods on the street. As far as what to carry with you, don’t put all your eggs in one backpack; leave your passport, extra cash, or valuable accessories inside the hotel safe, and grab a valid ID, credit card or cash for one day. If you do have any troubles, you can quickly reach the police by dialing 9-1-1.
With so many attractions scattered across the Sunshine State, getting around is one of the most important parts of your trip. Beware of unauthorized car services offering you rides, and instead opt for authorized ground transportation services, official taxis, or ride share apps. When you ride-share, check to see that the license plate on the car matches the app’s, and ask who they’re picking up before you hop in. When in doubt, your hotel concierge can easily schedule taxi services for you. If you’re planning on renting a car, research ahead and stick to reputable companies. Our welcome centers can also give you useful info on how to get around, and what to see once you’re on the road.
Schedule a Check- Up
Tropical climates like Florida’s create the optimal conditions for insect-transmitted viruses like Zika and Dengue Fever to emerge. (Humans aren’t the only fans of paradise.) And although there have been no reports of Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental U.S. of late, there’s no harm in being prepared. Schedule a quick trip to your physician’s office, and ask about immune-boosting supplements. Make sure you also stock up on insect repellent, and apply regularly during your stay.
Weather the Storm
Summer is one of the most popular times to visit sunny Florida. It also happens to be hurricane season. Although the season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, it peaks from early August to October. If your Florida trip is scheduled during this window, consider purchasing traveler’s insurance. Check with your bank; many credit cards offer insurance benefits. Since a hurricane doesn’t need to make landfall for bad weather to strike, keep a close eye on the local forecast up to a week before your travel plans. Pack closed shoes and rain gear, and make a list of indoor activities you can enjoy in case it rains on your parade.
Florida vacations are about rest, relaxation, and the freedom to explore. That’s where planning ahead for the more technical parts of your trip comes in handy. These quick tips will help you check safety off your to-do list, so you can get back to writing that beach bucket list. Did we mention we have some suggestions for that, too?