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Florida is a great place to visit and vacation. Beautiful beaches, near tropical weather, and a ton of outdoors activities to enjoy. There are a few dangers to consider before you embark on your Florida adventure and we’re going to share them with you, today.
As a Floridian and past lifeguard, our first tip is about the Atlantic Ocean. On the east coast of Florida sits the Atlantic Ocean. This is the side of Florida with larger waves for bodyboarding, boogie boarding and surfing. There are several things you should know before you go to Florida beaches.
One of these things is to watch for rip tides. Most beaches in Florida will have flags at the entrance to the beaches, along with a sign. If you do not know what the flag means, read the sign. If the water is rough, this is a good sign there may be strong rip currents or rip tides.
The rip currents will literally pull you out into the ocean. This can be super scary for kids and adults. If the water is rough, stay in the more shallow waters or teach your family how to handle a rip tide.
With rip tides, the current can carry you out quickly. Once you realize you are in a current, swim horizontal to the beach until you no longer feel the current pulling you. Then swim back to the beach.
Alligators & Snakes
Living in Florida, we are used to wildlife like alligators and snakes. Allison grew up on a lake and many times almost stepped on an alligator or snake, right in her backyard. In Florida, be prepared to see alligators in every body of water. This includes ponds, lakes, springs, ditches, and retention ponds. If you see a body of water, there is probably an alligator or more than one alligator in it.
Do not swim in any lake unless it is an open swimming area. Always swim with your kids. Do not let them swim by themselves. In addition, do not let your kids (or small pets) walk close to the edge of any body of water.
I know Florida is the sunshine state, but did you know half of the year is actually considered hurricane season. Our hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30. The peak hurricane season is August and September.
If you are planning a Florida beach vacation during hurricane season, be prepared for possible cancellations and evacuations. We recommend adding trip insurance onto your vacation to help prepare for potential cancellations during hurricane season.
For Central Florida visitors, you are in the perfect location. When we get evacuated from the beaches, we go to Disney World. You can click the eye in the sky to see our experience at Disney World during a hurricane. Most hurricanes last for about a day, so you can still enjoy the rest of your vacation.
Since we are surrounded by water in Florida, we do get a lot of bugs. One of the worst is the mosquitos. The mosquitos come out during the day, but are most active in the evening hours. Be sure you pack bug spray and apply it throughout the day and evening hours.
Over the summer months, expect rain every afternoon especially inland like Orlando. The rain normally lasts an hour or two and then clears up. If you are visiting a theme park, just shelter inside until the storm passes. You will be surprised how many people leave when a storm hits. It clears out the park, just for you.
Besides rain, we have wicked lightning. Central Florida is the lightning capital of the world. I know a lot of visitors coming to Florida do not realize lightning is deadly, but it is. If you see lightning and hear thunder, find shelter. We recommend the app called WeatherBug. There is a lightning map to keep you posted of nearby lightning.
Love Bug Season
A couple times of year, there is a season called Love Bug Season. The seasons are usually April-May and August-September. These little bugs come to Florida during mating season. This is the most annoying season for Floridians. These bugs do not hurt you, but they are everywhere. They normally do the most damage on your car and wind shield.
Slick Florida Roads
It does rain a lot in Florida. Be prepared for slick roads during and after rain storms. If you are driving in Florida during or after rain storms, take extra care. The oil from the cars falls on the asphalt. When it rains, this turns the asphalt slick. As a Floridian, I have experienced this first hand. If you have a 2 wheel drive, take extra care during a Florida rain storm.
In certain areas of Florida, you will see a lot of Jellyfish. You may see them in the water or on the land. Stay clear of the Jellyfish. They can sting you in the water or on the land. They look cool, but make sure you tell everyone in your family to keep their distance.
Find the Shade
I am excited to share a Floridian tip with you! This one tip will help you keep cool during the hot weather in Florida. Find shade! Yep, that is my tip. You would be amazed how much cooler it is when you stand in the shade versus directly in the sun. This will help you prevent heat stroke and sunburn during your days in Florida.
Besides finding shade, be sure you use a lot of sunblock during your vacation in Florida. You will also want to remember to re-apply.
Since Florida is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the warm Gulf of Mexico, we get a lot of humidity. Florida is actually considered the most humid state in the US. The reason it is tough is because Florida has a hot temperature and high humidity. This makes it much hotter.
To beat the heat and humidity, explore early in the morning. Take an afternoon break during the heat of the day (between 12-2) at your resort, vacation home, or find an indoor attraction. Then explore again in the evening hours when it is cooler. You will also want to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.