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» Travelers Tips

Travelers Tips

Pack your favorite hat or cap. Florida's climate averages daily highs in the low to mid 80s Fahrenheit or high 20s Celcius during the summer months. It is not unusual for temperatures to reach the 90s Fahrenheit or the 30s Celcius in mid to late summer. Wearing a hat outdoors helps alleviate some of the heat.

Grab a good sunscreen and play in the Florida sunshine as long as you like. Check with your pharmacist to ensure the proper SPF - sun protection factor - is selected for your type.

It may be useful to arrive with some U.S. dollars in travelers checks. Foreign currency exchange offices at international airports are usually open until the last international flight comes in, Monday through Saturday. Remember, it is costly to convert twice to dollars, and then back again if you do not spend as much as you estimated. Many Florida banks handle foreign exchange, but you should call first.

A wind breaker may be handy for nights with gentle Florida breezes, especially after a full day of fun in the sun.

- Birds, bees and other winged creatures are naturally attracted to Florida's flowers and foliage. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for any allergy medication or insect repellent you may require to make your stay carefree. Mosquito concentrations are heaviest during summer months, especially during evening hours. A light-weight long-sleeved shirt and pants along with insect repellent should keep you free of mosquitos and other nighttime pests.

Florida offers a wide variety of foods to be relished in the setting of your choice. Whether you grab a sandwich on the run, relax with a juicy steak at a restaurant, tempt your taste buds with fresh fruit, savor a wide selection of fresh seafood or dine outdoors in a cafe, Florida has something for everyone. It is recommended that meats be thoroughly cooked and that seafood is fresh. Enjoy...

By participating in a round of golf, swimming, or engaging in a round of volleyball, the Sunshine State makes any exercise program a breeze. Be certain not to overdo it in the afternoon sun. Pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes and enjoy nature trains, botanical gardens, beach-side strolls or Florida's many attractions. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids during daytime hours, especially when you are active.

Use a map and plan your trip before venturing out. This makes your journey much more pleasurable and stress free. Florida maps are free upon request from the Florida Division of Tourism. Enjoy Florida's limited access highways. Stop at rest areas where you can take the family dog for a walk or relax at a picnic table.

Florida has two time zones. Most of the state operates on Eastern Standard Time, while the Northwest Region west of the Apalachicola River operates on Central Standard Time.

- Check with the front desk, hotel security or the guest services department of an attraction for lost property. Report lost or stolen traveler's checks and credit cards to the issuing companies and to the police.

- Facilities for the handicapped are plentiful in Florida. All public buildings have sime form of access for those who use wheelchairs. In addition, many public buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts. Most of the state's attractions offer facilities and services for those with disablities and many hotels have specially equipped rooms. For information on support groups, consult the Planning Guide for Travelers with Disabilities. They have a website.

Invest in travelers checks. Store your checks, cash, jewelry and credit cards in a safe place. If possible, leave your valuables at home when vacationing. If you decide to bring them on your trip, check to see if your hotel has a safe. If it does, use it.

When traveling by automobile, buckle your safety belt. In Florida, it is the law.

Teach your children to find the proper authorities if they should wander away from you. Police officers and security guards are resources familiar to most children.

Charlotte City Guide

Park your vehicle under a street light whenever possible and make sure the doors are locked.

If an emergency arises, seek the nearest telephone and dial 911. Someone will be able to assist you in securing an ambulance, law enforcement or the fire department.

If you are unsure about the safety of an area, seek advice from the front desk staff of your hotel, motel or campground.

Always use common sense and take all necessary precautions whether you are at home or on vacation. Crime can happen anywhere

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