Travel Safety Tips in South Florida
As a tour operator and transportation company, safety is paramount for us, and we want you to be safe after your services with us too. With that in mind we have put together a list of key safety tips so you can free your mind from worry, and make sure you return home without any regrettable incidents.
The following tips will help you to stay out of trouble when you travel, avoid losses, and remove the things that could be in the back of your mind as concerns that could interfere with your experience.
Please also remember to see our page of fun tips for South Florida travel, it is full of ideas to make your experience a great one!
Safety Tips for Travel in South Florida
In South Florida it is 911 – If there is a life-threatening emergency, dial 9-1-1 from any telephone in South Florida to reach emergency services. Not just for crimes, but for whatever emergency. It is good to call if you witness a crime in progress, or a disaster, major accident, fire, or an urgent medical condition.
Swim close to a lifeguard tower – In South Florida, the vast majority of swimming fatalities occur far from lifeguard suppot. If swimming in the ocean is your taste in leisure, make sure to do it close to a lifeguard tower with a lifeguard on duty, and make sure there is a green flag flying off the tower. Flag colors displayed on lifeguard towers indicate the safety of the water, a yellow flag means it is hazardous to enter the water, and a red flag means danger. A purple flag means there may be sea pests, like jellyfish in the water, which can also be dangerous and are best avoided.
Know your beach riptide safety – Florida has rip-tide currents that can drag people away when swimming at the beach. Research your local beach and know what the current behavior is before you get in the water. If you are caught in a current, stay calm, and swim sideways to the current, never against it.
Do not discuss your travel plans with strangers – This is self-explanatory, but sometimes what seems to be innocent conversation could be an exploration for your information. Just change the subject.
Be discrete if you are lost – If you get lost, do not fumble around and make it very evident that you are lost, move as if you had a clear purpose, to a safe place where there are people and a form of authority, and discretely consult your map (fold map small) or research, or ask a police officer or person in authority. It is not a good idea to pull over in the dark and with a large map and a bright light.
Do not accept food or drink from strangers – Some theft rings have been known to drug their victims through foods.
Don’t flaunt your money – This is probably never a good idea, but when traveling in an unknown place, it could be outright dangerous to show wads of cash, or wear expensive jewelry.
Keep your valuables in the front – When traveling through congested areas like airports or malls, it is best to keep your billfold in your front pocket, or your purse hanging in front of your shoulder, it could help avoid become a target to a thief that may be in the vicinity.
Bring only the documents you need – You may want to bring your passport, driver’s license and insurance card (if you want the option of renting a vehicle), itinerary, and contact information, but your membership cards, library card, social security card, unnecessary credit cards, and many other items you would not want to lose, and may carry with you regularly, are better left behind.
Separate your financial instruments – Usually we keep our cash and all our credit cards together in our billfold or purse, but that is not a good idea when traveling. Keep your cash in a belt, except for what you need on hand, and disperse your credit cards over two or three different locations, like your hotel safe, wallet, and second pocket. This will ensure you have money available.
Research your major contact information – If you travel abroad, you may find that 800 numbers do not work. It is good to have a calling card confirmed to work abroad, and local numbers for your major providers, like credit cards, office, other hotels in your itinerary, and also research the local police, fire department, hotel, transportation companies, and embassy / consulate.
Make a security copy of passports – Take a picture of all the passports, as well as a portrait photo of each person in your group, with your phone, and email them to your cloud based email. That way you have digital copies as well that you can download from any internet access point. A copy of your passport is not a valid document like the actual passport is. But if your passport is lost or stolen, the copy may help sort out local issues or doubts when getting back on a cruise ship or if questioned in a foreign country. The copy will help get a replacement passport quicker too.
Email your information to a friend – Send an email to a friend with all your information, including your itinerary, hotel and contact information, passport copies, and passenger’s photos. This could help if there was need for investigating the whereabouts of anyone in the group.
Stay abreast of local news – Keep in touch with the news at the place(s) you will be traveling to. It could help to know ahead of time if there will be any activities, weather, or unrest for which you would change your travel plans.
If you are a US citizen traveling abroad consider registering with STEP – STEP is a free government program that is secure, and can expedite solutions if there were any legal or other issues in a foreign country. You can sign up at https://travelregistration.state.gov.
If there is a civil protest, demonstration, or unrest, move on – Quickly move away from any civil protest, demonstration, or even loud argument. There is a chance for unfortunate incidents happen to tourists when local tempers run high. Some people may view tourists with envy, or as a menace to their national pride, which could represt a threat, and if you are arrested it can be hard to explain to local authorities why you were at the protest.
Thank you for your support, we hope you have a wonderful and safe trip, and look forward to serving you!
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