With its cast of characters, shopping districts, night life and of course, its beautiful beaches, Central Florida is one of the most popular destinations on earth and one of the best vacations ever. Any place in Florida is a superior stop on your holiday itinerary, but each can run the risk of being fiercely hot and humid. Scorching temperatures and deceptive offshore breezes along the coastlines have caught a few unprepared northerners off-guard. You know, the type: the guy you see that comes back from vacation looking more like he just swallowed a giant tomato. Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing, but when it comes to weather, it’s much like a two-sided coin: Beautiful, sunny days or rainy storms and humidity that can feel more like an outdoor spa—more so in the summer months. But there are many ways you can beat the heat and manage the sun and still have the coolest Florida vacation ever:
- WEAR SUNSCREEN. Not just on your face: Lather up, and before you head out the door. Many travelers have learned the hard way and started day one with lobster like burn, especially those with balding heads, unprotected arms and bare tops of feet in flip flops or sandals. Make sure it’s at least 30 SPF and waterproof—don’t’ worry, you’ll still tan, it just allows you to stay out in the Florida sun longer. The fairer the skin, the higher the SPF needed. The Florida sun is strong and gets stronger as you head further down south and near the water. It’s the very best way to avoid sunburn from the strong UV rays, and intensified glares off the sand and surf at the beach. Reapply after excessive sweating or swimming, or wiping with towels. Take note: you can still burn in Florida on a cloudy day because the UV rays are still popping through the clouds.
- DON’T FORGET SUNGLASSES. Your Florida vacation’s so bright you gotta wear shades! Yes, we just said that. But did you know that your eyes can actually sunburn, too? Wearing UV-protectant sunglasses helps avoid harmful glares and burns. Plus, you look really cool!However…be sure to hold on to them when you are riding the roller coasters and other wild rides at any of the theme parks of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, or SeaWorld!
- STAY HYDRATED. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty, because it helps lower your body temperature. Buy a lanyard or belt-clip bottle holder, and you’ve got the benefits of being hands-free and saving money by refilling it at water fountains and avoiding the $5 a pop charge for a single bottle at some attractions, A really cool tip, pun intended, is to take the $5 bucks and spend it on a case at a nearby grocer, then throw a few bottles into the freezer the night before. The crisp, cold, slowly-melting H20 is super refreshing as you wander the parks. Popping the chilly bottle on the back neck also help to lower you body temperature more quickly. If you’re headed to the beach, pack a cooler with ice and chilled waters for continuous hydration.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Dress with the weather and temperature in mind. Wear light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes, layers if needed. Wear shorts, comfy shoes, and a stylish hat never hurt either. Beyond the fashion statement, it can offer some shade and protects the face, eyes and scalp from unwanted burns. If you planning ahead, there are also SPF clothing likes available.
- AVOID OVER-EXHAUSTION. Have fun, but know that sun wears on your stamina, too. Limit vigorous activity during the hottest part of the day, which is between noon and 4:00 p.m., when the sun is hottest. The last thing you want is a heat stroke, resulting from too much activity, high temps and not enough hydration. Take breaks and manage your itineraries so you’re not trying to do too much all in one day. Try to alternate indoor and outdoor activities so you give your body a break, alternating sun and AC.
- KEEP YOUR COOL. Use whatever gadgets you have to keep your body cool, whether it’s a spray bottle, a mini battery operated fan, a hand fan, an umbrella, a cooling hat, or a thermal neck wrap. They all help but are no substitute for hydration. Keep drinking that water!
- DON’T OVER INDULGE. Don’t overload on food and beverages, especially alcoholic spirits, which can be very dehydrating. If you’re stuffed to the gills, you’ll have less energy to get through the day.
- HIT THE WATER. Whatever you do, wherever you go, dive in and enjoy some water play, whether at water parks, misting fans, interactive splash fountains, pools or beaches. These water-centric activities and bodies of water are one of the greatest ways to beat the Florida heat and cool your body temperatures down.
When you’re ready to plan your Florida trip, Preferred Guest Resorts can help you decide the best times of year to go so you have you best vacation ever! In addition, the promotional vacation packages they offer will save money by providing free accommodations, theme park tickets or a rental car just for allowing a sponsoring resort to share some of its amenities with you during informational presentation. Visit them on the web at BestVacationsEver.com to learn more about planning family vacations on a budget. Whether you are interested in a beach vacation, theme park, or another destination, they can offer expert advice and assistance in making arrangements for the most magical Florida holidays you ever dreamed possible.