[ Disney Vacation Planner
From my own personal experience, (and statistically) Florida
is a far safer place to visit than many people would have you
beleive, and with the main source of income for the Orlando area
being tourism, the last thing that the majority of people in the
area wants is tourists running into trouble.
Having said that, you'll be in an unfamiliar area, with a lot
of new things to think about and take in, so a few simple sensible
precautions are worth remembering.
Statistically most tourist attacks occur late at night, in the
"Downtown" city areas, so a sensible precaution you can
take is not to go out walking around late at night on your own.
If you are having trouble sleeping at night, speak to the hotel
management to see if they have anything that may help, or have
a walk around the hotel, but under no circumstances go out of
the hotel for a late-night walk alone through unfamiliar areas.
In the very unlikely event that something does go wrong while
on holiday, under no circumstances should you ever resist an assailant,
it is far more prudent to simply give them what they want. Money,
plastic etc can easily be replaced, and the hire car's not yours
If you are travelling in a party, send one person to retrieve
the baggage at the airport, whilst the remainder of the party
makes sure that nobody is making off with the baggage already
collected. This applies not only on the outward journey to Florida,
but also on the return journey to the UK.
One type of "mugging" that I have seen personnaly occurred
at the Orlando International Airport in the baggage retrieval
area, where an unsuspecting tourist with a handbag strung over
her shoulder by long thin straps was so busy trying to identify
her luggage, that she forgot to make sure her handbag was secure.
Dangling from her shoulder it was easy prey for a youth with a
sharp knife, who cut the strap and whisked the bag away.
Remember NEVER to leave luggage unguarded, and where possible,
tuck smallish items, handbags, cameras etc out of eyesight under
a coat if possible.
Car Jackings are a much publicised event, but thankfully are
also very infrequent. Generally, when driving in Florida, or for
that matter anywhere else, try to plan your route before embarking,
and unless you intend to visit small villages, plan a route that
avoids minor roads. If you do get lost, try not to pull up at
the side of the road to look at a map, but rather try to find
a well populated area such as a rest-area, or gas station to make
If you're going to leave the car unattended for a while in a
parking lot, give a little thought to where you park it, and what
you leave on show inside. Try to make sure you park in a well-lit
area, and make sure you don't leave items on display that would
identify it as a tourist's vehicle. Maps, old Disney and SeaWorld
parking tickets etc all identify your vehicle as a tourist's car.