Orlando Travel Guide

Health & Safety

Like most cities in America, there are certain areas of Orlando which are more dangerous than others. Some areas travelers should be cautious of are:

Parramore District, area in downtown Orlando is a location where a lot of the area's homeless population congregates and crime rates are higher in this area.
Orange Blossom Trail, north of Sand Lake Road is known to be a a bit of an unofficial red light district. Drug and prostitution related crime is common here. Prostitution is not legal in Orlando, so you could spend a night in jail if you decide to indulge.
Pine Hills, located around Silver Star Road and Pine Hills Road west of John Young Parkway. This is a lower income area that has struggled with high crime rates. The Greyhound bus station is in Pine Hills and is a place to use caution.

While it is unlikely that any one individual would experience serious crime in these areas, tourists stand out in these areas, and can unwittingly do things that can make them targets for criminal behavior, so it is sensible to stay away.

While crime in the Orlando area is not particularly high, with the annual tourists far outnumbering the regional population (~2million), a substantial amount of local crime ends up being directed at tourists. The most common crimes are theft of items from cars and hotels, so following common sense travel precautions are particularly important in an area like Orlando.

Never leave valuable items in your car unattended, and get any purchased items to your hotel room as soon as possible. Consider utilizing the hotel room safe.
Never leave small children unattended for any length of time, especially at a pool. Most hotel pools do not have lifeguards.
Hotel room invasions do occur, especially open-air hotel and motel rooms when the victim leaves their hotel room unlocked and not dead-bolted. When you are in a hotel room, always lock your doors behind you, even if you expect someone in a minute or two.

While hurricanes attract most of the attention, the proximity to two coasts also brings frequent, and sometimes dangerous, thunderstorms. These occur nearly every day during the rainy season from mid-June through September. While some days it may only rain for 10 minutes, other thunderstorms can last for hours and its not unheard of for one location to remain dry while another spot 10 miles away gets a couple inches of rain on an afternoon. The summer thunderstorms are the main reason that Florida is the lightning capital of the western hemisphere. During these storms it is best to remain indoors due to the danger posed by frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. Golfers are especially vulnerable. A couple of dozen people are killed each year by lightning in Florida and many more spend much time receiving treatment for lightning strikes.

Pets are better off left with a friend or in a kennel. If you choose to bring your pet, note that most theme parks and hotels prohibit pets but may provide kennels for a fee. Most places to accommodate service animals, however. Also note above about interior temperatures in parked cars.


source: Wikivoyage

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