A Clockwork Storm: How to Adventure in Florida

Florida is a beautiful state to visit. I mean, Palm trees, oceans on most sides, sunny and warm 90% of the year… It’s our little American paradise! Sometimes, though, when you’re traveling in this heavenly state, or even when you’re frolicking through Disney on a 90 degree day with not a cloud in sight… It hits you…Wet, Windy, Grey… Rain that is. It is bound to happen almost every day there,  especially in central/South Florida, that it is going to rain (at least for 60 seconds anyway).

I’ve been to the central parts of Florida numerous times, from inner Florida in Orlando to the outskirts on either side (Anna Maria  and Cocoa Beach), and have rarely had a day what visiting where it didn’t rain. To those of us who aren’t blessed with living in this wondrous state, rain for weeks doesn’t quite seem like the paradise we were expecting when we decided to visit! I’m guilty of that! But through the numerous visits I’ve had there, I’ve devised a way to help you make the best out of a slightly damp situation:

1. The obvious is to check the weather and see about what times the weatherman predicts it most likely going to rain. As the niece of a weatherman, I ask you to be open-minded with them! Technology can only take them so far.

Once you’ve gotten the weather predictions, you have the options to either take your chances with the rain and your plans, or to work your plans for the day around the chance of rain.

2. Pack like a pro.  Pack along with you a small, collapsible umbrella or a rain coat, some comfy shoes you don’t mind getting wet (when you’re visiting some place new you want shoes that are comfortable for lots of walking and that are adaptable for the environment), and some napkins to dry yourself off. I also like to pack LOTS of Bobby pins… I’m Italian and Florida has a type of humidity that my hair will never get used to.

3. The poncho.  This is a love/hate relationship. I first wanted to say, “don’t be a touron and wear a poncho.” and I still believe that on a personal level.  I’m a firm believer in not sticking out like a sore thumb… But at the same time ponchos are convenient, dry, and usually cheap. So, I guess this is a personal decision. I admit to wearing a clear Mickey Mouse poncho when I was 15 years old and visiting Disney in Orlando. That whole trip was rather spontaneous and laid back (mostly because it was our second time out there) and we did not expect rain! Just a good example of when a poncho can be convenient and now said poncho is a background on a photo collage from that trip! Yay, reusing!

4. If you don’t like driving in the rain, research local transportation! Some hotels offer transportation to parks and such others are in cahoots with the local taxi service. Just do some internet searches and ask some people around the hotel for some reputable drivers. They are usually pretty good at handling the weather where they live.

**Warning: do your research when hotels offer to set up a taxi service for you via a third party service (AKA not owned by the hotel/resort itself). My fiancé and I had a bad experience with Wyndham Cypress Palms in Kissimmee, FL where they set up a taxi service for us to Bahama Breeze. The taxi driver took us all the way into Downtown Orlando instead of going to the restaurant in Kissimmee just so he could charge us a bunch more money round trip! They had initially told us one price when the hotel was on the phone with them and then told us a different one when we finally got to the restaurant! SCAMMED. 

Thankfully the wonderful employees of Bahama Breeze in Downtown Orlando were very understanding and helped us get a different taxi company home who ended up giving us a discounted rate because we got taken advantage of. Major compliments to them! Darden family for life! Haha**

5. Check if your activity has a rain plan or make a back up plan for rain! Since it does randomly start raining in Florida all the time, most places there have some sort of rain-out plan. For instance, when my fiancé and I were in town last summer we went to Boggy Creek Airboat Tours and got rained out of our first adventure. They gave us rain passes to come back the next beautiful day and get the tour we paid for! So much of their business relies on weather being pristine and they do a great job of taking care of their consumers when weather fails them. It’s always beneficial to call and ask about their weather policy.

Next is to create a back-up plan when weather isn’t in your favor. If you’re in a hotel with your family, have a game day! Bring some cards or make up a game! The day is literally at your hands to do whatever with! If you’re older or traveling as a couple, have a movie night or go to the local mall or a museum. Some museums are free to go to (for example, here are some listed on Visit Orlando).

All-in-all, you just have to be smart about your plans and be super openminded with the weather. if you’re like me and live in a state that gets all four season in one week, you have no other choice and might even be thankful to have just one season with a random chance of rain! So relax! It’s your vacation and you are the only one that controls your attitude towards your stay in Florida. Be positive and enjoy your time there!

Peace and namaste.

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