Most of the time the thousands of tourist on their Orlando vacation never run into anything bad. The tourist areas in Orlando are for the most part very safe. Like most cities, the bad guys tend to stick around their own areas and prey off each other, which is far from the tourist areas.
However, there is always a few that decide to try to take stuff from people on a vacation. You don’t know the area well, your distracted with all the new sights and attractions, and you can let your guard down. Taking the time to do a few things will insure that your not a victim of tourist crime.
Most thieves are looking for a fast and easy victim. So a little precaution will go a long way to discourage them from picking you out of the hundreds of others around you.
So here’s a few general tips that will greatly reduce the chance of you becoming a victim in Orlando. First, don’t rent a convertible! No Floridian ever drives a convertible, which means it says “hey, here’s a tourist, take my stuff”!
Trust me, you don’t want to drive one in Florida anyway. It’s so hot that as soon as you stop at a light you’ll be dripping in sweat. Convertibles look fun, but not in Orlando!
Try to rent a car that has tinted windows. It hides your valuables you may have in your car and makes it a little more harder to tell if your an out of stater or not. Plus it helps keep the hot sun out, so it’s a win win situation.
Whenever you park anywhere, try to put your stuff in the trunk. If you can’t or have a van or SUV, at least throw a blanket, sheet, anything over your cameras and other tempting items.
Never loose sight of your luggage at the airport. If you have checked baggage, get to it ASAP. Have someone in the family stay with the luggage as others take a bathroom break. No one is going to take your bags right in front of you at the airport. But turn for one moment and that bag will disappear into thin air!
When you stay at a hotel, try to stay at a popular chain, unless you really know the place. Some of the smaller, cheaper hotels attracts broke and desperate people that will act on any opportunity to grab something. I know of several here in Orlando that are popular with drug dealers, but they are not in the tourist area.
Just use good judgment. If you walk into a cheap hotel and see people hanging out, some looking like they live there, looking you over, maybe you should try up the street! When you get your room, try to get one that is not way in the back away from everyone else. Same for your car; park it where others are, under a light if you can.
I would bring in all my valuables into my room, but never leave unless you take them with you. In fact I never leave ANYTHING in my room if I’m not there except stuff I can do without if they got stolen. Find out when your room gets cleaned so you know when to expect someone.
NEVER, EVER open your hotel door if someone knocks on it at night. Nobody should be knocking at your door at night. Most hotel doors have a security latch that is very sturdy and only allows the door to open a little ways. Not those cheap chain things, but a latch. Keep it in place if you do open your door for a knock. Always use your deadbolt and latch at night.
The safest types of hotels are the big chain ones that have all room entrances inside the hallways. So if safety is something you really worry about, spring the extra bucks for a hotel like that. When your out and doing the theme parks and other attractions, carry as little as you need with you.
Always put your camera, camcorder, cell phone, sunglasses and other small valuables in your bag or backpack when you sit down to eat or take a break. It’s real easy to forget them for a minute, and that’s all it takes to have them disappear. If you have toddlers in a stroller, NEVER leave valuables in them when you park them at rides.
That’s a good basic list of things you should always do, along with what NOT to do. When your on a vacation your mind is going in all directions and it’s easy to get distracted. Remember, thieves are looking for the easy prey. Keep your stuff hidden from them and they see nothing to steal and move on to the next person. Oh, also, always use a drive up ATM, never one on foot.