Florida doesn't present any unusual health hazards for most people. Folks with certain medical conditions, such as liver disease, diabetes, and stomach ailments, should avoid eating raw oysters. Cooking kills the bacteria, so if in doubt, order your oysters steamed, broiled, or fried.
Florida has millions of mosquitoes and invisible biting sand flies (known as no-see-ums), especially in the coastal and marshy areas. Fortunately, neither insect carries malaria or other diseases. (Although there were a few cases of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in the Panhandle, it's really not a problem in Florida.) Keep these pests at bay with a good insect repellent.
It's especially important to protect yourself against sunburn. Don't underestimate the strength of the sun's rays down here, even in the middle of winter. Use a sunscreen with a high protection factor and apply it liberally.
Hurricane season (June 1-Nov 30) is a time when travel insurance may come in handy.
For information on traveler's insurance, trip-cancellation insurance, and medical insurance while traveling, visit www.frommers.com/planning.
While Florida's a far cry from Juárez, it pays to use common sense when traveling throughout the state. When on beaches, keep close watch on your personal items; when in South Beach, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, and pretty much any other Sunshine State hot spot, watch your drinks and never leave them unattended. And while we completely encourage exploration, avoid areas not heavily trafficked -- not the off-the-beaten-path areas, but ones that have sadly remained impervious to gentrification and modernization. Our biggest safety tip, however: sunscreen. Use it generously. You'll still get a tan. Trust us.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.