Even the most seasoned travelers could do with some advice from time to time. Whether it’s a reminder of the tried and true guidance that’s gotten you around the world or destination-specific tips, you’ll find some basic tips for making the most of your trip to Key West.
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Travel smart even though you’re not leaving the country.
Key West feels like a world away but the convenience of it being located in the state of Florida is part of its appeal to many travelers. It’s tempting to think that since you’re not leaving the U.S., you don’t need to take the same safety precautions you’d take when traveling internationally. But the truth is that safe travel habits are wise no matter where you go.
Avoid packing valuables in your checked luggage, and be mindful of where your wallet or purse is at all times and especially in crowded places. Secure electronics, jewelry, credit cards, travel documents, and other important items in your hotel safe. Consider keeping your trip photos off social media until you return, rather than risk letting people know your home is unoccupied.
Book high-interest activities in advance.
Even though Key West definitely has a laid-back vibe, there are some popular activities that you’ll want to arrange in advance, otherwise, you may be unable to check them off your wish list. Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the top attractions, and the snorkeling is world-class. The park also offers unforgettable opportunities for bird watching, isup paddle boarding, and exploring the historic fort. However, there is only a single ferry to get visitors from Key West to the park and back, and those tickets sell fast, sometimes weeks or even months in advance.
Other activities to book before arriving in Key West include fishing charters well-known companies such as All In Fishing Charters, dinner reservations at top restaurants, and even museum tickets for limited-time exhibitions.
Leave yourself some free time.
It’s easy to give in to the temptation to plan every waking moment of your vacation. There is a lot of pressure to make sure you don’t miss anything, especially in a place like Key West where there are so many choices for exciting dining, sunset cruises, specialty museums like the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, and shopping. But if your entire trip is booked solid from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave, you’ll get home feeling anything other than relaxed after having been on vacation. Take at least an afternoon, if not a full day, to just be. Wander the boutiques along Duval Street, stop for a delicious seafood lunch at Eaton Street Seafood Market & Restaurant, or swim, snorkel, and sunbathe at one of Key West’s public beaches. You’ll appreciate having taken that downtime for yourself once you head home and back to the pace of your daily routine.
Be willing to take chances.
Travel advice isn’t all cautionary. It’s important to remember why traveling is so exciting and so valuable, too. It allows you to expand your experiences and see the world from other perspectives, and Key West is a great place to do that. Try something new while you’re there. Perhaps you’ve never been fishing; take a chartered fishing trip. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to try snorkeling; the waters around Key West are so clear, and even snorkeling off the beaches is amazing. Climb to the top of the Key West Lighthouse. Let butterflies land on your arm at the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. Linger over jazz music and drinks at night, enjoy a second slice of key lime pie in a day or try a self-guided tour of Key West by bike, foot or even Jeep.
Enjoy your vacation!
The most important piece of advice for any tourist is to remember to have a good time. Using these tried and true pieces of advice for your next trip to Key West is a great way to ensure your memorable vacation is also safe and enjoyable. So buy your ticket and pack your bags, and make your next vacation Key West!