If you haven't been on an Orlando airboat ride before, you might not know what to expect or what to pack. To help you save some time, we made a list of 7 things you bring with you for your day at Wild Florida...
This one may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many people don't bring their camera and leave discouraged by a missed opportunity! With more than 80 species of wildlife that live on (and in) Lake Cypress, there's bound to be a thing or two you've never seen before. Don't believe us? Take it from the airboat captains themselves and read some of the craziest things they've seen on an Orlando airboat tour!
Our advice: Your smartphone is better than nothing, but if you have a nice camera, don't leave it at home! Make sure it's charged and bring it along for the ride.
Even for locals, the battle to keep from burning under the Florida sun is ongoing. The sun has no mercy for those with fairer skin, and despite all the coverage the trees and clouds provide, just 10 minutes on an airboat ride in Orlando can leave you with a burn. That's why it's important to pack a bottle of sunscreen so you can apply some before and after your airboat ride.
Our advice: Use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher, and be sure to apply it at least 30 minutes before your ride.
3. Bug Spray
Whether you realize it or not, insects and their larvae are vital parts of the Everglades' food chain. With that being said, we understand that this doesn't make them less annoying when they zip past your ear. So while you're packing your sunscreen, make sure you throw in a bottle of bug spray, too. Standing water – like lakes, ponds and puddles – is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other things that might make you scratch.
Our advice: When applying your bug spray, make sure you don't miss those obvious, but easily forgotten spots, such as behind your calves, knees and thighs, along with the back of of your neck and arms.
4. Hair ties, hats or a brush
If you've ever been in a convertible, or even just in a car with the windows down, it's fair to say that your hair might have become slightly disheveled or messy. So imagine what happens to your hair when you're sitting on an airboat, racing along the waters at 30 to 35 mph! Can you say hair knots? That's why we recommend that riders with medium to long hair tie their hair in a ponytail or bun so it doesn't get knotted up during your airboat ride. And if you have short hair, try wearing a baseball cap or visor to maintain some control over your hair.
Our advice: Bring a brush, hair ties or a hat with you. Whatever you think is best for your hair type!
There are sunny days, and then there are Florida sunny days. If your eyes weren't sensitive before, try going against the wind during an airboat ride and keeping the sun out of your eyes. That's why we recommend you bring a pair of sunglasses to wear during your Florida airboat tour. And don't worry about losing your favorite pair on the ride because there won't be any heavy turbulence or quick turns that might cause your sunglasses to fall off.
Our advice: Bring your shades! If you wear glasses and don't have prescription shades, bring a hat instead.
6. Portable chargers and batteries
Despite your best efforts to keep your phone's battery intact, you might take so many photos and videos that you see that dreaded "20% battery life" warning. Thankfully, over the past few years, portable phone and battery chargers have become a hot commodity, with prices that match most everyone's budget. They're also very easy to use, compact, and some can bring your phone's battery life from 20% all the way back to a full charge in just an hour!
Our advice: Bring a back-up battery for your camera if you have one. For your smartphone, buy a portable charger to bring along with you on your trip!
7. Memory cards
Few things are more frustrating than trying to catch a photo of a quick animal, or maybe a unique plate of food, and seeing the words, "No photo storage" pop up on your screen. Or if you're using a professional camera during your airboat ride, you might run into a, "No media storage" message and have to quickly decide which photos you won't miss to make more space.
Our advice: You can avoid this potential panic attack by clearing up some extra space on your smartphone ahead of time, or packing an extra memory card for your camera.