If you have booked a Florida vacation, you are probably very excited at the thought of all the fun you are going to have. The kids will be just as excited too, so it’s a good idea to get organized in plenty of time to avoid last-minute stress. Since you will probably be catching a scheduled flight to Orlando or Miami, you won’t have unlimited room for clothes, accessories, and whatever else you want to take in vacation. That privilege is reserved for celebs who can travel via private jet.
The good news is that with a bit of smart packing, you can take more than you think. So, if you are looking at luxury villas in Florida to accommodate all your family and you feel the need to pack some scented candles for a romantic date night, read on for a few helpful tips.
Firstly, make a list of things you need for the actual flight. Traveling with kids can be stressful and realizing you have left the iPad charger at home when you buckle up on the flight is not a good moment. Write down everything you will need for the journey. Essential items include travel sickness medication, ear plugs, snacks, hard candy, diapers, baby formula, and a change of clothes for babies and toddlers (if appropriate).
Non-essentials (depending on your point of view) are entertainment items. Flights can be boring for little kids and they don’t always want to watch the in-flight movies. Pack an iPad or smartphone and load it up with some fun new games. Bring some crayons and a pad so they can draw pictures. Don’t forget to pack their favorite toy, so you can avoid a meltdown at 10,000 feet.
Check the TSA guidelines for what you can and cannot take on a flight.
If you are driving to Florida, you have more scope to pack extra things, but don’t go overboard. The more you load the car up, the more it will cost you in fuel.
Sun Protection and Other Protection
While the weather in Florida is part of its attraction, it can get rather hot. Temperatures reach an average of 28 degrees Celsius in July and August and are in the 20s in spring and fall. The sun is quite strong, so sun protection is essential, especially for children.
Pack high SPF sun cream for babies and younger children. They must be protected from the sun at all costs. Consider investing in sun protection garments if you plan to spend a lot of time on the beach during your vacation. Babies and toddlers need sun hats too.
The rest of the family will need sun protection cream to suit their skin tone. The fairer your family is, the higher the protection you will need. You will be able to buy sun protection lotions locally, but if you prefer a specific brand, buy it in advance. Take after-sun lotion to soothe any sunburn you get. Products that contain aloe gel are recommended.
Pack some insect repellant. The local mosquitoes are vicious and will bite at every opportunity.
Take a range of clothing. Florida’s weather can be variable. Expect sunshine, but don’t be surprised if it rains too. The heat and humidity can be difficult to deal with if you are staying inland. Pack plenty of clothing so you can change into fresh garments if you need to.
Swimwear is essential. It is likely you will be spending at least some of your vacation at the beach. Take a selection of swimsuits and beach coverups.
Pack shorts, loose-fitting cotton garments, and other hot weather clothing. Take enough changes of clothing for the kids so you don’t have to worry about finding a laundry if you are staying in a hotel. If you have booked a villa, this won’t be a problem.
Aside from swimwear and sun cream, there are a few other essentials you might need to take. Beach towels and a bag to carry your gear will be useful. Take some sandals to protect your feet from the hot sand on the beach. Buy the kids some cheap plastic or rubber sandals. That way it won’t matter if they lose them in the sea.
Kids are usually happy paddling, swimming, and digging in the sand, but it doesn’t hurt to pack a few beach toys. An inflatable ball, a bag for shells, and perhaps a book for older kids. Take a comb to tease the tangles out of their hair at the end of the day. It’s easier to do this when hair is wet.
If you are taking the car, pack a beach umbrella and a cooler for drinks and snacks.
Theme Park Accessories
You can’t go to Florida and not visit the theme parks. Disney, SeaWorld, Epcot Centre are all part of the fun! Buy your tickets in advance and plan what days you want to visit the theme parks. Take a small day pack to carry snacks, drinks, and other essentials. It is a lot cheaper to take your own snacks to the theme parks than it is to pay out for junk food and ice creams all day.
Since there is always the possibility it might rain on the day, pack rain ponchos for everyone. These will keep the kids – and you – dry in a shower. Make sure everyone has comfy walking shoes. And if you are traveling with younger children, take a stroller so they can rest if they get tired. Do not underestimate how much hard work one theme park is!
If you are traveling in winter, pack a few warmer layers. It is common to stay at theme parks until late, but it will get cold as night draws in. A sweatshirt or light jacket will come in handy for you, and the kids will appreciate a cardigan or long-sleeve top.
Take a digital camera and a selfie stick for your smartphone so you can document your trip and take some amazing photos of the family having fun. This could be the trip of a lifetime, so you want to ensure everyone remembers all the best bits in the years to come!