Family Vacation – Tips for Vacationing with Children

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29 Mar 2017

Family Vacation in Key West, Let the fun Begin!

Key West offers families great weather, beautiful crystal clear water and sandy beaches to enjoy. There are plenty of family friendly dining options and activities in the area as well. While planning a family vacation with children is not always easy, it's always worth it! To help you plan out your family vacation, here are 10 tips to make traveling in Key West a bit easier.

Family on the Beach in Key West

#1 - Don't Tell The Kids Too Far in Advance

Talk to your children about where you plan on vacationing. They will love fantasizing about the crystal clear water and all the sand castles they can build. The trick is to not do this too far in advance as they may ask repeatedly when you are leaving etc.

#2 - Make a Kid's Packing List

Make a list for each child and what they will need for the trip. If they are old enough to read, you can give them the list and let them pack for themselves (just make sure to double check before you leave). To start your list off, here are a few items that you should plan on bringing:

  • Children's Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun Hat
  • Clothes
  • Swimsuit
  • Waterproof diapers
  • Snacks for the car ride or plane
  • Reading books, coloring books or games
  • Water bottle or sippy cup
  • A favorite stuffed animal or action toy to make them feel at home

#3 - Pack Early

We all know the feeling; you're in the car halfway to your destination and you've already made a list of items that you forgot. Now you have to stop on your way, in some unfarmiliar place, to buy the things you already have at home. This is why we suggest packing the luggage at least 5 days prior to leaving. This gives you time to ensure nothing is forgotten.

#4 - Don't Over Schedule

We're talking to you Type A-ers! Having a list of activities and restaurants you'd like to try is an excellent idea, but scheduling everything down to the minute is no way to vacation. With kids it is often hard to be on time, you don’t want to feel stressed to do a load of things. So plan some things and play the rest by ear, leaving room for some spontaneous vacation activities. 

#5 - Let The Kids Have a Say

Its their vacation too! Let the kiddos choose a few activities to do while on vacation. Research what there is to do, give the kids maybe three or four activities to choose so that you are more likely to do things that will interest them. This way when you are doing an activity that isn't their favorite, you can remind them that each family member gets to choose a special vacation activity and that they need to respect each others choices.

#6 - Enjoy Special Discounts

As a thank you for enjoying a Key West vacation with your family, there are often many deals and specials for families in the area. Key West also holds regular "Kids Free Florida Keys" community events, where kids can enjoy free admission and meals at various restaurants with a paying adult. 

#7 - Reserve Baby Related Rentals Ahead of Time

Packing everything your child needs - from a stroller to crib and beyond - can be difficult when you have limited car space or airport luggage restrictions. There are many places on Key West that rent all the big items you need, so you can just pick them up when you arrive. Be sure to reserve your baby related rentals ahead of time so they aren't out of stock when you arrive. Here are a few places to reserve everything your kid will need:

  • Baby's Away (strollers, cribs, carseats, highchairs & more)
  • The Hip Tourist (strollers, jogging strollers, crib, pack & play, umbrellas and much more)
  • BabyQuip (cribs, strollers, toys & more)

#8 - Stock Up on the ZZZ's & Vitamins

Planning a trip can be stressful, especially when you have work and every day items to think about. Getting sick right before a trip is awful, and can really put a damper on your vacation. Rest well before you leave for the trip and be sure to stock up on your vitamins of choice, like emergen-c. Make time for your regular stress relievers, whether its yoga or a hot bubble bath. You will need your energy and sleep so you can start your vacation off on the right foot.

#9 - Adjust Napping Schedules

Who doesn't love a good nap? For the small children who take regular naps at home, its a good idea to start adjusting your nap schedule for vacation. Do you plan on letting the children nap during a specific time of day, perhaps when the sun is hottest? Start adjusting their nap schedule before the trip so they aren't thrown off when you arrive. This will help keep them in a good mood and energized for all of the great activities planned.

#10 - Stay Calm, You're Going to Key West

Remember, unexpected events happen! Flights can be delayed or you can encounter car problems. Try to remain calm and relax. Kids look up to you to model their emotions, so if you act angry and frustrated they might get into a bad mood too. Keep the kids occupied and just be patient, you'll be in Key West soon enough!

Hopefully these tips will ensure your family has one of the best vacations ever. Take pictures, have fun, make memories, and enjoy your Key West vacation home