How To Travel With Kids

Survival Tips for a Winter Vacation Down South

Like many Canadians, I’m one for following the sun wherever and whenever I can. Sure, I love the cold and winter fun can be enjoyable, but truthfully, having the opportunity to enjoy some warm weather, rays and relaxation is something that I just can’t pass up!

That being the case, I’ll be one of the many “Snowbirds” heading down south very soon. When thinking about where to go, one of the first places that came to mind was visiting Orlando, Florida. Having young children, it was important to find a locale where families could enjoy a variety of activities and parks that would keep both the kids and the parents excited and engaged. You can rest assured that my family and I will be taking advantage of everything that Orlando has to offer—from Universal Studios, to Sea World and of course to Disney World as well. Oh, and there might be some outlet shopping, golfing and a visit to the spa too!

If you’re planning a vacation to a warm destination and/or a family-friendly locale, there are some definite things that you can do to make sure that you have the most fun on your jaunt with the kids. Being prepared in advance always makes any trip run more smoothly, especially when there are kids in the mix.

For vacations in the sun, use the following checklist to make sure that your plans for a good time aren’t ruined by forgetting certain items. I know from my previous experiences traveling with the family that these are the items I can’t survive without

  Water – Always have a good supply available for your and the kids for those long days out exploring or visiting theme parks.

  Sunscreen – It goes without saying! Who wants to deal with sunburn while on vacation? Kids are particularly sensitive, so make sure you stock up before you leave for your trip.

  Snacks – It’s always good to have a backup of healthy snacks and munchies for your children when out for a long day. Consider portable snacks such as cheese, crackers, cut-up veggies and fruit for your travels.

  Band-Aids – You never know when you or your kids might suffer an unexpected cut or scrape. Nip it in the bud immediately by carrying Band-Aids and sterilizing ointment with you on your day out.

  Wet wipes – Baby wipes and wet wipes can be used in a variety of ways. From cleaning up spills and messes, to wiping up sticky hands and sweaty brows, they’re indispensable!

  Hats/Sunglasses – Along with sunscreen, a hat and shades will keep the sun at bay so that you can enjoy the day without dealing with sunburn or squinting!

  Sweaters – Weather is a strange thing, and you never know when it’s going to turn. It may be warm one moment and cool the next. Chilly kids don’t make for a good vacation. Make sure to pack a sweater for each family member so that you can enjoy your day regardless of the temperature outside.

  Rain gear – Rain is a real drag, especially when you’re walking around a theme park or at the beach. Prepare in advance and have rain gear, umbrellas and similar items on hand in case of an unexpected downpour.

  Backpacks – This goes without saying—it’s so much easier to carry items with you if they’re on your back, not in a bag in your hands. The same, obviously, goes for the kids. Suit up the family with backpacks and take the load off.

  Extra shoes (wet rides vs. walking around) – If you’re going to a theme park where you and the kids ride the water rides, you may want to pack an extra pair of shoes for when your first pair gets soaked! You don’t want wet socks and soles to ruin the day.

  A change of clothes – Similar to the extra shoes, being prepared for anything—including spills, weather and wet rides—can make or break your day out. Getting messy is often part of the fun, but have backup items on hand to clean up afterwards.

  Plastic bags – Make sure to have some plastic bags in your knapsack for you to throw your change of clothes and shoes into. This way, the rest of your portable items won’t get wet or soiled too.

So there you have it! Like anything, traveling with the kids just requires a bit of planning ahead. By making sure you’ve checked your list and have all the items on hand for your trip, you’re guaranteed a good time – regardless of the weather or other circumstances.

For more tips on traveling stress-free with kids, learn how to create a kid-friendly travel plan.

Samantha Kemp-Jackson is a Toronto-based freelance writer, blogger and public relations consultant at Triple M Communications. You can follow her blog at and you can follow her on twitter: @samkj27