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13 Easy Tips for Travelling to Florida with a Baby

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Travelling to Florida with a baby? Then follow these easy tips for a stress-free trip, from packing essentials to family-friendly activities!

florida with a baby

I’ve recently just come back from an amazing trip to Florida with the family. It had everything – Floridian sunshine, beautiful beaches, and we even pretended to be astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center. You really can’t beat Florida for family travel. I just want our son Cooper to be old enough so we can start hitting up the big parks!

As you’d expect, travelling with a one-year-old has its difficulties, but that’s what this blog post is all about. I really want to give you some top tips for travelling to Florida with a baby. Trust me, some of these will really make your trip a whole lot easier. They’re very tried and tested!

travelling to florida with a baby
Travelling to places like Florida doesn’t have to be difficult!

One of the things we’re really trying to demystify as a family is long-haul flying shouldn’t be a barrier to travelling the world.  

Most new parents won’t think about long-haul travel until their child is much older, but by that point habits have settled in and flying becomes even more daunting. I think if you get a long-haul trip in early, then you’re setting your kid up for a life of travel ahead of them. That’s the way we looked at it!

Our son has already been to Thailand and Vietnam, as well as a few short-haul trips to France and Spain, so he’s become quite the little traveller already.

I would like to think we’ve picked up a fair few baby hacks along the way, so hopefully this article will help with planning your trip to Florida.

Top Tips for Travelling to Florida with a Baby

Choose an afternoon flight

fly in the afternoon
I’d recommend flying in the afternoon

As we were flying to Orlando from Heathrow, there were two options – a 09:20 flight that arrived at 14:15, or a 15:15 flight that arrived at 19:30.

Now we went for the afternoon flight for so many reasons. Firstly, it gave us a bit of time to pack and get ready in the morning which is always a bonus.

Secondly, as it’s an 8-hour flight, we wanted the flight where he’d get the most sleep. As our son’s bedtime is 19:00, it meant that he could sleep for over half the flight (including a cheeky nap in there too).

Finally, even though we landed at 19:30, it didn’t take long to clear customs, get to a hotel and get Cooper down again. As he was still in the sleepy zone (it was the middle of the night in his head), it meant he actually got loads of sleep. Then when he woke up in the morning, he saw daylight to kick in the circadian rhythm.

Book a Meet & Greet service with Original Travel

where to stay in san sebastian
We’ve used Original Travel before and they provide such an excellent service

If you book your holiday through Original Travel, then one of the services they offer is their Meet & Greet service.

This is where someone will meet you at the airport, whisk you straight to the front of the check-in queue, then take you to an airport lounge so you can relax before your trip. They basically take out all the stress from the airport so it’s a much more relaxing experience.

I’ve used this service before when we flew to San Sebastian, and it was such a lovely start to our trip. It made me feel like a celebrity!

If you’re a bit of a nervous flyer, then this is a great way of letting someone else take the stress out of it.  

Have lots of distractions

tips for flying with a baby
This little busy board book was brilliant as a distraction

If this is your first flight with a kid then prepare yourself, because flying as you know it has gone out the window! Don’t expect to have a moment to yourself.

So on the flight itself, little games and distractions are key. Cooper was at an age where EVERYTHING is interesting. He was pressing the ‘call for attention’ button endlessly and crawling around on the floor playing with the in-flight magazines.

As distractions, we’ve found little spinners to be priceless. Also, this busy board book which is packed full of games is really great. Cooper spent a good 30 minutes bucking and unbuckling a clip.

Flip flop with your partner

how to entertain a baby on a flight
It’s important to get some downtime (if that’s possible) when you can

If you’re travelling with someone else, then try flip flopping responsibility for a bit.

As I was with Chloe, one of us would look after Cooper for half-an-hour, then we’d swap over. Technically, it should give one of you a tiny bit of downtime. It doesn’t quite work out like that, but it does mean you both don’t need be on duty together all the time.

Be very flexible with naps and sleeping

flying to florida with a baby
We were very flexible with how Cooper slept on the flight

I’ve already stated we chose an afternoon flight so Cooper could get more sleep. The reality wasn’t quite like that, but he did get a few hours under his belt.

Whenever we’ve done any long-haul flights, we’ve got the bassinet seats at the front of a seat section. Now Cooper does not like bassinets. I’m sure some babies do, but Cooper certainly isn’t one of them. Every time we put him down for a nap in the bassinet, he would immediately kick off and start crying. Hey, we gave it a try.

Instead, we’ve always been really flexible with how he sleeps. Cooper’s always slept well in a carrier, so for naps and for bedtime, we just let him sleep on us. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing and he loves the comfort of being close to us.

Pack lots of snacks

eating in florida
I didn’t have any photos of Cooper eating snacks, so here’s one of him stealing a chip

Another obvious one, but pack lots of snacks. This isn’t just for the flight, but also for when you’re in Florida. Even though supermarkets like Publix and Wallmart have baby food, it is very different to what you get a home.

We couldn’t really find anything the same, especially snacks like rice crackers, so we were glad we’d shoved a few packs into our suitcase.

Most places are baby friendly

eating out in florida
Cooper was super chilled wherever we went

Pretty much everywhere we went was baby friendly, and all restaurants had high chairs. If you’re worried about cleanliness, then bring extra wet wipes to clean the tops of high chairs and tables. They’re not always the cleanest!

Bring your pram

kennedy space center with kids
I would say bringing your pram is essential

Every trip we’ve done with Cooper, we’ve always ummed and erred on whether we should bring our pram or not. In the end, we’ve brought it every time, and we’ve always been so thankful that we have.

Yes, it can be a hassle having a pram, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. It meant we could be a lot more mobile, and the extra space underneath for bags is great.

Even though Cooper doesn’t really nap in his pram, it was his own little space, and it meant we could keep him out the sun a lot easier than if he was in the carrier all the time. You can also buy UV protectors for the pram too.

If you want to read more all about why we travel with a pram, then check out Chloe’s review of the Babyzen Yoyo which is what we use.

Get a room with a separate space (mainly for you)

One of the hardest things about travelling with a baby is bedtime. Once you’re childs is down asleep, that’s it, you’re stuck in the room. We tried our best to push back Cooper’s bedtime from 19:00 to 20:30, but it still meant we were in our room for a good few hours tiptoeing around not making any sounds.

That’s why I’d really recommend getting a room or apartment with a separate space. While we were travelling around Florida, a couple of our hotel rooms had a balcony which was brilliant. Each evening we’d sit on the balcony with a bottle of wine knowing we could chat without waking Cooper up.

Use the child swap system at parks

use the child swap system at parks
The child swap system at parks in just brilliant

At parks like the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, they have a child swap system. This is where you all queue up together as a family. Then when you’re at the front, one of you goes on the ride, and the other goes off into a side room with your kid.

Then, after you’ve been on the ride, you swap over and the other parent can go on the ride without queuing all over again.

Chloe and I did this and it was really useful. It meant we both could experience all the rides without wasting loads of time. Obviously it takes a bit longer than if you don’t have kids as you’re going on separate rides, but it’s a great system. It means one of you doesn’t miss out on rides when looking after your kid.

Don’t buy kids meals

kids meals florida
Just look at the portion sizes!

If you’ve never been to the States before, then the portion sizes are massive. Chloe and I often would get a starter and main, then share that. Even then sometimes it was too much food!

To save some money, I’d suggest not getting kids meals. Instead, they can just share some of your food as there’s loads. Another money saving tip – if you’re travelling to a lot of the parks then you’re allowed to bring your own food in.

Your kids are going to eat sand

florida baby travel tips
Now this is what Florida with a baby is all about!

Cooper LOVED places like New Smyrna Beach. He just loves feeling the texture of sand. I think he could spend hours scrunching it up in his little hands. However, on this trip aged one, he’s exploring even more. That means eating sand!

Obviously we tried to stop him, but every time we put him down it’d eventually end up with him eating sand. We both became a lot less worried when we the locals saw what was going on and would say: “Oh, I’m pretty sure I ate the whole beach when I was a kid”. It’s just one of those things all babies do!

Go on a tour to take all the stress out of planning

florida babymoon
I have no doubt you’ll love travelling around Florida!

If you’re the type of person who really struggles for time, then why not going on a tour? Then you can have someone else look after the logistics of your trip so you can just enjoy yourself.

Tours like this Family Fun in Florida means everything is taken care of so you can really get to know the real Florida. This is perfect for a busy family with working parents as the itinerary is already set for you.

Your children are only young once, but the memories you create in Florida will last forever. That’s what travelling with kids is all about! I really hope you’ve found this article useful. As ever, if you have any top tips about travelling with a baby, let me know in the comments below!

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13 Easy Tips for Travelling to Florida with a Baby

About the Author

  • Macca Sherifi

    Macca Sherifi is the founder of the multiple award-winning blogs An Adventurous World and the Great British Bucket List. Every month he inspires over 200,000 avid readers to travel the world.

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