Florida Guide > Travelling
Travelling to Orlando with young children
Many people ask me what the right age is to travel to Florida. Where there is never going to be a right or wrong answer to this question (due to different people’s perspective). All I would tell people is there are ways you can ensure children don’t get too tired, are kept busy and have the best possible time, which might make your life a lot easier.
Travel – With the flight to Florida taking in excess of 9 hours having plenty of activities for the children is a must. Ipad’s, DVD players and book/ games are pretty much all you will need to keep them occupied for the flight. Most airlines now also offer seat back TV’s, so this is yet another thing that will eat away at the time.
Schedule – Making sure you don’t pack too much into your days is really important. Where adults will be able to walk around the parks for hours on end, children get tired very quickly and as such become agitated, Having days off, or shorter days really helps in this area. Most parks (Disney especially) will offer park hopper and flexible tickets to allow you to come and go as you please. This is great if you want to just go for a morning/ evening and not want to stay all day. This also means you can do other things (like using the pool at the villa) and then going out later on to the parks to see the fireworks etc. Plan an itinerary before you go and include the children in the choices.
At the parks – Certainly take plenty of fluids and plan the day for what you all want to go on and generally follow the easiest walking routes. Regular breaks are a must and don’t try to do too much too quickly. Most of the rides have a fast pass system that will allow you to bypass the main queues, this is worth it if you are going in peak dates and might end up standing in a queue for a while. For places like Universal where you have to pay for the fast pass, it is down to personal preferences as to whether you get one or not. Don’t forget that some parks always do rider swap if you have children who are not riding (due to height restrictions), so adults can often bypass long queues by using this.
Days off – There is so much to see and do in Florida, there are some great beaches all within an hour of Orlando. Taking time away from the parks is essential and many people do back to back park days (which can really take its toll after some late night/ early starts). Some people like to do a day away from the parks and Clearwater and Daytona Beach areas are very good. Days by the pool and also at the waterparks can break up the routine too, allowing children time to do something a little less active. Waterparks are a different kind of park and can be a lot less busy and far more relaxing.
Ultimately every family is different, however having been to Florida many times myself (with young children), it is very important to ensure that they don’t get too burned out and tired. Jetlag can take its toll early in the holiday, however fatigue and general tiredness can affect them if they do too much back to back.
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