Picking the Right Vacation Scenario
How you choose to travel on your vacation with your family depends on the ages of your children. If you have kids six and under, you should consider staying at one hotel and exploring the area around it rather than traveling from one to another. The more you pack and unpack, the more agitated younger children get. Younger children are also affected more by the heat and humidity, so you'll need to give them time to acclimate. For this reason, it's probably best to travel in northern Florida during the summer and southern Florida during the winter.
Bedrooms Versus Fully Equipped Suites
If you're traveling with younger children, it may be best to stay in a fully equipped suite. Similar to a small apartment, they offer your children a place that seems more like home. A standard hotel room can be limiting. Also, this type of accommodation, with its small kitchen, allows you to prepare snacks or food just for them. While some people may not consider cooking part of a vacation, it can get expensive to eat out for every meal with young children. Preparing a simple breakfast and picnic lunches will go a long way to keeping your little ones content.
It's extremely important to make reservations — four to six months ahead of time if you're traveling over a holiday period — even if you're traveling in the off-peak season. Make sure you have a confirmation in writing from the hotel. If you book through a travel agency, be sure to ask for a copy of the confirmation they received.
Beach House and Condo Rentals
If you don't like the controlled environment of a resort and are planning to stay in one place for a week or more, you may want to consider renting a beach house or condominium. You'll find the former in the Lower Keys and the latter along practically every major beach in the state. Luxury condos, offering one to three bedrooms, living room, dining area, kitchen, and one or more baths, are like staying in a home-away-from-home — except with maid service. Most have a three-night minimum stay requirement and offer weekly or monthly rates. Many are time-shares that are available for rent when their northern owners aren't there. On the other hand, beach houses — many on stilts — offer you a truly tropical way to enjoy Florida's shores. These are always rented by the week and often require you to bring along your own linens and such.