What should I take on holiday?

We often get asked what to take with you on holiday - here's a handy guide...if only someone would come and pack it all up for me too (oh and unpack when I get home).

Pushchairs/Car Seats

Children under the age of 6 need to have either a child seat or a booster seat. You can take your own as this is the cheapest and best way to do it, otherwise it is around $7 – $10 a day (payable locally when you pick up the car). These can sometimes be a bit grubby too so I would take your own.

The same with pushchairs/buggies (Strollers), if you can, take your own if it is not too bulky, there is no charge for taking both of these items on the plane and it doesn’t come out of your luggage allowance.  At the airport, they give you a big polythene bag to put it in. Your pushchair stays with you until you board and then you hand it over and it goes in the hold. So you have the advantage of having somewhere for the little one whilst you are at the airport. If you decide to leave your pushchair here, then avoid renting one from the theme parks as they are expensive,  they are about $15 a day if you rent a multiple day rental it is $13 a day. You can buy one from Walmart for about $20 or if you are staying at one of our villa’s ask us if they have one. Many previous guests leave them behind.

If you are flying economy most of the scheduled airlines luggage allowance is 1 x 23kg per person, including children. If you are flyng Premium Economy or Business Class your allowance may be 2 x 23kg and if you are lucky enough to be flying First Class it’s 3 x 32kg. Some charter airlines allowances are slightly less so check up before you book or before you start to pack. It is very tempting to take clothes for all seasons but I can assure you, you will take lots of stuff you will not wear and it will eat into your allowance.

Try to keep things to a minimum, if you are staying at a villa you can wash and dry clothing easily so you don’t need have a change of clothing for every day. All of this previous information is assuming that you will be doing a lot of shopping whilst in Florida and you will need to get it home with you without it costing you more than you could have bought it for before you left. You also get a 10kg cabin baggage allowance with most airlines. Some airlines strictly adhere to the “One Piece” rule and will not allow you to take any other pieces aboard without paying for them.

We often get asked if you can take food with you to the US the short answer is no really, things like fruit, vegetables, agricultural, dairy and meat products are prohibited. You can take tea and coffee with you if you wish but everything else can be bought quite cheaply over there, such as cereals for kids if yours only eats them for breakfast, most restaurants though do have cereals on the menus at breakfast time. Baby milk can be taken over with you too but in small quantities if not in hold luggage. 

Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Officers may ask travellers to open these items to conduct additional screening and passengers should declare them for inspection at the checkpoint.  
Larger quantities can be packed in hold luggage. One other thing to bear in mind, they may sell the same brand over there in the supermarkets like Publix and WalMart.