Living in South Florida means we reside in a place where most people come to vacation. Although not every day feels like a vacation, it’s nice to know we have a variety of options nearby on Jeff’s days off from work.

We love having family over during the summer because we get to plan a couple of trips to local attractions. My parents will be here next month and we’ve been planning a few things for them to do. Aside from visiting family and friends in different parts of Florida, we’ll be stopping by museums and — of course — the beaches.

It was no surprise to see that several cities in Florida have made the top 30 list of the WalletHub 2016’s Best Summer Travel Destinations. Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford were among the top three mentioned. Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater were named No. 22, while Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach ranked No. 27.

Traveling Tips For Parents
Planning a vacation takes a lot of forward thinking. From the places you’ll be visiting, to the places you’ll be staying, it all needs to flow.

My family and friends think I’m nuts because I pack months in advance once I’ve set the dates for our family trips. Traveling with little ones and a pup is never easy, but always well worth it in the end. To see their smiles and tired faces when it’s all over makes this mama proud of all the extra effort (and knowing the things I overpacked came in handy does bring a sigh of relief).

Below are three tips for parents who plan to travel this summer:

1. Pack ahead of time.
I know a few people who might think packing the night before a trip makes perfect sense, but when you have kids, you have to plan ahead. I’ve experienced last-minute colds and headaches the night before a trip. And we all know how much fun those can be! 

Avoid running into issues by packing your bag in advance. You don’t have to pack a month or two in advance like I do, but you should at least make a list of the necessary items just to keep yourself on track.

2. Bring goodies. 
Call me crazy, but I like comfort when I travel. I love bringing treats for everyone, not just things to eat, but also something that would make someone happy to have. For instance, I’ve included two sets of blankets for the drive because I know how much our infant gets cold in the car, and how our toddler loves to feel included. There have been times I brought a piece of cheese with us to the beach because our boys (pup included) love snacking on cheese. 

If you have space, add a little something for everyone to enjoy. 

3. Plan for next time.
We’re all guilty of forgetting something, or wishing we had forgotten something at home. Instead of complaining about these things, make a note of what you actually used and be sure to add the things you would’ve loved to bring.
 This is something Jeff and I do on a regular basis. It helps when we need to plan our next trip.

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