10 Packing Essentials for a Trip to Sunny St. Augustine, Florida
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1) Canon Camera: you remember when I said this is a gorgeous little town full of photographing potential? Don't miss out on this opportunity to photograph it with a real camera! You'll want the image resolution to enlarge the photos of your family and preserve the memories. I recommend the Canon brand because it's what I've used since forever and it's always been my trusty vacation companion.
2) Sunscreen: Okay, St. Augustine is in Florida and if you've never been to Florida, two things to note: it is HOT and it is sunny! If you come from a more temperate climate, say about 40 degrees latitude and above (e.g. New York, Great Britain, Chicago) the strength of the sun may be a shocker. And, the sun beats down in full force March-November so really anytime you come you're gonna want to be covered. You don't want to walk around day 2 of your vacation looking like a lobster or worse have peeling skin (ewwww!) I use Neutrogena Oil-free Sunscreen SPF 55 and I recommend it because it's lightweight and doesn't make you shiny or clog your pores! It is oil-free so it's lightweight enough that I can wear it under my make-up. For my kiddos, I use NO-AD SPF 50. Have you heard of it? It's cheap, not sticky, and it WORKS!
3) A Wide-brimmed Hat: Did you get the memo above that Florida is HOT and the intensity of the sun is relentless and if you don't come prepared you'll completely regret it? I hope so. Part of coming prepared to visit St. Augustine, FL is wearing a hat. Not just any hat, a wide-brimmed hat. Why? Because, sunscreen defends against the sun's brutal rays but your eyes will need some defense as well (and trust me you'll want the extra defense for your skin). Case in point: I'm a native Floridian and while visiting St. Augustine last summer even I had to breakdown and buy a hat at one of the gift shops because it was just TOO hot. I was dripping in sweat and I needed the reprieve from the sun. Just buy your quality hat like the Wallaroo Women's Fedora beforehand because those gift shops will charge an exorbitant price for their hats because people come unprepared and they can get away with it.
4) Walking Shoes: Please, I repeat please, come prepared for walking. The St. Augustine historic district is a small space but other than the trolley, it will be all walking, all day. And, depending on your sightseeing route, you may go back and forth along cobbled streets and concrete again and again. I'd prepare for AT LEAST 2-3 miles of walking. Yes, those summery sandals and wedges might be cute against the historic architecture BUT is it worth blisters and and sore feet? I recommend New Balance sneakers because they are durable and comfy. Both my son and I have wider feet and these are the only brand that our feet can slide right into.
5) Stroller: Do you have kids under ten years old? Yeah, okay. Listen up! A vacation where there is any, I repeat ANY, kind of walking involved, please don't forget a stroller. If you're lucky enough to just be traveling with one, an umbrella stroller will do but we're now in the double stroller phase. You don't want to be out and about, 20 minutes from your hotel or the parking garage and your kiddo has a meltdown because they seriously CAN'T TAKE ONE MORE STEP! Have you been there? Save yourself and just have an umbrella stroller in your car and on every trip! The Baby Trend Rocket Lightweight Stroller is great for travel, an easy fold for restaurant pit stops, use on the off-and-on trolley, and lightweight enough to carry if needed.
6. Backpack: When I had kids, I gave up the shoulder bag, it was bulky and it fell off and I have a knack for leaving things behind at restaurants. I wanted something I could wear and that I didn't have to think about, enter the crossbody purse. I just slung it over my wardrobe, could keep it on while eating and it fit all my essentials. BUT, on vacation, I have to step it up a notch. Instead of the my crossbody purse (or in addition to) we travel with a backpack because KIDS! You need to keep the sunscreen, maps, hats, misting fans, extra clothes, diapers, snacks, somewhere! Why not, in a sporty bag that you can easily carry or can wrap loosely around the stroller? We have used our Reebok Medium Backpack since FOR-EV-ER and it has never let us down!
7. ) Sunglasses: Okay, I hope by now you got the memo that St. Augustine is in Florida and you need to plan for travel to the sunshine state accordingly. Sunglasses are not necessarily a must but they really do help and I always regret when I've left mine at home. Besides, they're also a great fashion statement and can pull together your look. My husband is a fan of aviators, I'm more what can I find for cheap on the Target rack!
8.) Bathing Suits: When you travel to a destination near a beach (especially in Florida) always pack your suits! You just never know. Even if your St. Augustine itinerary is already packed to the brim with things to do in the historic district, that toes-in-the-sand feeling may just hit and you'll want to be prepared for fun in the sun without a stop at an overpriced beach store. We enjoy the playful and hip designs of Cat & Jack swimsuits for our little ones. My son is on the skinnier and shorter side so we always size one down.
9.) Misting Fan: As stated already, St. Augustine is in Florida and Florida is HOT! You could take a towel, dip it in cold water and wrap it around your neck OR you can just be a tourist and use a misting fan! If you visit during the summer, you are going to sooooo wish that you had bought one of these. Misting fans provide constant (battery-operated) cool air and ones like the O2COOL Deluxe allow you to spray a spritz of water on
your face. PRO-TIP: Add ice to the water for an even more refreshing cool-off. Also, If you have smaller kiddos, the BLUBOON Clip On Fan is a MUST! It clips right onto to most surfaces but these are great for the stroller.
10.) Sweet Tooth: Okay, this last one is just good fun! St. Augustine like any vacation destination is a chance to indulge your sweet tooth. And, when it's a hot day, what's the one thing you crave? ICE CREAM! It's no doubt gonna be hot so come prepared to enjoy a sweet treat. For me, no St. Augustine trip is complete without an ice cream stop at the standard historic favorite Kilwin's on St. George Street!
I hope you have a blast on your trip to St. Augustine, FL (with kids). Check out my Travel Guides where you can learn more about what to do while you're there and how you can fit St. Augustine, FL into your next long drive up the Eastern coast of Florida.
Many Blessings & Happy Travels,
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