No one particularly likes to plan a trip knowing that it’s going to rain while you’re there, but sometimes that is just the reality. It might be that you’re going to be in an area of the world known for its rainy days (hello England!) or it might be that you’re there during rainy season (hello Florida in the summer!) – or you might just have a few rainy days in the forecast. Either way, when traveling with kids you need to be prepared when it comes to rainy weather, because nothing is worse than being stuck in a heavy rainstorm with absolutely no rain gear and no way to stay dry. We’ve done multiple trips to places with rainy weather, and we live in Central Florida where it rains literally every day in the summer, so we’ve got a pretty good idea of the rain gear that works. This is a list of the best travel rain gear for the whole family, and everything listed is either something we currently own and use, or something we’ve purchased for a future trip – so we know it works! Read ahead for more info.
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If you’re going to be visiting somewhere with warm weather but still expecting showers (somewhere like Walt Disney World in Florida, for example) then you’ll want a rain jacket that is on the lighter side. I like Regatta rain jackets for something that won’t make me hot and uncomfortable; the fabric is breathable and lightweight, and I like that they fold up small enough that they take up very little room in a suitcase. I have one of these for the summer and I think it will be perfect for those Florida afternoon thunderstorms.
For lighter rain jackets for kids, I like the Hunter line; my boys have these yellow rain ponchos and we’ve already gotten some use of them this year in Florida. They’re lightweight and once the rain stopped, they dried off super quick. They also came with their own pouch so they could be folded up and stored.
I know many people swear by ponchos at Walt Disney World, but I generally find that they act like a sauna, making me feel hot and sticky. If you do decide to go the poncho route, the Dollar Store ponchos are my favorite since they’re so cheap; throw a few in your bag and they take up very little space. Here’s a tip: bring a few extra so you have something to sit on if the benches or floor are wet for a show or parade, and something to cover a stroller if you need to leave it outside while you go on a ride. More tips on how to make the best of Walt Disney World in the rain here.
If your destination is going to be cold and wet, you’ll need something a little heavier to keep you dry; not only do you need to stay warm, but you need the waterproofing to be even tougher. I like The North Face rain jackets when it’s going to be chilly out; the padding is a little heavier, they’re warmer on the inside, and the waterproofing is tougher so you’re less likely to get the rain soaking through – wind proofing is also a huge plus. This was perfect for our family trip to Iceland last summer.
I look for the same things in kids rain jackets for colder weather; warm fleece linings, tough waterproofing and wind proofing, but not so heavy that the kids feel like they can’t move around. I also look for some sort of colorful design, especially for my toddler’s jacket – sometimes he’s a little ‘reluctant’ (read: point blank refuses) to put on a coat and having one with buses or the dinosaurs can make all the difference! My kids current cold weather jackets are no longer in stock since they’re a few years old now, but these kids rain jackets are very similar.
Traveling with rain boots isn’t something I’d always recommend; they can be bulky and heavy and take up a lot of room in the suitcase. However there are some places where you just need good quality rain boots in order to fully enjoy a vacation, because there’s nothing worse than wet feet! My go to recommendation for rain boots for both kids and adults is always Hunter. The quality is fantastic, they’re sturdy and comfortable – and surprisingly stylish for rain boots! There are a huge number of styles these days, but I really like the Hunter original gloss rain boots; they pack up pretty well, and they’re so pretty – I mean, if I’m going to be trekking around in rain boots, I might as well look good!
The Hunter kids rain boots are a great option for little ones as well, and come in a wide range of colors. If you don’t want to spend that much on rain boots (completely understandable if all you need them for is a short vacation) then Crocs kids rain boots are more affordable, but still practical and good quality.
Baby rain gear
Rain suits: I’ve always really loved this Hapiu all-in-one rain suit; we’ve used it in the past when my babies were younger, and it has always kept them cozy and dry. While I do think all-in-one rain suits can be a pain for diaper changes, they’re really all we’ve ever used in wet conditions, since they guarantee little one will stay as dry as possible in the rain. This one also comes with it’s own little pouch so once the weather clears up, you can fold it up and put it away until you reach somewhere it can dry out.
Stroller covers: we literally never travel anywhere without our stroller cover! We’ve used it in the rain, of course, especially at places like Walt Disney World where you often have to leave your stroller outside no matter the weather, but we’ve also used in the snow, or just in places where it was especially cold.
Other rain gear
It may be the English in me, but I always travel with an umbrella! At home we have huge golf umbrellas, but those are entirely impractical to travel with; they don’t fit in the suitcase and even if they did, who wants to be sightseeing or hiking on vacation with a giant umbrella?! Portable umbrellas are small and lightweight, so they can easily be thrown into a suitcase for travel, and then a diaper bag or a backpack for a day out. We even let the kids bring their own kids umbrellas since they’re small, but we’re careful about where we let them use them – no one wants to be hit on the shins with an umbrella being used as a weapon by a feisty toddler!
I also have a waterproof phone case that I use when I want to take photos in the rain. This waterproof phone case is actually designed to take photos underwater, but I’ve never used it for that since I have a waterproof camera. Instead, I use it when it’s raining out and I don’t want my phone getting damaged, but I still need to capture that perfect picture.
The other thing that we always travel with whenever we think we might be going somewhere rainy is plastic bags. No, seriously. Plastic bags have so many uses in the rain; we use them to store wet clothes or wet umbrellas, we sit on them when benches are wet, we use them to store valuables in case backpacks or bags leak, and so many more uses! We rarely use plastic bags at the grocery store anymore but if we do, we keep them to take on our trips – and we always use them!
What rain gear do you use for family travel? Let me know in the comments!