What should I pack for my vacation to Florida? If you are planning a Florida vacation, chances are that all you are thinking about is some fun in the sun. Right?
As long as you include these Florida packing essentials, you’ll be prepared for that enjoyable, relaxing vacation you are envisioning!
What clothing should I pack for a Florida Vacation?
After years of family vacations to Florida, my best overall tip for packing clothes for a Florida trip is to not overpack. Chances are there are days you’ll spend at the pool or beach, and not even wear “real clothes”. So do yourself a favor, pack light, but be sure to include the following Florida vacation must-haves.
1. Bring along that perfect hat
Not only is Florida hot most of the year, but it’s also SUNNY! Do your skin a favor and bring along a sun hat or at least a baseball cap to help keep the sun off your face. You’ll prevent wrinkles and sunburn – neither of which you want as your Florida souvenir.
2. Consider a UV rash guard when packing for Florida
I used to ALWAYS pack these for my son – when he was a toddler his skin was so sensitive. And thanks to him always wearing rash guards and sunscreen, he never burned. Not once after weeks of Florida vacations.
Even if you don’t have skin that burns easily, a rash guard will protect you from the sun, AND it’s also helpful with protection from sand burns if you are playing in the ocean.
Obvious item to pack for your Florida vacation, right? Not that I haven’t forgotten them for a kid before, but still.
I’d suggest packing at least two swimsuits per person. There are few things ickier than putting on a wet suit. If you have two, you can wear one while the other dries.
4. Add a few coverups to your Florida packing list
I love including a few coverups on my Florida packing list. Just like swimsuits, if one is wet you have a backup. I also try to ensure that they can be worn over my suit to a casual beachside lunch or bar. Makes it more comfortable when you are taking a break from the beach.
My current favorite coverup is super inexpensive on Amazon, comes in tons of colors and prints, can also be worn as a dress, AND has pockets.
👉 Check out ALL the colors available for this coverup here. I own the black and the FL mixed blue!
5. Don’t forget to bring rain ponchos when packing for Florida
I’ve experienced rain on almost every single trip I’ve taken to Florida. Doesn’t seem to matter what time of the year, chances are strong that it will rain.
Luckily, Florida storms tend to be short, and often in the middle of the afternoon. By packing a few rain ponchos and keeping them handy, you’ll be prepared!
What beach items should I pack for my Florida vacation?
There are some items that I specifically pack when I’m headed to Florida – especially if we plan to spend time by the ocean.
6. Bring along some reef-safe sunscreen
If you plan to enjoy time in the ocean – and if you are going to Florida for a vacation you should – pack reef-safe sunscreen. It’s nice to have at least one bottle with you (you can pick up more onsite if you need it) so that you can get out and enjoy the water as soon as you arrive.
Be sure to use it liberally and reapply often. A burn is the fastest way to ruin your trip!
7. Pack lip balm with SPF for your Florida trip
Your lips can and will burn just as quickly as your skin. So do them (and yourself) a favor by bringing along a few SPF lip balms. They don’t take up much room, so pack them in your carry-on, beach bag, and suitcase!
8. Bring a waterproof phone case
Spending time by the pool or the ocean can be good for the soul, but it’s not so good for your phone. Especially the ocean – in addition to the water, you have to worry about the sand.
Pick up a waterproof phone case (one that floats is even better), and you’ll have one less thing to worry about while you are relaxing!
9. A Kindle Paperwhite will make your pool time even more relaxing!
I love my Kindle Paperwhite. I actually purchased it for our recent trip to California and Hawaii and found it absolutely perfect for traveling.
It’s lightweight, holds a ton of books, has a long battery life and you can read it in direct sunlight. Perfect for lounging by the water.
10. Floats can be a fun addition to your Florida packing list
If we are flying, I’ll often throw a few floats that haven’t been blown up into our suitcases. It’s so lovely to float around on the ocean waves. I find it super relaxing, and for family members who don’t like to touch the bottom of the ocean, they are a godsend.
11. Don’t forget sunglasses for your packing list
There have been MANY vacations that I have had to buy sunglasses for myself or a kid because we forgot to pack them. Especially on those trips that begin with an early morning (before the sun rises) flight.
When vacationing in Florida, sunglasses are a necessity. Save yourself the expense (and time) of picking up another pair and do your best to remember to add them to your Florida packing list!
Insider tip: If you do forget them, CVS often has a decent selection of inexpensive ones. And surprisingly if you are headed to Disney World, there are fairly inexpensive and cute sunglasses at the parks.
12. A sand proof beach blanket or beach chair
Having a sand-proof beach blanket or a beach chair will add comfort to your time by the sea. If you are driving, throw in a few beach chairs, but even when flying you can at least bring along a sand-proof beach blanket.
For last year’s trip to Myrtle Beach, we picked up a blanket from Amazon and it worked like a charm! Took up very little space but gave us a lot of room to spread out. Much nicer than sandy towels!
👉 This is the beach blanket we purchased, and not only did it work well, but we were also able to get it back into that tiny bag! Score!!
The best shoes to include in your Florida packing list
I’m a firm believer in packing the right shoes. Shoes that will make your vacation more enjoyable without weighing you down. When I’m packing for Florida, these are the ones that ALWAYS are included.
13. Don’t forget to pack water shoes for your Florida trip
Although technically not necessary, it’s really nice to have a comfortable pair of water shoes with you. Walking on hot sand can be uncomfortable, and if the beach where you are visiting is covered in shells, well, barefoot isn’t an option!
14. Bring a pair or two of walking shoes
If you think you’ll exercise, tennis shoes are an obvious choice, but even if you don’t have plans to hit the gym, you may find yourself walking along a boardwalk, shopping mall, or even around a city. Your feet will thank you if you have comfortable walking shoes that have already been broken in.
15. When packing for a Florida vacation, sandals are a must
Don’t forget a comfortable pair of sandals to throw on when you head down to the pool, or just to keep your feet cool heading to dinner. If I’m on a 3-day trip to Florida I’ll pack one pair, but if it’s a week-long vacation, I make sure to include at least two pairs of sandals.
👉 Sketchers Regaee Trailway sandals are what I swear by. Find the biggest selection and best pricing here! I can’t tell you enough how wonderful these sandals are!!!!
Toiletries specific to a Florida packing list
In addition to your normal set of toiletries, there are a few specific items that are smart to add to your Florida beach packing list.
16. Consider bringing a container of body glide
Even if you don’t plan on doing a lot of walking, Body Glide can be a lifesaver with the heavy humidity in Florida. Use a little bit on areas that might rub together or on clothing/shoes (thighs, feet, etc.) and avoid painful chaffing.
17. Add Aloe Vero to your Florida beach packing list
Even if you add all the packing items on this list to your bag, it’s still possible to burn in the hot Florida sun. Just one afternoon of forgetting to reapply sunscreen, or staying out too long during the hot part of the day … pack a small container of Aloe Vero to help alleviate the pain!
Extra items to add to your Florida packing list
If you have room, add a few (or all) of these extra items to your Florida packing list. They are all things that will make your trip easier or more comfortable, yet you might not normally consider them as a packing list essential.
18. SunPass or plenty of change
If you are driving around Florida, chances are good you’ll encounter a toll booth or two. If you will do a LOT of driving, it might be worth investing in a SunPass.
If you know you won’t get your money’s worth out of the SunPass, be sure to have some change on hand. There are a few toll booths that only accept exact change (one in particular by the Orlando airport), and I know I’ve been burned by it more than once. Now I make sure to have at least a few dollars in quarters in the car.
👉 Related post: Beach Essentials – a few more favorite beach items to consider adding to your packing list!
19. Bug Spray for mosquitos and no see ums
Bugs can be BAD in Florida. Especially by the ocean at night. What’s especially frustrating is that often you don’t realize the no see ums are out there until a day or two later when your legs are covered in red spots. I know I’ve been there.
Combat that potential problem by bringing along some bug spray and USING it before you head out in the evening. Better safe than sorry!
20. Add a string back or day pack to your Florida packing list
It’s nice to have a lightweight bag to bring along on a day trip or even to carry down to the beach. Nothing big – just large enough for some money, room key, your Kindle or book, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
I keep a string bag in each of our suitcases, and there have been MANY times we’ve ended up pulling at least one of them out for an outing.
21. Essential oils and a diffuser can help mask hotel room smells
If you are lucky, the room smells you encounter are fresh ocean air, but … that’s not always the case. If you are staying at a condo, there will most likely be cooking smells. Or even just regular hotel odors.
Regardless of the reason, it’s nice to have a small travel diffuser and a few essential oils along to make sure YOUR room smells amazing. I never go on a trip without them! My favorite oils to diffuse are Thieves, Cinnamon Bark or Lavender.
👉 I use THIS diffuser for traveling – it’s been all around the country with me, on multiple flights and road trips and works perfectly! And it’s only $15!!!
22. A power strip is a useful addition to your packing list
How many times have you stayed in a hotel room with only one set of plugs by the bed? Even really nice hotels are often missing adequate plugs. If you have a Kindle, diffuser, and phone to charge, you are out of luck with a regular plug. Add in your kids’ electronic devices and everyone is fighting over the available plugs.
Eliminate the issue with a small power strip. If we are driving I’ll bring a full-size one, but I also have a small portable one for flying. Definitely a lifesaver!
Do you feel ready now to pack for your Florida trip? With a little preparation, and gathering the items on this packing list, you can be sure you’ll have everything you need for a wonderful Florida vacation!
PIN FOR LATER: