Planning a vacation to Florida is an exciting endeavor with its beautiful beaches, thrilling amusement parks and vibrant cities, the Sunshine State offers a myriad of attractions for visitors of all ages. If you plan to make the most of your Florida adventure, though, proper packing and trip planning is essential. Luckily, from essentials for beach outings to appropriate attire for theme parks, we will cover everything you need to ensure a memorable and comfortable trip.
Your suitcase will contain the bulk of the belongings you’re traveling with, so this is a bag that will require a lot of planning. Consider compartmentalizing your suitcase into the following categories, and including the following items.
- Comfortable Shoes That Can Breathe
Make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes that will allow your feet to breathe, as you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking. Sneakers or sandals with good arch support are ideal for exploring theme parks, nature trails, cities and whatever other sightseeing you may do, so slip into the most comfortable sandals or shoes that you can find and put your best foot forward on this vacation!
- Weather-Appropriate Clothing
Florida’s climate is known for its warm temperatures and high humidity, so packing lightweight, breathable clothing is a must. Consider bringing lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen and other moisture-wicking materials to keep cool and comfortable throughout the day. Shorts, skirts, flowy pants, sundresses, t-shirts, tank tops and lightweight beach wraps are all ideal for daytime explorations. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring a light sweater or jacket for cooler evenings or air-conditioned indoor spaces.
Packing the right toiletries is crucial for a comfortable Florida vacation. Bring your preferred shampoo, conditioner, body wash, skincare products and scrubbies in travel-sized containers — and don’t forget to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss to maintain your oral hygiene routine while on vacation as well. Keep your toiletries organized and easily accessible by using a toiletry bag with compartments, and opt for something that’s waterproof to protect your belongings from spills and leaks.
Your travel bag will be the one that you always keep close by and accessible. It may be a large leather tote bag, it may be a smaller crossbody bag or it may be a backpack — but you can bet that you have that bag almost everywhere you go. With this being such an important bag, it only makes sense that it carry such important or frequented items as:
- Insect Repellent
Florida’s warm climate also means mosquitoes and other insects can be present. Carry insect repellent to protect yourself from bug bites, especially if you plan to explore natural areas.
- Medications and First Aid Kit
Pack any necessary medications, along with a small and simple first aid kit for sudden minor injuries or ailments.
- Travel Adapters and Chargers
Ensure you have the appropriate power adapters and chargers for your electronic devices, as well as a portable power bank for on-the-go charging.
Carry essential travel documents such as your IDs, passport, driver’s license and any necessary reservations or tickets here — ideally in a separate and secure pouch or wallet.
- Cards and Cash
Ensure that you have your credit cards, debit card and cash on you whenever you may need them by keeping them close.
Florida is renowned for its stunning beaches, so if you’re planning to soak up the sun and splash in the waves (which we highly recommend), make sure to pack the following beach essentials into a large, waterproof beach bag.
Pack at least two swimsuits so you always have a dry one on hand. Consider bringing rash guards or cover-ups for added sun protection.
- Sun Protection
Sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and umbrellas are essential to shield yourself from the strong Florida sun — ESPECIALLY on the beach. So don’t forget these items and don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day.
- Beach Towels and Chairs
Most accommodations provide towels, but having an extra beach towel or two can be handy. If you prefer more comfort, consider bringing lightweight beach chairs or loungers.
- Beach Toys and Games
If you’re traveling with children or simply enjoy the excitement of beach activities, consider packing beach toys, such as sandcastle-building tools, beach balls or frisbees.
Florida is home to numerous world-class theme parks, and if you plan to visit them, packing a theme park survival kit will greatly enhance your experience. Consider including:
- Comfortable Clothing and Kicks
Opt for breathable and lightweight clothing, including shorts, t-shirts and comfortable shoes. Along with comfortable travel shoes for women, you’ll want to consider packing multiple pairs of moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry during long park days.
- Any Crucial Cards or Cash
Ensure that you have your credit and/or debit cards, identification, park passes and otherwise on you before you leave. Aside from this, having some cash on hand for parking fees, tips and small purchases is always a good idea as well.
- Snacks and Drinks
Theme parks can be pricey when it comes to food and beverages, so it’s a good idea to pack some snacks and drinks to keep you energized throughout the day. Pack non-perishable items like granola bars, trail mix, dried fruits or individual snack packs. Consider packing a small cooler bag with ice packs to keep perishable snacks and drinks cool.
Florida offers a vibrant nightlife scene, whether you’re exploring the trendy streets of Miami, the lively bars in Key West or the upscale restaurants in Orlando. As far as your evening bag itself goes, you’ll want to opt for a small handbag or clutch that can hold your essentials. To ensure you’re prepared for an evening out, though, consider packing these essentials:
- Dressier Outfits
Some restaurants, clubs and entertainment venues in Florida may have dress codes or require more formal attire. Even if they don’t, you just might want to showcase your excitement through your ensemble. So pack a few dressier outfits such as dresses, skirts, dress pants or even skinny leather pants, along with some cute and super comfortable heels for women and appropriate accessories.
- Compact Umbrella
Florida’s weather can be completely unpredictable, and a sudden rain shower can put a damper on your evening plans. Carry a compact umbrella to stay dry during unexpected showers.
- IDs and Cash
Ensure you have a valid ID, as many establishments will require age verification regardless of how old you look. Carry some cash for tips, cover charges and small purchases, and you’re set for a fun night.
- Makeup and Toiletries
Pack any necessary makeup items for touch-ups throughout the evening. Include items like a compact mirror, lipstick, powder and perfume/cologne.
As you embark on your Florida vacation, don’t let the excitement overshadow the importance of strategic packing. By carefully packing your travel bag, your suitcase, your beach bag, your theme-park pack and any other bags you’ll need, you’ll be well-equipped for a memorable and stress-free trip. Just remember that the key is to pack smart, not heavy.