What to Pack for Your Florida Vacation


Vacations in Florida often involve lots of sand, sea and sun.  However, there’s lots of things to do in the state so you’ll want to ensure that you have packed sufficiently for your trip.  Before you start loading up your suitcase with swimsuits and sunscreen, keep reading, as we’re going to give you an essential packing list that should hopefully cover every eventuality.


The Florida heat can be oppressive if you’re not used to it, so you’ll want to pack plenty of lightweight clothing that will give your skin the room it needs to breathe. Casual cotton clothing is a must-pack, and you’ll want to bring along T-shirts, shorts, Capri pants and tank tops.

Although Florida is a laid back state, and most restaurants do not mind if you arrive for dinner dressed in casual clothes, it’s a good idea to pack at least one smart outfit.  That said, we recommend avoiding jeans or leather clothing, and opting for a lightweight dress and a jacket.  You’ll also want to avoid packing silk clothing, or anything that can be ruined by salt water.

Don’t forget to pack some swimsuits too.  You’ll want to pack at least two so you always have one dry enough to wear.  Swimsuits, tankinis and bikinis are all in this summer, so why not treat yourself to some new ones before your trip?


When it comes to footwear, flip flops are a must, so make sure you pack a pair that you feel comfortable in and that goes with most of your outfits.  You may also want to pack a pair of lightweight shoes, such as some canvas sneakers, as these will be more suitable than flip flops if you decide to take an excursion.

If you’re visiting the state to hike some of the trails, you’ll also want to ensure you pack a pair of comfortable hiking boots and some breathable hiking socks.

Hair and Beauty Products

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, so two must have items are a hat and a pair of sunglasses – you will wear these on a daily basis.  You’ll also want to pack some high SPF sunscreen, as well as aloe vera gel, which will help your skin to cool down if you do get burnt, and some SPF lip balm.

If flying, you might want to buy things like shampoo and conditioner once you arrive in the state, however you could also purchase some air travel containers if you prefer.  Hair ties and bands are a must in Florida, as you will soon see how quickly the humidity can turn your hair into a crazy mess, no matter how lovely it looked before you left your hotel room.

Other must pack beauty accessories include moisturizing cream for your face, shaving gear, BB cream, and makeup.  We recommend wearing light makeup on your vacation.  Less is definitely more in the Sunshine State.

One final thing that you will want to pack is a bug and mosquito repellent.  Mosquitoes are at their worst during the summer months, and mosquitoes in the state have been found to be carrying dengue fever and the Zika virus.  Even popular tourist destinations like Miami Beach and Key West are not immune to these mosquitoes, so make sure you pack items that will help prevent bites.


Unless you plan on using your smartphone for photos, you’ll want to ensure you pack a digital camera and a spare memory card.  Some people also choose to carry a laptop or notebook so that they can upload photos while they are away from home.  Remember to pack the leads and chargers for any digital accessories you take.

We highly recommend purchasing a dry bag to keep these items in, especially if you plan on taking them out on boat trips.  A dry bag will protect your equipment fully, not only from the water, but also from the salt air, which can wreak havoc on electrical items.

It’s a good idea to speak to your hotel before you travel to find out what kind of items they include in the room fee.  If you are susceptible to the heat, you may want to pack a miniature fan for your room.  Your hotel may or may not supply hair dryers, curling irons, or straightening irons, so consider packing these too if you think you’ll need them.

Finally, it’s extremely likely that you’ll be taking your cell phone with you, so don’t neglect to pack your charger.  You may also want to pack a back-up battery pack so that you don’t need to keep returning to your room every time the battery dies.


The documentation you will need to pack will vary depending on where you’re traveling from.  If you’re flying into Florida from outside of the United States, you will need to make sure you have your passport and any required visas. If you’re from Canada, you can get cheap passport photos Calgary here.  Those traveling to Florida from within the United States will still want to pack some photo identification in case it is required at your hotel, or while visiting bars.

Most places will now accept smartphone verification of apartment and hotel bookings, though you may also want to print this out and bring it along just in case.  If you have booked a Miami to Orlando shuttle, or any day trips, it’s also a good idea to print out proof of this.

Other essential documentation includes health and auto insurance policy documents, your travel agent’s emergency out of hours number, and your credit/debit card emergency numbers.

Additional Extras

If you have room in your suitcase after packing all of the above, you may want to consider bringing along some of the following optional items:

  • Extra towels
  • Easy to read fiction or an e-reader
  • A day pack
  • A beach bag
  • A beach blanket
  • A neck pillow
  • Ice cube trays
  • A waterproof iPhone case
  • A refillable water bottle
  • A foldable umbrella
  • A lightweight rain jacket.

Although this may look like a lot of items to pack, they will help to ensure that you are fully prepared for your week in the sun.

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