Florida has miles upon miles of coastline, and with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, it’s a beautiful, ideal place to visit.
The southernmost state in the US is known as the Sunshine State because of its warm and sunny weather. People from all over the US and internationally visit Florida to enjoy the warm weather and relax on the beach.
Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, along with amazing waves, views, and coastline.
If you’re planning a trip, but don’t know what to pack for a trip to Florida, keep reading. This article will share what weather to expect, what to add to your Florida vacation packing list essential, what not to pack, activities to pack for, and valuable tips to remember.
This will be your ultimate guide to packing for a beach vacation in Florida. We’ve got your back, so you don’t need to stress or worry about forgetting anything. Leave the hard part to us and get ready to enjoy yourself.
Florida Weather to Pack For
The temperature in Florida is warm all year but dips slightly in the winter months. From May to October, you can expect hot, humid temperatures.
The winter only lasts a few months, from December to February, with January being the coldest month. The temperature in the winter usually only gets as slow as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is still pretty warm. The hottest month of the year is July which averages 82 degrees Fahrenheit each day.
On top of a change in temperature, Florida also experiences a wet and dry season. The wet season occurs from May to October, with high humidity levels and almost daily thunderstorms.
In fact, Florida has more thunderstorms than any other state. With wet season also brings the possibility of hurricanes and other tropical storms, which mainly occur from August to October.
On the contrary, dry season occurs from November to April when there is less humidity, rain, and storms.
If you’re visiting during summer and wet season, you’ll want to pack a light rain jacket, rain boots, and an umbrella.
You’ll also want a light sweater and pants at night because it can cool off.
If you’re visiting during the winter, you’ll want a light jacket and a few light sweaters as well as pants because it can get a little cold during the day and night.
Other than that, you can stick to the list below for all your packing needs.
Activities in Florida to Pack for
If you are primarily spending your Florida vacation on the beach, the activities you may partake in are pretty simple.
You can expect to lounge, swim, snorkel and maybe even surf if you’re up for it. You may want to bring your own gear, so you don’t have to pay to rent it but renting or purchasing is also an option.
Renting is very reasonable for surf gear, and snorkel gear is usually very inexpensive to buy. You can also pay for tours or lessons, which will also provide the equipment you need.
Consider these activities when packing for your Florida vacation.
Also, a lot of people come to Florida to hit the theme parks including Disney World, so if that is on your agenda, you will want to be sure to pack for it accordingly.
Florida Vibe to Pack for
Florida has a very beachy vibe to it. With miles of coastline, it’s definitely a point of interest to most people.
It also has a huge Disney culture, especially if you’re near Orlando. People from all over come to experience the theme park for themselves.
The Sunshine State also has a culture of going out, partying, eating at restaurants, visiting bars and clubs, and having a good time.
If this interests you, be sure to pack an outfit or two for these kinds of things. You may want to look fancy one night if you’re going to a nice restaurant.
Florida also has a large retirement community because the warm weather attracts people of all ages.
Anything you’re looking for, you’ll find in Florida. From a relaxing beach vacation to adventure, to a spring break type experience, Florida has it all.
There is so much variety to the things you can do in the Sunshine State that it’s sure to appeal to all of your interests.
Florida Vacation Packing List
Alright, now that you’ve learned what to expect when visiting Florida, check out the list below for all your packing needs. Alleviate the stress and worry and prepare yourself for a fabulous trip.
1. Bathing Suit
Most likely if you are coming to Florida you are going to be spending some time on the beach or by the pool. You are going to want to bring your bathing suit with you, and probably more than one. After all, Florida is the sunshine state and you are going to want to enjoy it.
2. Beach Cover-Up
Again when traveling to Florida, you are going to be spending a lot of time by the beach or the pool. And although it is great to live in your swimsuit while on vacation, sometimes you need to throw something easy on over your swimsuit, so you can head to the bar with ease.
It is always a good idea to have something easy to throw on that you feel comfortable in.
3. A Good Sun Hat
Again, you will most likely be spending a lot of time in the sun, and you will want to protect your face from harmful rays. It is a good idea to not to forget to pack a good sun hat. This will help you from getting sunburned and prevent premature wrinkles. If you want more inspiration on great hats for the beach, check out my Best Sun Hats for Travel.
4. Plenty of Sunscreen
This one you can either buy ahead of time or buy while you are down there, depending on whether you are checking luggage or not, but you are going to want to have plenty of sunscreen to ensure you don’t burn. Especially if you have traveling in the winter months and your skin is not used to all the sun.
5. Nice Summer Dress
You are going to want to pack at least one cute summer dress that you can go out in. The best thing about Florida is the weather, so why not take full advantage of it. Be sure to pack your favorite dress that you can wear out to dinner or even to a nightclub.
6. Polarized Sun Glasses
Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses. You are going to need them in Florida, and if you haven’t made the switch to polarized sunglasses, now might be the time. It is very important to protect your eyes, because you only get one pair.
7. An Oversized Beach Blanket
You are going to want to bring an oversized beach blanket if you plan on spending any time on the beach. This is perfect for sunbathing and hanging out with your friends on. The best part is it is lightweight and sand proof. If you don’t want to carry oversized beach chairs to the beach, this is a perfect alternative.
8. Beach Bag with Cooler
You are also going to want to bring a nice beach bag with you, so you can fit all of your beach supplies into one bag. This one is great because it also has a cooler on it, so you can keep all of your beverages cold while you are on the beach.
9. Flip Flops
Don’t forget to bring the appropriate footwear for your vacation. Something that is easy to slip on and off while you head to the beach. Flip flops are perfect because they won’t trap sand in and they are easy to slip on and off.
10. Day Backpack
Florida is not all just about the beach and the pool. Many people come to Florida to enjoy all the theme parks, especially Disney World. If you are coming to Florida to enjoy the theme parks, you are going to want to ensure you have a good day pack to bring into the park.
This will allow you to pack some extra clothes, water, sunscreen, and even food if you are trying to save money in the parks. Day packs are great when traveling because a lot of times you head out for the day and need to be prepared.
11. Comfortable Walking Shoes
If you plan on spending any time in the theme parks you are going to want to pack some comfortable walking shoes. The only thing worse than getting a sunburn on vacation is getting blisters from walking around in the wrong shoes. Make sure not to forget comfortable walking shoes.
12. Mini First Aid Kit
This is a great addition to add to any packing list or to get used to carrying around in your purse. You never know when you are going to need it and you will always be thankful you have it when you do.
13. Diversion Safe
Let’s face it, no one feels comfortable leaving their things on the beach unattended when you want to go for a dip in the ocean. These diversion safes are a great way of keeping your valuables safe and thieves away. Swim without worry knowing your belongings will be hidden.
14. Travel Towel
Travel towels are lightweight and easy to carry around. They make a great addition to any beach bag, purse or backpack. They are super convenient when you want to head out to eat after the beach and don’t want to carry bulky beach towels around with you all day.
15. Noise Canceling Headphones
These are not only great for your flight down to Florida, but they can be super useful on the beach if you want to listen to music or your audible book on the beach without disrupting anyone.
16. A Good Beach Book
Nothing screams vacation louder than finally being able to finish that book you were given last Christmas. Or even starting a new book that you know you will have time to finish.
If you need some ideas on great books to read on the beach, check out my post on the best books for travel and self-discovery.
17. Travel Speaker
It is always a good idea to travel with a mini speaker. This will come in handy when you are getting ready in your hotel room or your Airbnb. I love my bose microsound, it is small, but still puts out good sound with great battery life. What more could you ask for : )
18. A Good Water Bottle
It is important to stay hydrated when you are on vacation. Especially if you are spending a lot of time in the sun and drinking. Hydro flasks are great at keeping your water cold, so you can enjoy refreshing water all day long.
19. Portable Charger
These come in handy more than you think. They are super lightweight and easy to throw in your beach bag or your day pack. They are kind of like first aid kits, that you might not always need one, but when you do you will be thankful you have one.
If you don’t want to carry a heavy book around, kindles are lightweight and easy to store all your books on. They are a great addition to any packing list, especially if you enjoy reading.
21. Wine Tumblers
These might not be essential, but they are fun and after all, you are on vacation so why not enjoy it properly? If you are a wine drinker and plan on enjoying some rosé on the beach, these are perfect. Even if you don’t like wine they are great for any drink.
Clothing and Accessories to Pack for Florida
Since Florida is a warm location, you can keep the clothes pretty light. Prepare to bring t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, dresses, coverups, bathing suits, and other light clothing.
Depending on what time of year you’re visiting, you may only need one pair of pants and a light sweater.
Don’t underestimate the heat. It gets pretty hot, so don’t worry about bringing thick clothes or extra layers, you won’t need them even in the winter.
What Not to Bring to Florida
While reading up on what you should bring on your trip to Florida is important, knowing what not to bring is also helpful.
Overpacking can bring on a lot of stress when trying to repack at the end of your trip.
It denies you any room for souvenirs and forces you to get strategic with how you’ll fit everything back in your bags.
If you’re driving, it might be easier to overpack, but it’s still always better to be realistic about what you’ll need and not go overboard.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the items you should consider leaving at home as well as explanations to help you make that decision.
- Expensive, luxurious, and priceless items – it would be heartbreaking to have an heirloom or an expensive purse stolen. When you’re in a place you’re not familiar with, it’s best to stay safe and keep your prized possessions out of the equation. Your best bet is to leave special and expensive items home so that you don’t have to worry about them while you’re on vacation.
- Thick clothes and extra layers – Florida is really warm. You won’t need a large jacket, thick wool sweater, or long sleeves. One light sweater and a pair of pants should do the trick. These items will end up taking up a lot of space in your bag and bog you down. Leave them home.
- Full-size products – whether you’re flying or not, you don’t need full-size liquids. They weigh a lot and take up space. Purchase reusable travel-size bottles and pour your liquids into them for your trip. This will save you money on travel products and save you space in your luggage.
Useful Tips for Florida
In addition to the packing list and the list of things to leave behind, we’ve included some tips to help ensure your trip goes smoothly.
It’s always important to remember that no matter where you’re going, you’re traveling somewhere that you’re not as familiar with.
Always be alert and aware; you can never be too safe no matter where you are.
- As previously mentioned, don’t overpack. It will just lead to stress and annoyance, and you’re in Florida for a good time. Save room for a souvenir or two and enjoy yourself.
- This leads us to tip #2, have fun! That’s the most critical part. Enjoy your time in Florida, and don’t let small things bug you.
- Carry copies of all your essential information, including your ID and credit cards. Store this in a separate bag from the originals so that if anything happens, you have a backup copy. This can often be a forgotten step, but it’s very crucial.
- Take your time while packing, so you don’t forget anything important. The best tip is to start packing a week or at the very least a few days in advance. This way, when you think of something out of the blue, you can add it to the bag. It also helps you be realistic because when you’re sitting on it for a little while, you may realize you don’t need everything you packed, and it might help you remove the frivolous items.
Go out there and enjoy your trip to Florida. Have a relaxing vacation on the beach now that you’re ready to pack and prepared for a good time.
Do you have an important travel item that you can’t be without? Say so in the comments below.