The Ultimate Packing List for Florida: Sun Essentials, Shark Protection, & More!

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The Sunshine State is known for its endless summer and variety of entertainment. From theme parks to beautiful beaches, we have almost everything you’re looking for when you’re ready for a great vacation.

I’m a native Floridian so one thing I’ve perfected is my weekend getaway packing list for a Florida destination. Most of the time, I’m packing up for a beach trip or grabbing the essentials for Disney, but this is the ultimate packing list for Florida. So, I’ve hit all of the basics plus the sun essentials you won’t want to forget when you’re packing up for Florida!

First off, you’ll want to make sure you have a great suitcase and carry-on. I’m a huge fan of Away, but there are so many similar brands at competitive prices now! When I invest in new luggage, I always look for high-quality wheels, handles, and shells. A great warranty is important and so is the built-in lock.

Packing Cubes are a game-changer when it comes to packing! I never travel without them, even in my carry-on suitcase.

As I was making this list, I realized a lot of this info is normal for any kind of vacation. We’re all pretty solid when it comes to our clothing and toiletries, but I added in the basics anyway. On top of that, I highlighted the best Florida items in each category in purple. It’s the stuff you may not always bring on every vacation.

Scroll to the bottom to save this packing list for Florida!

Clothes to Pack for Florida

While you probably have a good idea of your clothing essentials, browse through this list first to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything. If you’re confident, skip down to “Florida Essentials You Need to Pack”!

  • Swimsuits – Chances are, no matter where in Florida you’re heading, you’ll need a swimsuit or two. If you’re like me, you’ll want a different one for every day of vacation.
  • Cover-Ups – Most guys can get away with just throwing a t-shirt on with their swimsuit, but ladies, you’ll love cover ups like kimonos, sundresses, and oversized linen shirts.
  • Shorts – In the summertime, linen or loose fitting shorts are the most comfortable. However, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Levi’s in my opinion.
  • Tank tops/tees – Sleeveless shirts are popular in the Florida heat, but bring a variety of tops. In the heat of summer, you’ll be sweating a lot. Stay away from materials that show a lot of sweat.
  • Sundresses – These are the easiest outfits for us girls.
  • Maxi dresses – From daytime to nighttime, maxi dresses are perfect Florida.
  • Pants – If you’re traveling during our cooler months, jeans, leggings, and joggers are great. For the summertime, you’ll love having a pair of linen pants with you. These are some of my favorites.
  • Sweater – Florida is hot, but businesses love to run their A/C! You might be dressed for the warmth, but you should always bring a sweater to indoor restaurants or other places like museums, malls, or aquariums.
  • Jacket – Our winter is short, but we can definitely get cold days here. If you’re visiting between April and November, you probably won’t need a jacket. A sweater will be sufficient.
  • Raincoat – Florida weather can be pretty wild. Not only can it go from sunshine to rain at any given moment, it can also downpour all day long. Grab a comfortable raincoat and stick to your outdoor activities if it’s not lightning!
  • Workout clothes – Grab your best sweat-wicking exercise clothing.
  • Underwear, bras, socks – Again, you’ll probably be sweating more than normal, so maybe bring some extra.


Personal Items to Pack for Florida

These items are needed for every vacation so just make sure you’ve added them to your packing list. Again, items that may be more specific to a packing list for Florida are in purple!

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste & Floss
  • Eyeglasses/Contacts
  • Deodorant
  • Razor – Oh yes. You’ll want smooth legs for this vacation.
  • Brush
  • Dry shampoo – Sweating in Florida can cause hair to get greasier much quicker. An easy fix is dry shampoo and I linked my favorite kind!
  • Makeup (+ waterproof mascara!) – I swim a lot so I love this one!
  • Face masks – Get the hydrating or vitamin C face masks to spoil yourself after a day in the sun!
  • Medicines/Vitamins
  • Hair tools
  • Leave-in conditioner/Detangler – After a day in the ocean, you’ll be so happy you pack a travel size detangler!
  • Hair spray
  • Anti-frizz spray – Once again, humidity isn’t always a girl’s best friend. anti-frizz spray will help tame the wild hairs!
  • Hair accessories – Use hair accessories like headbands or cute scrunchies to hold back your hair.

The Best Shoes to Pack for Florida

  • Flip flops – Whether you call them flip flops or thongs, you’ll want a comfortable pair for beach and pool days. These flip flops have lasted me years!
  • Sandals – Sandals are a little nicer than flip flops, and they’ll be your “go-to’s” for almost every outfit if you’re beachside.
  • Sneakers – It could be a day at Disney or a trail walk through Blue Springs, but regardless, sneakers are a must!
  • Wedges – Of course, if you’re heading to South Beach with the girls, you’ll want some high heels. If not, wedges will be the fanciest heel of choice.


Florida Vacation Essentials You Need to Pack

It doesn’t matter the time of the year, you will almost always get a beautiful beach or pool day in Florida. Don’t miss out on these essentials!

  • Beach/Pool bag – I usually like to bring something cute and water-resistant while also having plenty of room for towels, books, etc.
  • Sunglasses – It’s the Sunshine State, remember?!
  • Beach hat – A wide brim hate with SPF protection is perfect.
  • Baseball cap
  • Backpack – A small backpack has become my “purse” of choice for travel. It leaves you hands-free and carries a lot more than small crossbody bags.
  • Sunscreen – Stick to natural sunscreens that are good for you and the ocean, please!
  • UV Protective Top – After your second day in the sun, you’ll be so happy you packed this UV Protective Top for the beach.
  • Book – Or Kindle!
  • Chapstick with SPF – Our lips can age us! Protect them with an SPF lip balm, too!
  • Waterproof mascara – Just in case you missed it above. 😉
  • Anti-chaffing stick – If you’re blessed with a thigh gap you might skip this one, otherwise, buy this travel size anti-chaffing stick and thank me later! Don’t be afraid to lather it up between your thighs and where your arms rub.
  • Cooling towel – These cooling towels are awesome for Disney and basically any hot day outside in Florida.
  • iPhone charger
  • Portable chargerLove this one!
  • Headphones
  • Camera/GoPro
  • Small Umbrella – Summertime, in particular, can throw a lot of scattered thunderstorms. Be prepared with a small umbrella.
  • Bug Spray – You don’t know bug bites until you’ve experience a humid evening in Florida.
  • Aloe – Just in case of a sunburn! But remember, you can find this at any pharmacy, like CVS or Walgreens, in Florida, too.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • iPad/Electronics
  • Bikini bag – I love to have a bikini bag for the travel days where my swimsuit didn’t completely dry.
  • Reusable water bottle – Hydration is key and being kind to the planet is cool. This bottle is great for travel because it collapses!

If You’re Driving to Florida:

The ultimate packing list for Florida has to include these items, too! Of course, if you’re flying into Florida, it’s a lot harder to bring these items. If you’re driving in and have room in your vehicle, definitely add these.

  • Cooler – Yeti coolers are great, but you could also pack a smaller one for daily lunches and drinks.
  • Sand Cloud towel – I loooove my Sand Cloud towels. Some are really big which is amazing for groups and families. Overall, they don’t hold onto the sand the way normal beach towels do. You’ll totally appreciate the faster drying time, too!
  • Beach chair – Most beaches have chairs and umbrellas available to rent each day, but investing in beach chairs like these Tommy Bahama ones, you can be sunshine ready all of the time.
  • Beach umbrella – The bigger the better, if ya ask me.

The Ultimate Packing List for Florida – Bonus Items:

These bonus items may be specific to your vacation, but every single thing is awesome to have in Florida!

  • Sharkbanz – This shark deterrent band is perfect for the tourist that’s a little paranoid in the ocean water or just simply using extra pre-caution in the Shark Bite Capital town of New Smyrna Beach (that’s where I live!). It uses patented magnetic technology that causes an unpleasant sensation for sharks which makes them swim away! It was featured on Shark Tank and has over 500 positive reviews on Amazon. HOW COOL.
  • Snorkel gear – A lot of people choose to rent snorkel gear, but if you’re spending a lot of time in the Florida Keys or in any of the Springs, it would be great to have your own!
  • Hydration drink mix – Whether you’re planning on sipping too many cocktails or you know you don’t consume enough water throughout the day, hydration packets can help with hangovers and natural dehydration. I love Liquid IV because they’re small packets and multiply your hydration so much more than just water.
  • Yeti Rambler – Florida heat causes your drink to sweat, too! Keep it cold and easy to hold in a Yeti Rambler.
  • Waterproof bluetooth speaker – If you like to set the vacation tone with a little Jimmy Buffet or Florida Georgia Line, you have to add this affordable travel speaker to your packing list for Florida!

I hope this packing list for Florida helped you out and you added some great items to your own list! Feel free to save this list (& add to it) or pin it for later on Pinterest!

Detailed packing list for Florida / add your own items / pack for Florida / Florida packing list

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