If you are looking for the perfect Florida packing list or wondering how to pack for Florida, you have come to the right place!
As a born and bred Floridian, who has also traveled to 49/50 states [aka various climates], who better to teach you how to pack for Florida?
Believe it or not, Florida is not hot all year [only most of the year heehee] so knowing how to pack for Florida any time of year is important if you are planning a vacation, trip to Disney, or family visit.
When planning your Florida packing list, there are a few things to consider, no matter what time of year you are visiting or what you are doing. These are proper sun protection and comfortable shoes.
If there are only two things you get out of this packing list for Florida, it should be those lessons! Sun protection isn’t even about staying out of the heat so much as it is protecting your skin from skin cancer and sun damage!
Planning a trip such as a Florida Road Trip should be fun and not stressful, this is paradise after all! So whether you are heading to the beach, theme parks, State Parks, or cities, this Florida packing list has got your back!
Our packing list for Florida will be broken down into multiple sections, with clothes for men and women under their own section and then toiletries and extras combined for the whole family! After all, everyone can share the same sunscreen and beach blankets!
Women’s Packing List For Florida
T-Shirts With Sun Protection
T-Shirts with sun protection, such as these affordable ones with SPF-50 are a must-have item for your Florida packing list. No matter where you are from or how dark or light your skin color may be, you still need to protect your body from possible future skin cancer.
Shirts with sun protection are easy and affordable and pack up light and cool. When looking for what to wear in Florida, a breathable sun shirt is a must and will take you from theme parks to the beach to hiking in the state parks!
If you are adding shorts to your Florida packing list, consider purchasing an affordable pair of breathable shorts. Sure, jean shorts are okay, but they really hold in the Florida heat! As Floridians, although we own jean shorts, we prefer to wear pants that are made out of a lighter and more breathable fabric.
Depending on your comfort level, feel free to choose longer shorts such as these Bermuda shorts or shorter shorts such as these ones. Either way, we highly recommend that the shorts you chose to add to your Florida packing list be lightweight and breathable! [Avoid jean shorts because although they look cute they hold in the humidity!]
If there was ever a place to break out your tank tops, it is for your trip to Florida! If you are visiting Florida any time of year other than winter, you are going to want to pack a few tank tops/cut off sleeve shirts.
If you are packing tank tops for Florida, make sure to properly apply sunscreen throughout your trip as you are going to need it! Tank tops like these are perfect because we have so much humidity which will cause you to sweat. If you don’t want underarm stains and know you sweat a lot, tank tops are a great option!
Leggings Or Yoga Pants
Let’s face it, some people don’t like shorts and that is totally fine! In addition, you may be packing for Florida for a winter trip and won’t want to wear shorts anyway! If either of these two cases applies to you or you just don’t want to be cold on the plane, make sure to add a pair of nice breathable leggings to your Florida packing list!
I live in this dress and it is the perfect short dress to add to your Florida packing list! When packing for Florida, remember that you are going to want sun protection and this dress covers your arms while remaining lightweight.
It is also short and perfect for wearing along the beach. If you love wearing dresses, it is long enough to be a “modest” short dress while being lightweight and comfy! It also comes in lots of colors and is very affordable in case you want to pick two!
I love wearing Maxi Dresses to Walt Disney World and theme parks! This maxi dress is long and airy and covers my legs when I have to sit on sweaty seats that millions of other park visitors have to sit on! It is also good for visiting Florida in winter because you can wear leggings underneath of it and goes easily from day to night! It fits all body types well and flatters everyone!
This maxi dress comes in lots of colors and is under $30! Maxi dresses are great to take you from the beach to spend the night out on the town in wonderfully vibrant Florida cities like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa!
We highly recommend adding at least two swimsuits to your Florida packing list! Whether you are packing for Florida in the summer or heading to a theme park resort, you will probably be hitting the pool or beach a lot so having another option while one dries never hurts! This is the swimsuit I wear and it is affordable. If you are looking for cute and stylish, this swimsuit is a great option while still staying in place.
Unless you want to throw on your shorts or a dress over your swimsuit, you are going to want to add at least one coverup to your Florida packing list. If possible, you should consider investing in a coverup with SPF like this one. The technology will help protect your skin from the hot Florida sun. This one is a good choice, especially if you aren’t from Florida or used to the blazing sun! If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, there are plenty of cover-ups like this one that are stylish yet affordable.
A supportive pair of sandals is an absolute must when packing for Florida and should be added to your Florida packing list especially if you are going to theme parks. These Vionic Farra Sandals are my recommendation and my personal favorite pair of shoes for Disney.
These shoes go from theme parks to the beach to a night out on the town and come in multiple colors! If you prefer a slip-on shoe, the Vionic Amber Sandals may be more your speed and offer the same support as my favorite suggestion.
Cheap Flip Flops
If you are going to the beach or waterpark, you are going to want to pack a pair of cheap “throw away” flop flops like these here. Save your supportive Sandals for when you actually get to wear them and buy a cheap pair of flip-flops to leave on the beach while you swim. If they get stolen, you won’t be sad you are out the $5-$10.
Sneakers Or Closed Toe Shoes
Hate flip-flops or want to add something a little more supportive to your Florida packing list? These sneakers are lightweight and supportive and perfect for exploring Florida during the winter or summer. We also highly recommend these ballet flats from Merrell. They have a very supportive bottom that is cushy so you can walk in them all day and your feet don’t hurt! Whatever shoes you choose to pack for Florida, make sure that you can walk in them all day!
Sun Hat [With UV Protection If Possible]
We recommend including a sun hat with UV protection on your packing list for Florida. If that isn’t possible, you should bring a baseball cap or sun hat for protection from the sun. Whatever your personal style, make sure to choose a hat that will shield your face from the sun. Getting sunburn on your scalp is totally something that happens in Florida and a quality sun hat will help you avoid it.
If you typically use tampons or pads, I highly recommend considering a menstrual cup for your trip to Florida. I have used both pads and tampons for years before going over to menstrual cups and I have never looked back. They are perfect to add to your Florida packing list because they hold up extremely well during sweat and heat and don’t smell. They also hold a lot of liquid so when you are busy all day swimming or walking around the theme park, you won’t have to worry about your period!
Men’s Packing List For Florida
Short Sleeve Button Downs
Short sleeve button down shirts are the perfect essential for men to add to their Florida packing list. When considering what to pack for Florida, make sure that what you choose is lightweight and breathable! Short sleeve button downs like this one are perfect for lunch or dinner, a night out on the town and more during your trip to Florida!
T-Shirts With Sun Protection
Guys, you are going to want to protect your skin from the sun, you can get skin cancer too you know! This T-shirt with UV protection is affordable and breathable and is perfect for a day at the beach or going to theme parks or hikes. If you are in need of new T-shirts to add to your packing list for Florida, consider buying a few that will protect you from the sun!
Tank Tops And Sleeveless Shirts
Tank tops and sleeveless shirts like these are the perfect things to pack for Florida, especially if you are visiting during the summer! If you sweat a lot, you will want to have the ease of no sleeves making tank tops the perfect thing to add to your Florida packing list.
If you are packing for Florida, consider bringing shorts like these that are made of a lighter fabric and won’t hold the heat in as much as jean shorts! There are so many great shorts for men so you should have plenty to choose from. If you haven’t purchased a new pair of shorts in a while, a trip to Florida is the perfect time to change out your wardrobe!
Casual Long Pants
Chances are there will be some time during your trip to Florida where you are going to want to dress up a little nicer. You may also be traveling to Florida during the winter and it does get cold! Make sure to add a pair of casual long pants like these to your Florida packing list.
If you are packing for Florida in winter, it is okay to bring jeans, but we would not recommend it during other times of the year if you aren’t from Florida and you run hot easily! Jeans are prone to keeping in the heat so unless you are a guy who doesn’t run hot, it is best to avoid them or only bring them for dinner.
When packing for Florida, we recommend bringing two pairs of swim trunks so that you don’t have to wear a wet pair. We love this pair of quick-dry swim trunks if you are looking for functional and comfortable. We recommend this pair if you are into fun prints and patterns! You really can’t go wrong when choosing swim trunks to pack for Florida! Anything truly goes!
No matter what your Florida plans are, chances are you will be outdoors and active. The most important thing to consider is comfort and arch support. These sandals from Columbia are great for theme parks and provide all-day support without rubbing. If you are a guy who likes more support, these Merrell Sandals will do the trick when packing for Florida!
Cheap Flip Flops
Like our suggestion above for women, you are going to want to add a pair of cheap flip-flops to your packing list for Florida. These are the shoes that you wear to the pool or beach and leave behind when you are enjoying the water. Don’t leave behind an expensive pair because you will be upset if they are stolen. These flip-flops are super cheap and perfect to leave behind!
Sneakers And Closed Toe Shoes
If you are packing for Florida in the summer, we highly recommend a breathable pair of sneakers like these if that is what you prefer. Some shoes do a horrible job of letting your feet breathe and we all know how bad that smells! Pick a pair of shoes with arch support and breathability to add to your Florida packing list so that you can be comfortable and have an enjoyable trip.
Extras For Your Florida Packing List
No matter what time of year you are planning what to pack for Florida, SPF-50 sunscreen needs to be on your packing list! You should buy SPF-50 or higher and should carefully consider whether you are flying or driving to Florida. If you are flying, make sure that you are checking a bag and purchase liquid sunscreen [not the spray kind] so you can take in on-board! This is so necessary, especially if you are visiting the beach of theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Legoland, Universal Studios and more!
Waterproof Phone Case
If you think waterproof phone cases are expensive, think again! These little bag-like cases are super cheap and work very well! They allow you to take your phone in the water or hold it during the rain which here in Florida we get quite a lot of, especially during the summer! This is the waterproof phone case we use and love! Perfect for water parks, the beach, theme parks and more and quite affordable!
If you have never heard of a chilly pad, you are in for a real treat! This Florida packing list essential is basically a towel that stays super cold and helps you beat the heat! All you do is run it under water, and it activates the technology and cools up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit! It is perfect for the horrible Florida heat and such an affordable and lightweight thing to pack for your trip! You can check out chilly pads here!
Insulated Water Bottle
An insulated water bottle is the perfect essential to pack for Florida because you will want cold water at all times! Don’t buy water bottles during your trip, buy them in advance and pack them instead! This saves the earth and keeps your water cold! Insulated water bottles like this one are perfect for the whole family and very affordable!
Mesh Beach Bag
If you are heading to the beach during your Florida trip, a mesh beach bag is the way to go! It packs up super small and the mesh doesn’t hold in the sand! They are affordable and great to take with you on a beach vacation.
Waterproof Dry Bag
This waterproof dry bag is the perfect thing to add to your Florida packing list if you are planning on going boating, scuba diving, or being on or near the water during your trip. If you bag falls in the water or gets wet, the special clasp keeps all your belongings totally dry!
If you don’t want to tote a ton of books on your trip to Florida, check out a Kindle E-Reader! E-readers are perfect for reading in direct sunlight so whether you are on the beach, at the pool, at a concert, on the plane or more, a Kindle E-reader is perfect for you! They also come in different sizes and prices so you can choose the one that is best for you!
Even if you don’t typically wear sunglasses where you live, you need to buy a pair for Florida! Sunglasses are an essential part of your Florida packing list because they protect your eyes from sun damage. If you are looking for the best protection possible, consider buying a pair of polarized sunglasses for maximum protection.
Ditch the umbrellas which take up way too much space and bring rain ponchos instead! If you are traveling to Florida from March-October, you may encounter an afternoon thunderstorm! Don’t let it stop you and bring some ponchos with you when considering what to pack for Florida! This pack of ponchos has sizes for adults, teens, and kids which is perfect for the whole family!
Daypack For Themeparks
Whether you are heading to one of the many Florida theme parks or are out for a day of hiking or exploring, a lightweight daypack is a must! This daypack is a great choice because it is light and folds up into a tiny pouch when you aren’t using it! It also comes in lots of colors so choose one that is your favorite!
Waterproof Bags For Wet Clothes
Unlike plastic bags, these waterproof bags for wet clothes are perfect to add to your Florida packing list because they can be used over and over. They also hold the smell in and look nice too! If you plan to do any swimming or have young children, consider checking out reusable bags for wet clothes to take with you on your trip to Florida!
Hiking in the Everglades? Exploring Forts in Saint Augustine? Camping at State Parks? You are going to want to add bug spray to your Florida packing list or risk getting eaten alive by mosquitos and gnats! Bugs in Florida can get quite bad if you are around still water such as lakes or ponds, so be sure to come prepared by adding bug spray like this one when considering what to pack for Florida.
Sandproof Beach Blanket
Even though we are from Florida, we hate sand! This sandproof beach blanket folds up super small so it won’t take up much space in your luggage. You wouldn’t think to bring a beach blanket to Florida, but this small sandproof one will change your mind! Throw it in your luggage and you will thank yourself later when the whole hotel room isn’t covered in icky sand!
Fast Drying Towels
If you don’t want to rely on where you are staying for towels, we don’t blame you! These fast-drying towels are a fantastic addition to your Florida packing list because they are so small and the technology used to create them means they dry at the speed of light! If you don’t want to be toting wet towels after the kids ran around the spray ground or you don’t want to pack something massive, these fast-drying towels will revolutionize your life!
How To Get Around Florida
If you are wondering the best way to get around Florida, you are not alone! Especially if you are coming from Europe, the idea of getting around Florida may be a bit foreign for you! The best way to get around Florida is to rent a car and drive yourself. Driving in Florida is very safe and easy and allows you to explore the state at your own pace. While we do have busses in Florida, public transport is very limited in the USA and especially this state, so you are better off driving.
Sometimes, taking a bus in Florida can take you 3 hours for what would only take 30-45 minutes of driving! That being said, if you are simply flying into Florida to visit Disney World, you can use a Disney shuttle to get to Disney from the airport and then take Walt Disney World’s public transport system all around the parks. The Disney public transport system is actually quite good and fast and you will save money on parking if you go this route. We recommend this only if you are heading to Walt Disney World and nowhere else.
Otherwise, if you plan to go to the beach or down to the Florida Keys or anywhere else in the state, we highly recommend that you rent a car to get around. This will be the most affordable and easiest way! Florida locations are easy to find by simply plugging the name or address into your GPS and you will be well on your way to relaxing in some wonderful Florida sunshine.
How To Get To Florida For Your Vacation
You pretty much have two main options for getting to Florida. You can either fly in or drive. While there is an Amtrak Train and some busses that go into Florida from other states, this really is not a popular way to get to Florida. If you are flying into Florida, Orlando International Airport, Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale International Airport, and Tampa International Airport are the most popular airports in Florida you will most likely be flying into.
Flights into Fort Lauderdale and Orlando airports are very affordable if you are flying internationally on budget airlines such as Norwegian Air from Europe.
If you want to save money when flying domestically, consider a budget airline such as Spirit Airlines which has hubs in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and also flies out of Tampa to many USA destinations. Getting to Florida by air is quite affordable if you search for flights on the correct airlines and is the easiest way to get to the state.
If you live in a nearby state, driving to Florida may be a better option for you. Alternatively, if you have a large family, driving to Florida may make more sense than paying for airfare for many people.
People often drive to Florida from nearby states for their cruise or longer-term Disney vacation. This makes sense, especially if you have a large family because it will save you money in the long run. If you are on a tight time schedule with work and don’t have time to drive 20 hours, research budget airlines that fly into Florida and arrange your trip accordingly.
Safety Tips For Florida
Overall, Florida is a pretty safe state! If you are heading to Walt Disney World, you will be going to one of the safest places in the country. Our safety tips for Florida are more focused on how to deal with the Florida sun if you are going to famous beaches such as Anna Maria Island or Clearwater Beach!
If you are coming from anywhere other than a tropical climate like Florida, you will not be prepared for the Florida heat, especially when visiting during the summer.
We recommend you follow our Flordia packing list to choose the proper safety gear when visiting, especially in the summer. We recommend wearing loose and light fabrics, hats, and sunscreen, as well as staying hydrated.
If you can’t handle the heat, get yourself to a shaded or air-conditioned place as soon as possible. Heat stroke is a real thing in Florida and happens quite often, especially at the beach, parks, and theme parks around the state. Keep yourself and your family safe by packing for Florida accordingly and hydrating and keeping sunscreen on at all times.
Finally, practice general safety tips when visiting Florida. Always lock your car if you are renting one and cover all valuables if you leave anything in the car. Even better, take all valuables with you.
Make sure to never leave children or pets in a parked car, even for a moment to run into a store, as death occurs quite often and quickly from heat stroke. When visiting larger cities in Florida, practice common safety tips such as being aware at all times and you should be just fine.
This Florida packing list will take you from questioning what to pack for Florida to knowing with confidence that you are on the right track! We didn’t include things such as underwear or phone chargers because those are things you should already have! These suggestions from Florida natives will help you get on the right track to packing for Florida and having a wonderful trip to the sunshine state!