Florida Packing List: The Essentials

Aerial view of a beach in Florida on a sunny day for Florida packing list

Beautiful sunny Florida is waiting for you! Whether you have just bought a plane ticket or are thinking of going on vacation, this Florida packing list will come in handy. 

Basics are everything, and when going on vacation (unlike most people might think) less is more. Think about it, what’s the point of carrying half of your wardrobe all around the country, paying expensive baggage rates, and risking losing precious items along the way? Having a list like this one will save you a lot of time and stress.

So I have here what to bring, what to leave, and what to expect for your trip to Florida!

Florida packing list Pinterest pin of the shoreline in Florida during sunset. Text reads Florida packing list with everything for what to pack.

Packing List For Florida

Planning a trip is already stressful, add clothes to the mix and it becomes a complete disaster. You can close all of your search tabs that ask the internet “what to wear in Florida” “things to pack for Florida” and “packing list for a vacation to Florida”. I’ve got you covered.

In this article, I talk about women’s and men’s clothing, toiletries, beach, road trips, and many more situations that require some essentials for your trip to Florida.

Let’s carry on with this Florida packing list. 

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Woman’s Clothes To Pack For A Trip To Florida

Summer clothes and a fedora hat some of the things to pack for Florida.
  • Swimsuit Cover-up
  • Swimsuits
  • Sun hat
  • Shoes (sandals, flip flops, sneakers)
  • T-shirt
  • Shorts
  • Tank Tops
  • Yoga Pants/Leggings
  • Dresses (casual, dressy)
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Socks

Let’s divide this list into sections for what to wear in Florida. For everyday outfits, you should pack a few cute t-shirts, shorts, tank tops, and yoga pants or leggings. Add a variety of dresses too just in case you decide to visit some nice restaurants

Because you may go to the beach often while in Florida, pack a few swimsuit cover-ups and swimsuits. Don’t forget a sun hat to protect your face from the sun. 

Vacation is synonymous with walking a lot, so make sure you have appropriate shoes for some occasions such as the beach (flip flops, water shoes), lounging around (sneakers), and going out (sandals). 

You can’t forget about the very basics like underwear, socks, and pajamas too. Feel free to really load up your suitcase with plenty of these, you can never pack too many socks and underwear.

Men’s Packing List For Florida

Men's clothing items for a Florida packing list.
  • T-Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Light Weight Button Downs
  • Shorts
  • Casual Pants
  • Swim Trunks
  • Shoes (sandals, flip flops, sneakers)
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Socks

Similar to women, men should pack the basics too. Of course, you can add some spice and throw in a little luxurious suit if you feel like it, I just want to give an overall guide on what you should wear in Florida.

For a daily basis, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts along with casual pants, and a lightweight button-down shirt. 

Swim trunks obviously and some flip flops and water shoes for the beach

Throw in some sneakers and sandals too in your suitcase. 

Pack as much underwear and socks as you feel comfortable with this, more is more. Don’t forget your pajamas fellas.

Toiletries For Your Florida Packing List

Toiletries are another category of essentials for your Florida packing list. 

Shampoo and conditioner are very important, and for those who wear specific brands or components for stronger and healthier hair, forgetting them equals death. 

Anti-frizz leave-in conditioner and anti-frizz hairspray come in the second most important place to tame your hair with Florida’s humidity. Also, being under the sun all the time while swimming in salty water can seriously damage your hair, make sure to pack these two products to protect your precious and beautiful strands. Don’t forget lip balm as well.

Toothbrushes and toothpaste shouldn’t even be on the list because they are a must, but just to make sure we include them for those who tend to forget. Brush and combs, soap, a razor, hair tools, and medications should be included in a little bag too.

Florida Travel Essentials To Pack For The Beach

Straw beach bag with essentials to pack for the beaches in Florida

Now to the fun part. Who doesn’t love the beach? If you know someone who doesn’t, it could be probably because they have the worst time ever when going, or because they don’t bring the essential elements to have a great time. 

Inside your beach bag, you must include sunscreen, sunglasses, and a reusable insulated water bottle to stay hydrated. Sunburns are a real thing and a big pain in the butt to deal with.  Please take care of yourself and know your sun tolerance. I suggest packing aloe as well, in case of sunburn it helps with the pain and inflammation.

A sand-proof towel is non-negotiable here as well as a chilly pad and a cooling towel

As a local I  also advise travelers to carry a mini portable fan everywhere because the Florida heat really hits

To protect your hair, bring a small bottle of conditioner and a comb to the beach too, most places have open showers so you can quickly rinse and comb your hair to prevent damage.

Bring a cooler to the beach to keep beverages, sandwiches, and fruits cold is highly recommended, just as portable speakers and something to read.

Florida Packing List For Visiting Theme Parks

Roller coaster at its peak and a palm tree during sunset.

Did someone say theme parks? There’s nothing more satisfying and cool than visiting the Florida theme parks and being prepared for literally everything. Are you hot? Problem solved. Do you need to walk a lot? Problem solved. 

Inside your backpack, you should pack sunscreen and sunglasses, a hat, and your insulated reusable water bottle. Again, don’t underestimate Florida’s heat. Comfortable shoes are a must. Although you may want to take beautiful and aesthetic pictures, but using platforms or very thin flip-flops to a theme park (where you have to walk a lot) will only become a nightmare. 

Due to Florida’s unpredictable rain showers during the summer months, throw in a poncho so you can stay dry, which is one of the top essential things to pack for Florida. 

Florida Road Trip Car Essentials

Two girlfriends driving an old convertible down a road on a sunny day.

Let’s dive into some things to pack for Florida if you plan on taking a road trip during your visit. Meet the basics: (also known as the non-negotiables) license and registration, insurance, and navigation. 

Having a car mount to prop your mobile will help you keep your eyes on the road especially, while driving. Do I need to explain why we call them the basics? No? Great, moving on. 

Florida traffic pretty much stays congested, especially in Southern Florida. I do suggest purchasing a Sunpass to drive in the express lanes to avoid sitting like a duck in traffic. It is also great to have for all the tolls and avoid a bill being sent to you. 

Also, don’t forget a portable charger is another essential you can’t forget to pack when packing for Florida.

Extras To Pack For Your Florida Packing List

Now into the extras. Insect repellent is one of the most important things to pack for Florida. Trust me, you don’t want to put a damper on your vacation scratching your multiple mosquito bites. They are vicious here!

Also, you need to pack a light jacket as well. During the winter months the nights tend to be cooler.  Packing a jacket will ensure you stay warm. 

Packing cubes help you have an organized and clean suitcase with everything in a specific small bag ready to go. 

The weather here can be unpredictable sometimes, so please don’t forget to pack an umbrella, rain jacket, or poncho

Keep you phone safe and bring a waterproof phone case (you can thank me later) for the beach, pool, or getting caught in a rainstorm.  

Most importantly, pack a waterproof dry bag to store your wet clothes from your day of sand and surf. 

Bonus: How To Get Around Florida

Fort Lauderdale Beach on a sunny day.

Florida’s public transportation options vary by city, as each has its own infrastructure and transportation businesses, but here are some general suggestions:

Rental Car: There are a variety of agencies with competitive prices and packages. One of the most popular options is in-airport rentals. Though convenient, airport car rentals can be pricey depending on the season, so it’s worth looking off-premise.

Most companies provide free shuttle services, making it easy to get to and from the airport. 

Public transportation: For short trips within the town, try the bus or trolley. Google Transit can help you map out a route.

Bicycle: A handful of cities, including Punta Gorda and Miami Beach, offer bike-sharing programs.

Shuttle service: Florida Shuttle Transportation offers service between most major cities.

CVBs: Call the local convention and visitors bureau for advice from the folks who know the city best.


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    How To Get To Florida 

    If you live in a state nearby you can consider a road trip to the destination, if you don’t want to spend money on a flight. For those far away from car access or the ones who don’t want to spend eternal hours sitting in a car, some websites and airlines offer cheap tickets to Florida. 

    Also, three Amtrak routes travel to Florida: Auto Train (which only stops in Sanford, Florida, and Virginia), Silver Star, and Silver Meteor. All routes travel on the east coast, with direct service from cities including New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Raleigh, and Charleston, SC.

    Things To Pack For Florida Conclusion

    Welcome to the bottom line. In this packing list for Florida, I covered everything you need to in order to spend a beautiful and relaxing trip in Florida. From clothing to toiletries, passing through car essentials and beach basics, we can’t forget about theme park essentials and other extras. 

    You’re also covered for different means of transportation to get around easily and how to travel to the state. I suggest checking for a detailed list of prohibited items just in case you might carry something that you shouldn’t.

    I hope you use this guide and be sure to download your Florida packing list pdf right here.

    Check out my Florida posts for some amazing cities to visit in the Sunshine State: 

    Like this Florida packing list post? Share it with others or pin it for later in your Florida travel board!

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    1. Krista

      This is such a helpful guide for what to pack if you’re heading to Florida! I could have used this a couple of years ago when I went, because I forgot a lot of things and ended up buying them there.

      1. Chrissy

        Hey Krista! So glad you enjoyed this post. Well, hopefully you will use this list when you return!

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