A Florida vacation is so packed with possibilities that it can be daunting to decide what you’ll need along the way. This packing list for Florida vacations will help you choose the right clothing, accessories, and gear.
What to Pack for Florida: The Suitcase
The MOBY 5 by Cressi is a dual-purpose bag—use it as your travel bag, and once you arrive, convert it to a backpack for outdoor pursuits.
If you’re planning on water activities like snorkeling or kayaking, consider adding water-resistant mesh bags like these from GoToBag to your packing list for Florida. The same company also makes a variety of different sized pouches, which are terrific for transporting wet clothing like bathing suits.
What to Pack for Florida: The Personal Item
The Spinner Underseater with USB Port from Samsonite is a convenient way to store your gadgets right under your seat—and have a way to charge them at the same time. The bag also sports organizational pockets, including slots for pens, books, and credit cards.
Easily transported at only 0.33 ounces each, the Sunscreen Spray Pen by L’AUTRE PEAU is allowable in carry-on luggage. It also comes in a handy three pack, so you won’t run out.
Any packing list for Florida should include insect repellant. Tuck these insect repellant wipes into your carry-on bag so you’ll have them when you need them.
What to Pack for Florida: In-Flight Essentials
Zura Energy’s Inflatable Travel Camping Pillow gives you quick access to back, neck, or head support on board. When deflated, the pillow fits in the palm of your hand.
These COWIN E8 Active Noise Cancelling and Bluetooth Headphones allow you to reduce the airplane noise around you and focus on your music or movie. The battery lasts up to 20 hours.
What to Pack for Florida: Gadgets
Invest in the most useful beach, pool, and boating tool you’ll ever find: The Almatess Universal Waterproof Tablet Case, which fits a variety of tablets and phones. Adding this item to your packing list for Florida will allow you to read near water without worry. It swings from a lanyard for ease of carrying and is also sand-proof.
Take advantage of the powerful sun and bring a Teryei Solar Battery Charger for your phone. It’s waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and able to charge both iPhones and Android.
What to Pack for Florida: Shoes
Planning to kayak? Do yoga on a stand-up paddleboard? Sail at sundown? Water shoes like these quick-dry ones with 14 drainage holes from CIOR are an absolute must.
Some locals do live in flip-flops, it’s true. Those who want to emulate them should look for arch support and solid construction, like that found in the New Balance Women’s Shasta Thong Sandal or the Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal.
Floridians are serious about tennis. If you’re heading to the courts, pack a pair of sport-appropriate sneaks like the Adidas Adizero Club W Tennis Shoe, which features a stable, non-marking sole that will get you past even the sternest gatekeeper. The Adidas Men’s Approach Tennis Shoe is a good option for men.
If you’re going to hit the links, golf shoes go in the bag. But no need to take spikes. PUMA’s Biofly Golf Shoe Spikeless and Callaway’s Balboa Vent Golf Shoe are much safer packing propositions, offering just as much stability and comfort on the course.
Hip, strappy, high-heeled sandals dress up a beach maxi or a pair of jeans for those nights when you want to go out.
What to Pack for Florida: Purse
For a handbag, consider bringing something like this Rebecca Minkoff Finn Clutch Convertible Cross Body in black, tan, or white. The crossbody bag is perfect for hands-free shopping during the day or at a bar in the evening, while the clutch is ideal for dinner out or Sunday brunch.
What to Pack for Florida: Clothing
Different bathing suits serve different purposes. For pool and beach time, a bikini is practically a Florida necessity. But straps can give you awkward tan lines. Try this bandeau style—or, if bikinis make you uncomfortable, see this one-piece swimsuit from Trina Turk. When it comes to men’s swimming trunks, the more color, the better.
A flowing, long-sleeve cover-up like this one from Jeasona is useful for when the sun is strong.
A sarong is a great addition to any packing list for Florida. It takes up almost no room but can serve as an impromptu towel, a beach cover-up, or a light evening wrap. Look for one, like this chiffon sarong from Alyss, made of a material that doesn’t wrinkle and isn’t easily stained.
If you plan on participating in water sports, a long-sleeve Tesla rash guard with built-in sun protection can come in handy. You can find an equivalent for men here.
What to Pack for Florida: Accessories
Subtropical sun requires a beach hat, and Florida style mandates that it be a fedora. Try the Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll Up Hat, which has a UPF of 50+ and tucks as easily into a suitcase as a pair of socks. Or try this packable Panama hat for men.
A good breathable baseball hat, like this mesh version from ELLEWIN, is also key for golfing, tennis, fishing, or boating.
Morph Aim Polarized Sports Sunglasses are a necessity for water sports, fishing, golfing, tennis and more. This kit contains accessories to help keep glasses protected, clean, and portable.
The SoHo Mesh Beach Bag is lightweight enough to pack, and perfect for carting everything from picnics to pails to the beach. With eight large, exterior pockets and a roomy interior, the mesh bag is not only waterproof, it also allows sand to fall right out the bottom.
What to Pack for Florida: Toiletries
This All Terrain Outdoor Travel Value Kit has destinations like Florida—with its beaches, swamps, and waterways—in mind. Six travel-size items–Herbal Armor Insect Repellent, AquaSport SPF30 Sunscreen, Lip Armor w/SPF25, Aloe Gel Skin Relief, HandSanz Sanitizer and Recovery Rub—are contained in the reusable mesh bag.
Humidity wreaks havoc on hair. Smooth out frizz or make beachy curls with this two-in-one miniature hair straightener and curling iron, which comes in a convenient travel case.
Protect your hair on the beach—and smell like the tropics while you’re at it. Revlon Uniq One 10 in 1 Coconut Travel Size keeps frizz at bay, adds shine, guards against dullness, and has UVA and UVB filters to help preserve hair color.
–Original reporting by Jen Karetnick
More from SmarterTravel:
- Fort Lauderdale Travel Guide
- The 6 Best Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
- The 5 Best Cheap Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
- The 7 Best Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotels
- Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale
- The Top 9 Must-See Fort Lauderdale Attractions
- 9 Best Fort Lauderdale Golf Courses
- 10 Best Fort Lauderdale Restaurants
- Best Cheap Eats in Fort Lauderdale
- 9 Best Fort Lauderdale Beach Restaurants
- What to Wear in Florida
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.