17 Top Florida Packing List Items + What NOT to Bring (2018 Update)

The Sunshine State is the perfect location for a weekend vacation or just a weekend getaway! Known for its beaches, theme parks, and of course Disney World, there is no shortage of entertainment in the great state of Florida. Before you go, check out this complete packing list!

What to bring to Florida:

1) Dry bag – Florida weather can range from hot and humid to monsoon rain storms in the afternoons. If you’re hitting the beach or doing anything outdoors, storing your belongings in a waterproof dry bag will give you peace of mind. This one is lightweight, reliable and 100% waterproof. Perfect for Florida swamp adventures or just a day at the beach.
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2) Beach Blanket – If you’re going for the real Florida experience, you’re probably going to be headed to a white sandy beach at some point! Bring a good beach blanket that you can lounge on in the sun, and can double as a towel to dry you off when you get out of the water. This one is convenient, portable, and comes in a bunch of fun patterns.
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3) Waterproof Case for Your Phone – If you’ve ever wanted to bring your phone into the ocean to take a few snapshots, now you can. This waterproof pouch has a snap and lock closure to keep out water and sand, so you can feel good about taking your phone to all the beautiful Florida beaches.
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4) Swimsuit – A swimsuit is totally necessary if you want to go for a swim (and avoid tan lines) on your trip to the coast. Finding that one swimsuit that you feel comfortable in is key. This one is cute, versatile, and stays put so that you can swim, dive, jog along the coast or play beach volleyball !
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5) Cover Up – When you get out of the water, the last thing you’ll want to put on your body is tight or restrictive clothing. Forget the jean shorts and pack a breezy cover up instead. This one is semi-sheer with cute tasseled trim details along the hems.
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6) Chilly Pad – If you’re headed to Disney World during your summer Florida trip, you’re going to have to brave the heat. A chilly pad will keep you cool all day long, and is safe for even your littlest kids to use. Just add water, ring out, and put it around your neck like a scarf. It stays cool for hours!
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7) Poncho or Rain Jacket – Florida weather can be a bit wet at times. In case it rains, make sure to bring along a solid poncho or rain jacket. If you’re planning on going to Disney World, these Mickey and Minnie ponchos are festive and can even make standing in the rain a fun photo-op!
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8) Picnic Blanket – There are plenty of outdoor spaces in Florida to soak in the sunshine and have a picnic. It’s an awesome idea to bring a picnic blanket that can fold up nice and small in your daypack so that you’re always ready for a relaxing hour or two outside.
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9) Handheld Fan – The Florida heat can be unbearable at times, especially when you’re standing in line for rides in Disney World, or lounging at the beach on a hot summer day. Bringing a handheld fan will give you some relief from the heat! This one is easy for the whole family to use.
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10) Sunglasses – On blazing summer days in the sunshine state, you won’t want to walk outside your hotel without a pair of sunglasses. Protect your eyes from the harmful UVA/UVB rays with this stylish pair of shades.
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11) Sunscreen – Florida sunshine calls for loads of sunscreen. SPF is important to prevent irritating, painful sunburns and all sorts of bigger skin issues down the road. Make sure your sunscreen is kid-friendly if your children are coming along on your trip, and reapply every two hours.
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12) Sun Hat – Especially if you have fair skin, a good sun hat can be a lifesaver on warm sunny days. It’s always good to stick a sun hat on the little ones so that they don’t overheat and so that the sun doesn’t get in their eyes. This one is inexpensive and comes in all sizes.
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13) Pool Floats – Hopefully you’ll be spending lots of time in the water on your Florida trip. This pool float is shaped like a piece of pizza, and it even comes with bungee cord connectors to combine additional floats. If you and your friends get enough pizza slice loungers, you can combine to make a whole pizza.
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14) Flip Flops – You won’t be wearing shoes too much at the beach anyway, but for walking to and from your car it’s best to keep you feet off the hot pavement. Rubber flip flops are a great idea because you can quickly slip them on when you’re still dripping and not worry about ruining them. These cushy sandals feature criss cross straps for more stability and super soft “mush” footbeds.
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15) Cooler – A day at the beach isn’t complete without a steady supply of cold drinks and yummy snacks. Keep everything cool and fresh in this durable and collapsible cooler bag. It has a super thick insulation lining and can hold up to 16 cans. Throw in some beach-friendly snacks (like apples and cheese) and you’re ready to go.
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16) An awesome beach playlist – Spotify has some incredible beach day playlists. Take a browse, download or save any songs that are up your alley, then listen while lounging on the beach!
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17) Plastic bag for wet clothes – These 2 in 1 wet bags have two zippered pockets to separate wet and dry items. They’re perfect for storing wet swimsuits and a dry change of clothes. They’re reusable, cost-effective, lightweight, and most importantly – environmentally friendly!
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Other packing list items for Florida:

What to wear in Florida:

1) Depending on the activities you have lines up for your Florida trip, deciding what to wear can be simple. If you’re going to the beach, you don’t need to wear much – a swimsuit, flip flops and a cover up are ideal. A hat and sunglasses are also a good idea too. For days in a city or elsewhere, shorts and a tank top are good to beat the summer heat. If you’re going in the winter, dress in layers. Long sleeved shirts and jeans or leggings are perfect! No matter what, bring comfortable walking shoes.

2) If you’re planning on going to Disney World during your trip, wear comfortable shoes, breathable clothing, and nothing that will chafe. Bring a sun hat, and be ready for rain with a poncho.

3) Check local weather reports just in case.

What NOT to take to Florida:

If you’re flying, make sure to check out what items cannot go in your carry on bag. These items are TSA prohibited:
1) 🚫 Flammables
2) 🚫 Firearms
3) 🚫 Sharp objects
4) 🚫 Liquids (unless you follow the liquids rule – see FAQ)
5) 🚫 Household tools
6) 🚫 Camping equipment
7) 🚫 Medical tools
8) 🚫 Various miscellaneous items
Here is a link to the TSA website

FAQs about taking a trip to Florida:

1) What’s the best time of year to go to Florida?

The best time to go to Florida is November through May, because there is a much lower chance of rain and more comfortable temperatures. The worst time to visit Florida is during the peak rainy season months of August through October.

2) Can I use a tent or umbrellas at the beach?

Definitely. A day at the beach doesn’t mean you need to be in the sun all day. Using a tent or umbrella will shade you from harmful sun rays.

3) What are some good beach reads?

We all have different taste in books, but if you’re in the mood for a juicy but light-hearted beach read, check out this list.

4) Is there anything special I should bring when going to the beach with kids?

Extra snacks are always a good idea. As are water diapers, a playpen, water wings (floaties), pool noodles, and anything that will keep the kids entertained! Definitely bring an umbrella to avoid heat exhaustion, as well.

5) Can I bring my dog to the beach?

Some beaches are dog-friendly, while others are not. If the beach you are going to happens to allow dogs, there will most likely be a strict leash policy. Research your particular beach destination online to get specifics.