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It may be the Sunshine State, but knowing what to pack for a vacation to Florida isn’t quite as simple as bathing suits and flip-flops. Depending on when you’re visiting, temperatures can change drastically in different regions of Florida. Whether you’re heading to Tampa or Tallahassee, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared.

Even in the furthest south destinations like Miami, you’re going to want to pack a jacket in the winter months. And in places like Jacksonville, you’ll likely want to pack pants even in the fall or spring. Heading to Disneyworld in October? Keep in mind that the temperature is probably going to dip into the high 60s at night.

So what are you supposed to pack for a vacation to Florida? After checking the average weather at your destination during your travel month, here’s a general guide to what to pack.

What to pack for a vacation to Florida

No matter how long your trip is, you should be packing one appropriate outfit (based on predicted temperatures) per day. In addition, consider how often you might need activity-specific clothing. This includes beachwear, sportswear, and formal wear (nice dinner outfits). Depending on the type of vacation you’re taking, check out additional suggestions below.

For a beach vacation

If you’re heading to Florida to enjoy its pristine coastline, there are a few specific things you’ll likely want to pack. First, ask yourself a few questions. How often do you plan on being at the pool or beach? To make sure you always have a dry swimsuit, bring at least three if you’re planning on spending most days in the water. This goes for cover-ups as well. For beach vacations, you’ll likely need a few more options for nighttime, dinner-appropriate outfits.

Oh, by the way. If you’re still deciding on a Florida beach destination, we highly recommend a trip to Marco Island.

Additional items to pack for a beach vacation to Florida include:

  • Inflatable pool/ocean toys. Buying these where you live is likely much cheaper than at your beachside destination.
  • The same goes for sunscreen/aloe vera/bug spray if you’re checking a bag. Buy at home to save money.
  • At least two pairs of sandals. We all know flipflops love to break at the most inopportune times.
  • Easy coverups to throw over a bathing suit. Sarongs are great because you can also use them to lay on the sand.
  • Any floatie devices for younger kids. You don’t want to worry about finding something suitable after you arrive.
  • A good book.

For Disneyworld

If the main purpose of your visit to Florida is to spend time at the Happiest Place on Earth, that’s a whole different ball game. It’s hard to predict how warm/cold you’re going to feel when you’re walking around the park, riding rides, or sitting down to lunch. That’s why it’s best to dress in layers. Bring lightweight jackets that can fit in your purse or are easy to carry when you get hot.

And, of course, you’ll want to pack your sturdiest walking shoes. Now is not the time to buy a new pair specifically for your trip. You want to know that the shoes you’re going to be wearing are worn in and comfortable.

Additional items to pack for Disneyworld include:

  • Stroller. This might seem obvious for babies and toddlers, but even for older kids that haven’t needed a stroller for a while, this often ends up being a lifesaver.
  • Hats! Even if it’s not very hot, you’ll likely be in direct sunlight most of the day.
  • Rain jackets/ponchos (just in case).
  • Your most comfortable item for carrying stuff: backpack, purse, fanny pack, etc.
  • Portable charger. You don’t want to get stuck with a dead phone while in the park.
  • Autograph book and pens for kids.
  • Swimsuits and everything else needed for a day at the waterpark.
  • Bandaids/mini first aid kit for blisters or small scrapes.
  • Reusable water bottle.

For a city getaway

Whether you’re heading to Miami, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, or Tallahassee, a city getaway is a different packing list for your Florida vacation. You’ll likely want to bring a few more outfit choices in cities as you’ll likely want daytime and nighttime attire. Not only will you want your “nighttime attire” to be slightly fancier for the nice restaurants in these cities, but it’s also likely to cool off a lot at night. Depending on when you’re visiting, this might mean you’ll be wearing shorts during the day and pants and a jacket at night.

Additional items to pack for a Florida city getaway include:

  • Footwear options. Some days you’ll want sandals and others you’ll need comfortable walking shoes.
  • A portable phone charger. There’s nothing worse than being out and about exploring a new city and running out of battery.
  • Ear plugs/noise cancelling headphones. Depending on your hotel, you may have a lot of city noise to contend with.

If you still have parts of your Florida trip to plan, head over to Troupe where you can let your travel buddies vote on their favorite accommodations, share restaurant suggestions, and keep all your tracking numbers together in one place.

Still feel like you’re forgetting to do something? Check out our group trip planning checklist to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

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