Headed to Florida? Can’t blame you. Whether you fancy a trip to Disneyland with the kids, some Miami time with your partner or some debauched spring break madness with the grandparents, Florida has LOT going on.
With such a wide range of activities to choose from, narrowing down your Florida packing list may seem problematic. What you need for a day at Epcot Center is probably quite different from what you need for a night out in Miami, right? But no worries – that’s what we’re here for – to give you the how and what to pack for Florida!
So, let’s get started, shall we?
The Ultimate Florida Packing List
Nomatic Travel Bag
- Capacity > 30L
- Price > $299
Nomatic Navigator Carry On
- Capacity > 37L
- Price > $400
GoPro Hero 9
- Resolution > 5k
- Price > $400
- Price > $500
Insurance From World Nomads
- Price > Click For a Quote
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Whatever part of Florida you are visiting, it is gonna be hot and sweaty. But other than that there is some real diversity in your Florida packing needs. Lets take a look at what to bring to Florida.
Best Backpack For Florida: Nomatic Travel Bag
Before you even take on the task of figuring out what to pack for Florida, you’ll need an amazing backpack to pack it all into. For all types of travelers and destinations, our number one recommendation is the Nomatic Travel Bag.
The Nomatic travel bag covers every detail to make backpacking travel the best experience. Because of its smart design, it manages to provide loads of packing space in a convenient, carry-on size package! Its handy built-in pockets make plenty of room for all the necessities on your what to pack for Florida checklist – you’ll find separate compartments for important items like shoes, water bottle, electronics, underwear and socks. As an added bonus, there’s also an RFID-safe and cord management pocket.
You have a choice between backpack or duffel bag carry, and extra carrying comfort for your back thanks to its innovative strap system and detachable sternum strap. And its black, waterproof material is every bit sleek and modern as it is durable and tough. There is a reason why most Broke Backpacker staff swear by this backpack.
We’ve tested countlessday packs over the years, but the Tropicfeel Shell is something else. There are a lot of flashy backpacks on the market but not many come with a detachable wardrobe.
Weatherproof, eco-friendly, durable, feature-loaded, and comfy as fudge brownies: these are just some of the words people might use to describe the Tropicfeel Shell. But we just call it bloody beautiful.Learn More • View on Tropicfeel
Best Suitcase For Florida: Nomatic Carry-On Pro
Backpacks not your thing? That’s ok. Our friends at Nomatic are back again with a great alternative to their badass Travel Bag; the Nomatic Carry-On Pro.
This suitcase is ultra-durable, sleek, and comes with a handy tech compartment for transporting your laptop and other electronic bits. Nomatic has been an industry leader when it comes to travel gear and that reputation is reflected in the quality build design and functionality of the Carry-On Pro suitcase. This is perfect for short trips down to the quay’s or spring break when all you really need is a swim suit.
Check out our Nomatic Carry-On Pro review to learn more about this epic suitcase.
Best Camera For Florida: GoPro Hero9 Black
For most of us, our smartphones now feature cameras with stunning photo capabilities.
But… if you are an aspiring photographer who wants to take next-level photos and video beyond iPhone selfies, I recommend going with an action camera like the GoPro Hero9 Black.
It does deliver pro-quality video and gives you a bunch of a different angle options and shooting speeds to work with for photos (including a selfie-mode).
Think of a camera purchase like this as a long term investment that will have you capturing epic shots well beyond your time exploring here.
If you are looking for something cheaper for video specifically, check out these epic GoPro Alternatives.
Good Travel Insurance For Florida: Travel Insurance From World Nomads
World Nomads’ mission is to support and encourage travellers to explore their boundaries. They offer simple & flexible travel insurance, and safety advice to help you travel confidently.
They’ve been doing it since 2002 – protecting, connecting, and inspiring independent travellers just like you.
Get a quote below or read our in-depth review!
World Nomads provides travel insurance for travelers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
Best Journal For Florida: Kodiak Travel Journal
Keeping a journal is one of the best things to do when traveling. The Drifter Leather Journal by Kodiak is our favorite, it works great for digital nomads and organized backpackers and can be used as planner or a dream diary – whatever you want!
You can pick up cheap notebooks for a dollar but they tend to fall apart and crumble. We think its worth spending a bit more and getting a high quality hard wearing journal than can withstand the realities of the travel experience.
Keep on track with your goals, travels and save those precious memories, especially the ones you do not want to share online. This one is bound in beautiful leather so it looks beautiful and will withstand life on the road.
Best Sunglasses For Florida: Abaco Sunglasses
A reliable pair of sunglasses is undoubtedly one of your Florida packing essentials. Our favorites are Abaco Polarized Sunglasses because they deliver on quality and style.
They’re built tough with triple-layer scratch-resistant lenses and trademarked Adventure-proof Frame Material. You can also customize them with your choice of lens and frame colors to reflect your own style.
When it comes to buying sunglasses, you can just pick up a cheap pair in a beach side store but we think its worth paying more to give your peepers the protection they need.
Best Sim For Florida – HolaFly eSim
The good news about the sunshine state is that there is extensive 4g and 5g Internet coverage, taxi apps and food delivery apps. The bad news is that your native SIM card will not work and so you will not be able to access any of this online goodness until you rectify that particular situation.
You can waste time hanging around Florida’s phone shops queuing to get a plastic sim or you can is,ply install a eSim onto your phone before you leave home. You just access the HolaFly site, choose the Bali/Indonesia package, download it and off you go – you are online the moment you land at the airport.
eSims are easier to set up and better than the environment than plastic sims. The downside is that not all phones are eSim ready.
Packing Cubes For Florida – Wandrd Packing Cubes
In case you have never used them, packing cubes are little compression cubes that allow you to neatly pack clothes in in order to help facilitate better packing. They allow you to pack more stuff, and to keep it all better organised.
For the longest time, I thought that packing cubes were a superfluous indulgence, but boy was I wrong. Now I never travel without a few.
These ones from WANDRD are great quality and excellent value for money.
Packing For Florida Checklist: Personal Gear
Yeah Florida stays warm all year round which is why it’s so popular with visitors and retired people. So the good news is that you won’t be needing thermals. But what do you need to bring to Florida?
We are not going to tell you exactly what to wear in Florida (but orange is a nice colour) and instead we’re going to focus on some hand picked quality buys that will make your Florida packing a whole lot smarter.
OluKai ‘Ohana Flip-Flops
Florida is hot and sticky. Your feet will sweat no matter what but you can definitely mitigate it by wearing some decent sandals.
These Olukai flip flops are ultra-comfortable, well-made, and come in a variety of colors.
Check out the women’s OluKai ‘Ohana Flip-Flops.
Whether you are gonna be hitting the beaches, the magnificent water parks, getting smashed at spring break, or wrestling Alligators, you will probably need swimwear at some point in Florida.
In fact, it may even get so much use that you need a 2nd pair for when you need to wash one, or it gets eaten by an Alligator.
Florida will present lots of opportunities to get into your swimwear so why not buy yourself a nice new set.
Travel First Aid Kit
You don’t need to tote around half a pharmacy, but a well-stocked first aid kit should be in all our backpacks. Stuff happens on the road and it’s inconvenient and embarrassing when you can’t manage small situations like a cut finger or hangover migraine.
You can tuck this lifesaver away in a forgotten pocket – and it’ll be there when you need it.
Tip: Add a few bits and pieces to the first aid kit after you purchase it, like extra headache medicine, any personal meds you need (like allergy pills), whatever you take to calm your stomach and a few more plasters.
Suncream: Thinksport Safe SPF 50+
By now, all of us are as pasty as the driven snow from sheltering in place for the last six months. Am I right? This means we are even more vulnerable than usual to the sun’s fierce rays. Packing sunscreen for Florida may seem like a no brainer, but you would be amazed how many sun-burned cocktail-toting people you see wandering around.
Thinksport Safe SPF 50+ sunscreen gives folks strong sun protection in a non-oily formula that’s free of gluten, paraben, phthalates and biologically harmful chemicals.
Nomatic Hanging Toiletry Bag
Another backpacker/traveler favorite for staying organized is a hanging toiletry bag. It’s extremely helpful to have all of your accessories neatly gathered in one bag that you can hang for easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available. A well-organized bag is worth having whether you’re tree whilst camping or a hook in the wall – it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.
In terms of toiletry bags, this one by Nomatic is NOT cheap but it is the best we have tried. Its stain and water resistant and will last for years and years.
Historically, I have been the guy who has my stuff all over the bathroom, so getting one of these things really changed the toiletry game for me. Plus they are not too expensive either. A no-brainer essential.
Money Belt – By Pacsafe
There is no point denying that parts of Florida can be dangerous and tourists are sometimes targeted by thieves.
Therefore it is always a good idea to use a money belt to hide your cash just in case something does go wrong.
A word on money belts – most of them are terrible, cheap pieces of junk. Please take our advice and pay a few more bucks for the Pacsafe one from the REI store.
Electrolytes and Headache Medicine
For some reason, people tend to drink a lot when visiting Florida – maybe it’s to bury the misery of being at Disneyland?
Anyway, having some form of hangover kit is strongly advised for your ‘what to pack for Florida’ survival items. A combination of partying, hot desert weather, and lack of sleep is a recipe for feeling a bit out of sorts the next day. Whilst a spare liver would be useful, (and can probably be arranged) there is an easier way -in addition to drinking plenty of water, you may need an extra rehydration boost with travel-friendly electrolyte tablets.
And if the headache is too much to bear, it’s a good idea to have some over-the-counter medicine to help nip it in the bud as soon as possible.
Patagonia Fitz Roy Trucker Cap
As you should know by now, the sun in Florida is strong and you will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time outside. Having a hat on your Florida packing list is a good way to ensure your face is protected from the sun throughout the day.
Patagonia makes great hats. I have probably bought three or four of these over the last five years. Simple. Practical. Comfortable. That is what you are after.
Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz.
Packing a reusable water bottle is probably the best thing you can personally do to combat single-use plastic bottle use whilst traveling. There is simply zero need to buy plastic water bottles. Everywhere in Florida, from casino drinking fountains to the water coming out of your bathroom sink, the water is safe to drink. Fill up your bottle each time and carry it with you when you go out in order to avoid buying water throughout your day.
We love the Hydroflask Vacum Bottle for its quality and because it keeps cold water cold for many hours and vice versa for hot beverages. This bottle is the ideal water bottle to get not just for your Florida trip but for daily use. Please don’t be that person buying plastic water bottles. We are all judging you…especially mother earth.
If you go with the Hydroflask, you’ll probably never need to buy another waterbottle again.
The Basic Stuff To Pack For Florida
On top of the essential items listed above, here is an additional suggested checklist of what to pack for a weekend in Florida:
- 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants/jeans
- 1-2 pairs of shorts
- A few pairs of socks
- (Sexy) underwear x 2/3
- Ladies: a few dresses, pants, outfits, or desired lady apparel for a night on the town.
- Dudes: A few collard shirts or something half-way decent for a night on the town.
- Smartphone with a good camera for photos if you are not bringing an actual camera
- Portable power bank for charging your phone on the go
- Phone charger
- Amazon Kindle for reading by the pool
- Copy of your passport just in case
- Cash (not too much, there are ATM machines everywhere
- Packable Towel
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Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Florida
And that’s all of it! We’ve reached the end of your Florida survival guide! Whether you plan on camping out or feeling the magic at Disneyland, you have all the information you need about what to pack for Florida and be prepared for it all. Make the process easier by focusing on the the main packing pointers: the packing list of top-22 needs, what to wear in Florida and how to pack for the weather and seasons; don’t forget that you also have specific packing item suggestions for guys and gals, and reminders of what NOT to pack for Florida.
Just keep it simple and don’t worry about the rest. Bring your essentials and adventurous spirit to sunny Florida, and be ready to come back with a golden tan, a set of Mickey’s ears and a whole lot of awesome memories!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!
Sooo many people under-estimate the intensity of the sun when visiting Florida – forgetting that being so close to the Equator those harmful UV rays are particularly strong!
Did you know that Coppertone, designed to produce a darker tan, was one of the earliest sun tan lotions was invented in Miami in 1944 by Benjamin Green.