How to Pack For a Trip to the Florida Keys

There are three factors to consider when figuring out how to pack for a trip. Those are climate, activities, and trip length. Packing for a trip to the Florida Keys is no different.

How to Pack For a Trip to the Florida Keys

Some might argue, “But it’s Florida! All you need are some board shorts and flip-flops.”

That might be true if you are visiting in the spring and only want to lounge on the beach. But if you decide to visit the Ernest Hemingway House in the rainy season, you might want to reconsider.

Don’t worry, this guide will give you some great packing tips so you can enjoy your trip to the Florida Keys, whatever the weather.

How to Pack For a Trip to the Florida Keys

Breathable and Comfortable Clothing

Before packing for a vacation to the Florida Keys, always check the weather forecast. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 74°F and August, with an average of 90°F, is the hottest. This makes August the best month for water activities before the wet season starts in September.

Though there are slight variations from month to month, the Florida Keys has a tropical and warm year-round climate.

The best clothes to pack for this part of the world are lightweight items made from sweat-wicking fabrics. In the rainy season, bring a light packable waterproof jacket too. You don’t want anything too bulky so you can keep it in your day pack in case you need it.

Light-colored fabrics will also reflect the heat rather than absorb it which will keep you cool. And make sure you pack clothes you can mix and match. Otherwise, you risk having to wear a striped t-shirt with a flowery skirt on your last day in the Florida Keys!

Packing Checklist

This is a clothing packing checklist for you to use as a guide:

  • T-shirts and/or tank tops
  • Shorts and light pants
  • Evening outfits (dresses and shirts)
  • Light denim or cotton jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Underwear and socks
  • Pajamas

Consider all the activities you plan on doing during your trip to the Florida Keys and only pack clothes for those activities.

Want to know how to pack for a trip with as few items as possible? Only take clothes for as many days as you are there but more than one week’s worth of clothes. Do laundry if you are there for more than a week.

Sensible Footwear

Most people who are visiting the Florida Keys will need at least two pairs of footwear: flip-flops and sneakers.

Flip-flops are ideal for lazy beach days, and sneakers are great for sightseeing and activities. Ladies might also want to take nice sandals for evening activities.

Only pack sneakers that are hard-wearing, breathable, and super comfortable. You don’t want to be agonizing over blisters instead of enjoying yourself on an tour or strutting down Duval Street.

People who plan on spending lots of time in the sea should pack water shoes, too.

Sun and Health Protection

The Florida sun can be unforgiving. You must stay safe and healthy by packing the correct sun protection equipment.

This is a sun and health protection packing checklist for you to use as a guide:

  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sunblock
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Bug spray in the rainy season

Choose a sunblock that protects you against both UVA and UVB rays. If you are spending long days at the beach, opt for a reef-safe and water-resistant sunblock. It might be more expensive but 100% worth the extra cost.

In case you have a little too much fun in the sun, pack a cover-up to protect your burned skin. It is tempting to leave all jackets at home when visiting the Florida Keys, but a simple sarong will work fine.

Beachwear and Accessories

Speaking of fun in the sun, you will need beachwear and beach equipment if you want to enjoy the Florida Keys’ ample coastline.

Use this beach packing checklist as a guide:

  • Beach bag
  • Towel
  • Bathing suit
  • Waterproof phone protector
  • Dry sack

Families traveling with young children may need buckets, spades, goggles, and flotation devices. If you are road tripping to the Florida Keys you can toss this equipment in the car. And if you are flying, there are plenty of stores where you can buy supplies.

But you may want to pack your own inflatable flotation devices for safety reasons. Using devices that you know fit your child will give you peace of mind that they won’t slide off.

Heading to the Florida Keys to top up your tan? Don’t forget to bring magazines or a book so relaxing doesn’t get too boring!

Extra Travel Essentials

There are always ad hoc things to pack for any trip, but you do not want to forget these items when figuring out how to pack for a trip to the Florida Keys.

This part of the state is home to deer, herons, crocodiles, and many more amazing animals. Don’t want to leave your camera at home! Invest in a lens cap or polarizing filters to stop glare from ruining your photographs.

Do you struggle with frizzy hair? It is a real concern in the high Floridian humidity. Tame your mane with Moroccon Argan oil or a special anti-humidity spray after every wash.

Or, you could wear a cute hair scarf and avoid the extra products altogether.

Overseas travelers will need to pack some extra essential items that domestic travelers won’t have to worry about. These are:

  • Passport
  • Boarding passes
  • International Driver’s license
  • Plug socket adapters
  • Currency and/or travel debit card

You will also need good luggage and plenty to do on the plane or car ride to the Florida Keys.

And last but not least, do not forget to pack your appetite for key lime pie and delicious seafood. That is essential!

Florida Keys: Now You Know How to Pack For a Trip

Learning how to pack for a trip, to the Florida Keys or anywhere else, takes planning and practice. As long as you consider the weather, your plans, and your trip duration you will no doubt pack like a pro.

Now, all you need to do is enjoy your trip to the Florida Keys!

Be sure to check out our other travel articles for more helpful guides and tips.

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