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Florida for the First Time: 8 Essential Things to Pack and Top Travel Tips for 2023

  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 04 November 2022
  • Revised 10 July 2023
Florida for the First Time: 8 Essential Things to Pack and Top Travel Tips for 2023
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 04 November 2022
  • Revised 10 July 2023
Florida for the First Time: 8 Essential Things to Pack and Top Travel Tips for 2023
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 04 November 2022
  • Revised 10 July 2023

The Art Deco dreamscape of Miami, the magic of Disney World, and the countless pristine beaches – this is just a sample of what awaits you on a Florida holiday. But with all this to look forward to, it can be hard to focus on the logistics of actually getting there, never mind where to visit first...

Well, no need to fret any longer. We have you covered with an all-in-one guide for visiting Florida for the first time - from the basics of what to pack to insider tips on where to find our favourite hidden gem attractions.

What to Pack

Here’s our rundown of what every Florida-bound suitcase should include...

A variety of clothing

You may picture yourself lounging in shorts and t-shirts in the subtropical climate of Florida. And you'd be right - just not 24/7. The rainy season from May to October can bring a fair few storms that although often brief, warrant bringing waterproofs with you. A jumper wouldn’t go amiss either, as it can also get very cold indoors with Floridians cranking up the AC for those humid months. And be sure to bring a selection of footwear. After all, you want to be prepared for it all - running wild in the Disney parks, traipsing through muddy swamps and lounging on the beach. 

Sun protection beyond cream

When visiting the Sunshine State, it won’t be a surprise to find plenty of - you guessed it - sun. But when visiting Florida for the first time, you need to be extra prepared for those strong rays. While bringing the usuals, such as sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are necessary, we do recommend perhaps bringing a portable fan and a travel umbrella for a little extra protection also.

Waterproof phone cases

A waterproof phone case will go a long way to helping you avoid a phone repair bill. There are plenty of water excursions to be had at Florida's near 1,000 miles of sandy shoreline, so it's probably better not to run the risk.

Christ of the Abyss - Key Largo

Mosquito repellent

While mosquito season differs depending on which part of Florida you are in, these pesky flies are prevalent throughout the entire state. This means you will absolutely want to arm yourself with a little repellent. You can opt for a classic Deet insect repellent spray or perhaps just slip on a mosquito repellent bracelet. 

Packing cubes

Do you find yourself wrestling to get your suitcase closed seconds before you’re due to head to the airport? Well, packing cubes are the lifesaver you need. These nifty compartments allow clothes and bulky items to pack much more neatly in your case.

Mini first aid kit

While we all hope for holidays to be injury-free, sometimes accidents happen. An essential thing to pack for peace of mind is a mini first aid kit. This is especially important when travelling with little ones, so be sure to include plasters for any ‘ouchies’ they may encounter running amok at the theme parks.

Beachside entertainment

Much of the appeal of Florida is the endless hours available for lazing upon its stunning white sand beaches. And when whiling away the day, it's best to have some entertainment to match the picturesque views. For example, when the family chat is losing its appeal, you want to rekindle the fun with a friendly game of beach tennis. Sure, we all know the lure of a good book on holiday, but during the trip of a lifetime, be sure to find the time to write your travel tales!

Miami Beach

A daypack 

For day trips in Florida, you will want to have all your bases covered. This means having a supply of everything from a water bottle to a travel towel, as well as cover-ups and rain gear. A 'daypack' allows you to keep it altogether and can come in especially handy when travelling with children. Or in other words, there's no need to splash the cash along the way if you can come prepared. 

Our Top Travel Tips

With these handy tips up your sleeve, travelling to Florida for the first time should be hassle-free...

Don’t let jetlag get in the way

It’s definitely tempting to get some extra Zz’s in after long-haul flights, but if you want to make the most of your first time in Florida, consider fighting this urge. Instead, get on track with the time difference as soon as you arrive, and you'll become a true Floridian in no time. 

Book theme park tickets in advance

If theme parks are on your Florida for the first time checklist, our top tip would be to book tickets in advance. Not only will this save you money, but it will also secure your spot at theme parks such as Walt Disney World which now require you to make park reservations in advance. We help you find the best ticket deals at all major Florida attractions right here

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Magic Kingdom Park

Have a vague itinerary

Florida has a plethora of options when it comes to things to do. While it’s great to appreciate the laid-back vibes of holidays, it’s also important to have some idea of how your time will be spent. For example, you may want to dedicate a bit of retail therapy time to the many malls, scope out some history at the museum, or find the best waves of the Atlantic Ocean. To make the most of your first time in Florida, having a vague itinerary can keep all the family happy. To help get your itinerary started, check out our guide to the Best Destinations in Florida for Every Holiday Interest, or get in touch with our Travel Specialists.

Have a few dining spots in mind

Things can book up fast when it comes to the peak travel months. So, to save any disappointments, it’s good to have numerous restaurants in mind in case you want to book ahead. Here are a few of our favourites…

Manny’s Chophouse – An excellent choice for classic Floridian dishes and the best steak in town.

The Boathouse in Disney Springs – Experience delicious seafood in a stunning waterfront setting.

Keke’s Breakfast Café – Expect everything from Hershey’s chocolate chip waffles to blueberry stuffed French toast to start the day off right.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – The ultimate meal and show combination for the ages.

The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen – The name says it all! A great option for the chocolate fiends of the family.

Ready to get packing?

Find the best deal for you with our Florida Holidays 2023 & 2024 selection - or contact our Travel Specialists today.

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