checklist for packing for vacation to orlando florida

What to pack for a vacation in Orlando Florida

The Ultimate Guide to what to pack for your holiday to Orlando Florida with a Checklist

A question we always get asked is: What to pack for a holiday/vacation to Orlando Florida? We set out to answer this question for you. One of the top sun vacation destination hot spots on the East coast of the United States is of course the state of Florida. Known as the sunshine state for its year-round sunny weather with average highs of 28℃ / 82℉ in its hottest month July and average lows of 16℃ / 61℉ in its coldest month being January. We have compiled a list of things you will need to pack for your vacation in sunny Orlando Florida to maximize your fun. We have tried to make it an easy process for you with our easy-to-follow checklists guide.

Our number one top tip for packing for your Orlando Florida vacation is to pack lite but bring all of your essential must-haves. Orlando is known for its amazing shopping malls and discounted designer shopping outlets. From our experience, bringing too much with you will only lead to cramming your suitcase at the end of your trip, or even purchasing a new suitcase for all the new items you have purchased, we’ve all been there, right? So we will kick off our list of essential travel items and must-haves.

sitting on crammed packed suitcase as it is too full

Orlando vacation must pack checklist

Here is a list of suggested items that are essential for traveling, some of the items on our checklist are updated for the current situation we find ourselves in 2021. We hope you get some value from our checklists and that they help you towards preparation for a fantastic vacation.

Vacation in Orlando Florida
  • Valid ID

    Passport / Passport Card / Driving License (some are mandatory for international travel).

  • Reservation Tickets

    Be sure to check what is required beforehand to avoid any delays and make it a seamless experience, some hotels/airlines/car hire require physical printouts of reservation information, and some may even have a handy mobile app to save on all that paper.

  • Travel Insurance

    It is always a wise choice to purchase travel insurance. Just in case a flight or accommodation for your dream holiday gets canceled. You also never know if any unexpected health issues arise while on vacation. Health services in the U.S can be very expensive so make sure you are covered.

  • Money

    Make sure you have your budget made out in advance and have the correct currency especially if you traveling from overseas. A handy tip would be to use a prepaid top-up credit card that has cheap or even free currency conversion options to pay in the local currency which is USD to save some money. One example would be Revolut.

  • Cell Phone

    Don’t forget chargers or any local voltage converters if visiting from overseas U.S voltage is 110V – 120V.

  • Medications

    Please don’t forget any specific medication you may need to take with you on your vacation and bring enough of a supply with you in case you get delayed by a few days.

  • Sat Nav

    If you plan on hiring a car rental while in Orlando Florida, you should consider bringing your own sat nav. These can be costly at the car rental desk, so having your own can save you a lot of money.

  • Small backpack / Day bag

    Within my larger suitcase or carry-on baggage, I like to pack a smaller backpack to take on excursions. I place it in my larger suitcase empty so it’s easier to fit in and I use it for shopping days, days at theme parks, or days at the beach. This bag also gets double usage. As I’ve brought it on vacation empty I can always use it as extra storage for when I’m heading back home if I have overshopped.

Pack these items if traveling by plane checklist

  • Carry-on baggage

    You will need a carry-on bag to bring the following items on the plane with you. If you can get away with traveling lite and just take a carry-on bag, we highly recommended it. You can most definitely buy a larger suitcase in Orlando and fill it with your new shopping items.

  • Something warm to wear

    Traveling aboard a plane is always freezing cold. A lot of travelers dress for the beach before they have even taken off at the airport. Aircraft can often be quite cold, my top tip, bring a hoodie!

  • Travel Pillow

    Unless you traveling in business or first class, a comfy neck pillow is highly recommended to make your flight a more enjoyable experience.

  • Noise-canceling headphone / earplugs

    When traveling by plane, one of my pet hates is the noise of other passengers, if you like a peaceful flight, you’ve got to get yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones. They’ll drown out the noise of the engines and any little kiddos making noise, even if they’re your own.

  • Travel Blanket

    Sometimes aircraft are not fully booked and you can take a center row of free seats if allowed by the cabin crew. If you get this opportunity take it! That travel blanket will have you comfy in no time at all.

  • Eye mask

    The days are gone when airlines handed out free eye masks. A good tip is to buy your own if you like to get a bit of shut-eye before you land in sunny Orlando.

  • Travel socks

    When you travel by air and sit for too long your feet will swell. So it is a good idea to get up and walk around every now and then to keep the circulation moving around your body. Kick your shoes off and use a pair of comfy travel socks.

  • Travel toothbrush and toothpaste

    Always a good idea to bring a disposable or travel toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen up before landing.

  • Hand sanitizer / wet wipes

    Especially today it is good to carry a small hand sanitizer with you r to keep your hands clean. Wet wipes are also a great way to keep fresh during the flight.

  • Book / Magazine / Newspaper

    Depending on how up-to-date you are with your movies, sometimes inflight entertainment can be a little dated. Always a good idea to bring a backup. A good book or magazine should keep you busy for a couple of hours during your flight.

Staying safe in the sun on vacation checklist

Packing sunscreen for your vacation in Orlando Florida
  • Sunscreen

    It may seem obvious but many people forget to pack it. This is not such a big issue if you do forget or even decide to buy it while on vacation as often drug stores in the U.S can be cheaper for products like sunscreen.

  • After sun cream

    We have all been there! There is nothing worse than getting sunburned. So please don’t forget the previous item above, however, there is no harm in carrying aftersun in case you overdo it a little.

  • Moisturiser

    Even if you have used sun cream, it is always a good idea to moisturize your skin afterward. It’s also handy against peeling if you have overdone it also.

  • Sun Hat

    With the Florida heat beating down on you it is important to keep the direct heat off your head. Wear head protection of some sort, a cap, sun hat, or bandana should do the trick and help stop you from overheating.

  • Sunglasses

    Sunglasses are also a necessity in the sunshine to help protect your eyes. It’s always a good excuse to go shopping for a new pair while on vacation.

What clothes to pack when going on vacation to Orlando Florida checklist

What clothes to pack for vacation in Florida
  • Comfortable walking shoes/trainers

    Most likely on your vacation, you will visit a theme park or two. I can not stress enough how important it is to be wearing a nice comfortable pair of walking shoes. A day at a theme park is a great day out but with long hours of walking endlessly. There are very limited seating areas at theme parks, they are built to keep people moving from ride to ride. So definitely bring comfortable shoes.

  • T-shirts

    The thing I love most when heading on vacation to Orlando Florida is just being able to dress casually.

  • Shorts

    As previously mentioned above, that feeling of freedom of wearing a t-shirt and shorts every day and feeling the warm sunny Florida heat on your skin is something that you just can’t beat. Pack those shorts folks, it’s so hot you’ll need them.

  • Swimsuit

    This is an absolutely essential item not to forget on your list of clothes to pack for your vacation. Most hotels in Orlando have swimming pools and there are a number of water parks to visit also. This item is a must for beach days!

  • Flip Flops

    Kick off those shoes and sneakers/trainers, whatever you call them! Put on some flip-flops and enjoy the summer vibe. Don’t forget to pack your flip-flops.

  • Hat

    This item of clothing makes it onto a couple of our lists and it’s an important one. Wear a hat folks the Floridian sun can be extremely hot. Whether its lounging by the pool, out walking on one of the fabulous beaches, or strolling around one of the many theme parks. Wear a sun hat, baseball cap, and bandana, they’re great for keeping you cool.

  • Hoodie or Fleece

    Depending on what time of year you travel to Orlando, the weather can warrant wearing something warm in the evenings. In the summer you’ll be just fine Florida’s balmy weather should keep you nice and warm but in the winter the temperatures can get low at night.

  • Evening wear

    You should vacation like you want to, and if that means going casual for the whole time that’s great. However, there are some amazing fine dining options to try in Orlando. The nightlife also has many options to try out, so evening wear could be a good choice to pack. The relaxed atmosphere means you can try both ends of the scale if you wish.

  • Rain Poncho/coat

    It can rain occasionally in Orlando and when it does wow, let’s just say you don’t want to get caught in a rainstorm. A good idea is to pack a foldable raincoat for long days out at the beach or theme park. Make sure to check the local forecast beforehand and if there is any chance of rain then at least you are prepared.

What to pack for a day trip to the theme parks checklist

Disney World Resort Orlando Florida
  • Comfortable shoes

    As mentioned in a previous list comfortable shoes are a must for theme parks. Waiting in line and walking nonstop for 12-15 hours straight takes its toll on your legs and feet. Wearing comfortable shoes can lessen the effects of a day at theme parks.

  • Camera

    So you’ve paid a fortune to get into a theme park for the day, that’s awesome! Now you want to make the most of the fun and capture every moment. Mobile phones are great nowadays and have super high-definition cameras aboard. Whether it’s your phone or your action camera, don’t forget to pack in for your day trip to the theme park. Also packing extra batteries or a portable charger for your phone is a great way to extend its life on the day.

  • Enough money

    Theme parks are known to be on the expensive side. If you’re planning on eating at some of the restaurants they have inside the parks make sure to budget enough money for this as they can be more expensive than regular restaurants. You may also want to budget for souvenirs and keepsakes to remember your day.

  • Comfortable clothes

    Plan on wearing loose comfortable clothes when heading to the theme parks, to maximize your day and to keep cool while you are buzzing around enjoying the attractions.

  • Hat

    Here it is again folks. Always a good idea to pack a baseball cap, hat, bandana, etc. when heading to the parks for the day.

  • Raincoat

    Check those weather forecasts folks and don’t forget to pack your rain poncho. They will keep you dry if there is a chance of rain, so they won’t spoil your day.

  • Fanny pack/money belt

    A top tip for theme parks is to pack a fanny pack or money belt. If you plan on riding roller coasters on your day trip it is a great idea to have some storage space. These types of bags provide space for your sunglasses, wallet, or loose change which may fall out when doing 360-degree barrel rolls at 70 MPH.

  • Packed lunch

    if you are on a budget and would rather save a few dollars. Packing lunch and taking it to the park with you is a great money-saving trick. Just remember certain sizes of liquid containers may not be permitted at the park entry gates. So be sure to check out the rules and guidelines before going.

  • Theme park mobile app

    Our final tip is not really something to pack but more download to your mobile phone. Most theme parks nowadays have mobile applications to help you enjoy your experience. Some park apps contain maps, ride waiting times, special discounts, plus much more cool stuff to look up while you’re there. So check on the theme parks website before you go to learn if they have an app to download.

What to pack for heading to water parks checklist

going down the slide at volcano bay water park orlando florida
  • Swimsuit

    Imagine rocking up to a water park and forgetting your swimsuit! Well, it happens more than you think. This can be an expensive blunder, swimwear can be expensive if you have to purchase something at the park. A trip back to your hotel can also be another waste of time and you wind up missing valued time at the park. Tick this item off your checklist first. Better still wear your swim costume under your clothes on the way to the park, that’s what I do. Just don’t forget to bring your undergarments to change into after your day at the park. Otherwise, it’ll be a wet seat for your trip back to your hotel.

  • Towel/Beach towel

    There are facilities to rent towels at water parks in Orlando. However to save a considerable amount of money it’s a good tip to bring your own.

  • Sunscreen

    As previously mentioned, a really important item not to forget to pack for your day trip to a water park.

  • Flip flops/Water shoes

    Flip flops are an essential item at a water park, you want your feet free to feel the sun and water on your toes while splashing around. Another option that is highly recommended is water shoes, these shoes are meant to be worn in the water. They are made of a hard sole but have soft outer spandex material that allows water to flow through them when worn. They can be great for protecting your feet and are comfortable to wear while walking around the water park.

  • Cash/credit cards
    Water parks, just like theme parks are expensive. The cost of water park food is generally more expensive than at normal restaurants so make sure you budget for this. Storage locker rental, towel rental, dining, and beverages all cost money so be sure to budget enough and check out the water park website for more information.

  • Action camera

    Water parks are awesome fun! Spending the day slashing around, going down slides, and relaxing on the lazy river all make for an amazing day. Don’t forget to pack your action camera to take some awesome footage! Selfie sticks at most theme parks are not permitted so check your water park rules and guidelines for more information about them.

What to pack for a day trip to the beach near Orlando Florida checklist

Checklist for packing a beach bag

  • Swimsuit

    Well, this has got to be your number one right? You’d be surprised how many people forget their swimming costumes when heading to the beach. I personally like to wear shorts already before I leave, so I’m ready to hit the water right away.

  • Beach bag/backpack

    It is a great idea to pack a smaller bag or backpack for day excursions as I’ve mentioned in a previous list. Especially for these next items, you plan to take them to the beach, especially to keep them dry, and safe, and to keep sand off of them.

  • Beach towel

    Beach sun loungers can be expensive to rent, so a cheaper option is to just bring your own beach towel and sit on the sand. If you are a beach lover, a great investment is to make a good quality large-sized beach towel. Smaller foldable quick-drying microfiber towels can be great for using just to dry yourself off from the seawater.

  • Foldable camp chair

    If you’re not a sit-on-the-sand type of person and prefer to have some sort of seating for the beach. Foldable camp chairs are all the rage and some even come with cup holders and pouches to store items. They’re inexpensive and can be purchased while on vacation in most large stores like Walmart or Target.

  • Camera

    Some of the beaches near Orlando Florida are breathtaking and can provide spectacular photo opportunities. Palm tree-lined beach fronts, white sandy beaches, and turquoise water can provide some amazing holiday scenes for family pictures.

  • Cooler box

    Cooler boxes are a great option to keep your picnic food and beverages nice and fresh for your day at the beach. These can be purchased locally in most larger drug stores like Walgreens or CVS, or larger stores like Target or Walmart. If the beach will feature prominently on your vacation it’s definitely worth purchasing one. Top tip, if your hotel accommodation has an Ice machine, you can top off your new cooler box with fresh Ice before you head out to the beach for the day.

  • Sunscreen

    Don’t forget your sunscreen guys! Once again an obvious one but it can be a major pain if you have traveled across the state to a beach just to find out you need to go buy sunscreen.

We hope you have liked some of our checklists of what to pack for your vacation to Orlando Florida. If you feel we have left anything out from your experience please drop us a line on social media and let us know what to add to make our list even better. Please feel free to share this on social media with someone you know who may be heading to Orlando Florida on vacation and could use the help of one of these lists.

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