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How to Pack for a Month in Florida

month in FL

I’ve talked before about packing for any amount of time in a carry on…. and now I truly believe I can do it!

I recently spent one full month in Florida, house & dog sitting for my former boss’ (but really, they’re my mentors and treasured friends). They have a home on Sanibel Island that I absolutely love going to. We were going to be working, beaching, visitng with friends & family and basically needed to be prepared for everything.

Below is almost exactly what I packed for the trip in my Dakine carry on suitcase. And to be completely honest…. I could have packed less! Plus, there are a few things that are never worth your suitcase space.

Florida packing inspiration board

Topshop fit flare dress / Summer maxi dress / Rick Owens strapless maxi dress, $580 / J Crew long sleeve top / Black halter top / J Crew racerback tank top / Equipment military shirt / A N A pink top / MaxMara floral print shirt, $170 / H M pink tank, $13 / Express pink camisole / Long swimsuit cover up / Lipsy white beach cover up, $57 / Hurley short slip / La Blanca halter bikini / Rag & bone cuffed shorts / Bandeau swimsuit, $41 / Vero Moda push up triangle bikini, $26 / Gorgeous white bikini swimsuit, $7.82 / ChloƩ slingback wedge sandals / Sole Society greek sandals / Roxy footwear / FOSSIL print purse / Givenchy black tote bag, $1,310 / FOSSIL pink beach tote / Gold filled jewelry / Baublebar jewelry / Alexandra Beth Designs 14k yellow gold jewelry / Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses / Scoop band hat
I typically live in dresses in summer, so it made sense for me to pack mostly dresses that could be switched up with accessories or layering. Adding a shirt on top of a dress creates the illusion of a skirt (tie in a knot or use a belt) and creates an entirely new outfit. My black maxi dress (which is actually a multi way dress) really worked well with this and I had several outfit options with the tops I brought.

Shorts & Tops
These tops were already getting work out with my dresses, but they looked totally different than shorts. I chose fabrics that were light and breathable. I brough a chambray in leiu of a jacket (because, SUMMER). I brought two pairs of shorts, but quite honestly, I could have easily done with only one. I was wearing dresses way more often than shorts, so next time I might leave the 2nd pair at home or swap it for another dress or perhaps skirt.

Beach bag, 2 cover ups, flip flops, & two bathing suits that mix & match. I always travel with two bathing suits (because nothing is worse than putting on a wet bikini from yesterday, GROSS) but you really don’t need more if you use ones that mix & match. 

I didn’t show tennis shoes, but I definitely brought them (as well as 1 pair of running shorts, 2 tops & 1 sports bra!), but I got the most wear out of my flip flops & cute sandals. I wore the wedges often, as it quickly took a maxi dress from beach wear to an evening out. 

Two necklaces, a clutch that doubles as my wallet, neutral handbag, two pairs of earrings, sunglasses, and a hat. This was more than enough & covered a multitude of events. 

Although most sun creams come in large bottles, I transfered mine (30 SPF for Matt, 15 SPF for me!) into 3oz travel bottles & we still had plenty to spare. Keep in mind, we were mainly going in the sun on the weekends, and a few days a week after work. I believe the 3oz supply would last you a sold 2 weeks of daily sun exposure. If you’re staying in the sun longer than 2 weeks, consider buying it at your destination. You might pay an extra $1 or 2, but it’s cheaper than checking a bag. 
Tip: Narrow down your liquids… more on that here!

Nothing makes you feel at home like your own robe! When I’m on lengthy trips I always bring a robe. It makes me feel more settled & helps with routine. 

Things I Left at Home

Jeans – I didn’t bring any jeans or pants. Why? I grew up in Florida and I know what it’s like to wear jeans in July…. disgusting. I opted instead for a few maxi dresses that could be dressed up or down. If I was going to be cold at a restaurant or event, I wore a maxi dress with a cardigan and I was more than fine. 

Beach Towel – We had towels available at the house, but if you were using this packing list for any tropical vacation, you’re likely to have this option where you’re staying. If not, there will be plenty of options AT your location to pick up a towel for less than $10. In the end, it’s not worth the suitcase space.

Hair Products – For four weeks of hair care, I didn’t really want to bother with a bunch of bottles. Even though I typically only wash my hair 1-2 times a week, I use a lot of shampoo when I do it (it’s so thick!). Additionally, buying travel sized dry shampoo is almost the price of an entire bottle…. so I just opted to buy full size bottles when we arrived & left the extras with friends and family. I think for such a long trip, it was definitely worth it.

This packing list would work great for any tropical vacation, and these tips would work well for any trip over 2 weeks! What would you pack differently?