Florida Travel Checklist

Bathing suit, hat and sunglasses laid out to pack for vacation.
••• © Gary John Norman, Photographer/Getty Images

If you're planning a vacation to Florida, you may be wondering what to pack besides your bathing suit. Whether you're traveling the highways, taking to the air or riding the rails—with kids or without—having a checklist is helpful.

There are so many variables in what you should pack, depending on your destination and the activities you have planned once there. Of course, there are the bare necessities that include personal items, warm or cold weather clothing, beach necessities, special activity equipment, Florida's "must-haves," and more.

Use these handy printable packing lists as a guide when planning what to take on your next trip to Florida:

Florida Must-Haves

While clothing choices may vary depending on the time of the year, there are several items that are considered "must-haves" when it comes to preparing for a vacation to the Sunshine State. After all, it's all about how to beat the Florida heat. A sunburn can ruin a vacation and can happen even on an overcast day.

Equally important is keeping those pesky mosquitoes away, so bug repellent should also be on the must-have list. Mosquitoes not only make you itchy and uncomfortable, they carry diseases, including the Zika Virus.

Air Travel

The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) air travel regulations and airline baggage fee hikes have made packing for travel a chore. Of course, packing light is always best, but it has become a necessity when traveling by air.

When it comes to your carry-on, you want to have all the little necessities at hand when you board a plane, not stowed away in the hold.

Be aware that TSA regulations do limit what you can carry on though, as noted below:

Liquids:
You are allowed one quart-size Ziploc® resealable bag for liquids. That includes aerosols, gels, creams and pastes. Only travel-size containers no larger than 3.4 ounces are allowed. Items that are larger must be packed in your checked luggage.

Medications:
Medications must be clearly labeled. Liquid, gel and aerosol medications do not have to fit in a passenger's single quart-size bag and are exempt from the 3 oz.-rule.
Prohibited Items:
Sharp items, such as knives and scissors and firearms are not allowed in carry-ons, but may be packed in checked luggage. Firearms must be securely locked in a hard case and disclosed at time of check-in.

Automobile Travel

Perhaps you'll be taking a road trip to arrive at your Florida vacation destination. If so, there are a few things you should know before you pull out of your driveway. Attention to a few details before you pack can help make sure you reach your destination without incident.

To avoid an unexpected roadside emergency, invest in preventative automobile maintenance. Get your automobile serviced and ready for vacation travel. Also, in case of an emergency, it is a good idea to have a kit in your vehicle that includes:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Jumper Cables
  • Hand Tools
  • Flashlight with new batteries
  • Jack
  • Gloves

Of course, your cell phone and your GPS are your best friends when it comes to taking a road trip. Paper maps are nearly obsolete and pay phones are a thing of the past.

If you have kids, keeping them safe should be your first concern. Florida law requires child restraints be used at all times. Children ages three and younger must use a separate car seat or the vehicle's built-in child seat. Children age five and younger must be buckled in a federally approved child restraint system designed for their age, height , and weight. Children ages six through 17 years of age must be in a seatbelt.

Electronic tablets are great for keeping your child occupied during a long car ride or quiet on an airplane, but kids can also spend hours playing these printable travel games that were compiled by About.com's Family Travel Expert, Suzanne Rowan Kelleher