What to Take
Generally speaking, it’s worth remembering that a visit to Florida is not a visit to the outback. You’ll be able to find almost anything you need within a 5- or 10-minute drive of nearly anywhere, so if you forget something, don’t sweat it, because you’ll certainly be able to get it when you arrive.
Unless you’re particularly fastidious about your fashion (or are headed for South Beach), it’s important to note that Florida is a very casual state, so pack for comfort; one dressy outfit in a suitcase filled with sundresses or shorts and beachwear is probably plenty. Be sure to pack at least one pair of closed-toe shoes, as the many nonbeach outdoor activities in the state, such as hiking the Everglades, are not ideally done in flip-flops or sandals.
The many public golf resorts and tennis clubs in the state are accustomed to accommodating tourists, and rental equipment of a fairly high quality is often available; unless you’re particularly attached to your racket or your clubs, there’s probably little need to pack them. Likewise, in almost every beach town—and many of the state parks—there are at least a couple of facilities where you can rent beach chairs, bikes, umbrellas, and beach toys.
If you’re going to be spending any time outdoors—and you probably will—pack sunscreen, as the tropical sun is merciless. Make sure to bring a copy of all your vital prescriptions as well as your eyeglass or contact-lens prescription. If you have a Walgreen’s or CVS in your town, it might be a good idea to make sure any of your medicine prescriptions are on file there, as that will expedite the process if you need to get a prescription refilled at any of those pharmacies’ numerous Florida locations.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition