25 Things To Pack For An Emerald Coast Vacation

So you're preparing for a beach vacation, but wondering, "what to pack for Florida"? The sun, sand, and salty waters of the Emerald Coast make a great escape, but forget the wrong item and your dream vacation can quickly dissolve with the tides. Parents worry what to pack for the beach with kids, while the avid outdoorsman may think about how to fit his or her fishing gear into the trunk! Keep reading for 25 Things To Pack For An Emerald Coast Vacation.

1. Physical Reservation/Booking Confirmations

Hotel reservations, rental car confirmations, attraction tickets, and more vacation essentials are purchased almost exclusively online now a days. Although the age of technology has made searching for beach condos in Destin a breeze, it can not always account for human error! Be sure to print and bring along physical copies of booking confirmations.

2. Extra Cash

Extra cash is great not only for emergencies, but to make life easier during a trip! Plenty of popular bank chains offer locations on the Emerald Coast for your banking and ATM needs. But if you need cash in a pinch, like at one of the many cash-only establishments on the Emerald Coast including Red Bar in Grayton Beach, you may be met with high ATM fees and long waits. Always best to bring a small chunk of change!

3. Photo ID

From airport security, to buying booze for the beach, a photo ID is the #1 form you can NEVER forget to bring along on vacation! Drivers License, Passport, or Photo ID Card, any government issued form of ID will work!

4. Swimsuit (w/ Cover-Up)

Common sense tells us to bring a swimsuit on a beach vacation, but still we forget, and end-up blowing our money on a throw-away pair of trunks. Save the frustration and check #4 off the top of your list!

5. Sunscreen

Lather on some sunscreen before hitting the white-sand Emerald Coast beaches. Keep it a minimum of SPF 15, and don't forget to re-apply! Looking to put that sunscreen to use with something fun? Try an extreme activity in Destin, Florida including parasailing, jet ski rentals, deep sea fishing, and Big Kahunas Water Park! Find a full list of Destin Extreme Activities online!

6. SPF Lip Balm

Sunscreen is great, but most types do not protect the lips! Sunburnt lips are painful and take a long time to heal, so don't fall victim to this all-too-common beach ailment. Apply and re-apply a lip balm with sunblock protection before spending time in direct sunlight!

7. Sunglasses

Protective eye wear is essential in guarding against the Florida sun's strong rays. Don't allow yourself to be blinded by shimmering white sand, or burn your eyes after a long day at Crab Island in Destin. Try polarized lenses for extra UV protection and glare reduction.

8. Flip Flops

Ask any Destin local "what to pack for Florida?", this may be their answer. Who needs close-toed shoes anyways? Florida locals love brands like Rainbow and Quicksilver, but any flippy floppies will do. Grab a pair of flip-flips and let those feet breathe!

9. Hat/Head Cover

Ever had a sun burn on the top of your head? It is NOT fun! Protect those noggins and keep the sun out of your eyes with a shady hat.

10.  Sea Sickness Medication

The Gulf Coast waves can really throw ya around! Boat tours and fishing excursions are a major attraction in Destin and Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and nothing is worse than spending your relaxing day at sea in the head! TIP: Benadryl works as a little-known sea sickness medication.

*Put those sea sickness meds to work on a family-friendly boat tour in Destin, FL.


11. Cooler

Don't be stuck with a cheap, styrofoam cooler cause you forgot your rockin YETI at home! In the hotel, at the beach, by the pool, or on a boat cruise, coolers are essential to any beach vacation.

12. Beach Chairs

Put your butt in a beach chair and toes in the tide on your Emerald Coast Vacation. Beach chairs are invaluable for events, concerts, hangin at the condo, and most of all, chillin at the beach with a dry behind!

*Looking to rent beach gear across the Emerald Coast including Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, and Destin? Find beach equipment rentals online at Santa Rosa Beach, FL Equipment Rentals.


13. Stereo with CD's AND/OR Aux Cable

Don't be left tuneless when you're trying to party! Grab your favorite CD's, ipod, or tune to your top Spotify channel for complete bliss on the beach. Heritage and The Rips are great local choices for beach-day tunes!

14. Beach Toys

Wondering "what to pack for the beach with kids?", well this one is for the children! Shovels, buckets, trucks, and squirt guns, kid's beach toys are a staple of the family beach vacation.

15. Beach Blanket

Throw down a big blanket for a soft and sand-free day of fun in the sun! Make your beach neighbors jealous with a beach tent and chairs.

16. Beach Towels

Day one stuff right? Make sure each towel is large enough to cover head-to-toe with no holes or rips. Keep it handy, don't let it get sandy!

17. Floats & Swim Gear

If you want to venture into the emerald green gulf, it's best to take precautions. Year after year, visitors experience tragedy when a loved one drowns due to strong currents and rip tides. Be sure to bring floats, life jackets, and any other life-saving flotation devices for yourself and family members.

18. First Aid Kit

There are plenty of reasons to need a first aid kit while on vacation, but the Florida beaches present their own set of obstacles. Jellyfish, red ants, yellow flies, and the occasional scrape or scratch is bound to occur, especially with children! Have a first aid kit handy that includes bandages, pain relievers, and severe allergy relief like Benadryl.

19. Sunburn Relief

Despite the best efforts of cautious mothers and fair-skinned beach-goers, sunburns do happen. Make sure to keep some sunburn relief close at hand in the event that you "miss a spot"! Aloe works great, and remember; the sooner you apply the less chance of peeling.

20. Seasonal Allergy Medication

Many visitors underestimate allergy season on the Emerald Coast. Runny noses and itchy ears are common on high pollen days, so it's not a bad idea to bring along some allergy meds. Over-the-counter brands like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra seem to work great in fighting seasonal allergy symptoms.

21. Rain Umbrella

Afternoon showers are commonplace here in northwest Florida! A quick sprinkle is great for a cool down, but you are sure to get wet if caught without cover. Pack an extra umbrella to keep dry on your vacation!

*Prepare for rainy days in Destin with All-Ages Things To Do in Destin When It's Raining!


22. Board Games/Family Games

A simple game can help pass the time during a long car ride, keep the kids at bay before bed, and offer a fun reprieve from a rainy day! Just don't get stuck with a week long Monopoly match!

23. Extra Batteries

Keep the music pumpin, hand-held games gamin, and late-night walks on the beach illuminated! AA, AAA, D, or C, batteries run most of our favorite devices, and store for years without going bad.

24. Electronics Chargers

Like batteries, chargers give life to the electronics that keep us safe, entertained, and informed. Make sure to pick up at least one phone car charger for long trips, bad traffic, and emergencies.

25. Fishing Gear

Destin, Florida is known as "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village". Bring a rod and reel and get ready for the lunkers! Redfish, Trout, Flounder, Shark, and Mackerel are common catches, so be prepared for anything! TIP: Destin fishing charters are a simple and effective way of catching a boatload of fish both inshore and in the deep sea. Find Destin Fishing Charters online with prices starting at $50/person.




Published May 27 2016
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