3 Smart Tips for Packing for a Spring Break Vacation to the Keys

Sunshine and salty breezes? Yes!

Warm sun on your face, saltwater on your skin, Margaritaville playing on repeat… Right when winter starts to feel endless, spring break swoops in to save the day! And one of the best possible places to escape the cold is the famous Southernmost Point in the U.S.—the Keys. But other than your favorite bathing suit, what else should you be packing for a spring break vacation to the Keys?

No worries, we’re here to make sure you don’t forget anything when you jet off to the land of Fun in the Sun!

  • Go light and versatile

    Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit the Keys: warm enough to get in the water, without the melting heat and humidity of summer.

    It’s also a super casual vacation spot, so when you’re packing for a spring break vacation to the Keys, you won’t need the fancy party clothes you might want in neighboring Miami.

    So what should you bring? Think lightweight, comfy, and only slightly dressy.

    For daytime: You guys will probably be in your bathing suit most of the time, so just a bathing suit and coverup or tee shirt should be fine most days. For women, a sundress that doubles as a coverup is perfect everyday wear.

    A few shorts and casual tops are all you’ll need for brunch, sightseeing, and other land-based fun. But if you’re planning on exploring the island via scooter—definitely the most popular way to get around—make sure you bring sneakers or other closed-toe shoes to protect your feet.

    For nighttime: As we mentioned earlier, the Keys are a casual spot… but that doesn’t mean you guys shouldn’t look good for a night out! A few quick upgrades to your daytime look and you’ll be all set. For women, it can be as simple as putting on dressy sandals with your beach dresses; for guys, trade the tee shirt for a short-sleeved button-up, and you’ll be all set.

    Packing Pro Tip: Grab a lightweight sweater or jacket! Nights can feel surprisingly cool in the Keys, even if the temperature doesn’t drop much.

  • Bring your beach gear

    Like, allllll your beach gear.

    Sure, you can buy beach stuff in the Keys, but 1) it’s a tourist hotspot and 2) it’s an island. That means anything you buy here will be more $$$ than what you can buy back home.

    Here are some things to throw into your bag when you start packing for a spring break vacation to the Keys.

    – Sunscreen and chapstick, both with a high SPF
    – Chapstick with SPF
    – Extra swimsuits, so you always have a dry one to change into
    – Polarized sunglasses
    – A wide-brimmed hat
    – A reusable water bottle, because piña coladas do NOT keep you hydrated enough!

    Packing Pro Tip: Bring a Turkish beach towel. Unlike regular terry towels, they’re super lightweight, take up little suitcase space, and dry quickly. Plus you can brush the sand right off, so they double as a beach blanket. Score!

  • Be prepared for aquatic adventures

    You guys are on an island, so it’s kind of a given that you’ll be splashing around!

    For snorkeling: Snorkeling is one of the top water activities in the Keys, and with good reason. John Pennenkamp Coral Reef, in Key Largo, is one of the most beautiful and diverse coral communities in the world. And the rest of the shallow waters around the Keys are filled with bright sea life.

    Most snorkel tours offer equipment rental, but that adds up quickly—in fact, the rentals are often more expensive than a starter set! If you’re planning on some underwater exploration, bring your mask, snorkel, and fins with you.

    For a day at sea: Whether you’re fishing or just cruising, navigating your way around the Keys calls for some extra stuff. Quick–dry clothing will keep you comfortable after the salt spray soaks you. A soft-side portable cooler is perfect for on-the-go snacks and drinks. And water shoes with good tread will keep you steady when the boat rocks.

    Packing Pro Tip: Sea bands are a game changer! While some seasickness medications can make you sleepy, sea bands press on acupressure points on your wrists to keep you from feeling dizzy or nauseated.

And there you have it: the ultimate checklist for packing for a spring break vacation to the Keys! You’ll have everything you need for sun and sea.

And once you’ve finished packing, ship your stuff to your hotel or Airbnb in the Keys with LugLess. Start your spring break carefree and stress-free, with no bags to haul through the airport. And when you land in the Keys, you can skip baggage claim and go straight to where you want to be: the beach, of course!