Since moving to Florida, we have become serious road trippers. Because we do road trips so often, we want to be prepared and not have to feel like it’s a chore each time we leave. So, we prepare ahead of time and somewhat permanently. In the road trip packing list below, we’ll outline what we have stocked in the car at all times. And, how we have items like a toiletry bag already packed so all Shirley (she's the self-designated packer) needs to do is pull it out of the bathroom cupboard and toss it in a suitcase. Yes, we have double of everything, so we don’t have to pack each time we leave for a trip. Note- this Road Trip Packing List is great for road trips anywhere. It's just that the climate for Florida Road Trips presents some unique challenges at times for travelers.

Essential RV Camping Checklist Below

If you’re an RV camper with a motorhome, camper trailer, or pop up camper you’ll also see our Essential RV Camping Checklist. Even if you tent camp or are a car or van camper, this list will help you out for sure.

The Ultimate Guide for Florida State Park Campgrounds

Plus, we have found the Ultimate Guide to 54 Florida State Parks with Camping. Save the link in a camping folder on your desktop along with these checklists. Trust me, you’ll reference this site over and over again. Once you get to this State Parks Guide you'll see info on State Parks in all 50 states and the Virgin Islands!

Downloadable and Printable PDF lists

The Florida Road Trip Packing List and Florida RV Camping Checklist are both great. But we want you to be able to really use them. So, we put them into a true checklist form so you can print them and use them. At the bottom, you’ll be able to click, download, and print!

Product Recommendations

There are items on the list below that we purchased and use on our road trips and camping trips. We designate these recommended items for you with a link to view and purchase them if you like.

OK, here we go!! Florida Road Trip Packing List Essentials!

Safety First- Get Your Vehicle Ready

If you have a new vehicle under warranty take it to your dealer for routine maintenance. Make sure the oil is changed, tires are rotated, tire pressure checked, battery checked, brake pads checked, and fluids are topped off.
If you have an older vehicle out of warranty then take it to a reputable chain oil change retailer and have the same done as above.

Car Batteries in the Florida Heat

The heat here in the sunshine state will drain your battery faster than in other climates. Don’t be surprised if you have to replace your battery more often than in the state from which you came. So, get it checked before you leave. Retailers like AutoZone will check your battery for free when you stop in.

Replace Your Wipers

The Florida sun does damage to everything including your wipers. It also not only rains, but we also have torrential downpours. Your windshield wipers are critical in this state. Change your wipers at least annually. I make it a practice to change our wipers at the beginning of each summer.

Roadside Emergency Kit

There are key items that you’ll want to carry in your vehicle at all times but certainly when on a road trip. You want a medical kit and jumper cables. But those are just the basics. We discovered a roadside emergency kit by Roadside Rescue for about $50.00 that has 110 items in it. Having this emergency kit with you will bring you peace of mind when traveling on the road.

The Roadside Rescue Emergency Assitance Kit

Roadside Essentials - 2 Bungee Cords (48”), 20 Zip Cable Ties, 1 Roll of Electrical Tape, 1 Emergency Blanket, 1 Flashlight, 1 Magnesium Fire Starter, 1 Pair of Mechanics Gloves, 1 Heavy Duty Jumper Cables rated at 300 AMP in 8 AWG Gauge Wire, 11-In-1 Multi-tool, 1 Tire Pressure Gauge (100 PSI Max), 1 Heavy Duty 12 Ft. Tow Strap Rated for 10,000 lbs Capacity, Disposable One Size Fits All Poncho, Windshield Breaker, Seat Belt Cutter / Extractor, Emergency Whistle, 12” x 12” x 12” Reflective Emergency Warning Triangle.

Note- Take the Glass/Windshield Breaker out of the kit and store it in the console between the driver and passenger. If your vehicle becomes submerged in water in an accident this tool won’t do you any good in the trunk or even in the back of an SUV.

First Aid Kit- 4 Sterile Gauze Pads, 20 Band-Aids (Small), 5 Band-Aids (Medium), 1 Band-Aid (Large), 4 Alcohol Prep Pads, 4 Wet Sterilizing Tissues, 4 Wet Soap Tissues, 1 Pair of Emergency Scissors, 1 Pair of Tweezers, 2 Elastic Bandages, 1 Pair of Medical Gloves, 2 Arm Slings, 12 Safety Pins, 1 All Purpose Support Wrap / Dressing.

More Driving Essentials for Your Road Trip Packing List

Keep these items if possible, in a separate bag or container in the back seat so you can access them easily. Containers that strap in are best to avoid spills, tipping over, or flying about in an accident.

Car Organizer Ideas

Window cleaner- gas stations never seem to keep theirs full
Paper towels- Gas stations run out of these also
Pack of Dryer sheets- this isn’t for your laundry. Florida has lots of bugs. Wet dryer sheets will get bugs off your car and windshield in a jiffy. They’re inexpensive and easy to pack.
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent We've used a lot of non-chemical bug sprays and this one is the best we've used!
Flashlight- yes, you can use your cell phone. But if the battery is dead or you want more light a flashlight is good to have.
Umbrellas- one for each traveler. Did I mention the amount of rain here in Florida? Get the kind that collapses down so you can store them in the door compartment or another place that is out of the way.
Cell phone charger- gotta have it. It’s that simple.
Small trash bags- so you can keep your car clean along the way.
Small cooler- for snacks and cold drinks. An alternative to the seatback option above is the Lebogner Insulated Car Cooler.
Pen and paper- so your travel companion can make note of your brilliant new idea that you just thought of while driving.
Your headache pain med of choice- because it sucks to have a headache or back pain.
Lip balm- because it also sucks to have dry lips.

COVID-19 Reminders

Don’t forget your mask- right now there are counties in Florida that require you to wear a mask in public.
Hand sanitizer- keep those mitts germ free.

Navigation and Entertainment

I use Google Maps but have your GPS maps app of choice ready to go. Florida is well covered by cell service but if you’re at all concerned about being out of range and needing a map, download before leaving home. With you’ll be able to get maps offline. This could come in especially handy if you’ll be hiking or boating.

Playlists- If you want to listen to music on the road just know that you’ll get pretty sick of your existing Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, or other playlists after a while. Best to prepare some new playlists before you leave.

It's Obvious But Check Anyway

Make sure you have your driver’s license, car registration, and auto insurance details.

Personal Items

We won’t give you a list but simply suggest that you buy double of everything that you use in the bathroom. Shampoo, conditioner (get those mini travel containers), soap, tweezers, toothbrush, and paste. You get the drill. Then store them in a separate toiletry bag just for road trips. Then when it’s time for a road trip just pack your clothes in a suitcase, toss your toiletries in and off you go! That way it’s quicker and you’ll never forget anything.

Florida Road Trip Packing List PDF

Includes the RV Camping Checklist
& Florida State Forest Campground Guide
Click to Download

Florida RV Camping Checklist

If you’ll be camping, you’ll need all the items listed above in the Florida Road Trip Packing List and the items below in the RV Camping checklist. Even if you’ll be car camping or tent camping, a lot of the items below are essential for a fun and enjoyable trip.

Product Recommendations

There are items on the list below that we purchased and use on our road trips and camping trips. We designate these recommended items for you with a link to view and purchase them if you like.

Outfitting Your Camper

The key to staying organized is to:
1- measure the storage area you have in your camper, and truck or SUV.
2- buy the appropriate sized plastic storage bins that close firmly
3- store related items together in separate bins
4- label the bins according to the type of items in each

We really like clear plastic bins with lids that clip tightly to the container. It's great for seeing what's in the bin and keeping critters out at night. Check It Out On Amazon


Sheets, blanket, pillows- we keep a set of sheets and a blanket specifically for the camping in the camper. But the pillows we use at home always make the trip with us. There’s just something about having your favorite pillow to help get a good night’s sleep.
Foam mattress pad- Shirley insisted on this and I'm so glad that she did. I slept like a baby.


Cooking pots and pans
Collapsible colander
Plates, bowls for eating and serving, plastic cups, paper cups
Coffee mugs
Coffee pot and/or French Press
Coffee filters
Spices of choice
Tablecloth and clips
Cutlery (forks, knives, spoons)
Serving spoons, spatula, knives
Bottle opener
Can Opener
Wine opener
Cutting board

Dish bin
Dish soap
Food containers for leftovers
Table tents to keep the flies and bugs away from food
Grill of choice
Grill utensils
Propane for the grill (if using the small bottles count on using one a day. You may not use that much but this way you won’t run out)
Lighter for the grill and nighttime fire
Cooler- we have a huge Igloo cooler for drinks and food items that won’t fit in the refrigerator in the camper. But the size is up to you.
Drinking water bottles
5 Gal. water bottles

Clean Up

Aluminum Foil
Trash bags
Ziploc storage bags
Paper towel napkins
Toilet paper
Plastic wrap
Broom and dustpan- this is actually pretty cool. The dustpan connects to the broom and the broom telescopes down for storage. Perfect for camping!
Multi-purpose cleaner

Body Care

Sunscreen- vegan and reef friendly. Really good stuff.
Ant Spray
Mosquito/Insect spray- we have this listed above in the Road trip Packing List but it's worth mentioning again.
Hand soap
Bath towels
Hand sanitizer
Disinfectant wipes

Tools and Miscellaneous Items

Fly swatter
Batteries (various sizes as needed)
Fan- this fan is very quiet. We have 2 of them inside the 160 s.f. area of our pop up camper.
Small toolbox with necessary items
Extension cord
Level for the trailer- phone app
Utility knife

RV Camping Checklist Items to Consider

The items above are essential. The items below we found to be very handy and beneficial to have along.

Strips of pennant flags to tie on your awning tie downs (if appropriate). We kept tripping over or running into, the rope tie-downs to our camper awning especially at night.
Screened gazebo so you can stay outside even when the bugs get feisty
Sunshade extensions for your camper awnings. Get smaller ones so you can move them around as the sun shifts.
Binoculars- we're not serious bird watchers but it's great to have an inexpensive but functional set of binoculars around.
Hiking boots
Bike Rack
Mosquito lamp
Awning lights- these small (fairy) led lights gave our campsite a really cool effect. it was the perfect amount of light at night.
Kayaks- we both purchased Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable kayaks. If you're not into spending $1,000 to figure out if you'll like kayaking, these are around $90 with paddles.
Kayak gloves- if you kayak get some gloves. They make a huge difference.
Waterproof Dry Bags- when you're on the water you need a dry place for your cell phone and more.
Airhorn (for general safety but a great bear deterrent) and safety whistle (for kayaking/alligator deterrent)
Folding table
Folding table with storage- this table is perfect for camping. Shirley stored plates, bowls, etc. on one side of the bottom and pots and pans on the other. It completely folds for storage and transport.

Camping chairs
Outdoor carpet/mat
Doormat exterior
Carpet for the interior doorway
Porta Potty- our popup camper doesn't have a bathroom so this along with the privacy tent works great.
Privacy tent- if you want to use a porta-potty outside of your camper.
Portable grill/griddle
Collapsible trash can- holds the trash bag in place and collapses down for storage.
Step stool
Walking sticks
Tiki torches
Wood for a fire
Marshmallow roasting sticks
Camping/Travel logbook- great for noting places you've gone, people that you meet, funny things that happen, etc.
Pet supplies (if you are bringing one)

Florida Road Trip Packing List PDF
Includes the RV Camping Checklist
Click to Download

There you have it! Everything you need for car road trips and/or camping trips. We hope this helps you have the best times when cruising around the amazing state of Florida, or wherever your travels take you!

RV Camping Gear - Suggestions for Inside and Outside of Your RV

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