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Florida in August- what to pack and what to buy?

(20 Posts)
Theimpossiblegirl Sun 31-May-15 15:10:45

I don't want to take over any of the other Florida threads and packing time is nearly upon us.

Any hints and tips gratefully accepted as I really don't know what to take and what to get out there, mainly thinking of clothing and toiletries.

It me, DH and 2 DDs ages 12 and 13.

Oh, and will hair straighteners work with the different voltage? (DD wants to know).

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 31-May-15 17:07:41

Take half the clothes and twice the money!. Do not take a lot of clothes anyway with you. Keep to the weight limit specified by the airline in question. It may be an idea to tell the credit card company that you will be in the US as well. Do bring along ID like your driving licence; some places do ask for photo id when paying for items by credit card (Hollister for instance does this).

Wear comfortable shoes; you can easily walk miles in a day in FL.

Do not rely on the airline to fully provide re food; bring some foodstuffs along that your children like to eat. Leave any uneaten fruit or sandwiches behind on the aircraft.

(If you are going to Discovery Cove all adults will need to bring photo ID for checking in).

You can lock your case going to the US but do NOT lock the body of the suitcase itself on your return (this is because the TSA will break any lock on a locked suitcase itself to open it if they wish to inspect it). Use a TSA approved luggage strap to wrap around the body of suitcase.

Good places to buy toiletries are stores like Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy.

Forever 21, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch are all popular and are cheaper in price than here.

It may be an idea to buy a hair straightener in the US instead of bringing a UK one over. The voltage in the US is different (110 volts) and some non US manufactured hair straighteners may not heat up as quickly and so will take longer overall to use. In any case an adaptor will be needed.

Have a great holiday!

HermioneWeasley Sun 31-May-15 17:19:01

I used my hair straighteners there, no problem

Do you have laundry facilities while you're there? If so you only need to take a few days clothes. Everywhere is very casual, no need for anything fancy. I always take a couple of cardigans as well as I generally find the air con very cold.

I loved the premium outlet malls and spent all my money there. Leather goods were incredibly good value - picked up a leather DKNY purse for $50 that I saw in selfridges for £70 when I got back. Generally Americans pay in $ what we pay in £ and then the discount outlets are cheaper again. American brands like Gap, banana republic, Victoria secret, Levi's etc are much cheaper.

I took toiletries, but they can be bought easily and cheaply. I also bought beach towels there and left them there.

We took an extra empty suitcase and were full to the brim on the way back!

FatAli Sun 31-May-15 18:35:41

Packing time is nearly upon you? For August? How far in advance due you pack?! grin

We take the bare minimum. I always load up on toiletries there.

MozzchopsThirty Sun 31-May-15 18:41:44

Agree only casual stuff needed, we just changed for evening but still wore casual stuff.
Take a cardi or jumper for inside restaurants the air con is freezing!

I didn't find the clothes that amazing, only bought a couple of A&F things.

The drugs on the other hand were amazing and I bought loads of things you can't buy here, and even the stuff you can is way cheaper. That's mostly what I bought home! (I'm a nurse so love a well rounded medicine box grin)

My GHDs were fine over there, no problems with any of our electricals

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Sun 31-May-15 18:45:53

Bare minimum. Shorts tops and comfy shoes. Don't bother with nice clothes for evening meals as it's very casual and most people are eating on the way home from days out.

The first time I took maxi dresses and cute little sun dresses. They all came home unworn. I wore knee length shorts and vest type tops, sleeveless tops as it was so humid.

I've never packed a dress since.

I wear my Birkenstocks as they are my most comfortable sandals but lots of people wear trainers/vans etc.

You'll have photo is as you'll have your passports. Anywhere you might want to buy alcohol will check id. They even checked my 50 odd yr old mums when ordering a glass of wine in a restaurant.

The teens will no doubt want to buy lots out there. I found the deals in Florida mall better than a lot of the premium outlet mall. Eg oakley sunglasses were $120 in the outlet but $98 in tillies in the mall. Hollister etc have great sale rails. T-shirts for $5.

Toiletries were quite expensive I found. I ran out of tampax and went to Walgreens and was shock at price. Also they come in huge containers. The shampoo and conditioner might not be an issue to get through if all 4 of you are using the same one but I left 3/4 full huge bottle of Aussie shampoo and conditioner as didn't use it all.

Hulababy Sun 31-May-15 18:51:20

If Orlando and the parks - its all very casual, including most of the restaurants.

Its hot and humid. You'll need shorts, tops sunglasses and pumps. And you need comfy shoes rather than high fashion ones! Maybe a sun dress or two if considering a night out, and swimmers for the pool or water parks.

Minimise what you need to take out with you. We try to avoid bags when in bags as you cant take them on bigger rides, and it saves faff with lockers.

Lots of sun cream - we use once a day P20 or UltraSun. Works well.

Though you haves ages yet - surely you only need to pack night before!

We buy toiletries there to save packing weight and just minimal make up - no one is that dressed up in my experience.

We just use plug adapters; everything seems to work fine.

Re clothes shopping - Hollister etc is so about same in $ as it is in £ which is good. DD likes Hot Topic for cheap but reasonably okay film/marvel/etc t shirts, etc.

Theimpossiblegirl Sun 31-May-15 19:23:56

Thanks. I like to start early.

I'm not actually packing, but am starting to think about buying some summer clothes. We're going on a cruise too (country club casual they say) so thinking shorts and tees for parks with comfy shoes and a couple of dress/sandals combos for the cruise plus swimwear. I will keep it minimal and make sure I have space to buy stuff.

Do I need a coat? Or shall I just get myself a nice new hoody while over there?

DD's pleased her straighteners will be ok.

FatAli Sun 31-May-15 19:26:51

No coat! It is unspeakably sweltering in August.

MozzchopsThirty Sun 31-May-15 19:28:25

Lol you'll only need a coat inside grin

HermioneWeasley Sun 31-May-15 19:32:15

When we went, I was sat in restaurants shivering in a cuddly hoodie. Nobody else seemed remotely bothered - I think it's just me and air con!

FranBrodie Sun 31-May-15 19:41:36

pack the night before shock shock shock

I'm starting to plan now for 2016!

I wore a lot of (short) dresses last time we were there - I find them cooler and more flattering than shorts. And a hat!

I took swim shoes too, but Walmart sold them very cheaply so wouldn't bother again.

FatAli Sun 31-May-15 20:57:16

We pack the night before, and I only pack for myself (I have friends that pack for the entire family, even their man-child husbands).

But then, I am that woman that didn't pack a hospital bag until I was in the late stages of labour...everytime.

dogdaydisaster Thu 11-Jun-15 21:43:38

August is hot- so although you only need a few things you will only get a day out of anything as its really sweaty weather and what with that and water rides your stuff won't do a second day. So be clear what your laundry facilities are. But I'd echo what everyone else says- casual and a cardi for the air con. By August the shops are on back to school, so that's lightweight chinos jeans etc but shorts and reall hot weather stuff were on the sale rails and when we go late in August it was hit and miss as to what we left so I wouldn't rely on getting loads of choice out there, but lovely tops etc for autumn back home. Is there a formal night on the cruise that you need to dress up for?

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 11-Jun-15 22:13:51

There is one formal night but we will probably eat in one of the snack bars that evening to be honest. I know I could fit something in and so could the girls but can't imagine DH wanting to pack a tux.

budgiegirl Sat 13-Jun-15 19:12:59

Packaway ponchos, you know those ones you can buy in the parks at extortionate prices. August can be prone to sudden heavy downpours, so last time we went I bought about 20 ponchos cheap on line, at a fraction of the price they charge in the parks. They were very handy, each person just carried one in their back pocket, and threw them away at the end of the day. Very handy for water rides too !

Theimpossiblegirl Sat 13-Jun-15 22:08:13

What a great idea. We have Thorpe Park ponchos but DD has nabbed them for Glastonbury. Will look online.

FallingGoldfinch Mon 22-Jun-15 15:03:11

You can get the ponchos in Poundland - well worth taking a few.

Every time I go, I realise I need to take less. Shorts and vests are all you need. You can spot the Brits as so many are in head-to-toe Primark, or really overdressed. As previous poster said, I too always think I'll wear a maxi dress but never have. People really do look daft in them as it's so casual and no one cares.

I noticed this time that locals are very keen on gym wear though - shiny lycra three quarter leggings and the double racer-back vest top look if you really want to fit in . . .

Things for sore feet - pack lots of those (blister plasters, that type of thing).

jimijack Mon 22-Jun-15 15:12:17

One of those battery operated fans with a water bottle/spray attachment.

One each, an absolute must!

Fill it with ice cubes and a drop of water in the morning before you go. AN ABSOLUTE LIFE SAVER.

40 degree heat, queuing for upwards of 2 hour for each ride was horrendous.

They are very expensive in the parks so buy before you go.

jimijack Mon 22-Jun-15 15:14:46

Also if you have a freezer where you are staying bung loads of bottles of water in and take them to the parks with you frozen, they will defrost through the day and are lovely.

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