How to Pack Light for a Pensacola Beach Winter Vacation

When cold winds blow and snow falls up north, a Pensacola Beach winter vacation may provide just what guests need to chase away winter’s chill. Located on beautiful Santa Rosa Island in the center of the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola Beach offers a tropical wonderland that beckons vacationers to leave their chilly winter homes and head south.

During this time of year, packing can seem tricky. The challenge comes when trying to stay warm and prepare for a warm-up once settled in Pensacola. Extra airline bag charges have turned packing light into a science, but it’s not easy to manage suitcase space when traveling from a cold climate to a warm one. The trick is to pack clothes that can do double duty and work in both climates. Ready to go? Think layers and follow these suggestions:

Pensacola Beach Winter Vacation Packing Tips

  • Don’t add weights and bulk with heavy winter coats. Layer sweaters under a functional blazer or jacket that you can wear if the Gulf’s breeze turns chilly. January highs in Pensacola average around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows in the 40s.
  • Wear a tunic dress. Worn over leggings with or without a long-sleeved shirt, a tunic dress is warm enough for northern airports, comfortable on the plane and can be worn separate when you arrive Florida. Other apparel includes jeans, thin long-sleeved shirts, long dresses, light sweaters and sweater jackets.
  • Instead of a bikini, pack a tankini or one-piece swimsuit. When it’s time to leave the beach, slip on a pair of shorts or a skirt and you’re ready to shop or grab a bite to eat.
  • Wear sturdier footwear on the plane, but pack lightweight flip-flops and sandals.
  • Don’t forget sun protection. Northern skies have lots of cloud cover, but once in Florida the sun reigns. Bring sunglasses, sunblock and a hat.

Read more travel tips for expert advice about different destinations.