Florida Heat: How to Stay Cool in Florida While on Vacation
In Florida, hot days combined with high humidity can create an uncomfortable or unbearable vacation experience.
If you’re wondering how to stay cool in Florida while on vacation, here’s a list of our favorite tips and products to beat the Florida heat!
These go-to tricks and solutions will help you learn when and how to enjoy The Sunshine State without worrying about overheating.
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How to Stay Cool in Florida
It is no secret that the heat and humidity can get intense in Florida. With proper caution and planning, however, you can still enjoy Florida in comfort.
Here are our top tips and product recommendations for surviving the Florida heat while on vacation.
1. Find or Make Shade
Florida is aptly nicknamed The Sunshine State and blocking the sun’s famous rays is one of the ways to stay cool while on vacation there.
Though shade doesn’t actually make the Florida heat cooler, it blocks the solar radiation and direct sunlight that can make temperatures feel 10-15 degrees warmer.
Because it is often hard to find natural shade in Florida, we always bring along our giant Sport Brella to make shade when we need it the most.
We use our portable shade umbrella at the beach, in the yard, and at spacious outdoor venues and sporting events.
This XL version is large enough to comfortably fit our family of 5 underneath. It opens and folds up easily, as well as comes with an awesome over-the-shoulder carrying pouch.
Other times when you should find or make shade:
- Shade your face with a wide-brimmed hat. This is especially important when standing in Florida theme park lines when finding shade is nearly impossible.
- Protect your eyes with 100% UV protection sunglasses (kids & adults!)
- Attempt to park under a shade tree.
- Use a sunshade on the dash of your car or a hand towel over the steering wheel.
2. Cool Off Your Pulse Points
Did you know that your body’s quick cooling spots are your neck, elbows, and the backs of your wrists and knees?
We heavily rely on using cooling towels to cool down these areas when we’re starting to feel too hot.
When touring Magic Kingdom, for instance, we got our cooling towels wet and placed them in a freezer the night before. We store them in their handy carrying case inside our Disney day bag to place around our necks when any of us felt too hot.
3. Stay Hydrated ( & Misted)
When it comes to the Florida heat, it’s very important to remember to drink plenty of water…even if you’re not thirsty.
Staying hydrated with non-caffeinated drinks is essential to ward off ruining your vacation by becoming dehydrated and subsequently ill.
This water bottle + mister is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to a lightweight water bottle that easily fits into the pocket of a purse or backpack.
Our kids love the misting option as a fun way to cool off and provide much-needed distraction in the heat.
4. Enjoy Cold Food & Drinks
Though it may seem obvious, it is worth mentioning that eating and drinking cold items will help you stay cool in the Florida heat.
The go-to snack that we bring with us to the beach is these amazing and low-calorie frozen Jello grapes. Any other food that is high in water content is an important combination to staying cool and hydrated.
In order to keep your food and beverages cold while traveling, I highly suggest purchasing this Clevermade collapsible cooler bag.
Because of its collapsible nature, it can easily be brought along on vacation whether it’s flattened and put into your suitcase, or brought along on a family road trip.
5. Head to the Beach
Submerging your body into water is a great way to cool off!
Likewise, water naturally conducts heat away from the body, so getting drenched in the ocean will keep you cool for a longer period of time than other measures.
Whether you’re vacationing in Daytona Beach on the Atlantic side or Siesta Key on the Gulf side, Florida has plenty of beaches to satisfy the need to cool off in the ocean.
Additional planning tip: We’ve perfected what to bring to the beach (and what to leave home!) for spending a day enjoying the sand and surf. Check it out!
6. Take Midday Breaks
Limit vigorous outdoor activities between the hours of noon and 4 PM when Florida heat is at its highest.
Outdoor activities can best be enjoyed during the morning and early evening hours, whereas indoor shopping, attractions, and rest breaks are perfect for the afternoon.
7. Let Your Clothing do the Work
Not only is it important to choose light and breathable clothing in order to tolerate the Florida heat, but you should also choose materials specifically designed to keep you cool whenever possible.
By far the best brand of UV protective clothing with cooling properties are these Coolibar UPF 50+ shirts.
Coolibar clothing comes in men’s, women’s, and child’s sizes, as well as in shirts, shorts, dresses, hats, etc.
My husband started using this brand after having a skin reaction to the sun and hasn’t had any issues since.
Additional planning tip: Don’t wear dark clothing, it absorbs heat.
8. Incorporate Watersports
One of our favorite things to do when trying to figure out how to stay cool while on vacation in Florida is to go parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking, or boating!
Incorporating watersports into your Florida family vacation exposes you to the splashing of waves and the refreshing ocean breeze. What a fun way to beat the Florida heat!
With so many rental locations located throughout the state of Florida, your options are endless.
Read all about how and what to expect parasailing in Florida here!
9. Seek Out AC Whenever Possible
It goes without mentioning that a great way to escape the Florida heat is to seek out air conditioning whenever possible.
Some examples of this include indoor theme park rides, indoor shopping centers, and movie theaters, using public transportation where the vehicle is already cooled, and choosing indoor instead of outdoor patio dining.
A suggestion for visiting theme parks such as Universal Studios Orlando is to alternate ‘hot’ outdoor activities with a ‘cool’ indoor show.
Florida Heat: When is it hot in Florida?
Florida is the warmest of all American states with an average daily temperature of 71 degrees F.
If you’re wondering when exactly it is hot in Florida, let’s take a closer look.
First, the climate of the north and central parts of Florida is humid subtropical, meaning that they have hot and humid summers, and cold to mild winters.
Most of South Florida has a tropical climate that yields year-round temps of 65 degrees or higher and otherwise hot temperatures.
Overall, the best time to visit Florida is during the months of March, April, and May when the weather is pleasant and temperatures are in the upper 70s.
The Florida heat is hottest in June, July, and August and visitors can expect high humidity and temperatures in the mid to upper 90s. This also coincides with Florida’s rainy season of May-October.
In our experience, August is by far both the hottest and most humid month.
How do you stay cool in the Florida heat? I’d love for you to comment below!Jen
If you like our article on ways to stay cool in Florida, click here to check out our Related Posts:
- 11 Best Things to do in Tampa Bay + 3-Day Itinerary
- The Ultimate Siesta Key Vacation Itinerary + Tips For Your Visit
- 11 Best Things to do in Sarasota While on Vacation
- Complete 6-Day Sarasota Vacation Itinerary For Families
- 18 Beach Essentials For A Perfect Day at the Beach
- Things to do in Florida (That Aren’t Disney!)
- The Ultimate Orlando Family Vacation Itinerary
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*
I can’t begin to tell you how helpful this is for two main reasons! 1. I’m moving to Florida this Summer. 2. I have a rare condition where my body doesn’t do the temperature adjustment when needed which causes me to faint when my body gets too hot. I did not know about the cooling points and I think this will be a game changer in my life. So, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU!
Thanks for your sweet reply! And ‘yay’ to moving to Florida! Good luck with everything, and thanks for reading 🙂
These are great tips – we find Florida hot even when we usually visit in March. Especially love the idea of cooling towels – that had never occurred to me!!
We use cooling towels for a lot more than Florida travel, they have become a lifesaver when the kids play outdoor sports in the summer too! Glad you found the article helpful 🙂