Everything You Need To Pack For A Beach Vacation: Plus Size Vacation Essentials

We recently visited St. Pete Beach and Orlando, Florida with Kevin’s side of the family.  It was SUCH a fun trip – so relaxing and it reminded me so much of the vacations of my childhood.  We always spent a week in Florida and split our time between Disney and the beach.  St. Pete Beach was such a family friendly area, and I’d definitely go back.   We also hit up Legoland near Orlando this trip.

Unfortunately, I’ve always been quite the over-packer and this trip was no exception.  My suitcase weighed in at 53 pounds and I had WAYYYYY more options than I actually needed.  During my trip, I chatted on IG stories about how much I had packed and there was an overwhelming response that many of you do the same thing.

By request, I’m sharing today EVERYTHING I packed for a week-long Florida vacation plus what I ACTUALLY wore.  You can also find below a YouTube video where I go through each piece and describe why I loved it or didn’t love it.  Keep reading ALLLLL the way to the end to get my free printable packing list for your next trip!

What I Packed And Wore On A Beach Vacation - Plus Size Packing Tips

What I Packed and Actually Wore On Vacation

If you haven’t checked out the YouTube video, you can watch it to see each individual piece I packed and wore:


I packed swimsuits for every single day of the trip along with coverups.  In reality, I alternated between two black swim bottoms and two different tankini tops and two coverups.

I packed several of the thin cotton coverups and overall those were not my favorite.  They got extremely wrinkled in my suitcase and I didn’t like that.

My go-to coverups were a super old terry-cloth coverup and then a coverup top plus a pair of black shorts.  Next time, I’ll leave behind the crinkly cotton options.

Shop my swimwear recommendations:

Helpful hint:  Be sure to try on all of your swimwear before you leave for vacation.  I ended up packing several pieces that were SUPER uncomfortable. One of my tankini tops was WAY too big and two of the swim bottoms I brought along were tight and uncomfortable. Don’t assume that things still fit the way they did last year – things change!

What I Wore To LegoLand - Plus Size Vacation Tips

Casual Wear

Casual clothing is what I overpacked the most.  I think I brought every tank top and tee shirt I own.  I also brought several pairs of denim shorts which wouldn’t normally be needed but a brand new pair I brought on the trip somehow managed to bust a zipper while they were in a locker at Legoland.

We haven’t vacationed with Kevin’s family much so I wasn’t sure if we’d be spending our days at the beach/pool (my preference) or if we’d be out and about sightseeing.  I brought casual clothes for every day of the trip because I thought I’d need them.  We actually spent most of the daytime at the beach or pool so most of this went unworn.

I did use casual clothes during the day on the Legoland day and we also went to an orange grove one day.  We also didn’t go out to fancy dinners as much as I expected so some nights I wore the casual outfits instead of the nicer options I packed.

Shop my casual vacation wardrobe recommendations:

What I Wore On Vacation - Plus Size Vacation Outfit Options

Nicer “Night-Time” Wear

I actually did pretty well with not overpacking the nicer clothing options.  I knew we would be casual for much of the trip and honestly… I had to narrow this section down before we left because I couldn’t close my suitcase.  I had initially planned on packing several more dresses than I did but they were left behind in Kentucky.

Similar to the denim short fiasco at Legoland, I had another wardrobe malfunction on the night I wore the chambray dress.  Kevin & I went out for a Mexican food dinner one night when the rest of the family stayed in and within 5 minutes of sitting down, I dropped salsa on my dress.  Thankfully, our hotel room had a washer/dryer so I was able to wash it before a stain set in.  I actually re-wore the dress later in the trip as well since it was clean and is a favorite.

Shop my slightly nicer “night time” vacation wardrobe recommendations:


If you’ve been around for a while, you might know that I am OBSESSED with pajama sets – specifically these PJs from Woman Within.  Out of all of the outfits and products I recommend, this is definitely one of the ones my readers have loved the most.  I’m pretty sure it almost counts as a cult following at this point for these jammies.  They’re THE BEST!

There’s just something so luxurious about wearing these PJ’s on vacation.  They feel so fancy to me but they’re soft and comfortable.  They’re long sleeves, but the thin fabric makes them perfect to wear year-round.

Shop my pajama recommendation:

Navy Pajamas

In the video and this blog post, I haven’t gone into all of the beauty products I packed given that the clothes were the source of my over-packing.  If you’d like to see a follow-up video with summer beauty product faves, leave a comment below to let me know!

PS:  You can CLICK HERE to get a free printable with my new beach vacation packing list.  I’ll be sure to reference this next time I go to avoid overpacking again!  

Thanks for reading and watching! <3

Disclosure:  Links used in this post are affiliate links.  If you purchase through these links I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I appreciate your support of the blog in utilizing these links when you purchase!

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