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Take it easy, casual is the rule
Luggage and bags: My wife packed for a month like most women do, so she took the big duffle bag. however I just took my carry on suitcase
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: All I packed was 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of cargo shorts, 2 bathing suits, 3 polo shirts, and a pair of sneakers, and a pair of docksiders, (underwear too) these outfits will get you into any restaurant in Key West.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I brought the basics, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant. There are a few Eckerds pharmacies and Big K-mart in Key West so if you forget anything no problem.
Photo Equipment: I brought my Nikon 3100 digital camera with 3 sets of batteries and a 256 MB card
there is a Ritz Camera in Key West and they develop film at Eckerds
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring sunscreen 30+ SPF
I got burned up on the ride to Key West on U.S. 1in the convertible, so be careful.
Miscellaneous: Make sure you bring your wallet. The drinks like Margaritas, Rum Runners, and Tropical Orgasms cost $6-7 each, and all the prices are higher during high season Jan-April.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Don't look like a tourist...
Luggage and bags: As few as possible...It's hot, you don't need many clothes.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The worst thing you can wear are T-shirts with stupid sayings on them, long pants, and uncomfortable new shoes. Those are the easily identifiable marks of a tourist or Spring Breaker. If you want to fit in and be mistaken for a local (which is a good thing) just pretend you are going to be spending a quiet weekend at home. Wear your old (comfortable) shorts, that stretched out (comfortable) old shirt, your favorite beat up old ball cap, and your well-worn (comfortable) sneakers or sandals. Do you get the hint here that the "Key" word in "The Keys" is "comfortable"??
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Since it does get hot in Key West I am sure the locals will appreciate it if you pack a good supply of deodorent. The only medical supply I have ever needed was a bottle of tequila (for in the room) and a large bottle of aspirin (for the hangovers).
Photo Equipment: Either take the camera around and get all the pictures you want the first day you are there and then put it away for the rest of your stay, or take along a camera that is easily concealable in your pocket. There is nothing that screams "TOURIST" more than a camera bag hung around your neck.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: The beaches in Key West are okay, but they have to import the sand from the Bahamas because the island is surrounded by coral reef and there is little wave action to create sand naturally. My recommendation is to drive up the Keys a short way to a place called Bahia Honda State Park. Great natural beaches, and not as many over-exposed "tourists"
- Adventure Travel
Key West is hot & humid!
Luggage and bags: Don't pack too much if you can help it. Leave all the fussy outfits for home and just chill in shorts, t-shirts, skirts and flops. It's Key West - relax!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I would recommend casual light dress. There aren't many places where you're required to dress up that I'm aware of and it is hot and humid. Most bars/clubs you'll find the men in khaki-style shorts and shirts (maybe a flower print or other Key-West style). Girls seem to go with the denim skirt and tank top combo. Flip flops are fine and you'll be thankful you wore them and not your heels after you've been walking around for hours! If you're more adventurous with dressing, do your thing - anything goes in Key West! Seriously, you can walk around in your bra & panties or nothing but body paint and nobody will even look at you funny!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Deoderant!! It can be sooooo humid.
Photo Equipment: If you have it, bring it! You'll get great shots down near the water, or take pics of the crazy locals and tourists on Duval and at Mallory Square. Trust me, if you bring a camera with you, you'll end up with some good stuff!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sunscreen and bathing suit. I'm not a big fan of Key West beaches (water is murky and the beaches are rocky) so I don't usually hang out there.
Miscellaneous: Ladies, leave most of your makeup and hair products at home! It can be so humid in Key West (esp. in Spring-Summer) that you'll be fighting a losing battle. Usually I travel with my blow-dryer and hair straightener but I've learned not to waste my time here since I turn into a sweaty curly mess after an hour!
Summer in Key West? Short sleeves, shorts...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you visit Key West during the summer you might as well leave every single pair of pants/jeans/slacks you own at home. Seriously. Men, wear nice dress shorts to dinner. Women, flowy or short skirts. Tank tops. Plenty of swim suits to change into because you'll be swimming, snorkeling, beaching it non stop just to stay remotely cooled off. It is HOT here.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: WATERPROOF super strong sunscreen is a must. You sweat this stuff off in seconds, trust me, reapply a lot or you will look like a fried red jack ass.
Photo Equipment: I highly suggest to bring along one of those disposable waterproof cameras for underwater and pool shots.
Miscellaneous: A couple of cases of water. Stay hydrated. I mean it.
Basic Attire (What to Pack)
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I store this from a local KW site:
Basic fashion for most locals in Key West is usually a tasteful ensemble of khakis from K-mart and a t-shirt given away at the last fundraiser or by a beer distributor.
"DRESS UP" for Key West is either an ironed t-shirt or a delightfully flowered, bold-printed shirt… with the same khaki shorts. Designer shirts, long pants and/or anything that smacks of NEW simply labels you as a visitor… which gives you a better chance of getting picked up, we suppose, but may make you feel a bit out of place. It's not that we are slobs here, but casual is the word, and trying to impress is just not a big deal. HOWEVER, we do have some great places to find some out-of-the-ordinary and wonderful clothes… and yes, we occasionally dress up and enjoy them as well.
- Family Travel
- School Holidays
- Road Trip
Casual, Casual, Casual
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Ladies:
Light Jacket (it cools off when the sun goes down)
Button down camp shirts
sandals (but please - no socks)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen!
Aspirin (for when you have been out in the sun all day)
Photo Equipment: Definitely bring a camera - Key West has beautiful beaches, interesting architecture, plenty of photo ops, and lots of great people watching and beautiful sunsets!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: You will go to the beach at some point - swimsuit, beach towel, sunscreen...
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Luggage and bags: Luggage: Any
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Clothing: Light weight cottons, silks... to stand out be elegant among the "ugly americans".
Shoes: Comfortable Open Toe
Weather Gear: If you are going to be muy elegante, bring a parasol!
- Family Travel
Luggage and bags: Recommend travelling light..Impossible to find anywhere to wear a sport coat or tie...A pair of long pants is recommended for the nicer restaurants in the evening other than that..Shorts, bathing suits, flip flops or sandals, short sleeve shirts and t shirts are the uniform of the day in the keys...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Tropical light clothing is recommended
Luggage and bags: When 4 people take off for a road trip luggage limits are necessary - one bag per person! Not a problem with a couple of kids whose idea of packing is throw shorts and swim suits in a bag...of course each one also needed his own game boy for the road, and a CD or tape player...they collaborated and brought favorite tapes to form a massive collection. Add a shopping bag full of snacks, a thermos of coffee for mom, and we were off!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Family Travel
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: These were my responsibility (since I correctly figured the guys would forget contact lens solution, tanning lotion, sunburn stuff, and a bottle of excedrin for migraines for me, just in case...)
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: When traveling to the Keys, bring your own snorkel gear if you have it... any beach is a good place to look around. Traveling with kids who hadn't snorkeled before we needed to 'practice' every time we got near water, including at the pool!
Miscellaneous: The adventure continues...
Luggage and bags: You should be able to go for 7-9 days on ONE suitecase. Yes, ONE.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take half of what you think you will need because you won't even need all of that ! Shorts and very casual attire are acceptable everywhere. If you dress up people look at you a little funny. Make sure to take a bathing suit and cover up and sunscreen. Even walking around you should be wearing a sunscreen. Also, unless you are a runner in training leave the sneakers at home. Sandals are all you will need.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take your RX meds and basic toiletries but there are lots of discount drug stores and the prices are comparable so get what you need there. (support the locals)
Photo Equipment: Leave it at home and buy a few postcards. This is a place to go and just relax. Don't worry about taking pictures.
Luggage and bags: LEAVE YOUR 'BAGGAGE' BEHIND...BE FORWARNED...DO NOT GO TO THE FLORIDA KEYS..unless you have an extremely high tolerence for rum/tiki drinks, gentle breezes and almost breathtaking sunsets.Did i mention I LOVE Florida?';-)
Leave the watch home!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The first thing a visitor should do upon arriving in Key West is to take off their watch.
The second thing a visitor should do upon arriving in Key West is to take off their shoes.
There are two most unnecessary items in Key West for residents and travellers: It doesn't really matter what time it is and sandals are the widely accepted footwear. There is hardly a dress code for Key West; even the finest restaurants welcome people with shorts and t-shirts.
Luggage and bags: Something small. Carry on if possible.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Flip flops, swim suite, sunglasses, hat (trust me on the hat, especially if you are renting bikes). Really, pack light. Put a few things together that you can mix and match. Most places your go to are very casual. Our resort had laundry facilities which mad it very nice. Plus when you pack lightly, you have room for all of the new things you are going to buy when you are there (I know I did).
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Most resorts supply you with shampoo, conditioner etc, but check before you go.
Photo Equipment: Of course a camera is a must.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: SUNSCREEN!!! Did you know that you tan better when you use suncreen then if you don't? Its true. Plus you are less likely to overexpose and ruin your trip.
Miscellaneous: Lots of money. LOL. No really, there are some great shops, restaurants and bars you don't want to miss out on.
- Water Sports
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- School Holidays
Packing for Key West
Luggage and bags: I pack light; everything I bring must fit into a carry on suitcase and a backpack. I do not see the point to over pack and I do not like waiting for my bags to arrive on the other end mangled or not arrive at all. Plus, all the fees most airlines charge for checked bags. You can purchase and rent sporting equipment for a very inexpensive fee and it beats damaging your own equipment during travel.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Always check the weather before you travel. I went in late February; I brought shorts, tank tops, bathing suits, a light sweater (for the night time), flip-flops, sunglasses, and basic toiletries. I had enough room to stuff in my fins, dive mask, snorkel and mouthpiece into my bag; I was not going to miss the amazing diving in Key West.
You are as close to the tropics as you can get without a passport; it is HOT. If you want to bring a going out outfit, khaki shorts and a button up shirt for the guys and a sun dress for the ladies. You will sweat, so try to stay as cool as possible. Sometimes it rains for no reason, which is why I suggest a light sweater. Enjoy the cool rain it will be over quickly.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: In Florida, you can count on sunny hot weather, sunscreen is necessary.
Photo Equipment: In my backpack, I always carry my Canon, a few lenses and my laptop; don't leave without a camera.
Miscellaneous: If you have some more room bring your IPod and small portable speakers.
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Key West Travel Guide
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