Swim with Manatees Packing List
Are you getting ready to swim with manatees? If this is an experience that’s on your list of things to do and places to go, you’ll want to be sure you have everything you need when the time comes. And if you’re in the process of getting ready to go on a trip to swim with manatees soon, you’ll definitely want to check out this list!
Will you absolutely positively need every single thing on this list? Maybe! Or maybe not! But if you do need it, you’ll have it.
I should note here that my husband and I have different theories about packing. I believe it’s better to have it and not need it, so I pack everything I might need. He believes it’s better to pack light and take only what he knows he’ll need. (All I can say is that he’s going to look really silly wearing my clothes if he fails to pack enough…)
What to Wear to Swim with Manatees
First, keep in mind that you’ll need clothes for wearing while you swim with manatees. You’ll want to arrive wearing a swimsuit underneath your clothing. If you’d rather, you may choose to wear a rash guard swimsuit under your wetsuit. You’ll wear the swimsuit underneath your wetsuit (which will be provided). They also provide pool noodles (to use for floating in the water) and snorkel equipment (for those who want it).
You’ll need to bring water shoes (or old tennis shoes) to swim in the water. (Flippers aren’t allowed because they stir up the water and may accidentally hurt a manatee.) Or you can swim barefooted if you’d rather.
Bring 2 towels per person (you may want to use quick-dry towels) to use after you swim with manatees. Since it will probably be cold, you’ll want one for your head and one for your body. (Those of us who have long hair will especially want to have that extra towel! Water dripping from your hair down your back is no fun when you’re trying to dry off in the cold!)
After you dry off as much as possible, you’ll want to make the short trip (about 3 minutes) to the hotel to get cleaned up and change clothes. There is very little room to change clothes there at the launch site. For those who are leaving on Wednesday, we have negotiated a late checkout for your family.
You will also want to make sure you have a plastic bag or garbage bag for your wet clothes after the swim.
And since we’ll be traveling with children, it makes sense to pack bottled water and snacks!
If you like, you may want to bring a warm hat, gloves, and jacket to wear if you’re cold after your swim. (We will check the forecast before we go, but it can sometimes get as cold as 45 degrees in late February/early March in Crystal River.)
If you need sunscreen (your face will be exposed to the sun), you’ll want to be sure to use reef-friendly sunscreen. I found a great article about Reef-Friendly Sunscreens that may be helpful to you.
Sunglasses may also be useful if you are sensitive to sunlight.
A dry bag may be useful if you want/need it for things you’d rather keep dry (as dry as possible) while you’re out swimming with manatees. This one comes highly recommended by one of our travelers. https://amzn.to/3sfNgZh.
To download your own printable packing list, click the picture above or click this link!
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For more details about our Homeschool Road Trip to Study and Swim with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida, read our article where we share more details and information. NOTE: It’s too late to sign up to go with us on this year’s trip, but be sure to sign up for our Homeschool Road Trips newsletter to be notified each time we plan a new trip!