Heading Off on a Tropical Vacation? Here are Some Top Packing Dos and Don’ts to Consider

Now that spring is here, and the weather is turning gradually warmer and more temperate, more and more of us are thinking about where we might go on a vacation in the coming months.

If you’ve booked a trip away or are about to soon and know you’ll be going somewhere nice and toasty and tropical, too, here are some dos and don’ts to consider when it comes time to pack.

Dos When Packing

One of the primary “dos” for your packing is ensuring you put in all the necessary items for a tropical vacation. For example, an essential is one or more swimsuits. When choosing which swimwear to put in your bag, consider the type of activities you want to enjoy while away.

For instance, if you want to swim laps or otherwise be active, you’ll want a bathing suit that offers plenty of support and doesn’t require constant tugging at straps or other adjustments. If you only want to take a leisurely dip in a pool or ocean waters, though, or spend time sipping cocktails with a view, a strapless or string bikini shouldn’t be a problem.

It also pays to pack some helpful coverups to take you from the pool to the bar or lunch, etc. You may want to pack some quality Bermuda shorts, denim shorts, skirts, light sundresses, and breezy caftans. Choose soft, comfortable materials in summer-friendly hues that match your swimwear if needed.

In addition, pack some casual tops, one or two more dressy pantsuits or dresses for fancier dinners or other activities, and a jacket in case it gets a little chilly at night. Don’t forget to pack a smart range of footwear, too, such as flip-flops and sandals, a pair of heels, and some joggers or hiking boots for more physical pursuits.

Another “do” to remember is to pack as lightly as possible. When you head to a tropical location, this is much easier than cold ones, as most summer clothing is lightweight and easily foldable. Packing lightly reduces your likelihood of having to pay excess baggage fees and getting annoyed at having heavy bags to lug around. Plus, it allows you to have room to do some shopping while you’re away and fit this in your luggage.

Keep things minimal when selecting items to pack by opting for pieces that mix and match easily. That way, you can create multiple outfits for your time away from a select number of clothes. Choose travel-sized toiletries and medications where possible, too, to lighten your luggage.

Other “dos” to follow are researching your destination in advance so you understand if there are any cultural or legal factors regarding what you can and can’t wear, and learning if there’s likely to be much rain that you may need to pack an umbrella or light raincoat to ward off. Plus, do choose an appropriate suitcase that isn’t too big and bulky and heavy but that will fit all your gear in okay.

Don’ts When Packing

There are many things not to do when packing for your tropical vacation. For example, don’t forget to take some items that will help you to ward off stings, bites, and sunburn, such as insect repellent and sunscreen (double check that these items aren’t past their use-by dates, though, if they’ve been sitting in the cupboard for many months or years). You also don’t want to go away without having packed some quality sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare and an oversized sunhat to protect your face, ears, and neck.

Plus, don’t ignore local customs and regulations that may impact what you need to pack. For example, some places have strict rules around baring skin, especially if you’re entering temples or other sacred spaces. You may need to pack things like a sarong or long-sleeved shirt and some long pants or other coverups to use in such situations.

Also, don’t rush your packing or leave it until the last minute. Avoid stress and the problem of forgetting key things and having to pay to buy them once you arrive at your destination. Give yourself plenty of time to get organized before you leave. You don’t want to be at the airport without a passport or ticket details, essential medicines, or other items.

Making a checklist for yourself at least a week or two before you leave and ensuring you have every item on it will ensure you’re all set and don’t have to rush about buying gear at the last minute before you depart.

Other “don’ts” to keep in mind include not packing clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc., you haven’t tested yet, and not bothering to pack items you know will be provided at your accommodation, such as shampoo, conditioner, and a hairdryer.

Follow these tips for a more seamless and fun trip, and you’ll remember it fondly with lots of good memories rather than potentially negative ones.

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