Packing for the tropics

March 11, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar. 11, 2010/ Troy Media/ — It’s easy to modify your basic packing list for tropical travel. I’m always amazed at the amount of luggage that some people take to Hawaii or the Caribbean or any tropical destination. If a destination is tropical, it is by definition hot and humid so how much clothes do you really need?

Be prepared for the sun by bringing along plenty of sunscreen and a broad brimmed hat. If you’re sensitive to the sun, you might also want to pack a lightweight long sleeved shirt and long pants. There are even some companies that make clothing with sun blocking material.

Packing light for tropical destinations is easy because most tropical destinations only require casual wear because of the heat and humidity. Take your basic packing list and go “heavy” on short sleeves and bathing suits.

Dress appropriately

You need to take into consideration what kind of culture you will be visiting. We think travelers should always try to dress appropriately for the countries they are traveling to. If you are going to Malaysia, remember it’s predominately Muslim: to be sensitive to their culture, you should dress conservatively. You’ll want to cover up more than you will need to in Hawaii or the Caribbean.

Of course, what you include in that tropical vacation packing list will depend on what you plan to do on your vacation. Will you be scuba diving? Bicycling or sailing? Hiking in rain forests? Sitting on the beach all day?

It’s a good idea to get clothing that washes easily in your room and drip dries overnight. Hot and humid means you will be perspiring more than usual.

Some of the articles on your tropical vacation packing list will be on all of your packing lists because there are just some things you need to take with you on every trip. Those things pretty much never come out of our suitcases. Here’s our starter list which you can use it for your tropical vacation packing list but, as always, you have to modify it and make it your own.

For women:

Shorts, culottes, and T-shirts or cotton blouses are great.

Take one long sleeved blouse, and a sweater.

You’ll need long pants for the evening.

Two swim suits (so you’ll always have a dry one to put on.)

A cover-up for public areas away from the pool or beach.

A skirt for dress up.

For men:

Shorts and t-shirts.

One long sleeved shirt and a sweater

One or two pairs of long pants

Collared shirts for evening.

Two swim suits.

Everyone should take a light rain jacket or poncho. After all, it rains in the tropics! Sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat are musts. You’ll want sandals for beach wear but try to take something that you can wear off the beach too. Shoes for walking.

Pack a first-aid kit

Besides the usual amenities of shampoo and toothpaste and cosmetics, you’ll want sunscreen and insect repellant. You want a camera and any electronics you can’t do without.

We shouldn’t have to remind you to take an ample amount of any prescription medications you take on a routine basis…. And pack any medications you need for this trip… things like malaria pills as well as aspirin and a small first-aid kit.

A tropical vacation should be light and fun and your tropical vacation packing list should reflect that. Pack light!

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