What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation

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Whether you find yourself jetting off to the Dominican Republic, Aruba, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos or some other tropical destination, there are a few items that should be on every tropical destination packing list. Easy sundresses, bikinis and Kaftans are a few of our favorites.

tropical packing listI participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central forVanity Fair. I received product samples to facilitate my review and compensation to thank me for my participation.

Bug Spray and SPF

The tropics often means mosquitoes, which makes insect repellent a must. I recommended bringing your own and not waiting to purchase bug spray at your destination because insect repllents in forgiegn countries may be made with chemicals banned in the US. I always pack Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus. It’s a lotion, SPF and bug repellant in one. Not only is it convenient but it’s worked even in the jungles of Asia where mosquitoes are aggressive and malaria is a real risk.

Multiple Bikini’s and Trunks

If you’re like me, much of your tropical vacation is spent on the beach, in the water or at the pool which means a lot of time in your bikini. In some cases just packing one or two is enough as they dry over night and can be worn the next day. However, in the tropics where humidity is usually higher your trusty trunks may not actually dry over night so pack multiple!

100% Cotton

Nothing breathes like cotton does. I recommend cotton blouses and light cotton sundresses. Not only do they help wick away that moisture and allow your body to breathe but they dry pretty well too.

Your Favorite Strapless Bra

The easiest way to ruin a cute warm weather outfit is to have bra straps standing out like a sore thumb so I always make sure to pack my Vanity Fair Beauty Back Strapless Underwire Bra. Not only does it have a second line of silicone grips along the top edge keeping it perfectly in place (for those that are inclined to jump in photos, like I am), but the back straps are designed to help prevent bra bulge. I also really love that it packs well. You can fold and smoosh it as much as you want and it still pops right back out into it’s original smooth, soft shape! 

Light Weight Kaftans/Swimsuit Cover Ups/Sarongs

While you will probably spend most of your time pool side, having a little something to throw on over your swimsuit as your traverse the resort is always nice. Personally, I prefer a Kaftan over a cover up or sarong because you can pair them with a cute pair of wedges and instantly look “resort casual” for restaurants with dress codes. 

A Floppy Hat

A floppy hat is a must any time your traveling near the equator. They’re fashionable and functional: protecting your skin from the sun, easily packable and perfect for beach reading without getting tan lines from your sunglasses.

Strappy Sandals

Let’s be honest – heels are no place for the beach. Instead, opt for strappy sandals or even a solid wedge which are more practical for sandy pathways. I also make sure to bring a pair of a trusty flip flops in black since they go with everything and they’re super comfortable.

A Beach Tote

Beach totes are great because they can fold flat in your suitcase or double as an extra carry on if you come back with more souveniers than you bargained for. In the mean time, they’re great for shopping trips to the markets, for bringing along towels, your favorite book or some SPF.

17 thoughts on “What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation”

  1. Oh my goodness, I need everything in that photo! The skirt and crop top, the dresses, it’s all perfect! I really need a new strapless bra too, they are vital and since I lost weight mine just doesn’t fit right anymore!


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