Packing for hot destinations can be tough. Do you bring the clothes you have, or buy something lighter for the warm weather? We’ve taken the guesswork out of packing for hot weather with a detailed packing list for your next vacation.
Don’t forget your flip-flops! © bermilabs
We’ve listed all of the items to pack if you’re traveling to a tropical or summer destination. From clothing to personal hygiene, print out the list and cross off each item as it gets packed to make sure you’re 100% prepared before you leave.
For Every Trip
Below we’ve listed items specific for a hot weather vacation. For items that you need on any trip regardless of weather, see our Essential Vacation Packing List.
- Face mask – COVID is still very active in many countries and you may be required to wear an SFP2 facemask on the plane and in some indoor spaces. It’s also a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser when you travel.
For Beach Vacations
Going on a beach vacation? If you’re traveling to a hot destination for a beach vacation, check out our Beach Vacation Packing List and make sure you’re ready for a good time on the sand and in the sun.
- Make sure you’ve got your passport, flight tickets, travel vaccinations and all the other items essential to every trip abroad – see our Essential Vacation Packing List to double check you’ve thought of everything!
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
- Dress Appropriately – There’s nothing wrong with dressing in lighter clothes to deal with hot weather, but it’s important that you don’t accidentally offend anyone with your choice of clothes. Many tropical countries like Malaysia have conservative cultures which frown on skimpy outfits, especially away from the beach. Check local customs and standards for your destination before you pack your clothes to make sure you don’t stand out too much.
- T-Shirts – T-shirts are an obvious choice for hot weather. If you’re visiting a sunny destination, pack at least four t-shirts so you’ve got enough clothing for several days without having to do too much laundry. As mentioned above, it’s best to check your local destination’s culture before you pack singlets and other revealing tops. Spaghetti straps and low cut tops may not raise any eyebrows at home, but could attract extra attention in some countries.
- Long-Sleeved Shirt or Blouse – If you’re visiting a tropical destination, a long-sleeved shirt or blouse is a great addition to your suitcase. For men, a button down shirt will get you into high-end restaurants and bars with stricter-than-average dress codes.
- Shorts and Pants – You’ll want at least two pairs of shorts to help you stay cool and comfortable in the heat, as well as a pair of pants for going out at night and keeping yourself warm on the occasional cool day.
- Nightgown – While most four- and five-star hotels will provide a free nightgown, bringing your own is always a good idea. A thin cotton nightgown also doubles as a light cover-up that you can wear over your swimsuit on the way back from the pool to your room.
- Underwear – As a general rule, it’s best to pack at least four days worth of t-shirts, bras, underwear and other essentials. This way, you’ll have enough clean clothing available to only do laundry twice a week.
- Dress or Smart Casual Clothing – If you plan on dining in nice restaurants or enjoying the nightlife on your vacation, it pays to pack at least one dressy or smart casual outfit. Use Google to find out more about local dress standards, then pick an outfit that will help you blend in without looking underdressed.
- Sweater or Winter Jacket – A lot of hot weather destinations stay warm well into the night, but many get cool after sunset. Pack a sweater or winter jacket so you can keep warm after dark, or in areas with air conditioning that’s just slightly too cool.
- Beach Sandals – If you plan on relaxing at the resort, a pair of flip-flops, jandals, or thongs will do fine. If you like to walk and don’t want to bring a pair of walking shoes, buy a pair of sturdy sandals, like the Birkenstock Arizona or Gizeh, that will protect your feet on concrete, gravel or a rocky beach.
- Formal or Semi-Formal Shoes – Beach destinations aside, most bars and restaurants will require a pair of closed toe shoes. Pack your favorite pair of formal or semi-formal leather shoes so you’ve got appropriate clothing available for a high-end dinner or night out.
- Sneakers or Walking Shoes – From hiking to walking around the city, a pair of comfortable sneakers lets you avoid the blisters and soreness that can result from spending all day wearing a pair of beach sandals.
- Broad-Brimmed Hat – Plenty of sun means serious sunburn if you aren’t prepared. Along with a tube of SPF 15+ sunscreen, a broad-brimmed hat will protect your neck and shoulders from sun damage.
- Sunglasses – A good pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun, as well as helping you avoid glare and intense light. Polarized sunglasses offer the best protection, making them the ideal pick for bright and sunny destinations.
- Umbrella and Rain Jacket – Tropical destinations like Hawaii, Thailand or the Caribbean have rainy seasons with frequent storms and showers. If you’re traveling during the rainy season, pack an umbrella and rain jacket so that you’re prepared for a downpour.
- Check our Beach Vacation Packing List for a detailed list of items to bring to beach destinations, and our recommendations for essential items for families with young children.
- Swimsuits – Pack two swimsuits. Even in hot tropical destinations, the humidity can slow the drying your clothes. Pack a spare swimsuit and you can relax on the beach or by the pool instead of waiting inside for your one swimsuit to dry.
Health and Personal Hygiene
- SPF15+ Sunscreen – Make sure you bring sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15, which blocks 94% of UV rays. We like Neutrogena SPF 45 Dry Touch Sunscreen, which lasts for up to 80 minutes in water.
- Aloe Vera Lotion – Direct exposure to sunlight can dry out your skin, leaving you feeling itchy and uncomfortable the next day. Aloe vera after sun lotions like Banana Boat After Sun Lotion give your skin the moisture it needs to recover after a day out and about.
- Chapstick – If you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun, pack a good quality Chapstick to help your lips recover afterwards. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Balm moisturizes your skin to prevent cracked, dry lips after a day out in the sun.
- Insect Repellant – Hot can mean tropical, and tropical almost always means plenty of mosquitos and other annoying insects. Pack a bottle of Sawyer Premium Picaridin Insect Repellent to keep potentially hazardous insects at bay during your vacation.