Remembering what to pack for a tropical vacation can be stressful. And, as some of you probably know, getting stressed means forgetting to pack items instrumental to your stay. The items you forget to pack then become even more of an investment! Here are a list of useful items that you may not initially think of, but are critical when you pack for a tropical vacation.

1. Do You Like Looking Like A Lobster? Bring Sunscreen To Pack For A Tropical Vacation!

I can’t tell you all of the times I pack for a tropical vacation and forgot to bring sunscreen. As a result, I either look like a ripened tomato by the end of my trip, or invest a lot of money in sunscreen at my destination. It would save you a lot of money and hassle to buy this product at home. If you’re traveling with just a carry on, pack it in 3.4 oz containers! You can either buy little travel sized bottles from a Dollar Tree or get the sunscreen already in a travel sized container.

Our personal favorite sunscreen to use for a tropical vacation is the brand Sun Bum. You can either buy it as a spray-on at SPF 50 or as a lotion at SPF 50. We love the smell of it! I know Amazon also has a great deal where they include the spray bottle and a face stick for cheap! Sunscreen gets expensive, but Amazon actually offers these products at a much cheaper rate than what you’d find at your local grocery store.

What To Pack for a Tropical Vacation | Must-Haves For A Summer Vacation | Packing Essentials

2. There Really Is No Better Feeling Than Putting Aloe On That Sunburn

Even if I apply sunscreen, there’s always the chance (high possibility, actually) that I get burnt. That’s why you must bring aloe when you pack for a tropical vacation! On my last trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we wound up buying two bottles worth of aloe, which cost us over $30. With a limited budget, we’d really rather spend that $30 elsewhere. I’m sure some of you can definitely relate. Our personal preference is Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother. It’s not greasy and moisturizes your skin while relieving your sun-kissed burns. The bottles linked come in 6 oz containers, but the price is unbeatable! Purchase a few and make it worth your money…I promise your skin is going to be thanking you for it while you’re away.

3. You’re Gonna Regret Not Bringing Sunglasses!

I have this tendency to break my sunglasses whenever I travel! Bring a few pairs, just in case you need them. We may be a little cliche, but our favorite brand is Ray Ban. Sometimes, you can find them a bit cheaper on sites like Amazon and eBay. These Ray Ban Erika sunglasses are original and come with a case and cleaning cloth!

What To Pack for a Tropical Vacation | Must-Haves For A Summer Vacation | Packing Essentials

4. Worried About Your Essentials Getting Wet? Bring A Dry Bag And Leave Those Worries At Home

Dry bags will help you keep all of your essentials safe while traveling anywhere around water. We love having our phone on us to capture shots. Even if you don’t want your phone on you, you’ll still want to keep any cash, IDs, or other items safe while you’re around water! Freegrace offers a Waterproof Drybag that comes in an assortment of colors and sizes. They also include a bonus waist pouch and a waterproof bag for your phone. If you going to pack for a tropical vacation, we’d highly recommend one of these bags…they could save your phone and your personal items!

5. Coupled with Sunscreen, Hats Make All the Difference!

Definitely bring either a sun hat, snapback, or baseball cap when you pack for a tropical vacation. It helps shade your face from the sun and can really help you avoid getting too sunburnt. This floppy straw hat by YUUVE is similar to the one I have pictured below!

What To Pack for a Tropical Vacation | Must-Haves For A Summer Vacation | Packing Essentials

6. Bring A Bag To Explore With

Whether it’s a tote, backpack, or purse…bringing a bag helps you have all of your essentials right by your side. We usually bring a backpack when we’re out exploring and pack it with our camera gear, wallets, sunscreen, sunglasses, and any other items we’d need during the day. My go-to everyday bag is a Nine West tote that David got me as a gift. It can be used during all occasions and has enough space in it to hold all your valuable items, even camera gear, making it a must-have essential when I travel.

What To Pack for a Tropical Vacation | Must-Haves For A Summer Vacation | Packing Essentials

7. Bathing suits…All Of The Bathing Suits

You can’t pack for a tropical vacation without bathing suits! Guys, pick out your favorite swimming trunks. Ladies, pack your bikinis and one pieces!

8. Clothes & Shoes For Different Occasions

Think about packing clothes and shoes for every type of occasion. While you pack for a tropical vacation, think about bringing some casual clothes, dressy clothes, and clothes you’re willing to get dirty. Same goes with shoes: don’t forget your sandals, dress shoes, and sneakers (if you’re planning on being a bit active during your vacation!).

9. Upset Stomach & Maybe Some Other Issues? Pepto Bismol Or Other Stomach Pain Relievers Are Your Best Friend

If you’re traveling to somewhere such as Cancun, I would suggest bringing Pepto Bismol JUST IN CASE. I’ve gone to the Cancun area twice now, and both of my experiences have been different. When I visited Playa del Carmen, I wished I had thought about bringing a stomach pain reliever. While it may not be “essential”, it may be something you should consider bringing if you have a sensitive stomach.

Join The Aimless Travels Family

Monthly Newsletter With Updates and Exclusive Offers

Thank you for following us!


You'll be receiving a welcome email shortly.