Packing for hot destinations can be tough. Should you bring your existing clothes, or buy some lighter, thinner clothes for the warm weather? We’ve taken the guesswork out of packing for hot weather with a detailed packing list for your next holiday.
Don’t forget your flip-flops! © bermilabs
Below, we’ve listed all of the items you should pack if you’re travelling to a tropical or summer destination. From clothes to personal hygiene items, print our list and cross off each item as it gets packed into your suitcase to make sure you’re 100% prepared before you leave.
Going on a beach holiday? If you’re travelling to a hot destination for a beach holiday, check out our Beach Holiday Packing List to make sure you’ve got everything ready for a good time on the sand and in the sun.
Things You Need On Every Trip
Below we’ve listed items specific for a hot weather holiday. For items that you need on every trip regardless of the weather, see our main holiday packing list.
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Clothing and Footwear:
- 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 the 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 and tank tops are an obvious choice for hot weather. If you’re visiting a sunny destination, pack at least four t-shirts or tank tops so you’ve got enough clothing to last for several days at once without having to do too much laundry.
Like we 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 they might 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 Trousers – 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 trousers 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/Smart Casual Clothing – If you plan on dining in any nice restaurants or enjoying the nightlife on your holiday, it pays to pack at least one dressy/smart casual outfit. Use Google to find out more about local dress standards, then pick an outfit that will help you blend in without ever looking underdressed.
- Swimsuits – Pack two swimsuits. Even in hot tropical destinations, the humidity can slow down the process of 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.
- Beach Sandals – If you plan on relaxing at the resort, a pair of flip-flops (jandals/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/Semi-Formal Shoes – Beach destinations aside, most bars and restaurants will require a pair of closed toe shoes. Pack your favourite pair of formal/semi-formal leather shoes so you’ve got appropriate clothing available for a high-end dinner or night out.
- Sports/Walking Shoes – From hiking to walking around the city, a pair of sports shoes lets you avoid the blisters and soreness that can result from spending all day wearing a pair of beach sandals.
- 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.
- Broad-Brimmed Hat – Hot weather means plenty of sun, which means serious sunburn if you aren’t prepared. Along with a tube of SPF 15+ sunscreen, pack a broad-brimmed hat to protect your neck and shoulders from sunburn.
- Sunglasses – A good pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from sun damage, as well as helping you avoid glare and intense sunlight. Polarised sunglasses offer the best sun and glare protection, making them the ideal pick for bright and sunny destinations.
- Umbrella and Rain Jacket – Tropical destinations like Hawaii, Thailand or the Caribbean all have rainy seasons with frequent storms and showers. If you’re travelling during the rainy season, pack an umbrella and rain jacket so that you’re prepared for the weather.
Health and Personal Hygiene:
- 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.
- 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.
- Lip Balm – If you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun, pack a good quality lip balm to help your skin recover afterwards. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Balm moisturises your skin to prevent cracked, dry lips after a day out in the sun.
- Insect Repellant – Hot often means 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 throughout your holiday.
- Check our Beach Holiday Packing List for a detailed list of items to bring to beach destinations, including essential items for families with young children.
Remember The Essentials:
- Make sure you’ve got your passport, flight tickets, travel vaccinations and all the other items essential to every trip abroad – see our essential holiday packing list to doublecheck you’ve got everything!