Taking a holiday to a tropical island is an easy vacation to pack for. The warm weather means bulky clothes aren’t necessary and you can get away with packing light. While this kind of holiday doesn’t require a lot of things to pack, here are a few essential tips you might find helpful.

The Basics

It’s a given that you need to remember to bring all of your essential travel documents (including passports and visas if necessary) and pack them in your carry-on bag rather than your checked luggage. This ensures that you can continue with your trip even if your suitcase is lost or delayed in getting to you. When you go on vacation, you’ll want to bring a camera to capture these memories and a spare memory card in case you take more photos than anticipated.

packing for holiday

Extra swimsuit and clothing options

The climate in the tropics is hot and humid, meaning most swimsuits, cover-ups, clothing and towels won’t dry quickly. It’s recommended to bring a few of each of these items so you can give the worn ones a chance to dry. Although tropical islands tend to be casual, don’t forget to pack evening clothes and daywear for shopping or sightseeing. Just keep in mind any conservative dress standards that may apply to the area you’re visiting. 

Shoes for all occasions

There’s a range of activities you can partake in during your island stay that may require different shoes. If you’re relaxing on the beach or going for a stroll along the sand, then jandals (also known as flip-flops) are a must. For snorkelling or diving, you may want to get yourself a pair of reef shoes to protect your feet from sharp coral. As tropical destinations offer up beautiful views, you should consider bringing a pair of shoes to go hiking in. Make sure you don’t forget also to pack appropriate footwear to go out for dinner.

tropical island

Be prepared for the weather

Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen with high SPF, as many tropical destinations tend to be near the equator where the sun is intense. It wouldn’t go astray to bring a broad-brimmed hat and loose clothes that cover your skin while in the sun. Insect repellent is another essential item you want to bring because hot and humid climates attract mosquitoes and other insects. A waterproof poncho, rain jacket or umbrella should be on your packing list to prepare for wet weather, which is common in tropical regions.

Medical Essentials

Aside from packing the regular medication you require, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP about necessary shots or medication you should have when visiting specific areas. This may involve having to take malaria tablets with you or get a Hepatitis A vaccination before you depart.

tropical island

When travelling, it’s a relief to know you’ve packed everything you’re likely to need so you can enjoy your trip. If you happen to forget a few necessary items, you’ll be able to purchase them in most tourist destinations. It's smart to consider purchasing travel insurance before you set off on your trip, incase something goes wrong while you travel.


Limits, exclusions and conditions apply. This is general advice only. We do not provide any advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the Combined PDS/FSG (available before deciding about this insurance.