What To Pack for a Tropical Vacation

Bring these must-have items along when visiting the tropics.

There’s an old saying down in the Caribbean about what to bring on a tropical vacation: “Bring half the clothes and twice the cash.”

There’s some truth to the statement. Islands, after all, are all about taking it easy and not fretting too much if you wear the same T-shirt two days in a row.

Still, you’ve got to pack some things for a trip to the tropics. Make that process easier by following this checklist before you board for Bermuda, Bora Bora, the Bahamas, or other global island ports of call.

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Fohero Passport Holder

$5.99 at Amazon


OK, let’s get the business formalities out of the way before the fun stuff. You need to protect your passport at all costs on a tropical vacation.

Remember, you’re in unfamiliar territory and you need to be vigilant about handling arguably your most vital personal piece of paperwork.

Get a grip on your passport with the Foehro Passport and Vaccine Holder Combo. This lightweight passport holder has two custom-design pockets to snugly hold your passport and vaccine card. It comes in 20 sharp colors, is waterproof, and is slim enough to easily store anywhere. This way you can whip out your personal paperwork at a moment’s notice.

Thermos Stainless Steel 16 oz. Travel Tumbler

$23.21, originally $24.99 at Amazon


It’s hot down in the islands so keeping hydrated is no luxury, it’s a necessity. You can get that job done with the Thermos Stainless Steel Reusable drink container. The tumbler’s vacuum insulation technology keeps cool drinks cold for up to 17 hours and hot drinks hot for up to seven hours.

Its easy-grip, sweat-proof exterior stays cool to the touch and is easily cleaned in any sink or dishwasher. The DrinkLock top is leak-proof and features a built-in tea hook that will delight tea-lovers.

Venture Pal All-Day Backpack

$27.99, originally $31.99 at Amazon


Whether you’re going to the beach, hitting the jungle trails, or traipsing through town, you’ll need a dependable backpack to keep items secure.

You won’t go wrong with the Venture Pal Backpack. It’s capable of holding 35 pounds worth of goods and comes in 11 sharp tropical colors. It is made with waterproof and tear-proof nylon fabric that provides long-lasting performance. Even so though, it’s lightweight at just 0.7 lbs. when empty.

The pack’s breathable mesh shoulder straps offer sponge padding that relieves any carry stress for a hike up a mountain or just maneuvering through the airport. Five easy to access compartments make it easy to carry personal items like eyeglasses or smartphones in one dry pocket, umbrella and a water bottle or tumbler, among other items, in the larger main zipped compartment.

This easy carrying backpack is a must for any tropical island excursion.

Columbia Bora Bora II Omni Shade Sun Hat

$29.99 at Amazon or Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear

Keep cool and look cool in the process with a wide-brimmed sun hat from Columbia.

This adjustable sun hat is perfect for keeping the tropical sun’s heat off your face, neck and head, and will stay secure in strong beachside winds. The mesh, draw-string closure hat offers built-in UPF 50 sun protection and its omni-wick sweatband paired with a mesh venting design keeps you cool as an ocean breeze.

Available in three colors, the Columbia Bora Bora hat works great and keeps you covered on any island endeavor—fishing, golfing, or strolling to your favorite beach bar.

Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen

$9.79, originally $15.99 at Amazon


Australian Gold is climbing the charts as a “go to” sunblock for the most severe sun-laden locales.

This five oz. water-resistant sunscreen provides a non-chemical SPF 30 with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for complete sun protection. Better yet, it’s a luxurious, non-greasy feel that makes your skin shine all day long under the hot island sun.

A bonus—the lotion’s subtle Citrus Oasis fragrance will have you smelling as good as you’re looking on the beach or by the pool.

The water and sweat resistant sunblock also allows you to stay active on the golf course, tennis court or gym even in the most humid of environments—all without losing any sun protection effectiveness.

Microfiber Quick Drying Beach Towel

$13.99, originally $20.99 at Amazon


Having your own clean and comfortable travel towel can make a big difference down in the tropics. This quick-drying towel is made with luxurious soft microfiber and at 60 inches long, can easily double as a beach blanket with your favorite island companion.

An attached ring, designed for hanging, makes for easy storage and lets the towel’s quick-drying chops shine. The all-purpose travel towel also can be used as a poolside sarong, as a yoga towel, and even as a travel blanket on your way to the tropics.

Mini First Aid Kit

$13.88 at Amazon


This small but effective first aid kit provides everything you need for a quick fix during multiple medical scenarios. It includes an emergency foil blanket, tourniquet, tweezers, cleaning swabs, conforming bandages, CPR respirator, scissors, and much, much more for island travel.

The distinctive bright red package color makes it easy to locate in your bag and with a plastic clip, you can easily attach it to a backpack. This way it’s on hand when you need quick access to medical care most.

Anker 622 Magnetic Battery

$38.30, originally $59.99 at Amazon or Anker


There’s myriad reasons why you need a portable phone charge down in the tropics. You’ll want a fully charged device for convenience, for scenic picture taking, for medical emergencies, and for staying in touch with travel companions, among other needs.

This Anker 622 Magnetic Battery handles all of the above and more. It magnetically snaps to the back of an iPhone 12, 13, or 14 for wireless charging and via the USB-C port on the bottom you can charge almost anything else. With a 5,000mAh battery inside it can easily faster charge an Android phone like a Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel as well as an iPhone.

With an iPhone 12, 13, or 14 it can even act as a kickstand when attached to the back. Use it on the airplane, walking your dog, at your beach villa or on the go in a boar, golf cart, or rental vehicle without every fretting about your smart phone running out of juice.

ROCKBROS Polarized Sunglasses

$24.99, originally $29.99 at Amazon


Why not improve your island look with polarized sunglasses that keep your eyes protected from the tropical rays and give you that easy-going island vibes?

That’s what the ROCKBROS polarized sunglasses bring to the tiki-hut table. These offer 100% UV400 protection with a clean look, thanks to a wider lens for a larger field of view. The adjustable nose piece also enables a secure fit no matter your facial size.

The sunglasses also offer a special hydrophobicity, soil, and oil resistance coatings that produces an anti-fog lens that helps keep your lenses clear.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.

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