Packing for a tropical destination is one of the easiest things to do. You don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe and so a small size backpack will do. Try to put the max of weight in your backpack around 14 kilo’s, less is better. When you pack your bag to the max you feel like an elephant; heavy, clumsy and when you want to go in a crowed bus you are not making yourself popular. 12 kilo is an optimum, you can still maneuver through the crowds and then there is space left for some souvenirs! When you go for a couple of days, maybe it’s an idea to only bring hand luggage. It saves valuable time at the airport because you don’t need to check in your bag and best off all you don’t need to wait for your luggage and hope it will arrive. Stressing out because your bag didn’t make it is not the greatest thing of travelling.
Packing sounds easy, but when you have to collect all the stuff you need and more important remove all the stuff you don’t need it gets complicated. Suddenly you can’t decide what ‘s important and what’s not. Here are our musts haves for a travel to a destination in the tropics except your backpack and you travel guide off course!
The must haves!
- Your sunglasses! It protects your eyes and immediately gives you the ‘holiday feeling’.
- Mosquito net, just in case there is none at your hotel room and you don’t want to be eaten alive or look like somebody who has the chicken-pox.
- Bathing suit, how to go without it when it’s hot? Also good to wear under your cloths just in case you suddenly cross a waterfall. It also saves you time with cleaning your underwear, because you’re not wearing any!
- Sunscreen, protection against the sun is one of the most important things to bring with you. A hat and good cloths can also do the trick. You don’t want to look as red as a lobster and it’s not particularly healthy.
- Flip flops, can’t go without hem. We wear them to the beach, when we’re site seeing, under the shower…actually almost every second of the day, except during our nightly rest. So don’t buy a cheap one dollar pair, if you wander on western size feed it can be hard to find fitting flip flops.
- Sarong, it’s a very light fabric and has multiple functions during your travel; it’s a towel, a dress or skirt, a blanket, a curtain in front of the crappy door or head protection against the sun or ticks. It’s one of the most amazing pieces to take with you. It’s something you probably don’t use back home and many forget to take one with them but it’s vital when traveling.
- Deet, works amazing against mosquitoes during the evening or when you are hiking through the rainforest. It works rather disappointing on leeches, you better put tobacco into your shoes. Read our article Taman Negara about our experience through the rainforest.
- Thin blouse, great item to protect against sun and mosquitoes, make sure it’s densely woven cotton so mosquitoes fail to bite, synthetic clothes are a no go in a tropical environment with a humidity close to a 100 percent.
- A small first aid kit, especially with tropical conditions, wounds get infected very easily, so always bring some sterile and bandage with you.
- Last but not least, your diving glasses for snorkeling and diving, we can’t go without it! Don’t rend them or buy a crappy one, it’s worth the investment.
Tip: Don’t take a jacket with you! You ‘almost’ never use it, it takes a lot of space and it brings you extra weight. Better to wear multiples layers when it’s getting colder and a poncho when there is a tropical rain.
Okay it will be 11 items: A poncho, tropical destinations are known for their beaches, jungle and tropical showers. When it rains it rains.
Any suggestions, did we miss some important items? Let us know, feel free to leave a comment.