The Best Tropical Vacation Packing List

There’s a lot of planning that goes into a tropical vacation packing list.

From picking the right resort to booking your flights, the last thing you want to do is forget an important item.

Here’s the best tropical vacation packing list to make sure you never forget an item again.

And at the end of this article, we have recommendations from the world’s best tropical travel IG Influencers.

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Contents (Skip to each section)

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Tropical Must-Haves

Travel Toiletries

Toiletries are a must for any tropical vacation packing list. Never forget the essentials.

Travel Tech

You want a healthy balance of tech for your tropical vacation packing list – here are some recommendations.

Beach Gear

It’s the worst feeling when you get to the beach only to find out that you forgot your snorkeling mask (etc.). Especially if you’re not within walking distance!

Here’s a good reference for a beach vacation packing list.

Also, Consider…

Travel Insurance

Quick tip: Make sure to check if any of your credit cards offer travel insurance as an added perk.

If you’re traveling within the USA, then you don’t really need to worry about travel insurance. However, if you’re going on a long, expensive international trip, then I’d highly recommend investing in travel insurance.

If you decide that it’s the right move, then make sure to buy it immediately after you make your first trip deposit.

Why is travel insurance important?

Travel Guides

Before I travel to a new tropical destination, I always order a few travel guide books to get familiar with the area.

Sometimes I’ll even jot down an outline of the top attractions I want to see.

Just something to think about.

Why Reef-Safe Sunscreen?

If you haven’t heard already, not all sunscreens are created equal!

It’s important to use sunscreen that’s not only safe for you but for the environment.

Most people don’t realize, but a lot of sunscreens contain chemicals that harm marine environments.

The two main chemicals responsible are oxybenzone and octinoxate, in fact, they’re proven to bleach coral reefs. Recently these chemicals were banned in Hawaii!

What to look for?
Most reef-safe sunscreen is mineral-based and replaces oxybenzone and octinoxate with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Just make sure to always check the ingredients label, regardless if it says ‘reef-safe’ or not.

3 Essentials, according to travel experts

I asked 16 tropical travel IG influencers to list their 3 most important items to pack.

If you’ve never heard of these influencers, check them out. They all have incredible Instagram feeds that will inspire you to travel!

Here are their responses…


Sunglasses, Swim shorts & my favorite book ?


Sunscreen, bikini and a phone charger ?


Always sunscreen!! Reef friendly (make sure of it, as lots aren’t environmentally friendly & leech nasties into our oceans & reefs)

Bikini – because of course I’m 99% in the water – I always bring a full piece + a crop top for all the adventures!!

My Sony a7riii because I can’t help but capture everything when I’m out in the world


Of course my phone (it’s my job my social media I can shoot from it & record communication)

2nd item – I need to wear something as it’s tropical would have to be a bikini.

3rd item – A large silk scarf, I can make this into a kimono, a skirt and head piece. So many ways to wear.


I always pack: My kindle, Bikinis & Beach Bag


We never travel without our Camera Equipment, Freedive Fins, and a Swimshort/Bikini


Good camera phone, wallet and clothes


Our camera, reusable water and mosquito repellent


Camera, Hats & Swimsuits


Reef Safe sunscreen (Coola), Watermelon Floatie (Big Mouth Inc.) & Sun Hat (Lastelier)


A reef-safe sunblock for sure, polarizing lens for my camera, and a dive mask


1. My phone (which also serves as my camera)
2. Cash
3. Sunscreen


3 things I always pack are:
1. Zero waste face bar
2. Coconut Oil
3. Dive mask/bikini


I’m always packing my underwater camera, my favorite bikinis and my sunnies ?


Reef safe sunscreen, a good book & a sand free towel

And my hydro flask

And my drone hahaha

Aloe ?


The camera gear, swimsuits and the flip flops.

When we go to tropical locations we have to take more photos than possible ? even when we are only for holidays and not for work.

The swimsuits because in tropical locations we live in the crystal water and flip flops because when we arrive in paradise, we leave our sneakers in the room for all the stay.

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tropical vacation packing list