Packing for Tropical Travel

phuket thailand

If you’re about to embark on your first backpacking adventure in a tropical or warm destination, you may be wondering what clothes to bring and how much to bring along with you to make you feel comfortable. (See my 15 Backpacker Essentials blog for what items you should bring) Here is a guide about everything you’ll need to know.

First, how long are you staying? You’ll obviously need to bring more clothes if you’ll be staying for a longer period of time. I’ll be basing this guide off my 6 week travels to Bali and Thailand.

  • How big of a backpack will I need? I would say anywhere from 50 to 60 liters will be an essential size for your month+ long stay. There are all sorts of options, cheap to expensive…just remember the less you pay the less durable your pack will be.  Get My Pack Here
  • I find it is most efficient to roll my clothing items tightly (as you would a sleeping bag) to optimize the space.
  • Always put your heavier items at the bottom of your pack.
  • Bring tops and bottoms that ALL match with each other, that way you can create many outfits with the same clothes. You won’t want to bring a top and bottom that only match with one another, because you are wasting space.
  • Packing List: 
    1. Rain Jacket – Even if you are going someplace warm, if you’ll be doing a lot of touring around, you’ll want to bring a rain jacket to save yourself from being a wet mess.
    2. Socks & Underwear – Since you’ll mostly being wearing sandals, bring about 4-5 pair of socks and enough underwear for everyday of the week.
    3. Bras – If applicable, bring 1-2 good bras, along with 2 sports bras.
    4. Tops – Bring 8 – 10 tank tops and T-shirts.
    5. Bottoms – Ladies: 2-3 pair casual shorts, 1 skirt, 1-2 pair active shorts. Guys: 3 pair casual shorts, 1-2 pair active shorts.
    6. SwimsuitsLadies: Again, bring tops and bottoms that you can mismatch with each other. Bring 3 – 4 suits (which can ultimately turn into more when you mismatch). Guys: Bring 2-3 swim trunks.
    7. Dresses/Dress ShirtsLadies: I’d bring 3-4 dresses. When it’s hot, the more airy your clothes, the better. Guys: If you think you’ll be going to nice dinners or locations and will have an iron to use (doubtful) you could bring 1 dress shirt. Otherwise don’t bother.
    8. Shoes: 1-2 pair sands/flip flops, 1-2 pair walking or casual shoes.  
    9. Long Sleeves: I always bring 1 flannel or long sleeved shirt/sweatshirt for plane rides, etc. It’s always cold on planes.
    10. Pants: Ladies: I bring one pair of athletic capri leggings, mostly just for traveling. Again it’s usually cold on planes. Guys: Don’t bother bringing pants.


What items do you need to bring? Check out my blog, 15 Backpacker Essentials.

Follow my Bali, Indonesia travels on my website and Instagram, Cheers!








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