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Is there anyone who doesn’t gaze out their window, look at the snow-covered ground and dream of sandy shores, palm trees, and fruity, umbrella adorned cocktails? Does winter make you dream of sunsets over warm, azure waters? If just reading these questions has you pricing flights to tropical destinations, then you’re not alone.
Winter getaways to tropical hotspots are yearly occurrences for many people who love to travel and hate winter. Destinations in the Caribbean, Asia, and other warm weather hotspots are havens for the winter weary population who has the bad luck of living in a northern climate. But after the flights are booked, the hotel rooms are reserved, and activities are planned out there comes the next step on your journey to tropical bliss: Packing.
Packing for any trip can be difficult for those who don’t identify as minimalists. How many pairs of sandals are too many? Will three swimsuits be enough? What if I magically get an invitation to an exclusive club or some billionaire’s beach house?
These are all valid questions and the following list is a great way to answer them.
Toiletries and Makeup
One of the best parts about vacationing in a tropical destination during the winter months is that the heat and humidity aren’t even close to summer levels so your makeup won’t slide off your face in a slick of sweat. So feel free to pack your makeup and actually use it if you wish. One great tip is to head to your favorite makeup counter and ask for samples. The tiny tubes of foundation and mini lip glosses come in handy and you won’t have to worry about lugging around your entire makeup kit.
Also consider leaving your shampoo and other hair care products behind. Unless you’re addicted to a certain brand you can easily buy those items when you arrive or use the ones the hotels provide, many of which are surprisingly good. Also invest in some biodegradable sunscreen. Tropical reef systems are dying off at a rapid rate and even the smallest gesture helps.
What to Wear?
Unless you’re a stickler about avoiding those hefty luggage fees the airlines love to charge, feel free to be generous with yourself when packing. Let’s face it, you’ll be on a beach, beaches are sandy, and who wants to walk around in sandy clothes if they don’t have to?
So head to back of your closet and break out those floaty maxi dresses, stuff sarongs in the corners of your suitcase, and pack your favorite bandeau swimsuits in addition to the other ones you have. Chances are you’ll be seeing the same people on the beach or at the swim up bar every day so keep them surprised with your ever-changing vacation wardrobe.
And as far as shoes go, why not pack your favorite pair of heels? Because that billionaire’s invitation to his beach might actually happen.
What Not to Bring
Many people pack for a vacation with a worst case scenario mindset. Umbrellas, rain coats, portable water filters because you never know what might happen. While that may be true, the likelihood of using these things is slim and they take up precious space that could be filled with more cute cover-ups and beach dresses.
Most hotels offer umbrellas to their guests, plastic ponchos are available in every corner of the globe, and even hotels in developing countries provide bottled water in abundance. Additionally, never pack a beach hat. They get crushed and wrinkled and there’s probably a vendor right outside your hotel who will happily sell you one. And if you don’t want to bring it back, simply gift it to a new guest who is checking in as you’re checking out.
You’ll find a plethora of packing lists on the internet, all with varied advice on what to bring and what not to bring. However, at the end of the day it’s your vacation and you should bring what you want to bring. You should wear the clothes that make you feel happy and change into new ones as often as you want. After all, it’s your escape from winter and you deserve to enjoy it, overpacked or not.