What to Pack for Your Island Vacation: Island Vacation


There are many destinations that offer private island getaways and you need to keep your destination in mind while packing for your vacation.

A popular savings hack that frequent travelers employ is to travel during off-peak seasons. While this is a great way to save some of your hard-earned money, bear in mind that it’s cheaper to travel off-season for a reason.

More often than not that reason is: the weather! Make sure to check the weather forecast for your intended destination and pack accordingly.

Don’t find yourself needing a raincoat when all you thought to pack were bikinis.

Island Vacation Packing Guide

The Essentials

  • Hat or cap: You’ll need a hat or cap to protect you from being the recipient of a nasty sunburn courtesy of the island sun.
  • Sunscreen: Never forget sunscreen. Don’t end up having to spend a crazy amount of money on sunscreen because you forgot yours at home.
  • Sunglasses: This one ties into the two listed above; keep your eyes protected from the sun and snap some profile picture material selfies.
  • Dry bags: Dry bags are an absolute must for island visits. These water-resistant bags are great for storing your personal belongings while lounging on the beach or going on a snorkeling trip. Additionally, they’re also a great place to store your wet swimming costumes to prevent the rest of your clothing from getting soaked.
  • Documentation: Always remember to pack your passport, identity document, travel insurance policy documents, visa (if needed) and other travel-related documentation. Keep all of these documents in your carry-on so that you can easily access them.
  • Camera: You’ll need something to capture those swoon-worthy moments that will have everyone on your Facebook feed wishing they were with you.


  • Swim wear: This should go without saying, especially if you plan on taking part in water activities. Always pack additional swimming costumes for instances where one costume is wet, and you want to head out to the beach again.
  • Shorts: You’ll want to pack all kinds of different shorts. Board shorts for swimming, denim or chino shorts for eating out and regular shorts for just mulling around enjoying your vacation.
  • Dresses or skirts: Ladies, bring at least one maxi dress or long skirt with you on your vacation for events, lunches and dinners. Not to mention for your mandatory island vacation snap shots.
  • Shawl or sarong: Sometimes you won’t have the time (or inclination) to change out of your swimsuit to nip into the shop or run back to the hotel to collect something you left behind. A shawl or sarong is a great way to ensure you still look presentable without having to change outfits.
  • A raincoat: Because you just simply never know when a light downpour or tropical storm will be heading your way.


  • Slip slops: Chances are that you’ll spend the majority of your vacation donning slip slops over any other kind of footwear. Be sure to pack a couple of pairs so that you always have something to easily slip your feet into—there’s nothing worse than placing your clean, dry feet into a pair of sand encrusted slops.
  • Water shoes: If you plan on going rock climbing, taking beach walks or exploring rockpools, you’ll want to invest in a pair of water shoes. While they don’t score any points for being fashionable, your feet will thank you.
  • Closed-toe shoes: Pack at least one pair of closed-toe shoes as even on islands, some establishments such as nightclubs and fine dining restaurants have dress codes that must be adhered to.

Nice to Have (Just in Case)

  • Medication: Remember to pack any chronic flight-safe medication you’ll be needing and your script just in case anything happens to them. It’s also a good idea to pack in some antihistamines, pain medication and after-sun treatments for those “just in case” instances.
  • Toiletries: Most hotels provide basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo and conditioner but it’s recommended that you bring your own along if you have sensitive skin.

One Last Thing…

You’ve probably heard the saying “It’s the journey, not the destination” countless times before. In this case, that saying couldn’t be any truer. Most of the time, people are so focused on what to pack for the holiday itself that they neglect to pack for the journey of getting there.

Depending on the length of your flight, you may want to pack the following:

  • Earphones or headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Neck pillow
  • Tablet or iPad


Keep our list of essential island vacation items in mind and avoid finding yourself in uncomfortable situations.

Have you ever forgotten to pack a certain item in your suitcase, and regret it to this day? Drop your story in the comments section below to make sure your mistakes aren’t repeated by someone else.

Ellen Hollington

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