So you’ve decided to travel somewhere warm for the winter to beat the bitter cold. Obviously, you don’t pack until the last minute because packing for the sunshine is a breeze, right?


Packing for the heat is more than just throwing shorts, bathing suits, and your favorite ironic Hawaiian shirts into a suitcase (we do, however, always appreciate a good Hawaiian shirt). In many ways, packing for warm weather can present a greater challenge than packing for the cold. 

Of course, you won’t need your winter boots to traverse through the dunes of Dubai. You won’t need a heavy coat to enjoy a luxurious sailing trip in Cabo. And you won’t need thermal underwear to take in the beauty of the Florida Everglades. But there are plenty of items you might not think to pack until it’s too late.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to pack light, keep your cool, and enjoy basking in the sunshine. 

1. Wear light colors

A quick physics lesson: Dark colors quickly absorb heat and light colors reflect heat. With that in mind, we suggest you pack light fabrics and light colors to reflect the sun and stay comfortable. Nobody enjoys catching rays in South Africa while burning up in a black t-shirt and jeans. Do yourself a favor and pack plenty of cotton, linen, and rayon clothing in a variety of light colors.  

2. Don’t forget a jacket

You might be thinking to yourself, “A jacket? My sunny vacation vibes will keep me warm all day and night.” Sure, you can’t deny the happy, good feelings that warm weather brings, but the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day. In some warm climates, like the desert, temperatures can drop significantly at night. And regardless of where you go, unexpected changes in weather like rainstorms and cold fronts can always occur.

3. Throw in a hammam towel

Whether you’re laying out on a beach or drying off after a swim, no trip to a warm destination is complete without a towel. Unfortunately, most towels can be bulky. To avoid taking up too much room in your luggage, we recommend bringing a hammam towel. They take up less space, they’re easy to transport, and they dry quickly.

4. Stay safe in the sun

Spending time in the sun is all fun and games until you get burned. Don’t spend your vacation looking like a lobster. Make sure to pack your sun protection essentials, like hats, sunglasses, and bandanas, and bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. Your skin will thank you and you’ll avoid the points and laughter from your friends and family.

5. Bring a waterproof bag

Picture this: You’re in Phuket, bathing in the sea without a care in the world, but your friends are ready to leave the beach. Nothing ruins a good swim like spending the rest of your day carrying around a wet swimsuit, or worse, wearing it around all day. Luckily, you can enjoy the water and avoid getting everything else wet if you remember to pack a waterproof bag.

6. Save space with sandals

When it comes to warm weather, shoes clutter the soul. You won’t see people stomping around in a pair of combat boots on their beach vacations. The sunshine calls for sandals and flip-flops, the perfect footwear to let your feet breathe and let people know that you’re serious about your relaxation. If you need to cover your toes at any point, bring a pair of something light, like espadrilles or boat shoes.

7. Buy toiletries after you land

While sunscreen and bug spray are essentials for any warm-weather vacation, we recommend purchasing them and your other toiletries after you arrive. Unless you’re going somewhere very remote, you’ll be able to find everything you need in your destination. Additionally, you’ll avoid spills all over your luggage.

Are you traveling somewhere to escape the cold? Make the most of your trip and discover the best that your destination has to offer.