Traveling Accessories

What to Pack to Beat the Heat When Traveling to a Tropical Destination

I’m an expert at this.
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As a travel writer, I've had the good fortune of exploring more than 20 tropical destinations (and counting) over the years, and feel most at home whenever crystal clear blue water, soft sand, and ocean breezes are involved. I've traversed all four corners of the world, including dreamy spots like Fiji, the Dominican Republic, numerous Caribbean islands, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Hawaii — so it's safe to say that I can certainly withstand a little heat and humidity without batting an eye.

My most recent getaway was to idyllic Turks  and Caicos, where I stayed at the award-winning Seven Stars Resort and Spa, a stunning property that is consistently lauded for its ideal location on breathtaking Grace Bay Beach, impeccable quality of food, service, and accommodations, dreamy spa treatments, and well-appointed guest rooms and suites. During my stay, I received countless compliments and inquiries on my strong packing game (what can I say, I have years of island hopping and spontaneous jet-setting experience), and wanted to share my best tips and editor-approved recommendations so you, too, can curate your carry-on like a pro. 

First, you have to start with the right gear. I've tested countless suitcases and toiletry bags over the years, and the options keep getting better and better. I'm currently obsessed with Lojel's durable Small Cubo roller bag that comes in eye-catching colors and features a genius front compartment to safely and securely store your laptop, so your personal item isn't nearly as heavy as it once was. Once you've landed, you'll be beyond grateful for this pro tip: Pack a handheld portable fan that you can easily access. As soon as you're standing in that overcrowded customs line inside a tiny airport, you'll be grateful to have a self-controlled breeze that others will envy. Trust me on this one. 

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Lojel

To buy: us.lojel.com, $270 

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $15

Other items I'm currently coveting are practical in every way, and keep me sane while traveling. I'm a highly organized person who's constantly looking for the next great thing in makeup bags, and this one from Kusshi is the answer to my packing prayers. There are compartments for absolutely everything, and it stands up nicely on a bathroom counter, so your cosmetics aren't spilling over uncontrollably. I never leave home without a waterproof pouch for my phone, so I can capture memories IRL without worrying about water damage; and as someone who suffers from eczema (that unfortunately flares up more than ever when I'm in a hot and humid place), I'm beyond grateful for these brand new gummies from Embody that not only taste great, but  keep skin irritations and itchiness at bay. 

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $89

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $10

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Embody

To buy: thisisembody.com, $28

As for travel outfits, I'm a huge fan of Aday separates because they're lightweight, space saving, and quick drying. Whether you're muscling your way through a busy airport or soaking up the sun aboard a boat for an excursion, this travel-friendly line of packable separates won't let you down. I also pack a few Uniqlo Airism tanks that have built-in bras. (Pro tip: This saves space on needing to bring bulky bras, and keeps you cool and supported all day.) 

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of This is a Day

To buy: thisisaday.com, $88

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of This is a Day

To buy: thisisaday.com, $140

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Uniqlo

To buy: uniqlo.com, $25

For fun in the sun, I'm obsessed with anything and everything by Farm Rio to capture the vibrant island aesthetic, and never leave home without an oversized pair of Quay Australia sunglasses. They're fashion-forward so they make a statement, but are very affordable, so if they go missing on the island, I won't be devastated. As for swimwear, I am wildly obsessed with one-pieces from Andie Swim and Summersalt. Both of these styles are ultra flattering, durable, and look smashing when styled as bodysuits (just add a flowy skirt or dressy pair of shorts) for a day-to-night look that keeps you cool.

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Farm Rio

To buy: farmrio.com, $240

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Quay

To buy: quayaustralia.com, $55

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Andie Swim

To buy: andieswim.com, $125

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Summer Salt

To buy: summersalt.com, $95

And finally, two essential beauty products that every minimalistic island girl needs: a good sunscreen (this luxe one from Vi Derm Beauty gives me a healthy glow and blends into my sun-kissed skin beautifully) and a multi-purpose cheek and lip stain that exudes endless summer vibes. 

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Vipeel

To buy: vipeel.com, $40

Traveling Accessories
Credit: Courtesy of Tower 28

To buy: tower28beauty.com, $20