What to Pack for a Tropical Holiday

I’m off to New Caledonia in a few weeks! As it’s my first tropical holiday, I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought as to what to pack. Since New Caledonia is a remote island, buying things there is an expensive endeavour. So organisation is key!


A fabulous swimsuit – I recently purchased this vintage-style one piece swimsuit from Seafolly and I’m in love! It’s modest and looks cute. Win win.

A hat to protect you from the sun – I get sunburnt pretty much instantly after leaving the house, so I make sure to always wear a hat when I’m in the sun. It’s a bonus that this hat also looks lovely!

A snorkel to see the marine life – I have acquired a snorkel from a friend as I want to explore the ocean as much as possible.

A big towel – For lazing about on the beach, drying myself off after numerous swims and becoming a modesty wrap when I need to go through the hotel.

A camera to capture the memories – I love my Olympus OM-D E10 camera, it’s much smaller and lighter than my DSLR and takes gorgeous photos.

Thongs that look good on and off the beach – Also known as flip flops, I feel I will be living in these for the duration of my stay on New Caledonia.

A beach bag to throw everything into – This pretty much speaks for itself.

A kaftan to keep you decent – If I want to go straight from the beach to lunch, throwing a kaftan over my swimsuit and putting on some footwear will ensure I’m presentable.

An engrossing book – I have stacks of books I’ve had no time to read (including this Lisa Messenger book) so I will be taking a fair few books with me.

LOTS of sunscreen – As mentioned above, I get burnt ALL the time. This Neutrogena spray on sunscreen in 50+ is my saving grace. I quickly cover myself with it everyday. No more thick white cream to rub in!

Sunglasses – To shield my eyes from the sun and perhaps hide behind after too many cocktails.

A notebook for jotting down memories – I often get my best ideas when I am away, so I always bring a notebook just in case. I regularly blog about my trips too, so it’s handy to take down notes for future posts.

Apart from the other obvious travel necessities such as your passport, money, clothes and underwear, some other items you might consider packing are:

Reef walker shoes, so you can explore the reefs without hurting your feet

An underwater camera, for capturing the gorgeous fish (and dugongs!)

Mosquito repellant, as tropical islands are known to carry risks of mosquito-borne illnesses, so make sure to apply it regularly

What else do you recommend packing for a tropical vacation?


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  • Reply Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon March 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I went to New Caledonia about 18 months ago. It’s great! I would love to go back.

    Your list sounds perfect. Have a great time!

  • Reply Gourmet Getaways March 19, 2015 at 1:11 am

    You’re prepared so well. Have fun and happy vacay!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • Reply Amy @ Eat Pray Workout March 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Are you doing a cruise love? Noumea isn’t crash hot so make sure you book a trip to a near by island. Isle of pines is a must see – take your snorkel and have a coconut :) tis amazing! x

    • Reply Swah March 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      We are staying in Noumea but have a lot of day trips planned, especially to Isle of Pines!! Cannot wait :D xxx

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