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20 Things for Your Packing List When Traveling to Warm Weather Destinations – From “The Best Packing List” Series

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20 Things for Your Packing List When Traveling to Warm Weather Destinations – From “The Best Packing List” Series

Byline: Karen Leslie

I love lists, especially when I’m packing for a long-anticipated Bucket List trip. Making a list helps me with my packing efficiency—which is not very good. I’m a kitchen sink kind of packer. My mother (she’s the neat one) keeps written packing lists in her luggage. That sounded like a great idea when she told me, so now I create and save my own packing lists on my iPhone in “Notes” or as a “Reminder List.”

Packing from a list helps me take less unnecessary “stuff” in my suitcase. I have packing lists that are specific for warm, cold, and international travel. You might have a camping list, a cruising list, and a going-to-visit-the-kids list!

I’ve curated a new list with BNT Warm Weather Destinations in mind. Your bags won’t pack themselves, but maybe sharing packing lists with you will take the heavy thinking out of packing, so you can spend your mental energy dreaming of soaking up the sunshine, instead!

Here’s a just beyond-the-obvious packing list for warm weather destinations:

  1. Sunscreen

    • Okay, this one is obvious, but don’t forget it!
  2. Lightweight Hat

  3. Packable Rain Gear or Compact Umbrella

    • Self-contained packable rain gear is best. You can throw it in your tote when site seeing. If you don’t need it, it won’t take up souvenir room in your bags.
  4. Walking Shoes

    • Bring at least one pair of shoes with treads for walking tours, hiking, and less than ideal weather. Sturdy, “pretty” sandals or shoes can be dressed up or down, depending on your itinerary. Colorful espadrilles are another lightweight choice that are happy and easy to find even on the road.
  5.  Tote

    • Bring a packable or wearable water-resistant beach bag, fanny pack, or back pack for heading to the beach, site seeing, or shopping. Just be sure you have room in your luggage or carry-on for the trip home.
  6. Collapsible Water Bottle & Spork

    Sporks make great traveling tools for eating on the go!

    Sporks make great traveling tools for eating on the go!

    • Collapsible Water Bottles are genius and available on or any sporting goods store. They are extremely packable and allow you to breeze through airport security lines (with the body empty) if you want to keep it within reach. And, now that clean water stations are popping up everywhere, carrying a collapsible water bottle with you will save you a few bucks every time you’re thirsty. They are also a “travel-green” alternative.
  7. Sunglasses

  8. Clothing You Can Layer

    • Some islands and beach areas also have high elevations, so it can get cold at night! Throw in a neutral colored sweater and snazzy scarf to layer over your warm-weather clothing. You can always wrap your sweater around your shoulders or waist when you warm up (or throw it in your packable tote). “Breathable” fabric pieces are wonderful for traveling, too. They don’t wrinkle and allow for some fluctuation in your own body temperature.
  9. Travel Documents

    • Make a copy of your passport if traveling out of the country. Leave one with your loved one or your emergency contact at home, stash another in your luggage.
  10. Government Issued Picture ID

    • Your driver’s license or equivalent.
  11. Medical Cards

    • Include a list of prescriptions you’re taking.
  12. Emergency Contact Numbers

    • Leave a copy of your itinerary and travel “whereabouts” your contact at home. Include BNT’s Tour Director and office number on this list. Keep a paper copy of your emergency contacts in your purse, wallet, or luggage. Make sure at least one traveling friend knows where it is.
  13. Cell Phone

    • A cell phone can double as a camera an emergency information holder.
  14. Ziplock bags and Packing Cubes

    • Ziplock bags are handy to stow your toiletries when flying, separate delicate items from heavier clothing, gather dirty laundry (okay, this might be a small kitchen or plastic grocery bag), hair accessories, quick-grab items in your oversized purse, handy wipes, the day’s vitamins and prescriptions, and more. Separating items in your luggage with packing cubes makes it easy to keep your bath items neat and out of your roommates way. And, of course, they help you unpack efficiently. If you travel a lot, keep some items in the packing cubes for the next tour. It’s an old Army trick, but rolling your clothing will squeeze the most space out of your suitcase and keep your clothing virtually wrinkle-free!
  15. Reading Material

    • One of the best things about traveling is the luxury of a little more reading time—or, a lot! While it’s more pleasurable to hold a book and turn the pages, depending on your luggage space and how many books you read while on vacation, a Kindle or iPad is a convenient way to travel with your reading material.
  16. Black Dress or Button Down Shirt and Tie

    • A black dress, constructed with jersey or a wrinkle-free material, is cool and comfortable for strolling through the streets, as a beach cover up, and to wear to dinner at an upscale restaurant. You can dress it up with a scarf and your “pretty” sandals. Button down shirts for men are a simple solution to dressing up or down. All it needs is a tie!
  17. Mini-Emergency Pack

    • You can purchase a small, hard-cased emergency pack with alcohol pads, Band-aides, and such at the drug store before you leave or after you arrive. Or, you can make your own! I always throw in a pack of Pepto-Bismal tablets and pumpkin seeds to keep my digestive system happy and safe, especially when traveling out of the country.
  18. Disposable Toiletries

    • Put your favorite toiletries in a 3 oz. empty, I-don’t-have-to-take-it-home bottle that complies with airline security and discard it at the end of your trip. Recycling empty—or nearly empty toiletry bottles—frees space in your luggage for souvenirs and makes unpacking much more efficient. The art of decluttering feels just as good on vacation as it does at home. I keep a box of travel items I collect (like unused hotel room toiletries, a throw-away toothbrush, travel sized items, plug adapters, hand sanitizer, facial wipes, etc.). It’s a faster-packing method for the whole household.
  19. Hand Sanitizer

    • If you’re a germaphobe, you don’t need me to remind you to carry hand sanitizer (gel or wipes) with you to wipe down phones, door knobs, toilet handles, and tv remotes when you’re traveling. It’s not fun to get sick when you’re on a BNT Bucket List vacation.
  20.  Travel Journal

    • I’m a big fan of slim, moleskin journals. They are relatively inexpensive and fit easily in your purse or luggage. Capturing travel moments are priceless for remembering the details of your vacation. If you’re short on space, your cellphone can double as a travel journal. Start a “Note” named after your tour.

Roll your clothing for space-making, wrinkle-free packing!

Be sure to share your packing list ideas in the comments below.

Happy Touring!

~Karen Leslie

BNT Marketing Director

The Thin Places Travel Writer

A Sampling of BNT Warm Weather Tours:

Best of Texas, Costa Rica Adventure, Savannah, Charleston, and the Golden Isles, Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard, Bar Harbor & Atlantic Coast Lighthouses, Boston Pops July 4th, Tulip Time In Holland, MI, Chincoteague Pony Swim & St. Michaels MD, Dunes Manor & Ocean City MD, Tournament of Roses, Florida Sunshine, Panama Canal Cruise

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