Packing light for warm destinations is no easy task…for me! In March 2021, I wrote articles for our trips to Hawaii and Las Vegas. My “What I’m Packing for Hawaii” included a comprehensive list of everything I threw into our 1 large checked suitcase. After spending 10 days in Hawaii, I realized just how many things I did not need!

When we spent 4-5 days in Las Vegas in June 2021, I managed to cram all our necessities into 1 carryon bag + our 2 backpacks (Allegiant is strict!)

This got me thinking… In March 2023, Kyler, baby and I are going to visit my grandparents again for Spring Break- this time in Parrish, FL! So it got me thinking about packing lists for hot destinations! In this post is a packing list for when you want to pack light for a warm destination like Hawaii, Las Vegas or even someplace like Florida; and, a long list of what was my Hawaii packing list and notes on what I did actually use (feel free to skip that part unless you want to learn from my mistakes).

Note- There are affiliate links within this post. If you choose to purchase an item using the link in my blog post, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business.

Packing Light for Warm Destinations

The first things you need to consider for packing light for warm destinations is 1. how many days on the trip, 2. accommodations (family/friend, Airbnb, hotel) 3. activities.

Packing light for warm destinations
Hapuna Beach

Packing List for Warm Destinations


  • 2 super comfortable shorts (that are not denim)- athletic shorts
  • 1 pair of denim shorts
  • Either 2 dresses, or 1 dress and 1 romper, or 2 rompers
  • 1 lightweight top per 2 days at a warm destination- no one is going to notice a repeat item! 
    • I have this blue dress and love it!
  • 1-2 dressier tops if you go someplace nice
  • 1-2 Swimsuits- or just 1 if you don’t care for the option of 1 piece or 2 piece
  • 1 swimsuit cover up 
  • Underwear- 1 per day + 3 extra
  • Bras- as many as you prefer to pack when you travel
  • Socks
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses and glasses


  • Airport shoes that are easy to slip on and off
  • Walking sandals
  • Walking tennis shoes
  • “Activity Shoe” ie: water or hiking
    • Water shoes- I wore water shoes to the beach in Hawaii… the sand is super hot before you get to the water and I didn’t feel like there was a need to make myself fashionable by wobbling around in sandals in the sand. 

BONUS TIP- I put all of our shoes in a pack that came in my purchase of packing cubes. Incredibly useful especially when keeping sand away from your clothes!

what to pack for las vegas


  • Skincare products- I don’t skimp on these. I bring my whole arsenal. See my article Burt’s Bees skin care products
  • Mascara
  • Blush (either cream stick or powder)
  • Foundation optional
  • Eyeliner
  • Hair Products/Tools like bobby pins and hair dryer
  • Spray and lotion
  • Shower products- to work on frizz, I don’t bring or use just any shampoo and conditioner. 


  • Carry-On Packing List
  • Reusable grocery bag- The Target in Hawaii didn’t have plastic bags at the checkout, we didn’t make that mistake when we went to Las Vegas. 
  • Camera and case
  • Snorkel mask 
  • Electronics + digit bag 
  • Sun screen & aloe vera

What I did NOT Use in From My Packing List

Below are two packing lists of the items that I packed for both Hawaii and Las Vegas, with some explanation as to why I didn’t use these items. Think on these when you’re trying to pack light for your hot destination. 

Hawaii Packing List

  • Snorkel flippers- I used the flippers for like 5 minutes on my first day of snorkeling (the tide was a little too powerful for my first ever experience). And I ended up not even swimming the rest of that quick visit. 
  • 1 piece swim suit- this is up to whatever you feel best in, but I wore my bikini to the beach (it’s too hot for so much cover!) and it was easier to wear a bikini under a wet suit when we enjoyed a manta ray night feeding tour.
  • 2 swimsuit bottoms- for 10 days, this is still okay but we didn’t swim in the ocean or pool everyday.
  • Red shorts to have a standout piece- I just didn’t use them. I ended up just wearing my most comfortable shorts or denim for multiple times.
  • Gray TOMS tennis shoes- hit and miss in my opinion. I don’t think I wore them because it was either too hot to wear them and I was only hiking on one day and needed hiking shoes for that day.
  • Black ballet flats- too hot (like I said about the gray TOMS shoes)
  • Rx sunglasses- they made me sick. Pupil distance inaccurate so I need to get them fixed.
  • Adult coloring book- an ipad with a coloring app or a good book, or a good nap is sufficient.
  • Waterproof mascara- if you’re going to get your face wet, just don’t wear any makeup. It’s too hot and muggy, you might not want to wear any makeup ever. 
  • Lip and Cheek Blush Stick- love it but didn’t use it all the time. 
  • Hair brushes- just pack one
  • Hair dryer 
  • Hair Flatirons or Curlers- this one is up to you. I never used mine. I relied on fishtail braids, messy hair, or the towel turbie to do its wavy magic.

Las Vegas Packing List

  • 1 dress- I ended up wearing my black romper like every night for dinner. 
  • Makeup- I did not use all of my makeup while out and about. No one on the street is going to pass you and judge your makeup. Plus I tend to break out when I travel- must be the dry air from the airport, different environments and water. 

Final Thoughts on Packing Light for a Warm Destination

All in all, it is up to you as to how light you pack for a warm destination, and if you have done this a lot, then try to remember what you did and did not end up actually using. Just think back on the unused packing list I made in the above section! That was a lot- especially for our Hawaii trip. 

Can you think of anything else when packing light for a warm destination? Any tips for a new mama getting ready (super early) to pack for a week in Florida? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!