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).
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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 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
- 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!
- Skincare products- I don’t skimp on these. I bring my whole arsenal. See my article Burt’s Bees skin care products.
- Blush (either cream stick or powder)
- Foundation optional
- 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!