Think swaying fronds from a palm tree dappling the pages of your book, hot sand between your toes and a delicious freshly chopped coconut within easy reach. I love a good tropical island holiday, and I’m lucky enough to have visited more than my fair share of turquoise water paradises. In fact this year, my family and I are planning a trip to Thailand, one of my favourite spots.


Packing for the tropics is pretty easy, it’s generally warm all year round, but you need to be prepared for a cool breeze in the evening, or if you decide to go for a mountain hike. Pack light! Save room in your bag for some shopping, there are so many beautiful things to take home with you, and it’s much easier to get around various islands if you travel with a smaller bag. If you are going to be spending most of your time on the beach, you probably won’t be wearing much, so don’t waste space on repeated items. Keep your clothing colours minimal, and within a similar tonal range, this way everything can be layered or mixed and matched for endless outfits. Buy a few colourful scarves or sarongs on your travel if you want to add a little something extra.

My Basic essentials usually include the following:

tropicale copy

A long hooded, but light cardigan wrap
A regular cardigan in black or another solid colour
A few plain T-shirts of various lengths and neck styles
A pair of black leggings
A pair of black jeans
Some jean cut off shorts
A white or pale cotton shirt
A long sleeve stretchy pullover
My bikini
Socks & Underwear – don’t over pack, you can always wash and dry these each night in seconds
Sandals and a pair of Hiking Boots (I usually wear the boots in the aeroplane to save space)
2 loose cotton Dresses
A sarong – can be used as a towel, scarf, beach wrap, head scarf, amongst other things

The idea is that, if needed, you could layer many of these items. To keep warm, if there is an unexpected chill – layer leggings under your jeans, wear a short sleeve t-shirt under your cotton shirt, and both cardigans, add your scarf, socks and boots – you are all set! Going out for a fancy dinner, pair your black jeans, sandals, a black t-shirt, a pretty scarf and your long light cardigan. Perhaps throw on some pretty earrings that you picked up in the market. You can mix and match all of these clothes for an easy holiday with endless options. All of these items plus some toiletries and first aid items could easily fit in a carry on bag. A light bag comes in super handy if you are racing to catch a flight, or needing to hop from plane to ferry! Don’t forget your mozzie repellent, sunscreen, and Enjoy the beach!

blue spotted ray & girl by Kat Cameron

If you are interested in reading my travelogues on my previous trips to Thailand, check out these posts:
Thai milk Tea and other highlights
Mu-Angthong Marine Park
Underwater with the Olympus

You can also find the Kat Cameron illustrations and artworks in this blog post for sale as limited edition prints in my Etsy Shop! Please support my next trip 🙂