What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation : the Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing Guide

Whether your next vacation is to Hawaii, Mexico, Bali or Bora Bora, or on a  beach getaway in the USA, these cute vacation outfits will have you feeling ready for your first day at the beach before you even step on the plane. From cute vacation swimwear, to resortwear, cover ups, matching swimwear, beach bags, and everything in-between, here are my favorite vacation outfits for any vacay I go on

What should you pack for a tropical vacation?

Tropical beach vacation essentials

  • Sunscreen 
  • A sun hat
  • Swimwear + Cover ups (I have lots of recommendations below!)
  • A pair of tennis shoes for hiking or the gym
  • Sandals
  • A cute beach bag
  • Jewelry
  • Casual daytime outfits / resorting outfits
  • Dressier nighttime dinner outfits

The best women’s outfits for a tropical vacation


L*SPACE Nico Dress in CreamBobi Flowy Pant in MykonosSignificant Other Ivy Maxi Dress in ClayRonny Kobo Elvis Top in Black



Sundress Alicia Romper in Riviera PrinptempsSundress Tea Dress in Flowers PrintSAYLOR Elie Set in Cactus Flower




FAITHFULL THE BRAND Felicity Pant in Pavito Floral




Tiare Hawaii Blake Dress in Batik Breeze Sky   RESA Lucy Top in ByronSundress Chicago Long Dress in Roma LipstickLPA Alyssa Dress in Tan



  only $89!



  Sundress Pippa Short Dress in Flowers superdown Joana Maxi Skirt Set in Teal


Just BEE Queen Sol Top in Ecru

I’m obsessed with this outfit above – full outfit linked here: http://liketk.it/3smcV


Swimwear, beachwear, and cover ups

Perfect for: a resort day in Maui, a beach day in Bali, a pool party in Vegas, island-hopping in the Maldives, a beach club in Saint Tropez, yachting in Monaco 


Shop these suits:


This beach shirt is what I ALWAYS wear on every vacation. Over my bikini, on planes, open, buttoned up, tied around my waist or tied in the front (my favorite way to wear it!). The material is SO SOFT and the perfect layer of warmth thats not too warm, but just warm enough, making it ideal for travel days and beach days. 


   superdown Miranda Crochet Mini Dress in White


Use the code JETSET for 20% off on these sun hats!


A hat clip for your sun hats

As you guys know, I love to travel with all of my sun hats! This hat clip is an absolute GAME CHANGER – So genius. I don’t go on any trip without it

Velvet Canyon Beat Generation in Blonde Tort petit moments Terrain Hoop Earring in Gold

HEMANT AND NANDITA X REVOLVE Sage Romper in Pink Indah Innocence Solid Smocked Maxi Dress in Opal



Indah Julie Solid Ruched Bodice Cutaway Maxi Dress in Black

How cute is this ‘vacation mode’ baby bucket hat?!

This is one of my all-time favorite vacation dresses right now. So sexy and chic and SO COMFY. The material is out of this world.


How Hamptons or St. Barths chic is this?

PQ Sammy Pant in White

Pair your linen pants with a chic oversized buttondown.

Our favorite matching his-and-hers kimono and swim trunks

Daytime dresses & resortey outfits 

Perfect for: going into town in Cabo San Lucas, shopping the streets of Bali, a chic lunch overlooking the sea in Positano, a wine tour in the South of France

Indah River Maxi Dress in Clear Seafolly Amnesia Kaftan in WhiteMichael Stars Farrah Caftan in WhiteROCOCO SAND Long Dress in Peach & Butter Yellow

Cassilo Lime Crocodile-Embossed High Heel Sandals

ROCOCO SAND Ilios Dress in OrangeMAJORELLE Daniella Dress in Baby Blue


HEMANT AND NANDITA Teien Caftan in Pastel TeienTiare Hawaii Pez Cantina Dress in White



Also love this dress for a bride-to-be on her destination wedding weekend, or a beach rehearsal dinner dress!

LoveShackFancy Gwen Dress in Peony Pink


Nighttime outfits

Perfect for: Resort dinners in Hawaii, sunset seshes in Fiji, girls night out in Tulum, sunset dinners on the beach in Jamaica, underwater restaurants in the Maldives, chic nights in Miami and private bungalows in Bora Bora

Song of Style Pluto Mini Dress in Rose Mauve Camila Coelho Amelia Romper in Black Palm


The best shoes to pack for a beach vacation

I would do a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of flip flops (love these casual birkenstock brand ones!), some cute sandals for dressing up or cute day outfits, and maybe a pair of heels for a fancy resort night dinner.


BIRKENSTOCK Honolulu Sandal in White House of Harlow 1960 x REVOLVE Matie Braided Sandal in White Tony Bianco Glamour Slide in Honey Sheep Nappa

These are my go to sneakers for working out, anywhere – they are the comfiest things EVER. 


These are my favorite flip flops for travel, beach days, anything and everything. These things are so high qual, comfy and cute. I bring them on every trip, and Kenny has a pair of the men’s that he LIVES in. 

Chic sunglasses


This is my favorite sunglasses – so chic and looks good on EVERYONE who tries them on – seriously have turned so many girlfriends onto this brand. Soooo high quality. Cannot recommend enough. 


Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

This is my GO TO sunscreen – I’m obsessed. It doesn’t feel like ANYTHING on your face and keeps you protected under your makeup or alone. It’s amazing!!


The best beach bags for a vacation

KAYU Colbie Bag in Ivory8 Other Reasons Straw Tote in Tan

Handwoven Straw Vintage Purse Bag Bohemian Large Straw Beach Bag Chic Casual Handbag Shoulder Bag Tote Rattan Vacation Bag

The best sun hats for a beach vacation

Hat Attack Goldie Hat in Natural

Love everything Hat Attack does – their quality is SO superior – and my favorite part of buying hats from Revolve is the easy returns if it doesn’t fit right – they include the return label right in your package so all you have to do is stick it in the mail if you don’t like it. 


Lack of Color Ultra Wide Ventura Hat in Natural

I’ve had this hat below for YEARS and it is one of the best quality hats I’ve ever owned.

Brixton Joanna Hat in Honey

Palma Woven Boater Hat

Hat Attack Avalon Sunhat in Natural & BlackJanessa Leone Felix Packable Hat in NaturalLack of Color Sunnydip Fray Boater Hat in Seagrass


Beach Accessories!


business & pleasure co. Holiday Beach Umbrella in Crew Navy Stripe

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.