What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation: Men’s Guide

Feb 8, 2018 | 0 comments

What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation: Men’s Guide

Knowing what to pack for a tropical vacation can be tough, so we’ve teamed up with Sporting Life Canada again to produce this year’s ultimate packing list!

For Men:


For men, the best way to avoid that awkward farmer’s tan is to have a good selection of tanks. I wore a tshirt on the first day in Bali this year and now I’m stuck with the worst lines you’ve ever seen.

Here are a couple of our favourites (link here):


Shorts are an obvious thing to pack for a tropical vacation, but make sure you pack some that aren’t too thick. Dark colours are usually better if you’re worried you might get sweaty (stay away from grey). Here are some of our favourites (link here).

Light sweaters

Sometimes hot countries can be pretty cool in the evenings. We recently stayed at the Munduk Moding Plantation in Bali, and although the rest of the country is sweltering, its location up a mountain made it pretty chilly in the evenings. I’m glad I packed something warm. You also might want to bear in mind that plane journeys are often quite cool, so I usually travel in a pair of jeans and a hoodie! I’ve been wearing this eco friendly hoodie by Houdini and I can’t put it down.

Houdini Men's Fleece Power Houdi Hoodie

Houdini Men’s Fleece Power Houdi Hoodie


Tropical countries = rain. If you’re visiting during a rainy season, it could literally rain every day, so make sure you pack some light goretex to keep you dry! I use the light Men’s Venture 2 jacket – any warmer and you might find yourself overheating very quickly!

The North Face Men's Venture 2 Jacket

The North Face Men’s Venture 2 Jacket

Swimming shorts

If there’s one thing you need to pack for a tropical vacation, it’s swimming shorts. Below are a few of our favourites for this season. One thing to bear in mind is pockets, especially if you plan on doubling your trunks up as shorts.

Floating breakfast Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Swimming Shorts

Light T-shirts and shirts

For more formal occasions or when it’s not quite as boiling, it’s always handy to have a few shirts that you can throw on. I recently discovered merino wool is a great fabric that keeps you cool on a hot day as well as warm when it’s cool. Here are some great options to pack on your tropical trip. Packing at least one long sleeved shirt is always important in case you happen to go somewhere formal like a fancy restaurant or a temple. Here’s a link to some of the tees below

Merino Wool T-shirt

Trying to keep cool in the Merino Wool T-shirt!


Shoes are an important thing to bear in mind when you’re travelling somewhere tropical. I always like to brings some flipflops or Birkenstocks to tropical places because they can survive anything (rain, beaches, mud etc). I also like to bring something sturdier if I’m planning to hike (like Nike freerunners) and something a bit more formal in case we go to a nice restaurant. Check out some of the other options here.


Packing a hat is a great idea, especially during the midday sun. Wearing a baseball cap or a stylish wider brimmed hat can protect your scalp from a nasty sunburn and prevent overheating.


What to pack for a tropical vacation can be tough when you have limited space, but I always try to bring a towel of some sort, especially if I know I’m going to be somewhere that might not have one immediately available. For us, a microfibre towel is usually a good bet, but there are also some really stylish beach towels available now as well.

Other travel essentials:


I can’t go anywhere without a nice set of wayfarers!

Here are some that we’re digging this month:


This might not be something that immediately comes to mind, but packing some medical essentials is usually a great idea. Inevitably if you’re travelling somewhere hot that often doesn’t have the same food hygiene standards, someone is bound to get sick. In Bali, a couple of our group suffered from “Bali Belly”, and having some Ibuprofen, diarrhoea salts and immodium was a lifesaver (almost literally). It’s also important to bring sun lotion (there are lots of options but we generally use supergoop) and bug spray to keep yourself itch free!

Dukoral: It’s amazing how many people don’t know about this wonder drug, but Dukoral is a 3 month vaccine for E.Coli (the no.1 cause of traveller’s diarrhoea). Take it orally once about a month before your trip and then again about 10 days before you leave and you should be good for your whole trip. I used to get the worst stomach and since I discovered Dukoral I haven’t had a single instance (yet).

Technology and Camera equipment:

I usually don’t do anything different when we’re travelling somewhere hot, but I’d definitely recommend investing in weather sealed cameras and lenses, waterproof phone cases (also good for keeping out sand), and even a dome port if you have a GoPro. Here’s a more comprehensive list of some of the camera equipment we use on our travels!

Currency & Passports

One of the most important things I pack when I travel anywhere is local currency. In some less developed country, cash is king. Also make sure that your passport has at least 6 months left on it and that you have at least 2 blank pages before you travel.  We had to do a rush visit to the British Passport office over Christmas when we realised I had one page left and one day to get it replaced!

So there you have it, the complete list of everything you need to pack for a tropical vacation.

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what to pack for a tropical vacation

what to pack for a tropical vacation

Written byRobin

About us

About us

Hi, we’re Rob and Louise! We’re obsessed with travel and love to share our adventures! We’re a UK/Canadian couple that currently lives Banff, Canada.


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