22 FEBRUARY, 2019


Where are you heading in 2019? There is no shortage of places to visit in the Philippines alone. Go for a nature tour in Baler, a soul-searching Boracay trip or a cultural immersion trip to Zamboanga del Norte. Cross the ocean and trek Indochina and expand your horizon to foreign lands. Oh, the many adventures that await you!

Going on a trip requires a level of preparation (even backpackers have a list of to-dos). One of the most important travel tasks is choosing the clothes to pack. You cannot bring your entire wardrobe no matter how tempting the idea. Embarking on long trips is not an excuse to bring more than two massive bags.

Pack light so you can move around easily.

If you are traveling to tropical destinations for more than a week, you need tips on how to pack clothes and other essentials. Here are 12 packing hacks for you.

#1: Flexible tops for your tropical travel

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Tropical outfits are the easiest to pack – these items are lightweight and flexible when it comes to mixing and matching. For men, pack a couple of T-shirts, singlets, and button down shirts. For women, T-shirts, blouses, and sleeveless tops are must-haves.

How many tops should you bring? You may want to change your top twice a day. If you are doing water activities, change into proper gear such as rash guards – this may be excluded from your list of tops. Know whether there is laundry service in your hotel, so you would not need to bring a lot. You should be using each piece, including pants, two or three times on your vacation.

#2: Washable beach gears

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Choosing outfits for long trips is not rocket science. Relax. Use your itinerary as your reference. What are your outdoor activities? If you are bound for a beach destination, you definitely need appropriate swimming attire. For both men and women, a rash guard made of spandex or polyester is recommended. These are designed to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, and scratches and cuts. Wearing a rash guard is highly advisable if you are engaging in water sports.

Pack two rash guards. You can wash and dry these everyday for reuse

#3: Clothing items in matching colors

How to mix and match outfits? Here is a clever idea: choose items in three matching colors. Off to the beach? You can go for white (off-white), bright colors, and khaki. Dark hues can attract heat, so you can skip these. Whites have a cooling effect in warm weather and can be worn both during the day and night.

For bright hues, you can have citric colors (yellows and oranges) or pastels.

#4: Featherweight and insect-repellent jackets

Packing light allows you to move more freely. This is especially recommended for backpackers. Tees are not the only tops you need when visiting tropical destinations. You need a lightweight, waterproof, and breathable rain jacket or parka. Consider a Houdini jacket, which “disappears” inside a suitcase. It can be packed in bag pockets, even in hand-carry bags. You should be prepared for a downpour even during hot summer months. An insect-repellent nylon jacket is also recommended for trekking, camping, and other similar outdoor activities.

#5: The staple summer shorts

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Shorts are staples on trips to the tropics. For a week-long vacation, pack a pair of long cotton pants, a pair of running shorts, and about 4 to 5 board shorts. The long pants shall be reserved for any classy dinner you are attending, and the others for everything else.

Women may have about 5 lightweight summer shorts for a long trip. Instead of heavy denim cut-offs, you can opt for a pair of chambray. You may also pack a pair of long pants if you prefer it over an evening dress.

#6: Ultra-light and chic summer dresses

How many dresses do you need to pack for your long trip to the beach? Not many, really. The trick is in choosing flexible and lightweight pieces. A sheath dress made of jersey fabric is amazingly comfortable and can be used both for afternoon strolls in the plaza and evening dinner parties. A cotton boatneck dress is breathable and can be reused with the right accessories. A maxi dress is ultra-light and wrinkle-resistant, making it a preferred summer outfit. You can go for lovely prints or in plain designs that can be mixed and matched with gorgeous hats and accessories.

#7: Magical accessories to transform outfits

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How to reuse outfits? Accessorize well! A hat or a necklace can easily change the look of an entire outfit. For men, you can flaunt a stylish buri or Panama hat, bright-colored belts, and sunglasses. For women, jazz up your get-up with earrings, cocktail rings, scarves, and wide-brimmed hats.

Bags are functional accessories that can transform your look. Men can bring a fanny pack or hip pack while women can pack a tote bag and a sleek pouch that can also be used as an evening bag.

#8: Versatile bikinis for summer

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Mix and match outfits for travel. Try this with bikinis. You can pair a patterned halter top with plain bikini bottoms. You can also match a strappy high-neck bikini top with chambray short. A one-shoulder bandeau top is perfect with the flowy skirt. Fashion an iridescent two-piece for your day swimming, and in the evening, use a sarong as a simple wrap skirt.

A summer bikini ensemble is perfect for an IG-selfie session in your picturesque Alta Vista de Boracay hotel.

#9: The amazing sarong and lungi

The sarong is a stylish solution to packing light for your beach vacation. You can wear it as pareo or a wrap-around skirt popular in the Caribbean, or as a fancy top with a fitted bodice effect.

A lungi is a type of sarong worn around the waist in South and Southeast Asia. Men wear lungi as a long skirt with a simple twist knot. If you cannot find this traditional garment in shops, you can opt for a sarong. Choose those in plain hues, check patterns or dyed in batik.

#10: Pair the right shoes for the proper activity

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Do not neglect your footwear even if you expect to walk around barefoot on white powdery sands. You may be strolling the streets to check out restos and bars or trek Mount Luho, the highest peak in Boracay. Flip flops may be suitable for beachfront fun, but you need to wear something else for other activities. Pack a pair of T-strap sandals with a comfortable cushion and good grip. This type of footwear, made of cork or leather, is sturdy and lightweight. If you are trekking, bring an appropriate pair of hiking boots. Wear the right footwear for every activity to ensure comfort and safety.

#11: Prepare for that formal invite

Even if you are on a beach vacation, you may still need to pack a formal outfit. You may have an event planned or you may be invited to a posh get-together with new friends. It is better to be prepared than passing up an invitation.

Bulky dresses and full suits are heavy. For women, pack a chic slip dress paired with high-heeled sandals, while men can wear a pair of long pants, multipurpose blazer, white shirt and loafers. You can mix and match these pieces with other items in your luggage for similar parties during your vacation.

#12: Pack for your vacation like a pro

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Packing light has a lot of benefits like saving on excess baggage fees, less hassle on multi-destination trips, and less risk of bodily injury. Make a list of your clothing items based on your itinerary. Stick with this list. Use compression packing cubes for your clothes. This can maximize the space in your luggage. Ditch bulky shoe covers and use thin shower caps. For your toiletries, go for drawstring wash bags instead of space-consuming organizers.

Avoid bringing big warm clothes. If the weather in your beach destination changes, you can buy a cheap clothing solution.

Traveling offers mental health benefits. Studies suggest that hitting the road provides happiness from the anticipation of a travel experience. Traveling resets the mind and allows you to break away from daily stresses. This 2019, explore more places and meet new people. Plan your adventures today!