Hawaii, Christmas 2009
Lucky MBB reader Rachael is taking a potentially BIG tropical trip this January, and she’s shopping for packing ideas.
“My boyfriend and I are taking a trip to Hawaii the first week of January, and I’m at a loss for what to bring. I am possibly the palest person and still have scars from a bad sunburn in the Bahamas when I was a teenager, and I do not want that to happen again.
I also think that on this trip my boyfriend will propose because he’s terrible at keeping secrets and has slipped more than once. I need to know what will take me from hiking to the beach and an engagement but keep it all easy to travel.”
Congrats on your upcoming trip (and hopefully proposal)! 🙂 Sounds like the makings of a marvelous month.
Whenever I travel to someplace tropical, I try to pack as many multitasking products and pieces of clothing as possible. Clothing-wise, for a one-week trip, that means a few lightweight, versatile dresses in stretchy fabrics that resist wrinkling, because I can easily dress them up or down.
When I head to the beach, I’ll slip a dress over my bikini, step into a pair of flip-flops, put on a wide-brimmed hat (great for extra sun protection to complement SPF), and drop a sarong or a wide, lightweight cotton scarf into my beach bag, just in case I end up in direct sunlight for a while and want some extra coverage for my shoulders.
I like Coolibar’s Silk Infinity Scarf ($39). Made from hand-dyed twisted silk, it’s lightweight, hardly takes up any space in a bag or luggage, and provides excellent UV protection. One caveat, though: it’s dry clean only.
How about a hat? Clockwise from the black hat on the lower left: Coolibar Shapeable Poolside Sun Hat ($45); Collection XIIX Bold Stripe Floppy Paper Straw Hat ($25); Kinda Shady Straw Sun Hat ($14); August Hat Bead Trim Paper Straw Kettle Hat ($19)
For nice dinners or nights out on the town, I’ll jazz up a dress with a bold necklace, bracelet or earrings and put on a pair of strappy sandals (dressier than flip-flops). I’ll also add a button-down sweater and/or another scarf if it gets chilly at night.
Which reminds me — I love bringing scarves when I travel, even to the tropics. They’re easy, affordable ways to switch up an outfit, and if they’re wide enough, you can even wear them as a wrap on a cool night.
As for hiking, dresses can still work, believe it or not. I’ve done it before. Granted, not on hard-core hikes, but for easy trails.
If you don’t mind looking a little silly in a dress and hiking boots, a dress should do you just fine. For more strenuous activities, though, don’t forget to pack a pair of shorts and a t-shirt in your beach bag or backpack (TIP: If you’re trying to make every cubic inch of packing space count, keep in mind that you can usually find super cheap t-shirts for sale at many tropical tourist destinations, including Hawaii).
With autumn here, this might be a good time to grab some great outgoing summer stuff on sale. Here’s a few ideas I found online…
Lulu.com dresses from the left: Alternative Apparel Racer Tank Grey Dress ($40) and Sidewalk Bistro Striped Dress ($38)
O’Neill dresses from the left: Ever ($44); Heat ($44); Tough Love ($40); and Long Distance ($40)
Clothing ideas for a one-week trip to the tropics in fall/winter
- A few lightweight dresses
- Shorts and tees (although keep in mind that you should be able to get some cheap tees at your destination)
- A wide-brimmed hat
- Bold jewelry (necklaces, earrings and/or bracelets)
- Flip-flops and sandals
- One or two button-down sweaters
- Your swimsuit (of course)
- Board shorts and a rash guard (if you plan to do any surfing)
I hope this helps! Have a blast on your trip, Rachael. I have a feeling you’ll love Hawaii. And don’t forget to let me know about the proposal, because I love a good proposal story. 🙂
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. For more packing tips and a few skincare and makeup packing ideas, check out How Do You Pack Your Makeup When You Travel?, Be a Good Student of Travel Makeup with a Clear Pencil Case, When It Comes to Travel Makeup…, Which Skin Care Products Go with You When You Travel?, 5 More Packing Tips for the Perennially Over-Packed.