How to Pack for a Tropical Summer Trip.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Crossroads Trading. Co. Thank you for supporting the companies that support!


Get ready to set your “out of the office” email signature and get a brief break from co-workers and loved ones, because all #girlbosses need a proper tropical vacation to decompress and unwind this summer. Before you depart on your adventure, take the pressure off of packing and pack these tropical getaway must-haves.

Here is how I packed for a recent trip to the beautiful town of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with the help of Crossroads Trading, Co, my favorite store to buy, sell and trade.

1. Limit your luggage to a carry-on only.

Make your travels to and from the airport and hotel easier by only bringing a carry-on suitcase and a small personal bag. This will save you from the hassle of waiting around baggage claim for oversized luggage or having to drag a heavy suitcase all around the city as you head to your hotel. Aimee Kestenberg makes a gorgeous and affordable hard-case carry-on that I use almost exclusively on trips (use the code "Melanie" for 10% off)

Tightly roll clothes made out of stretchy knit fabrics, cotton and denim to prevent wrinkles and save space. This packing method saves tons of space and will help leave room for souvenirs. 

2. Stock up on cute dresses, tops and shorts.

Pack staples you feel confident in and that you can style in more than one way throughout your trip. With the heat and humidity in full swing in tropical areas, you’ll want to pack a variety of lightweight dresses, tops and shorts. Dresses are always a go-to staple for trips - they're a ready-to-go outfit that don't take up a lot of space in your luggage, especially if they can double as a beach cover-up. Off-the-shoulder tops are also perfect for tropical trips because they're comfortable and also instantly make a vacation outfit look more glamorous.

One of my pre-travel musts is heading to Crossroads Trading Co. because they have a constantly changing inventory of trendy clothing and accessories. I make sure to stop by before traveling to pick up amazing new pieces because I always know I'll find stylish clothing and accessories that don't cost an arm and a leg. 

3. Pack 2-3 bathing suits.

Pack multiple bathing suits so you can wear one while the other one dries. The humidity makes it hard for the bathing suits to dry, so having an extra one or two is a must. A great one-piece can also double as a bodysuit in a pinch! Here are a few bathing suit options that will look amazing all season long (1) (2) (3).

4. Embrace accessories.

Great accessories make all the difference when you're on vacation. Whether it's a pair of bright statement earrings or a bold belt, you'll be happy that you packed them.

Nothing beats a straw hat with some fun details like pom poms or bows and you can never go wrong with a pair of great sunglasses on your vacation to block out the bright rays of the sun or to hide that you’re people watching from a distance (guilty)! I've had amazing luck at Crossroads Trading Co. for sunnies and have even picked up Ray-Bans for less than $50! The key is to pick accessories that

Scarves are also such an underrated vacation piece. Not only can they serve as a light blanket on the airplane, but they're also a great if you need to cover up at a restaurant or as a makeshift sarong at the beach.

5. Go functional and stylish when it comes to footwear.

When it comes to picking the ultimate footwear for a vacation, you’ll want to find a balance between fashionable and comfortable so you're never sidelined because of aching feet during your vacation. Opt for bringing a pair of cute sandals and a comfy pair of walking shoes. Avoid strappy gladiator styles as they'll leave your feet with weird tan lines and also be harder to take off when you want to make an impromptu run to the beach.

6. Pack lots of sunblock and bug spray. 

To avoid overexposure to the sun, keep in mind that the sun’s UV rays are at its strongest between 10am and 2pm. Protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and remember to apply sunblock with a SPF 30+ every 2 hours to your lips, behind your ears and neck. 

What are your tips for packing for a tropical summer getaway? Where do you plan on going this summer?