Hot weather’s always my preference. Tropical beaches, warm seas, T shirts and flip flops. So, in theory you should be able to pack less. But clothes may get (let’s face it and say sweaty) in the heat. So you will probably want to get changed quite often. Paradise always has a sting in its tail. Steer clear of materials containing nylon or Lycra. These will cling to you and exacerbate the problem. Loose cotton or linen are better. Cotton underwear is definitely best. Do I need to explain?
Or adventure travel shops sell synthetic tops and trousers made of fabrics designed to wick the sweat away. These are incredibly lightweight and wash and dry really quickly too. Jeans are generally best avoided in hot countries. Even if they are Lycra free they are heavy and tend to cling. They're really uncomfortable if they get wet and muddy and so can be a nightmare in the jungle.
You will want long sleeved shirts and long trousers to wear in the evenings (or in the jungle during the day). And check the fabric carefully. I know to my cost that mosquitoes can bite through cheesecloth, as it has such a loose weave.
Tuck in a couple of thin sweaters, so you can layer up if it gets cold at night or you venture up to higher elevations. A nice cotton sundress (think LBD) can double up for sightseeing and evenings if you take a little inexpensive bling.
Plain white or black flip flops work well for both too, especially if you pay more for the ones with cushioned soles. Or tuck in some lightweight espadrilles. I wear well-designed walking sandals like Teva for longer hikes. Long grass or jungle demands trainers or walking boots. Don't leave your feet exposed when you don't know what's lurking there.
Then there's all my snorkelling gear. That's me above in Bonaire, with my trusty Olympus Tough underwater camera. Here are some of the travel extras I take for comfort in hot climes in addition to (or instead of) the basic list in the post How to Pack:
- Sun hat, (please not a reversed baseball cap)
- Mask in protective box – to make sure it’s a good fit - and you can’t always hire these anyway. (There are mixed reviews on those new full face masks. Some folk love them. A few say they're dangerous.)
- Snorkel - as with mask. It's a question of fit and hygiene.
- Fins - in front pocket of case
- Swim goggles – in protective case
- Beach shoes – to wear walking and in the water to make sure I don’t step on anything nasty
- Rash vest – sun and jelly fish protection whilst in the water
- Very thin whole body skinsuit - to protect from jellyfish
- Microfibre towel - Takes up very little space
- Sarong (beach cover up and spare towel). Can also double up as head covering in places of worship
- Light rain jacket/cagoule and/or collapsible umbrella
- Mosquito repellent - I try not to use DEET unless they're very bad. Incognito smells nice.
- In room mosquito deterrent/room refresher. Again Incognito is a good one.
- Seasick tablets
- Lightweight beach bag or tote
- Waterproof bag (dry sack) for boat trips. I love this bright pink - really cheerful and really practical. it doubles as a backpack. But there are other colours too.
- Underwater camera. I spent ages researching this. The Go-Pro is thought to be best for video and the Olympus Tough for stills. And I take stills. Earlier underwater camera models all leaked - well they did for me. This one doesn't.
- Cameras don't usually float. So some sort of wrist or arm tether is essential. This floating hand strap works well.
- Maui Jim sports sunglasses – wraparound to protect the edges of the eyes