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Holidays to Dominican Republic | Travel Packing Tips

Travel wardrobe tips resort holidays, packing light for hot climates

palm trees on beach Here are my packing light travel tips for what to pack for holidays to Dominican Republic.

These tips also apply to most winter getaways like Caribbean cruises or other island resort destination, trips to Costa Rica, or tropical climates like Queensland in Australia.

Pack according to Itinerary

See all travel packing tips and travel wardrobe tips . For sun and sand resorts, pack a few more beach outfits and sun dresses for evenings.

Remember to  let your itinerary be your guide for what to pack depending on what you will be doing --  Golf, Snorkel, Windsurf, day trips.

If you love the beach, pool etc. you will need more shorts, sundresses, sandals and bathing suits and maybe only one pair of pants (horseback riding!). I toured around during the Dominican each day so I needed more pants and tops to wear on the bus.

What to Pack Holidays to Dominican Travel Clothing

  • Travel Pants (3 pairs) or Travel skirts (3) in lightweight fabric -- one to wear, two for spares -- black, khaki, light grey denim. Full details at travel pants and travel skirts.

  • Sundresses (3-4) Pack several light sun dresses and you will need fewer pants and tops. Sundresses are perfect bathing suit coverups, and can take you into lunch or dinner in style. If you are staying at resorts in Playa Dorada, there are several shops in the mall that sell sundresses for about $20 each. Or look for travel dresses like this one on Amazon: reversible sleeveless travel dress. This dress is sleeveless and reverses to a different solid color.
  • Capris or Shorts (2 pairs) in lightweight fabric in colors that coordinte with your travel tops. Shorts take up little suitcase room, so feel free to add more if you prefer. Here's a pair of capris on Amazon: Laced Hem Capri. These are white and can be washed in cold water. With washable white capris, it's easy to match with any of your travel shirts.

  • Travel Tops (9) Pack about nine travel tops in a lightweight fabric,  or a few less, depending on how many sundresses you pack. Consider long sleeve travel shirts for added sun protection, in colors you can mix and match with your skirts and pants. Look for travel tops, blouses with SPF sun protection built into the fabric: See what I mean on Amazon -- Coolibar UPF 50 tunic (would also be a great coverup for beach walks). And here's a really nice travel shirt with choice of colors: UPF 50 travel shirt .

  • Swimsuits (2) One to wear and one that's dry at the bare minimum. Swimsuits generally take very little room in your luggage so pack more if you have some.  Be sure to pack your swimsuits in your carryon bag, in case your checked luggage goes astray. It's so hard to buy a swimsuit at the best of times, let alone in a foreign country. See all bathing suits tips here.

  • Jammies Pajamas Sleepwear (1 pair) One nightgown or pair of lightweight pajamas should do you for travel sleepwear. If you have pajamas with a Tshirt style top, you can wear it with shorts, capris, pants on the beach. See Amazon soft cotton pajamas lightweight, breathable. If you're on a romantic getaway or on your honeymoon, go for the lingerie (the name says it all: Escante Bridal Fly-A-Way Babydoll)!

  • Travel Shoes (2-3pairs) Pack one pair of sneakers to wear if you need walking shoes for tours. Wear sneakers on the plane as they are bulky to pack in suitcase. Bonus: if your feet swell on the flight, it's easy to undo laces. Pack at one pair leather slides or sandals with a medium wedge heel for evening or hotel and beach.  High heels are not good for walking on uneven surfaces, and you'll find lots of those outside your hotel. Flipflops are great for the beach or outside shower stalls, or for walking to the pool. As much as possible, avoid walking in bare feet in public areas: you don't need to pick up any stray germs.

  • Lightweight jacket (1) If you are going from a winter climate to a hot climate, wear a light jacket to go to the airport. When you arrive in the hot climate, hang it in the hotel until your return trip. If you are leaving from a warm country, or taking holidays to Dominican, Mexico etc during the summer, skip the jacket. For evening, or dressy occasions (weddings on the beach), I have several sheer silk jacket coverups that fold up into a sandwich size baggie, and they really dress up a basic resort outfit of white tank and pants.

  • Rain jacket or Poncho (1) Pack a small fold up rain poncho and keep in your carryon or bag, just in case you run into sudden downpours. See pics this page in Sosua beaches. Often the resort dining rooms and bars are in separate buildings from guest rooms, and you will find a poncho handy. Jackets and rainwear are recommended for tours inland  as well, like on the waterfalls tours. For Costa Rica, especially if you are at altitude, pack a poncho. See what I mean  at Volcan Poas.

Hurricane season is July to November, so look into travel insurance, trip interruption and cancellation insurance if you are  traveling during this period.

Packing Travel Meds, Toiletries Holidays to Dominican Republic

I like to have all my 'comfort' things. I will be at a resort, which is fairly safe when it comes to food and drink, but since it will be different foods and drinks, including the water (use bottled), I have my trusty pepto and a filled presciption for travelers revenge that I never have had to use.

Airline security requirements change all the time, but basically, take what you can with you on the plane, especially your medications! And if regulations allow a woman to bring on a purse, so should they allow a man. I'm just saying. See TSA for current guidelines if you are flying via the USA.

My liquid carryons and prescription meds are packed in a clear plastic ziploc bags (see travel packing meds page) for when I go through airport security, and shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, and other liquids and gels, including spray mousse, are packed in my checked bag. The prescription meds are in the original pharmacy packaging so security can easily confirm what they are. I packed only 8 meal replacement bars, as the airline will feed us a sandwich about an hour or so into the 4-hour flight from Toronto to Puerto Plata. I shall definitely need a snack during the flight!

I also allowed a few meal replacement bars for day tours to Santiago, Santo Domingo and Samana, as I know I will be on the bus/van for a long drive and likely missing my happy hour and snack time. (See travel packing safety - comfort page)

I also packed my spare AA batteries and a camera battery in my carryon backpack, per new regulations for U.S. and Canada that require some types of batteries - lithium's name was mentioned - not be included with checked baggage. Apparently, it's easier for the crew to deal with accidental ignitions in the cabin rather than fires in the hold.

I also jettisoned my rain jacket as it's been hot as Hades this week in Puerto Plata, but I have two light plastic ponchos -- one for me and one for my back pack -- in case we get caught in a downpour. (Umbrellas are just too bulky, IMHO). I have one bathing suit in a ziploc bag in my back pack, too, so if they lose my checked bag, I can at least hit the beach!

One thing: Before you pack any item of clothing be SURE to try it on! If it's uncomfortable at home, it wil be misery on the road. I even shortened an especially long pair of pants so that I don't need a third pair of shoes to wear with them! Think I am ready -- will let you know how it goes.


Back from holidays to Dominican

Here's how my travel wardrobe worked out for this trip.

  • I traveled in January, the rainy season (roughly November-March) on the north coast (the location of Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, etc) and although I was happy to have packed a plastic rain poncho for the regular torrential downpours, I really could have used a proper rain jacket as well.

  • I did pack too many clothes after all. I really didn't need those dress pants, but I changed into them for dinner on two occasions just to make it worth packing them. I also had two tops too many, and they came back unworn. Ah well, live and learn.

  • TIP In your hotel, be sure to leave the doors to the wardrobe / closet open as much as possible so your clothes don't get mildewed. Even with the air conditioning on, it's still pretty damp. Corollary tip: unpack and hang up as much clothing as possible to keep it aired and sweet-smelling.

  • On the road, pack a small spritzer bottle (100ml) of fabric freshener, such as Febreeze (in your carryon in a clear ziploc bag with other liquids or in your checked luggage) so you can quickly freshen any garments that don't smell sweet. See all my little travel carryons.