What to wear in hot countries, [travelling/day/night] written by a female traveller [CHECKLIST]

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Always ready for action!

Being lucky enough to travel the world for my job, I almost always have a suitcase almost ready to go (and always have my toiletries bag at the read – more of that to come in a future article). I have learned lessons on what to take (layers and sandals with ankle straps) and what not to take (anything that will crease easily). Although some countries have stricter rules on what to wear, here are some of my general top tips for visiting somewhere it will be hot: getting there, daytime and night…

*** List will be updated as and when I think of, or discover, more top tips ***



Good hat, necessary, silly face, optional…

  • A mix of bikinis – Halterneck for spa trips and activities, and strapless for sunbathing. Have you read my article ‘8 of the best tips for buying a flattering bikini‘?
  • A decent hat – don’t underestimate the strength of the sun. I love the leather Australian sheep farmer styles (above).
  • A bumbag – or ‘fannypack’ (*smirk*), whatever you call it, this is always one of my most used things on any holiday. I pack it with my phone, money and passport when travelling (so everything is to hand and you don’t have to faff around when boarding the plane), then use it everyday on holiday. much more fun to wear than a money belt…


Swinging around in Haat Salad, Koh Phangan Thailand

  • Playsuits – These are one of my favourite things to take to hot countries. You can dress them up for evening, they keep your modesty if you fancy doing cartwheels on the beach, you can cycle/run/sightsee in them, and the lightweight versions are often patterned – so you won’t see any creases. They also dry really fast. If I’m away for a week, I usually take at least three. Primark always has a brilliant selection.


  • Actually, that is a rule I tend to pack by for two week or longer trips when using my rucksack: Pack three of everything. Tops, swimsuits, shorts, etc.


  • Loose beach cover ups (above) – So versatile. I wore a pink neon vest one aaaaalllllll over Thailand and Bali. Quick dry – look for ones with cut out detail and low cut under arms, which will be more comfortable in the heat, and show off your brilliant bikini!
  • Lots of temples (in South East Asia and Indonesia, in particular) require you to cover up. Take lightweight trousers (see note about ‘plane pants’, further below), a vest and kimono. Layers mean more outfit options, and not having to take heavier, long-sleeve tops, for just one day’s use.


  • If you are carrying a backpack, make sure to pack a few T-shirts with sleeves, so the straps don’t rub. Sounds obvious, but I know people who have ended up with strap-touching-sunburn serious injuries!


  • Plane pants – sounds silly, but this is a great way to describe those trousers that are ideal to wear while flying. Loose fitted, but tailored are the most flattering. I have had some great ones from GAP. These can also double up as trousers to wear while visiting temples. NB. I am wearing leggings in the photo above, which I wouldn’t really recommend, unless they are thick… no one, in any country, wants to see your underwear through your trousers – not a good look!
  • Some of my friends on month long trips that begin during the cold UK months, wear an old hoody and cosy shoes to travel and then chuck them when they reach their hot, tropical destination.

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A nude/tan wedge will go with all your outfits – this photo taken in Bali, at Club Med


  • Off-the-shoulder dresses and tops – to show off your tan, and a great way to release the heat! Look great with hair up dos, too.
  • Wedges – if you are going to take a pair of heels, make it a wedge. Easier to deal with holiday terrains and (yawn, but still) a nude or tan wedge will go with everything.
  • Strappy dresses – this sounds obvious, but do accompany these with non-padded bras, and eliminate any extra sources of heat!
  • Nude underwear – which will go under everything and anything.
  • Strapless bra – great for under lots of styles and saviour if you have sunburned shoulders!
  • Non-crease dressesH&M do a great basic range of stretch jersey ones in bright colours. Remember though, if it isn’t that shiny fabric, it will show creases more than if it is patterned.
  • Sandals with ankle straps – You will most likely be having a brilliant time at the cocktail bar, and won’t want to worry about taking on rough terrain (the beach) or losing a shoe round the pool…
  • Pack in outfits, for daytime and evening. Put everything in your suitcase, then halve it. Make sure you have room for all those holiday purchases. Although, the golden rule is to ask for a second opinion (easier now you can snap and send to your friends back home). That tasselled dress that looks great in Bali, might not look so cool back home… Or, maybe, it will! As long as you aren’t spending a fortune, it doesn’t really matter, anyway.


Need some travel inspiration? Have a read and book a place in the sun!

A Caribbean tropical paradise, at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort [REVIEW]

Fancy a bit of Bali?

Read Thailand articles and reviews on FashCatherine…

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