If you’ve read any of my coverage on The Bahamas, you’ll know that this destination was far from my favorite….
If you’re wanting beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and some fun in the sun, I promise there are plenty of other places that will float your boat.
However, there are plenty of people out there who disagree with me and return to The Bahamas every year, or are absolutely determined to go. I certainly won’t try to stop you!
Admittedly, we did have a pretty serious streak of bad luck while there (and only visited one island) so you may feel totally differently about these islands.
If you’re heading to The Bahamas–or really any tropical destination where you plan on spending time at the beach and/or snorkeling–you’ll find this packing guide very helpful.
Remember, you don’t have to slum it on vacation. It’s 100% possible to look great and feel comfortable, no matter your size!
I know we all want to look amazing in those vacation snapshots. Follow this guide and you’ll be sure to WOW.
This packing list is for a long weekend: 4 days, 3 nights and carry-on only!
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click or purchase through my links, I receive a small commission. This helps me pursue my dream of providing you with more helpful content like this as a full-time job. Please know that I only recommend products I have purchased myself, trust and love!
Did I overpack? Absolutely.
But since we were only going for a few days, I had the room in my suitcase and wanted to have options. Dresses are also an entire outfit by themselves so there’s no need to pack much else!
2 – 3 Swimsuits
I loved both the swimsuits I brought and miraculously, they’re both still available for sale! These were amazingly flattering and I felt so sexy wearing them but didn’t have to worry about a nip slip while snorkeling!
1 – 2 Pairs of Leggings
- Spanx – Look At Me Now Crop
So comfortable and with good compression to smooth any jiggly bits and not see through! They have so many fashionable styles as well–including faux leather!
- Athleta – Elation Tights
According to my girlfriends, the powervita fabric used with these leggings are the most comparable to Lululemon’s ultra-popular Align leggings. They’re “buttery soft with gentle support.”
- Old Navy – Elevate High Waist Crops
A great option if you’re budget-conscious. As far as inexpensive leggings go, these are definitely the best I’ve found. After so many debacles with Amazon purchases or other retailers with their entirely see-through leggings, these are the only ones I’ve repurchased.
1 – 2 Pairs of Beach Pants
American Eagle Outfitters is my favorite place for pieces like this and the brand I wore for this trip. They return with new styles nearly every Spring/Summer. Their styles also run true to size or even a little forgiving so a size 14/16 can wear them as well!
1 was for covering my back while snorkeling, which turned out not to be necessary. The other was to wear with my leggings at the airport.
I love my fashion t-shirt that I wore to the airport from COS. It’s effortlessly cool and an elevated staple. AKA: MY JAM! COS is a tad overpriced in my opinion but I love finding their pieces in consignment shops at a steal.
Here are some cute budget-friendly options from one of my new favorite retailers: H&M! (They’ve seriously stepped their game up in the last year or so).
Bring a nice, soft, comfortable one. It did get chilly at night here and was often chilly indoors with the AC blasting. I never travel without my trusted cardigan and use it as a blanket or pillow on my plane ride!
3 Pairs of Shoes
- Flip Flops
- Comfortable flats
- Dressy Sandals
You definitely don’t need much but I knew we would be going out to dinner somewhere nice and I wanted something other than my flip flops. Besides that, the flip flops were relatively new and I wasn’t sure if they would hurt my feet. I’m so glad I brought the flats I purchased in Panama as a back up!
I LOVED the strappy sandals I brought. (Pictured above). They were everything I want in a shoe: Sexy, comfortable and neutral. These go with just about everything and are one of the best shoe purchases I’ve made.
1 Sun Hat
A stylish way to protect your beautiful face and youth! I try to opt for one that’s “packable,” meaning you can put it in your suitcase and it won’t permanently lose its shape.
My tote was used as my beach bag and my personal item for the plane. I used an old large tote that I’ve loved for years… Which finally gave out after I got home but I did find myself wishing once or twice that I had brought one smaller bag for dinners or something.
2 Pairs of Sunglasses
I loved the new pair I bought for this trip so much, I never ended up pulling out my second pair. But I always recommend having a spare pair of sunnies in case you lose the first!
I also purchased this sunglasses chain from Amazon and absolutely loved it! I thought it made such a funky look and a great way to hold on to your glasses!
5 Pairs of Underwear
I always suggest packing cotton, especially when traveling to a warm/humid destination. Doubly so when you plan on spending time in a wet bathing suit. Changing out of a damp swimsuit and wearing cotton underwear are helpful ways to avoid a UTI.
I always pack at least one nude pair of underwear as well in case I end up wearing something white.
Face & Body
You’ll want to have the essentials to thoroughly cleanse your face & exfoliate at the end of each day. As always, I recommend the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads. They’re the best!
It’s also crucial to bring proper sun care. After years of searching, I’ve fallen in love with Coola Organics. Their products are excellent for sensitive, dry, or acne prone skin, like myself! Even better, they’re reef safe!
Aside from that, I always bring my favorite cleansing shower oil and a travel size lotion.
Finding the right hair care for curly hair can be… A challenge to say the least. While I don’t personally use DevaCurl products, their recent scandal and potential lawsuit made me reconsider my hair routine.
If you’re reevaluating your hair and/or skincare as well, I highly recommend downloading the app ThinkDirty which is an incredibly useful tool to help educate yourself about your skin and hair care.
With their help, I discovered my new favorite haircare brand: Innersense.
I brought all the below products on my trip and they still worked just as effectively; removing the salt, sunscreen and other residues from my hair and leaving my curls shiny and bouncy.
They have products for every hair type and they smell amazing. I highly recommend making this investment. See my curls (above) as proof!
To work these products through my hair/detangle, I use this wet brush and I’m head over heels about it!
Since I had the room in my luggage, I brought my entire makeup bag with the usual suspects. I have a few new favorites but for further reading on the beauty essentials I recommend to every traveler, check out my Travel Beauty Essentials article.
1 Bra + 1 Pair of Pasties
I try to avoid wearing a bra and pack for such when I go on vacation. The last thing I want is an underwire when I’m sweating my actual tits off in a hot, humid destination. Thus, I always pack pasties. I love this brand since they’re reusable!
1 Set of Pajamas
Nothing special needed here! Frankly, I sleep in an old t-shirt dress from Old Navy. But as I always suggest; Choose natural fibers like cotton, linen, rayon, or even silk since these are breathable products that will help if you’re a hot sleeper like me!
Flexible Tripod with Remote Shutter
GoPro HERO8 Black
Gnais iPhone XR Case
I used the GoPro Hero 7 to capture all of my snorkeling footage but couldn’t tell if it was the visibility of the water or the camera itself that gave lackluster video quality but the photos turned out pretty spectacular.
I loved the earbuds I brought with me–especially for the price! They have decent noise cancellation so they’re great for the plane.
The power bank linked above is the same one I’ve brought on all my trips and included in every packing list. I love it and keep it on me at all times. We took so many pictures while here that it was 100% necessary to make sure our phones never died.
I love the tripod I brought because it’s small and pliable. The base can easily switch to a phone or GoPro holder and worked excellent while snorkeling as a handle for the GoPro.
Since my trip to Costa Rica where my phone crashed and I was left without a way to communicate, I always bring my iPad with me as backup. I don’t usually end up using it a lot but it also holds the program in which I edit my photos so I typically do some of that at night and on the plan home.
Whether you’re heading to The Bahamas, Aruba or even Mexico, this packing list will have you looking fabulous, while allowing you to capture amazing footage and won’t leave you wanting for more.
If you’re planning a long weekend in The Bahamas, or somewhere else warm and dreamy, make sure to pin for later!