What to pack in your suitcase for an island holiday

It’s getting to that time of year where it feels like everyone I know is leaving cold Melbourne for sunny skies and warmth weather. My Instagram feed is filled with sparkling blue water and whitewashed building and it’s become very depressing, to the point where I spent the whole of last night watching Santorini vlogs. It also doesn’t help that it’s been incredibly cold in Melbourne this week and it’s taken all of my strength to get out of bed in the morning.

Moving on.

I went travelling through Europe last year and one thing I noticed about myself as a traveller in general is that I never pack enough clothes (so I end up wearing the same outfit over and over). Or, I don’t pack the right clothes (who takes only one dress to Hawaii? I do, that’s who). Packing can be stressful, so sometimes a bit of guidance can help. I’ve put together a list of items that’s suitable for any type of island/beach resort holiday.

Merriman’s in Maui, Hawaii. Easily the most romantic restaurant I’ve ever been to.

Denim shorts. This is the staple of any beach outfit. Shorts can be dressed up or down, worn under a flowy dress, worn at the beach/bar, the list goes on. If you have arrived at your destination and realised you haven’t packed any (hangs head in shame, this happened to me), most beachside shops sell them. Choose shorts that are comfortable, especially around the waist. I like a light to mid wash, as they match with pretty much any colour top.

Beach dresses. These dresses are incredibly versatile and can be worn over a bikini or for sightseeing. I packed two with me last year and wore them constantly. Choose styles with spaghetti straps so you don’t end up with weird tan lines. I find Asos have really cute styles at an affordable price (here and here).

Wearing my tiered beach dress from Asos (link above in blue!) 



A maxi dress or two. Maxi dresses are a must for a beach holiday. They are flattering on just about every body shape, not to mention super comfortable. Dress them down with flats and a ponytail for day, and pair with wedges and beach wave hair for night. Tigerlily and Saboskirt have really cute styles.


Simple T-shirts and singlets. Choose fuss free tops that are easy to wear, and are comfortable in hot weather. I bought a basic white singlet last year in Athens and I wore it the entire summer. 


Let’s talk shoes. Shoes can be tricky to pack, especially if there’s the chance of spontaneous activities. I personally like to overpack when it comes to shoes, because you want to be covered in any situation. The following are staples and will see you through from sunbaking to walking to sightseeing: Tan or white leather sandals, a pair of glam wedges, flip flops and lightweight sneakers (think Keds or Converse). You’ll also need to take into account the place you’ll be visiting. Will you be doing a lot of walking? Are there a lot of winding, steep steps? Will you be spending most of the time by the pool? It really helps to do your research (note to self: do not wear sandals on dirt tracks). 

Lightweight pants. Long, cotton or rayon pants are perfect for island living, as they provide some coverage but are still light enough to wear when temperatures soar. They are also perfect for lounging around. 

Cotton shirt. Also another staple. This can be worn over a bikini as a coverup, paired with shorts and a singlet for sightseeing or as a lightweight top if the weather turns cool at night. 

Accessories. A straw hat, a light scarf, and a tote bag are perfect for island style. 

Santorini at night…sigh.
I’ll sign off with this sunset <3

Thanks for reading! 

xo Roxane

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