Q&A: What to Wear in Tropical Tobago

March 20th, 2009

Q: I’m going on vacation to tropical Tobago for 5 days and planning on taking only a small suitcase.  What do you recommend packing so I will be comfortable travelling from chilly NYC? Also, I’m planning on bringing a few hats - any tips on how to pack them?

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by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: To transition seamlessly from chilly New York to tropical Tobago, try a lightweight cashmere sweater over jeans.  It’s a comfortable casual outfit that travels well on a plane.  Add a pashmina for style - and to use as a blanket on the plane.  If you carry a large handbag on the plane, you can toss the pashmina right into the bag upon your arrival in Tobago.

While in Tobago, you’ll want to be ready for temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Here’s what you need to bring:

Tops: Pack some cotton tees and tank tops, as well as one dressier top.

Sweaters: A single cotton sweater will suffice.

Bottoms: Bring one pair of shorts and one pair of cropped pants.  You can also bring a casual skirt, if you’re going to need to dress up.

Dresses: One sundress should be enough for your short trip.

Shoes: One pair of flip flops for the pool and beach, and one pair of shoes that works for dressier occasions.

Accessories: Hats and sunglasses are a must, since sunny Tobago is so close to the equator.  Try to stay out of direct sun for long periods of time; try shady spots under umbrellas and trees.  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

As for packing hats, be sure to stuff them with tissue paper before attempting to fold them or place them in your suitcase.  Should you wish to bring a structured hat that could be damaged, purchase a hatbox.

Have a great tip about what to wear in Tobago? Share it with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Q&A, Women's

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hannah  |  March 20th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I put socks, undies, or tank tops in my wide-brimmed hats, then I nestle them top-side down in my suitcase so that the brim stays flat. They barely take up any space!

  • 2. Jacki  |  March 21st, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I like packing one or two of my favorite scarves that can also double as shawls as a nice cover-up :) Your list pretty much encompasses everything I can think of.

  • 3. Cafe Fashionista  |  March 22nd, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I like those shorts. They remind me of a giraffe - one of my favorite animals!

  • 4. Trisha  |  March 23rd, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Great tip for space-efficient packing, Hannah!

    And yes, scarves are a great way to dress up a casual look. Look for lightweight, breathable ones for tropical Tobago.

  • 5. Sonia  |  March 27th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I’m from Trinidad (Tobago’s sister country) and I currently live in New York. Whenever I visit I like to look like a native as much as possible so I wear very loose clothing. Trinidad isn’t a fashion show. Also you’re going to want to wear sturdy flip flops that can can handle the lack of sidewalks.

    You’re going to have a great time!!! Make sure and take a local boat trip and see the coral reef and inland pools.

  • 6. Marcy  |  March 31st, 2009 at 6:09 am

    wow talk about the power of small! I’m horrible at packing and always end-up bringing a huge suitcase filled with way more than I need. These are great tips on how to pack small – there’s so much more power in small! I always get so frustrated when I carry my big bag..can never find anything and everything is always so wrinkled, not to mention having to deal with overweight charges.. Great tips! Thank you for helping me ‘think small!’

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