My Ultimate Packing List for an Island Destination | Solo Female Travel

Island destinations are some of the perfect destinations for female solo travel. If you are planning your next solo trip, or even your first solo trip, I would highly recommend that you select an island destination. 

My first ever solo trip was to an island destination – Bali. It will always be one of the most memorable trips of my life, considering the type of destination and everything else that I got to explore on the island!

Packing for a solo trip is a big task, mainly because you are responsible for all your belongings and the things you decide to carry with you. Even if you get a friend or family member to help you pack for your trip, you will still need to pay attention to what they are actually putting in your bag and where. 

Although an island destination does not require you to pack too many things, it is good to have a list of things to carry along with you that will actually be used. 

Many times, I have forgotten essential things that I need for my trips and realised after reaching the airport or the destination. I realised that the best way to avoid forgetting things is to make a list. Every time I remember something that I might need for my trip, I write it down either in my notebook or my smartphone. And two or three days before my flight, I quickly pack everything in my bag!

This blog is about all the things that you need to carry for your solo trip to an island destination. Keep on reading to know more!

1. Travel backpack

solo travel packing for island

This is definitely one of the most important things you need to pack for your solo trip to an island destination. You will need something to carry all your belongings. I would recommend that you buy a compact backpack which is easier to fit into your luggage. If possible, go for something that has multiple compartments so you can easily store your belongings and remember what is stored where!

2. Swimwear

Island destinations are the perfect place to relax and chill in your bikini. Considering that you will be visiting at least one beach on your solo trip to an island destination, it is important to pack your favourite swimwear or bikini. 

However, if you have plans of going to the beach multiple times (and hey, nobody’s judging even if you spend your entire solo trip on a beach!), carry more than one swimwear!

3. Sunscreen

We all love spending time on the beach. But with every good thing comes the bad things too. In this case, it’s the stubborn tan! To avoid this, make sure you carry an ample amount of sunscreen with you. If required, carry more than one tube of sunscreen.

If you decide to purchase sunscreen from the destination you are travelling to, it will only add up to your budget. And for solo female travellers like you and me, the budget becomes one of the crucial things. So, carry your own sunscreen!

4. A coverup

A coverup such as a sarong that people usually wear in Bali can be a really good investment. In most countries, wearing appropriate clothes in public places is mandatory. You can wear your swimwear or bikini while you are on the beach, but make sure to cover yourself up once you leave from there. 

So, you can carry a coverup, either full-length or half-length, depending on your preference. It can also come in handy when you have lunch or evening snacks at the restaurants near the beach!

5. Flip flops

A good pair of flip-flops is all you need for your footwear for the beaches. While a lot of people prefer walking on the beach barefoot, I think wearing flip-flops is a better alternative to any other type of footwear.

When I had visited the beaches of Bali on my solo trip, I was tempted to walk barefoot too. But the hot tropical weather made the beach sand hot. And honestly, you can easily burn the sole of your feet if you are sensitive to heat like me! So, carry flip-flops to avoid getting your feet burnt or getting bitten/wounded by tiny insects and any other sharp objects on the beach!

6. Quick-dry microfiber towels

Most of the beaches do not provide you with towels. So, you are on your own. And let’s be honest, seeing the crystal clear water and the atmosphere of the beach is enough for all of us to take a dip into the water. 

Microfiber towels that come with quick-dry properties can be a saviour in such times. Not only will these towels dry you up quickly, but they also remain dry themselves.

7. Wet and dry bags

Now that you have added towels to your list of things to carry to an island destination, you will need something to keep your wet clothes in. 

I would suggest that you carry a pair of plastic/cloth bags to segregate your wet and dry clothes. These can come in really handy when you need to carry all your wet/dry clothes back to the mainland from the beach!

8. A cute little hat

solo travel packing for island

Even though a hat is not really essential and can be skipped if you want to, it wouldn’t hurt to carry one anyway. Hats can even make your pictures look appealing, so bring along your cute little hat!

9. Waterproof camera

I would not consider it an essential item, but you can carry one with you if you wish to. Regardless of which beach you are at, the sunset views are always breathtaking, and you would be tempted to capture the sunset views! This is where the camera will come in handy.

Now, I understand that a lot of us prefer to use our smartphones for everything, but a camera definitely has a better resolution. But if you prefer to use your smartphone itself, make sure you carry a waterproof case with you. 

10. Bug spray

A bug spray is a very self-explanatory essential. Even though the staff at the beaches assures you that there are no bugs, you will still find a few here and there.

On my solo trip to Bali, I happened to stay at a beach for a little over after the sunset. And the number of mosquitos that bit my legs and arms were huge! So, it will be a smart move on your part to carry a bug spray along.

11. Toiletries

There are a lot of items that come under toiletries. For an island destination trip, it requires you to carry a whole lot of other things as well—for instance, facial tissues and napkins. You will need these to wipe off the sweat from your face and arms. 

Carry a sufficient amount of sanitary products as well. I would suggest that you use a menstrual cup instead of tampons or sanitary pads. The reason behind this is that a menstrual cup is usually reusable and will take up very little space in your luggage.

12. Deodorant

A must-carry to an island destination, deodorant can be your life saviour on your solo trip. Even though you will be taking a shower almost every day, sometimes even twice a day, you will still be sweating a lot. Pack enough deodorants to make sure you don’t run out of them on your trip!

13. Sunglasses

Most of your time exploring an island destination will include a bright sunny day. On some days, the sun rays can get pretty harsh and damage your eyes if you don’t take enough care of them. To avoid this, you need to carry a good pair of sunglasses with you.

Sunglasses can even hide your smudged winged eyeliner (thanks to that non-waterproof makeup!) while saving the eyes from the harmful sun!

14. Medicines

Not only are medicines necessary for an island destination trip, but they are must-haves for all kinds of trips! Some basic painkillers can be pretty helpful! I am someone who quickly gets a headache if I spend too much time in the sun. So, I always carry all the necessary medicines. 

If you are on certain prescribed medications, carry along those too. Because in most countries, it is difficult to find the medicines you have been prescribed by the doctor from your home country. 

15. A basic first aid kit

A basic first aid kit with minimal products like cotton, antiseptic liquid, bandages, and band-aids is a must-have! It may come in handy in case you get a rash or sunburn during your time spent at the beach or while exploring the island on a sunny day.

16. Skincare products

This is another must-have for your solo trip to an island destination. Since the sun will be out on most days, your skin might get dry. So, carry a good moisturiser and lotion to avoid your skin from getting flaky and dry. And also, carry a lip balm for your lips to prevent them from getting chapped.

Recently, I found out a skincare product that turned out to be a holy grail – a lip and cheek tint. You can literally use it on your lips and cheeks for a flush of colour, without having to wear makeup! If possible, you can even leave your makeup behind and just carry a sufficient amount of skincare to look good in your Instagram stories!

17. Umbrella

solo travel packing for island

You need all the protection to escape the heat and harmful sun rays, and this is where your umbrella will be helpful!

You don’t need a huge umbrella to carry with you. Not only will the umbrella take up too much space in your luggage, but it will also look odd to use a big umbrella on a beach or even in other main areas of the island. A cute little compact umbrella is all you need. And trust me, it will make your pictures look amazing too!

18. Shaving cream and razor

I know this may not seem like an ideal packing essential. But if you are someone who doesn’t like showing off hairy arms and legs, you will need it. When you go to the beach, you will most probably be wearing a swimwear/bikini. 

Now, I know most of us like getting a wax done before any vacation, but keeping a razor in your luggage can be helpful for that emergency hair removal!

19. Light clothes

And last but not least, to enjoy your time fully on an island destination, the clothes you pack should be light. You can carry cotton t-shirts, shorts, summer dresses, tube tops, pastel or light-colored clothes!

Having travelled to Bali a couple of times myself, I can assure you that the weather is mostly warm. In which case, you would not need a lot of warm clothes. 

However, you can pack a few thin cardigans or sweaters if you have plans of exploring the island early in the mornings. The weather is sometimes a little chilly in the mornings, even on islands. Otherwise, light clothes are all you will be needing!

Check out my blog on What to Wear in Bali on Your Solo Trip.

Have you packed everything that you need for your next solo trip to an island destination?

These are the essential items that you will need for your solo trip to an island destination. However, if you feel you may not need some of these, feel free to drop them out of the list. And if you feel I have missed out on something that may be needed for your trip, you can add those to your list. 

Also, make sure that you carry all your regular items like a passport, identity cards, plane tickets, among other things that need to be packed as well. However, if you are going on your first ever solo trip, you can check out my blog on Things Required for Your First Solo Trip.

Have a great time on your solo trip because island destinations are some of the best destinations out there! Happy travelling!


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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