Packing: Island Escape

Catseye Bay

Within the first two months of my worldwide trek, I found myself in Australia’s beautiful Whitsundays Islands.

I ended up changing my Gold Coast tour at the last minute because of the flooding that was hitting the region. I opted instead for a flight to the Whitsundays to avoid being waterlogged.

As it turns out, the islands were in the path of a hurricane that week and had been evacuated. (No wonder the flight was so cheap!)

I arrived on the first day the evacuation warning had been lifted. Luckily the hurricane had skirted the islands, leaving little damage, but when I arrived on that Friday, still only half the population had returned. So it was, um, quiet…

Deserted or not, I was super glad that I came. I had big plans to dive the Great Barrier Reef — one of the main reasons for my island visit. Since it was just me, some scuba gear and golden sand, I took a light approach to packing.

Noah’s Ark Approach to Packing

For my week-long trip, I decided to store my big pack at my Sydney hotel and travel sparse. I devised a Noah’s Ark approach to packing–taking just two of a kind of each item.  And while island holiday was spent in Australia, I think the same approach will work for Maui, Fire Island, and the Bahamas too.

Here’s all the clothing I brought for 7 days of beach fun:

  • 2 swimsuits
  • 2 sarongs (one for beach & one for lounging)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 sun dresses
  • 2 camisoles
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 tank tops
  • 2 bras (sports & regular)
  • 2 hats (baseball hat & sun hat)
  • 2 shoes (thongs & sandals)
  • 2 bags (water-tight dive bag & beach tote)
  • 1 long-sleeved button down shirt
  • 1 cardigan sweater
  • 1 set of pjs

That’s it! All of it fit within a soft carry-on bag, and for once I didn’t have to pay overweight luggage fees – yippee!

Go on an island retreat recently? What did you pack? Share your secrets with us!

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 6th, 2011 and is filed under What to Pack.

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