The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

Your Perfect Women’s Packing List for The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic offers everything: luxury resorts, sports, and nature hikes. This packing list is for the traveler headed to the North Coast, where you can go whale watching, have a nice locally-sourced dinner, hit the beach, go horseback riding, and go on a yoga retreat, all within a few days. (Read up on my favorite eco activities for the conscious traveler.)

To that end, this packing list will tell you exactly what to wear in the Dominican Republic, so you can be comfortable and prepared, but also stylish! Some quick tips:

  • Go for bright colors and sexy silhouettes. Don’t be shy!
  • It’s very casual and fun in the DR. Don’t overthink it.
  • Be prepared for yoga, waterfalls, and some very light hiking to those waterfalls.

For the Plane

  • Ably white t-shirt – Has stain-resistant technology, which is crucial if you’re traveling.
  • Soft cotton yoga leggings – Great for the plane, and also if you want to do some yoga near the beach. I recommend these. They’re so versatile and comfy!
  • Sports bra
  • Comfortable undies in natural fabric
  • Ankle socks – I love merino wool because it wicks away moisture and odor, is warm when you need it and not when you don’t.
  • Sweatshirt – Something fairly fashionable but in cotton.
  • Sneakers – by Veja or Allbirds
  • Mini crossbody purse – I’ve started carrying a mini crossbody purse when I travel, because it gives me quick and secure access to my passport, wallet, and tickets, without me having to take off my backpack or exposing them to pickpocketers. For a fun, tropical one that you can also wear to dinner or out, try Kayu, Chila Bags, or check Accompany
  • Passport and Passport case
  • Phone
  • Charging cord
  • Mini wallet – There’s lots to choose from at O My Bag.
  • Sunglasses – here’s my shopping guide to the best eco sunglasses.
  • Casual watch – You’ll be happier checking your wrist rather than pulling out your phone constantly. Here’s a list of sustainable watch brands.
  • (Optional) Uniqlo ultralight down jacket –  My recommendation if you’re leaving from a cold country, otherwise, you won’t need it. This stuffs down into a tiny size so you can shove it in the bottom of your suitcase for the duration of your visit.
  • Backpack – Look for one that’s waterproof and has extra pockets.
  • Eyemask
  • Earbuds
  • Portable phone charging battery – These by Nimble are ethical and eco-friendly.
  • Camera and lenses, extra battery, battery charger, extra memory cards – I love my compact but powerful Fuji x-t10, with a wide angle lens for landscape, architecture, and room shots; and a 50 mm lens for portraits and food.
  • Lens bag and camera bag
  • Moleskine and pen
  • Chico reusable bag with stuff sack
  • Purifying water bottle – The DR’s water is not safe to drink. On the other hand, it has a terrible plastic waste problem, so buying plastic water bottles and throwing them away is not a great solution. This one we used in India and we never got sick.
  • SPF chapstick
  • Hand sanitizer – You might find yourself in a public bathroom wherever doesn’t have any soap available. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll want to pet a friendly stray cat or dog!
  • Portable spork – so you don’t have to use a disposable one. Make sure it’s plastic or wood (not metal) so it doesn’t get confiscated by airport security. Or get a bamboo travel set from Life Without Plastic.
  • Reusable straw – Most drinks don’t need straws, but mojitos do!
  • Pack of tissues – this isn’t for your nose, so don’t think I’m advocating this over a reusable handkerchief. It’s for bathroom emergencies.
  • Mini wet bag – Whether it’s rainy season, or you’re on a small boat on your way to an island, this will be handy.

In Your Suitcase

  • 2 bathing suits – 1 one-piece and one bikini. Here’s a list of sustainable swimwear brands.
  • Black-and-white striped long-sleeved tee – Perfect for a sunny sailboat day, to protect you from sunburn. Try Saint James for a quality one that will last for years.
  • Reversible tie top –  Tie it in the back and it’s a lovely top that goes with any bottom, from jeans to a skirt. Tie it in the front and it’s super sexy.
  • Linen long-sleeved button-down –  Tradland has some great versions.
  • 2 cotton tanks – find plenty to choose from at Amour Vert and MATE.
  • Wrap dress that doubles as a beach coverup – Wear it as a beach cover-up, a dress, a kimono, or a robe. Try Par en Par, Pondicherie, Symbology, or Mirth.
  • Caftan – So great for the beach when you don’t feel like sucking in, but want to look easy and breezy. Or at night against mosquitos. I love this one at Accompany, or MIRTH does them really well.
  • Denim shorts – Urban outfitters has a ton of vintage reworked denim shorts
  • Linen, cotton, or washable silk trousers – modest, fashionable, and comfortable, they’re super versatile, from the beach to a restaurant. Try Par en Par, Oh Seven Days, Whimsy & Row, MATTER, or Elizabeth Suzann.
  • Cotton or linen shortsMIRTHOh Seven Days, Whimsy & Row, or Elizabeth Suzann all have some.
  • 3 bras and 8 pairs of underwear. Here’s my 5 rules for packing undies for travel.
  • Fun yoga outfit – You’ll definitely want to do some yoga, especially if you’re going to Cabarete.
  • Quick-drying athletic shorts
  • Sarong – Great as a cover up, towel, or beach blanket. I got mine in India from Anokhi, but of course you can get these anywhere!
  • Lightweight pajamas – I chose this set because I could wear the t-shirt separately out in public (and did!), and the shorts to the beach.
  • Beach-y jewelry – You want to wear something cute, but not too pricey or bling-y! Find that at Made Trade, Able, and Accompany.
  • Colorful silk scarf – For wrapping your hair. Try MadeTrade, Miss Pompom, or Sevda.
  • Pons Avarcas walking sandals in camel brown – These last forever and are super comfortable and versatile.
  • Fancier sandals – I always bring my cork and gold Jack Rogers on beach trips. They aren’t sustainable or ethical, but I’ve had for at least nine years now and they are still going strong. #30wears is a sustainable way to go.
  • Brimmed hat –  This one actually folds up, so I can slip it in my suitcase’s front pocket.
  • Visor or baseball hat – something that will stay on your head and protect your face from sunburn when you’re in a boat and the wind is trying to take it off.
  • Net bag or woven bucket bag – A tropical flat-pack bag that holds a lot and looks so chic.
  • Teva’s or other water shoes that strap on – Not just for hiking or waterfalls, also helpful if it’s raining buckets!
  • Travel yoga mat – So you can get a good long stretch in every morning, regardless of where you are. I fold mine up and pack it inside the suitcase
  • Extra sunglasses – Beyond the city-style ones, you’ll want beach-y, festival style ones, too. I love my Topheads.
  • PurSteam traveling iron/steamer – this thing is tiny, but crucial if you have cotton or linen things!
  • Solar lamp by Luci – Perfect for taking a night walk along the beach. It’s more of a lamp than a flashlight, so you can eat by it or read by it without getting light into your companion’s eyes. The new one has a USB charger so you can charge it up or charge your phone.
  • Universal sink plug – So you can wash your clothing in the sink. You will appreciate having this!
  • Travel dry line – Drying something on a line as opposed to over the railing or on the floor makes a huge difference in time spent. (I lost my bikini top in Hawaii drying it on the railing!) I like this one because it comes with a stuff sack.
  • Waterproof reusable laundry bag
  • Travel first aid kit – Get a basic one, then add in medications you’ll need, like malaria pills, ibuprofen, Imodium, etc.


  • Argan oil – I can’t live without argan oil for making my hair shiny and smooth, plus sealing in moisture on my face after a shower.
  • Coola Tinted SPF BB cream – This is my absolute favorite tinted SPF moisturizer. It’s not too thick and makes your face glow!
  • 1 lip tint – Something subtle and beach-appropriate
  • Mascara
  • Micellar water – I love traveling with Micellar water because you don’t need to use water for it. I like Yes to Cucumbers, which you can find in the travel size in your local CVS or Walgreens.
  • Reusable cotton rounds
  • Travel toothbrush and toothpaste – I have to admit, mine is plastic because I wanted a compact toothbrush with a protective cap.
  • Deodorant – here’s my roundup of my favorites.
  • Mesh shower bag – Having all my shower stuff in a separate bag is crucial to ensure I don’t leave things behind in the shower, because I see the empty shower bag when I’m packing and remember I need to fill it up.
  • Shampoo and conditioner in travel size – I use conditioner for shaving, too. I refilled the mini bottles whenever I was in a hotel or place that keeps large bottles in the shower.
  • Safety razor and razor blades – I switched to this because it’s easier and more affordable to find razor blade replacements, then the fancy heads that come with whatever fancy razor blade you can get from your drugstore in the U.S.
  • Shower cap – I got one from Shhhowercap that wouldn’t be thrown away by the cleaning people the way small plastic ones are, but it came in over-the-top, wasteful packaging, so I don’t recommend it. But once I had it, I stuffed it in a little cotton bag.
  • Sunscreen – Here’s my guide to non-toxic sunscreen.
  • Dr. Bronner travel-sized soap – Great for if the place you are staying doesn’t provide hand soap, or if you need to wash your clothes in the sink.
  • Bug spray – My absolute favorite
  • A Sea-band anti-nausea relief bracelet if you get seasick
  • Menstrual cup – reusable, therefore you won’t have to go on a pilgrimage for tampons. Once you use it, you’ll never go back.
  • Nail file – great for both filing and digging crud out from under your nails.
  • Mini hairbrush
  • Tweezers
  • Hair elastics
  • Mini nail scissors

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