How to Prepare for a Rainy Travel Season (And Stay Dry!)

The winding road of Tianmen mountain national park
The winding road of Tianmen mountain national park


Rainy season travel offers green and lush landscapes to explore, but also brings logistical challenges when making your packing checklist. In this thorough guide, we’ll show you what to pack when it’s going to be a wet vacation, and how to stay dry in the tropics!


Sadly the sun doesn’t shine 24/7 in the tropics. If you’re heading to places like Costa Rica or Southeast Asia—or anywhere during its rainy season—you’re going to want to make sure you’ve packed adequate wet-weather gear.

Whatever your itinerary, and whatever your budget, use these helpful packing tips to help you stay dry on what promises to be a wet (but beautiful) adventure.


Best Rainy Season Travel Gear for Adventure Travelers

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing travel gear to use specifically during rainy season. Waterproof, quick-dry, durable fabrics are a must unless you want to carry wet and heavy items around in your pack. It’s also vital that you keep your feet clean and dry or you’ll risk nasty fungal infections that can eat away at your skin. Gross right?! 

While tracking down kit on your list, listen up: You should consider the eco-credentials of the travel gear you buy from now on. 

Use our guide to our favorite eco-friendly travel buys, which includes details on Eagle Creek’s approach to sustainable manufacturing. And consider these the top options for each type of bag you might bring along:

●     The  Migrate Duffel 40L  is the perfect affordable waterproof duffel that will perform well during even the rainiest trip. It’s carry-on sized, made from water repellent 900D heavy-duty TPU, and its seamless bottom bathtub construction prevents water from puddles or other sources from entering the duffel. Total win. 

●     The  National Geographic Utility 40L Backpack offers maximum performance in a comfortable, ergonomically designed backpack. Ultra-durable weatherproof Tarpaulin and zippers guarantee not a drop of water will touch the gear packed inside. 

●     If you’re hauling a lot of gear around, look no further than the Yonder Rolling Trunk, which has weather-resistant fabrics and zippers so your gear is always protected, and a very handy front vertical zip compartment that separates any wet gear from main compartment. 


Essential Rainy Season Packing Checklist

Gore-tex hiking boots and quick dry socks: Wet feet can lead to awful fungal infections. so if you’re planning to go hiking in monsoon season, make sure you’re well equipped with waterproof hiking boots and plenty of socks.

Microfiber towel: Pack something ultra-light and ultra-absorbent that will provide quick relief if you need to dry off in a hurry. This TravelLite towel is a great option.

Raincoat or poncho: Choose either or both depending on the location, however, don't forget that evenings in the tropics can actually get cold—the right raincoat will provide both warmth and protection from the wet.

Mosquito repellent: Experiment with natural alternatives to DEET where possible, but if you’re at all concerned about major mosquito-borne viruses like Malaria, consult your doctor about the right malaria and dengue-prevention strategy.

Waterproof backpack cover : This isa must unless you’re planning to travel with a hard-plastic case (and even then you should be sure your luggage was waterproof locks and zippers!).  This durable pack cover  can also be used as added protection when checking your bag at the airport.

Waterproof duffel: If your current backpack is looking a little worse for wear, consider investing in a waterproof option that’s manufactured with eco-credentials. This waterproof duffel bag will keep the rain off your essentials and comes with a shoulder strap for hands-free carrying.

Head torch: Rainy season in the tropics often brings risk of blackouts. Have your own light source to hand on a night, just in case.

Water-resistant packing cubesPacking cubes are great to separate your wet and dry clothing/shoes in your pack when you travel, even outside of rainy season. But when it’s monsoon season, you need these durable, waterproof packing cubes, which you can even use to store your electronics inside for additional protection from an afternoon downpour. 

Water-resistant and mud-proof shoe sacs : When you’re out in the elements, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to need to pack your muddy shoes away. This  shoe sac  features LinkSeal™ Mesh technology to resist even the muddiest rainy season adventure.


Best Fabrics to Wear During Rainy Season Adventures

The best fabrics to wear in wet, warm weather are those that wick moisture away from the skin, are light-weight, and breathable. Look for loose fitting layers made from bamboo and organic cotton, and stick to merino wool for warmer layers to wear when the temperature drops. Choose quality over quantity and opt for eco-conscious brands that promote sustainable manufacturing such as IceBreaker and SmartWool.

Don’t forget that it pays to wear long sleeves and pants in places where mosquitoes are abundant. Viruses like Zika and Dengue Fever are no fun. Trust me, I spent two weeks in bed with the latter when I visited Costa Rica.


How to Dry Wet Clothes When It’s Humid Outside

If you’ve packed quick-dry layers, then drying your clothes will be a breeze, pardon the pun! As long as you squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible and allow air to circulate around them, they shouldn’t require much drying time at all. Store wet items in a water-repellant travel laundry bag, then hang them from a pegless laundry line. 

Tip: Make sure you change your socks mid-way through a day’s hiking if your boots are wet. Clip or tie your wet socks onto your daypack and the air will soon dry them out; switch two pairs like this on long hikes through wet rainforest and your feet will thank you for it.

Essentially, the best way to make the most of any destination in the rainy season is to embrace the weather and plan your itinerary and packing list accordingly. If you’ve packed the right clothing, footwear, and gear, there really isn’t anything you can’t enjoy!


Have you travelled to the topics during rainy season? Share your top travel tips with us on Facebook or  Instagram !


Related Links: 

Photo Journal: A Taste of Southeast Asia

The Do's and Dont's of Thailand

Why You Should Visit U.S. National Parks in the Offseason