The Ultimate Tonga Packing List!
You’ve booked the flights, you know what amazing experiences in Tonga are on your bucket list, you’ve even drawn out some Tongan Pa’anga… Now, all that stands in your way to your ultimate tropical adventure is packing! Exciting yet daunting all at the same time; packing the right clothes and having the accessories but not overpacking are what you need to balance. We go through everything to consider for a trip to Tongan paradise in this complete packing list for Tonga!
Before we jump into this packing list, be sure to bookmark Tonga Weather, Seasons and Climate Guide to know what weather to pack for.
6 Packing Tips for Tonga
Before we get into what to pack for Tonga, here are some quick packing tips:
- Be aware of what you need to declare when arriving at the borders of Tonga – write a list if you have a few things that are difficult to remember
- Tonga is a very conservative country. When you’re leaving your resort, respect the local customs by having some light modest outfits that cover the knees and shoulders
- Don’t overpack. If you are in Tonga for five days or a week, pack clothes to wear for each day. If you are in for a couple of weeks in paradise, pack for a week and use your accommodation’s (or the local laundromat’s) laundry facilities
- If you are taking more than one flight to Tonga, make sure to check the baggage allowance of all your flights and take the strictest one into consideration. Otherwise, excess charges may apply. Domestic flights in Tonga usually have the same allowance as international flights
- Contact your bank to let them know you are travelling, just in case they block your card
- Use packing cubes to organise your suitcase – see our favourites on Amazon or these premium packing cubes to separate dirty from clean clothes.
For more nifty stuff, check out the 10 Travel Gadgets & Accessories for a Tropical Holiday. Now, let’s get into the full packing list for Tonga!
Clothes Packing List for Tonga
Tonga has consistently warm tropical weather – usually 25-31°C (77-88°F) in the day and 15-25°C (59-77°F) in the evening. Needless to say, packing a tropical wardrobe is essential, but you’ll also want to be prepared with clothes to protect yourself from the sun, rain and mosquito bites, as well as respect the local customs.
What Should I Pack for 5 Days, 1 Week, 2 Weeks in Tonga?
We recommend packing enough clothes for each day you stay if staying less than a week. Staying any longer, you can use the laundry facilities available in many of the resorts and guesthouses.
For our complete guide with all the details, also to clarify some of the cultural customs when it comes to wearing clothes in Tonga, make sure you also go to What Clothes to Weart in Tonga: Clothes Packing List. Otherwise, here’s a quick overview…
Tonga Casual Clothing
- 4 Singlets/T-Shirts
- 2 Blouses/Shirts to cover the shoulders
- 2 Shorts/Skirts to or below the knee
- 1 Dress/Skirt below the knee for church/impress at dinner, going to town or villages, etc. We recommend light fabrics such as the sustainable bamboo dresses and skirts by Moso Morrow
- 1 Sarong (Lavalava) will be your best friend for hitting the beach and covering your swimwear in between swimming
- 1 or 2 Light sleepwear if you’re against sleeping in your undies
- 1 Light jacket/Cardigan/Pashmina for cooler evenings
- 1 Light fleece jumper something to keep warm after swimming from a boat
- 1 Sports shorts/Leggings for hiking/active activities, preferable to or below the knee
- 1 Sports T-shirt/Singlet for hiking/active activities
- 1 Outfit to travel between Tonga and home
- 3 Bras including strapless, sports and comfortable bras
- 6 Underwear
- 4 Socks.
- 1 Bikini for resort beach/pool
- 1 One-piece for watersports
- 2 Boardshorts for guys
- 1 Rash vest (we like sustainable Sharkskin rashies).
Tonga Protective Clothing
- Light shirt to cover arms and back.
- Walking shoes/Sneakers
- Reef shoes/Water shoes.
Travel Accessories Packing List for Tonga
From the absolutely essential travel documents to the not-so-essential-but-good-to-have e-reader, this list of travel accessories has something for everyone but not necessarily everything for everyone. While we all have our preferences, here are some ideas on what travel accessories to pack for Tonga. Pick and choose what applies to you!
Travel Essentials and Paperwork
- Boarding pass/booking paperwork
- Travel ticket/booking paperwork for travel out of Tonga
- Credit/debit card
- Tongan Pa’anga (or cash to exchange in Tonga)
- Driver’s license (if renting a car)
- Medical prescription
- Travel insurance policy (optional).
Head to What Documents Do I Need to Travel to Tonga? for all the details on this all-essential paperwork.
Tonga Travel Accessories and Electronics
- Snorkelling gear (if you plan to do some snorkelling other than on a whale swimming or guided snorkelling tour)
- Beach/Travel towel
- Waterproof camera
- Chargers for electronic devices
- Type 1 travel adapter
- Lifestraw water bottle
Some of these items fall under the “essential” or “highly recommended” category, which you can read more about in the 20 Essentials You Need to Pack for Tonga.
Tonga Travel Accessories for Kids
- Baby mosquito net
- Baby carrier
- Portable steriliser
- Baby formula
- Children’s lifejacket
- Reusable Swim Diaper Training Pants
- GPS tracker/child locator
- Travel games
- Waterproof kids camera
- Go!: Kids Interactive Travel Diary
See the 25 Tips for Your Family Tonga Vacation with Kids for more information on some of the items mentioned.
Tonga Food Packing List
While we don’t generally recommend that you pack food for Tonga, if you have dietary needs that are often hard to cater for abroad (for instance, see our guides for vegans/vegetarians and gluten-free), then you may want to bring a few essential ingredients. See what you can and cannot take in Taking Food to Tonga: What You Need to Know.
Toiletries and Medication Packing List for Tonga
Everyone’s different when it comes to a morning routine. For this reason, you might find a few things on this list that you would never use, as well as a few things missing. Nevertheless, this list might just prompt you for a few things to remember to pack. Note, also, that not all accommodations have toiletries in the bathrooms. That’s why recommend bringing your own to Tonga.
A first aid kit is also important to address medical problems that commonly occur when holidaying in Tonga, such as sunburn, heatstroke and mosquito bites. For more information on packing your own first aid kit, see What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Tonga.
Tonga First Aid Kit
- Travel vaccine passport (vaccinations record)
- Antihistamine pills or cream
- Oral rehydration sachets (medical electrolytes)
- Baby electrolytes
- Antidiarrhoeal pills e.g. loperamide
- Nasal drops
- Butterfly closures
- Disinfectant wipes
- Elastic wraps
- Flight socks
- Antisceptic cream/spray
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Aloe vera soothing cream
- Hand sanitiser
- A copy of the emergency numbers in Tonga
- Antibiotics if recommended by your GP.
For information on what each medication is for, see What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Tonga.
Tonga Toiletries and Other Medication
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- SPF lip balm
- Insect repellent
- Seasickness pills
- Prescription medication
- Feminine hygiene products
- Razor/hair removal
- Glasses/contact lenses
- Nail clippers
- Hand sanitiser.
For more health tips, check out Tonga Safety Tips: How to Keep Safe in Tonga.
Why Type of Bags to Take to Tonga
Now that you know everything you are going to pack, what are you going to pack into?! Everyone has their preferences when it comes to luggage, but we recommend that travellers moving around a few times, perhaps visiting a few different islands of their trip, should use a backpack. If you’re basing yourself in one resort or hotel for the majority of your stay, a suitcase should suit just fine. You’ll also want to make sure you have an appropriate day pack to carry essentials, such as sunscreen, insect repellent, water, etc.
Luggage to Take to Tonga
- Beach bag/Day pack that fits within the carry-on allowance of your chosen airline (usually 55 x 40 x 23 cm / 21 x 15 x 9 in) – we usually travel with Herschel‘s backpacks and tote bags
- Small purse/Camera bag
- Packing cubes.
Suitcases for Tonga
Staying in just one or two accommodations? Do you have your transfers organised and are perhaps just sticking to some main islands? A suitcase will be an easy choice, easily rolled along the surfaces of airports and the streets of Nuku’alofa. If staying elsewhere on the main islands of Tongatapu, Vava’u or even ‘Eua, your transfer (or taxi) will take you from the airport to your chosen accommodation, where it’s very unlikely that you’ll need to worry about the easiest bag to carry then.
Other than being easy to roll across certain surfaces and saving your back from a heavy and sweaty mission, what else are the benefits of using a suitcase for Tonga? They are so easy to organise! Opening up a suitcase to find your clothes essentially spread in front of you far surpasses the “rummaging for clothes” experience you get with backpacks.
The Pros of Taking a Suitcase to Tonga
- Easier to organise and find things inside than a backpack
- Easier to transport around airports and urban areas than a backpack
- You can usually fit more in a suitcase than a similar-sized backpack
- Hardshell suitcases help protect the contents better than a backpack.
The Cons of Taking a Suitcase to Tonga
- Harder to carry across different surfaces like beaches
- External elements like wheels and handles can break
- External elements like wheels and handles add to the baggage weight.
Backpacks for Tonga
The go-to luggage for the traveller who prefers to move around, backpacks are practical and versatile. Carrying backpacks over sand and water is much easier than with a suitcase, as well as lugging the backpack on and off ferries.
We also like that the weight of a backpack itself is usually much lighter than a suitcase, meaning that you can pack a few more things before you go over the baggage allowance of flights. Then again, backpacks usually can’t contain as much as a similar-sized suitcase. At least you’ll almost be forced not to overpack as this would also mean that you’ll be carrying a likely heavy item on your back in the tropical sun which isn’t always the most comfortable of experiences.
The Pros of Taking a Backpack to Tonga
- Ideal for island-hopping, as they are easier to carry over difficult terrain than suitcases
- They are versatile and some can be used as a day pack
- They force you to not overpack and not go over the airline luggage limits (as you usually don’t want to carry something too heavy)
- More durable than suitcases.
The Cons of Taking a Backpack to Tonga
- Can be uncomfortable to carry on your back for long periods
- Not as easy as suitcases to transport around airports and urban areas.
Day Packs for Tonga
You’ll need to carry a few things around during your day-to-day in Tonga, including sunscreen, swimwear, towels, water, money, etc. With that in mind, a day pack is a piece of essential luggage to have in Tonga. Day packs can also double up as your carry-on for your flight to, from and around Tonga.
Day Packs for Active Travellers
For travellers who like to be on the move, sightseeing in the towns, hiring a bike, and going on boat tours, a small backpack is a versatile option for a day pack.
Day Packs for Beach Bums
For those travelling on a cruise, spending days going to the beach or lazying by the pool, a beach tote or beach bag is a good day pack of choice. You’ll have enough space to fit all your essentials and look good in the process.
Day Packs for Families
Carrying things for the whole family can be a challenge. One way to go about it is to take a suitcase and a large backpack to Tonga. That way, when you arrive at your destination, you can unpack the backpack and use it as a day pack for the whole family, having more than enough space to fit in all the millions of things that come with carting kids around on holiday. Check out more tips in the 20 Essential Tips for Travelling to Tonga with Children.
More About What to Pack for Tonga
That’s it for our complete packing list for Tonga! If you want to dive into more about what to pack for Tonga, just check out our other guides:
- The Duty-Free Allowances for Tonga
- How Much Spending Money Do You Need for Tonga?
- 10 Travel Gadgets & Accessories for a Tropical Holiday