There are certain items that all types of travelers need to pack. Gather all of your important documents to carry with you as your travel: passports, plane tickets, reservation information, driver's license, credit cards, health insurance cards and a list of emergency contact numbers. A good guidebook with accommodation listings is necessary for independent travelers. Take your glasses or contacts and any medication that you will need during your trip. Carry painkillers and diarrhea medication. Pack your mobile phone or satellite phone and don't forget the charger.
The type of clothes you pack will largely depend on what you plan to do during your vacation. Some travelers need little more than a swimsuit, sandals and a few T-shirts and pairs of shorts, while others prefer to bring a suitcase of coordinated outfits for going out on the town. Start with the basics: underwear, swimwear, socks, T-shirts and shorts. You'll want at least one warm long-sleeve shirt or sweater and a long pair of pants for the cooler nights. Women may want to pack sarongs, skirts, dresses and a strapless bra. A hat or visor will help protect you from the sun.
Again, start with the basics and add as you see fit. Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a comb or small hairbrush, and deodorant. Take razors, sanitary supplies and contraception if needed. Pack travel-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, face wash and moisturizer. It's always a good idea to take tissues, a lightweight towel and anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must for tropical travel.
Hiking & Trekking
It's important to pack lightweight, compact clothing that can dry quickly. In the rain forest, it can be very wet and humid. Pack a mesh bag to put wet clothes in so they can air out as you hike. Don't forget waterproof rain gear. Take a mosquito net and plenty of insect repellent. If you plan on washing clothes as you go, take a clothesline and biodegradable laundry soap. Pack a small alarm clock, compass and altimeter. Don't assume you can buy maps in your destination country; pack maps and trekking guides. Take a flashlight, extra batteries, a knife and a small sewing kit. Don't pack your knife in your hand baggage. Take a lightweight sleeping bag and thermal liner if you plan on camping. It can get cold at night at higher altitudes, so be sure you pack enough warm clothing along with long-sleeve shirts to protect your arms when hiking in the forest.