Looking forward to your Caribbean vacation? A chance to slip your toes in the sand on a sun-drenched beach, gaze at the dazzling, turquoise water, and forget about the rest of the world for a while. You’ve booked your hotel, planned your itinerary, and there’s just one thing standing in your way.
Ugh. Packing is a hassle for some and downright stressful for others. Deciding what to bring isn’t always easy. Here are a few tips to help you to pack for your Caribbean getaway:
The Caribbean is a hot, tropical climate. Light, breathable fabrics are best. Avoid synthetics like polyester and rayon; opt for cotton and linen instead. A hat and sunglasses will help protect you from the tropical sun.
If you are planning to spend most of your time at the beach, don’t underestimate the strength of the sun. A bad burn on your first day could ruin the rest of your vacation. So sunblock, aloe vera, and lip balm with SPF are on the must-pack list. You can obtain these locally, but they will cost more. Remember that airlines have restrictions about traveling with liquids, so you’ll have to include these items in checked luggage if you decide to bring them.
Wear This; Not That
The Caribbean is a relaxed, laid-back place, so unless you plan on going out to the bars and clubs, you won’t need a lot of different outfits, shoes, jewelry, etc. High-heeled shoes don’t work well around sand and unpaved roads, and jewelry can get lost in the ocean. For women, capri pants are a nice choice for most away-from-the-beach locations, and one or two dresses for going out in the evening should do it. For men, a couple of collared polo shirts should suffice. Bring one or two pairs of comfortable walking shoes. Note that camouflage clothing is frowned upon, banned, or even illegal in many places.
If most of your time will be spent at the beach, then bathing suits, t-shirts, a beach wrap, shorts, and flip-flops or sandals are what you’ll want most. Bring at least two bathing suits; if you’re going to swim every day, you’ll have a dry suit to put on every day.
Your Beach Bag Can Be Your Carry-On
This reduces the amount of bags you’ll need, and you’d be surprised how much you can fit into a medium-sized beach bag. Include essential toiletries, your travel documents, medication, and your swimsuit. If your luggage is delayed, you’ll have everything you need to relax at the pool or beach until it arrives.
Leave Stuff at Home
You want to be ready for any possible situation: hurricane, tornado, earthquake, running into your ex. But let’s be honest, most people overpack. So remember this:
- You won’t need cold-weather clothes. It’s the tropics.
- Don’t bring a lot of makeup or a hair dryer. Two words: heat and humidity.
- Skip the beach towels. Resorts and beach hotels have towels for guests to use.
- Don’t pack lots of accessories such as jewelry, watches, sunglasses, purses, etc. You’re trying to get away from it all, not take it all with you.