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What to Pack for a Caribbean Vacation

Whether you are preparing for your first trip to the Caribbean or consider yourself a seasoned veteran, packing for vacation can feel like a daunting task. We believe every day leading up to your vacation should bring growing excitement, not stress!

To ease your packing woes, we have constructed the ultimate packing list for Caribbean vacations! Including everything from appropriate dinner attire to lip balm with SPF, this list of things to bring will ensure a relaxing vacation.

So pull out your suitcase (with wheels, for your convenience), and pack along!

Essentials for the Airport

  1. Travel Documents: These are the absolute most important things you need to get to the Caribbean. Passport, driver’s license, and plane ticket should be tucked in a secure and easily accessible area such as carry-on or purse packets. Keep in mind that passports are required for Caribbean travel now, and you will be denied flight service without one.
  2. Well-Packed Carry On: Pack your carry on with any items that would be essential within 24 hours of travel. This includes prescriptions, toiletries, a change of clothing and shoes, and definitely a bathing suit! With international travel, luggage can be delayed for up to a day. A well-equipped carry on will leave you lounging poolside, and stress free, while waiting for your suitcase.
  3. TSA Approved Locks: The only thing more upsetting than lost luggage is a suitcase that has been ransacked. Equip your belongings with TSA approved locks to prevent any property loss. We recommend combination locks to eliminate that devastating epiphany of “I forgot the keys at home.”

Dressing for Jamaica

  1. Lightweight Clothing: The average temperature in the Caribbean is 82˚F, so account for the heat and humidity while packing. For day-to-day activities, pack a variety of shorts and polos for men, and dresses, skirts, and loose tops for women. Avoid very revealing clothing. For dinner, men should bring at least one pair of long pants and a sundress or long skirt for women. Some restaurants will have a mandatory dress code; so a few conservative pieces won’t hurt. Note: Their is no dress code at Bluefields Bay Villas (which is one of the things our visitors love about staying here. Leave the suit and tie at home and relax!)
  2. Comfortable Shoes: You will need a pair of sneakers, sandals, water shoes and dress shoes to equip you for vacation. Flip flops will accommodate you for the majority of your vacation, and the remaining will keep you protected and properly dressed for other activities.
  3. MULTIPLE Bathing Suits: Multiple bathing suits, got that? They take longer to dry in Jamaican humidity, and there’s nothing worse than pulling on a damp suit. Swimwear doesn’t take up much room in your suitcase, so just pack them in! Did we say multiple?
  4. Light Jacket & Umbrella: In some areas of the Caribbean, you’ll get a little rain almost every day. Pack a lightweight umbrella to keep yourself comfortable. If you’re traveling in the winter months, you may find a light jacket comforting as temperatures take a slight dip in the evening.
  5. Clothing NOT to Pack: We mentioned previously that revealing and skimpy clothing is not ideal for your Caribbean getaway. Take note that camouflage clothing is strictly prohibited, and even illegal in some Caribbean areas, so just leave all these at home.

There Will Be Sun!

  1. Sunblock: Bring as much sunblock as you can, and bring more than you think you will use. Choose waterproof sunblock from varying levels of SPF, and encourage everyone in your travel group to pack in excess too. You will undoubtedly be enjoying the sun, and running out will cost you a pretty penny to stock up. Just do it, your skin will thank you!
  2. Aloe Vera: Whether you planned on it or not, there will inevitably be some sunburn on the horizon. Packing a bottle of aloe will help relieve the pain without the additional wallet pain of buying a bottle in Jamaica. Don’t get mistaken for the lobster you’ll be enjoying for dinner!
  3. Lip balm with SPF: Burnt lips? Ouch! Bring along a moisturizing lip balm that has SPF. It will help protect you from the sun, and also relieve lips in the chance they do become sun burnt.
  4. Bug Spray: Some of us are just more prone to itchy, scratchy bug bites than others are. Pack a bottle or two along to keep you from smacking away the insects. And I’m sure some unlucky soul will thank you for thinking of it when they forget themselves.
  5. Sunglasses & Hats: We clearly think you should pack as much sun protection as possible. A wide rimmed hat will keep the sun from burning your face. Sunglasses, with SPF protection, will also protect your eyes from the fun you’re going to have in the sun.

All the Extras

  1. First Aid Kit: Keep yourself in the game with a well-equipped first aid kit. Pain reliever such as ibuprofen or aspirin help with sunburn, headaches and more; Imodium or an anti-diarrheal calms your digestive system should things go awry; and hydrocortisone and antibacterial cream will treat itches and cuts. Baby powder will be a lifesaver for the oh-so-dreaded chafing, and a pack of band-aids never hurt anyone!
  2. Waterproof Cases & Bags: Ziploc bags are perfect for keeping things dry and preventing bottle spills in your beach bag, and trash bags are great for keeping everything in your bag protected from water activities. For cameras and electronics that can’t risk any contact with water, purchase a waterproof case that is airtight.
  3. Snorkel Gear: If you plan on snorkeling or find yourself even mildly drawn to the idea of it, bring your own snorkel gear. It will definitely be much cheaper, and in some cases more sanitary, than renting from your resort or buying them in Jamaica. Note: We provide snorkel gear to all of our visitors.
  4. Laundry Detergent Powder: If your resort doesn’t offer laundry service, or even if it does, you may find it convenient to do a quick hand wash in the sink. Maybe you spilled a little piña colada on your shirt…no problem! Give it a quick wash and get on with your vacation. Note: At Bluefields Bay Villas we will wash, fold and iron whatever you need.
  5. Extra Duffel Bag: Bringing an extra bag along is great for a couple reasons: it gives you a beach bag to carry along during the day, and you now have room to bring home souvenirs instead of cramming them in your carryon.
  6. Bottle Opener: Interestingly enough, you may find yourself drinking soda and other beverages in glass bottles. Pop a keychain bottle opener in your carry-on, and you won’t find yourself struggling to get that beer bottle open! Note: Our guests will find a bottle opener in their private villa.

Final Tips for Your Caribbean Trip

Just a few final packing notes to keep in mind while you’re checking off the list:

  • Check with your resort about beach towels: Some resorts don’t want you taking their towels to the beach and may charge you a daily rental fee. In this case, pack some extras. But all-inclusive resorts should provide you with towels, so don’t pack them in this instance. No reason to waste space in the suitcase! Note: Bluefields Bay Villas provides all of our guests with towels.
  • Don’t Overpack: It may be tempting, but you’ll pay for it, literally. If your resort offers laundry service, you could wear 2-3 outfits multiple times throughout the entire trip. And don’t forget to pack PJs!
  • Batteries, If Needed: If your camera, razor, etc. runs on batteries, bring extras with you. When it comes to charging, a travel adaptor isn’t needed for visitors from the USA. Keep in mind the voltage is slightly lower in Jamaica, so it may take a little longer for your electronics to charge.
  • Cell Phone Service: Check with your cell phone carrier to confirm coverage in the Caribbean and what frequency your phone works on. You may be required to activate “roaming” and be subject to fees while using your phone on vacation.

It’s Vacation Time!

There it is, the 411 on what to pack for a Caribbean vacation. We’ve summed up all the things to bring for a stress-free and relaxing vacation.

No matter how long your packing list is and how much you planned, something always gets left behind. Don’t worry! No sense stressing because you forgot to bring that SPF lip balm, YOU’RE IN THE CARIBBEAN!

And if you are planning a trip to Bluefields Villas — let us know how we can help lighten your load. Give us a call at 1-877-955-8993 or click here to learn to get more information online.

With our all-inclusive style packages, many of these items will be included in your stay, meaning you can focus on packing the most important things — like flip flops and bathing suits. Click here to learn more about our all-inclusive amenities.


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