Planning a fun holiday to the Caribbean, land of white beaches and warm waters? Here is a list of must have items for your trip:
This includes a valid passport, airline tickets, boarding passes, travel visa into the country, your current driver’s license and of course your travel insurance. Make sure to keep them in a safe, secure and easily accessible location, maybe even in a water proof bag.
A wheeled suitcase is your best bet in case you are required to deplane on the tarmac at some airports – several of these airports have a long walk from the gate to available ground transport. It is a good idea to have the essentials for the first 24 hours in carry on. If you want to travel by local buses or trains, a backpack is easier to use than a suitcase.
The Caribbean is famous for its tropical weather, so you can expect lots of sun and high humidity. These factors should come into consideration when packing your clothes. Pack light, breezy outfits like t-shirts, sundresses, tank tops and shorts. Different islands have different customs regarding appropriate clothing, but camouflage outfits are not allowed for civilians on most of the islands.
Take a few different sets of bathing suits as they may take a while to dry off due to the humidity. You should include a few sun-cover ups as well.
Comfortable shoes/ jandals
Wear casual, comfy footwear on the beach, take walking shoes for a stroll into town, and dressier shoes for any more formal occasions.
These include, but are not limited to; toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, hair brush, razor and deodorant. Don’t assume you will be able to find everything you want at your destination!
A waterproof camera like a GoPro is great for recording magical moments both on land and in the water. Unless you’re all about the IG, a good quality phone camera will probably be enough for everything else.
This may be any type of carry on like a duffel bag or a bum bag/ fanny pack to use to carry your valuables including money, hotel key card, phone, or clothes when heading to the beach.
It is not uncommon for hotels or resorts to charge a daily rental fee for towels, and some do not allow their towels to be taken to the beach, so it can be simpler to pack your own travel towel.
A good book (or two)
Bring a book to read by the pool, beach or on your flight. Some resorts provide a free book exchange service. Some people prefer a Kindle, IPad or similar as that way you can carry multiple books without the bulk.
Stomach ache relief
Caribbean holidays are famous for drinking and buffets, so it is a good idea to travel with something for stomach aches or diarrhoea. Try taking a probiotic every day and carry Diastop.
Mosquitoes and sand flies can turn a tropical holiday into a nightmare. Pack bug repellent – if you will be travelling with kids its best to get one safe for delicate skin.
You are advised to purchase waterproof sunscreen containing a minimum of SPF 30. It is most likely available at your destination but as it might be expensive, it is better to come with your own.
Lip balm with SPF
A mixture of the Caribbean sun, salt water and dehydration is likely to cause your lips to dry out but this is nothing a tube of lip balm with SPF can’t fix. It will moisturise while protecting your lips from the sun at the same time.
You can enjoy a fun game of cards with new friends either indoors or outdoors. Cards travel easily, and provide multiple games for all ages, from Snap to Euchre, as well as solo games like Solitaire.
Hats and sunglasses
A wide-brimmed hat is best for protecting your face, neck and ears from the sun. Sunglasses are advisable as they protect from the sun while making you look Caribbean chic at the same time. Be sure to not bring your designer hats or sunglasses as they may get lost or damaged.
All prescription medications should be carried in their original containers together with their prescription. Check before you arrive as some places may not allow some medications in the country or may require a letter from your doctor.
First aid kit
A well-packed first aid kit is essential for any holiday. Contents should include; pain relief medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin to help with headaches, cortisone cream, antibacterial cream, band aids, aloe vera for burns, allergy medication and baby powder in case of chafing.
This is essential for all your gadgets, especially if you will be travelling to a country with a different standard plug outlet. You might need a voltage converter because voltages supplied vary in each country, check online to know if you will require one or not.
Having a battery available to recharge your phone or camera is essential, especially if you are planning to be out and about all day.
Most hotels and resorts provide laundry service but, in case they do not or you need to quickly get rid of a stain on your outfit, a small pack of detergent will keep your clothes clean without having to buy a whole box.
Ladies should remember to pack sanitary items like pads or tampons. These may not be readily available in your destination.
Cash is still king! You can get cash easily from ATMs and you will need this for tipping, food carts, souvenirs, taxis and so much more.