Are you planning a Caribbean vacation soon? I’m sure you’ve begun preparing for your trip and are wondering what to pack. The supply of goods/services in some Caribbean trip packing list islands is limited in comparison to the United States.
The ultimate Caribbean packing list is below, so you can get into vacation mode a little early. Although the Caribbean islands tend to have limited shopping opportunities, and prices are generally higher, you do not have to pack your whole life.
To truly unplug and relax in the Caribbean, you won’t need much to bring. Caribbean life tends to be rather simple. This Caribbean packing list fits into both the carry-on bags and personal items of my husband and me if you are like me and prefer to pack light.
No bag has ever been checked by us to travel to the Caribbean – not even on our honeymoon! For the perfect Caribbean vacation, here are all the essentials and little extras that we never leave home without.
Caribbean Packing List Essentials:
To make sure you can easily access your Caribbean destination, you will need these items:
- A flight’s boarding pass
- A Global Entry Card is helpful for avoiding long security lines if returning to the US (not required, but definitely useful).
- An original passport
- If you are renting a car, you will need a driver’s license
- Any ferries or taxis will require cash
- Using a credit card
- Credit Card
- Cellular phone
- Charger for cell phones
When you get to the airport, make sure you have your passport, global entry card, and boarding passes available.
If you plan to take a taxi or ferry to your lodging, I suggest bringing only what you will need. If you need additional cash for your trip, you can withdraw it later.
Read More: Minimalist Packing List For Every Trip
Flight Essentials for the Caribbean:
A seat bag is the one you store under your seat on a plane. In addition to items that will make your trip more comfortable, your personal item should include things that are difficult to replace if your luggage is lost. As a result, if the airline does lose your luggage, you will be able to get by for a short time.
- Ipad with charger (to watch shows on the plane, we download them to ours)
- You may need prescription medications
- The airline offers bland pretzels and cookies as snacks (if you don’t want to eat them).
- Liquid bag to remove easily when going through security. My bag always contains the following:
- Skin Care Products (face wash, toner, moisturizer)
- The shampoo
- Hair conditioner
- Using a body wash
- Paste for Teeth
- Using perfume
- Gel or cream to shave with
Clothing to Pack for the Caribbean:
Packing clothes for the Caribbean is actually quite simple. Packing a variety of layers isn’t necessary since the weather is so consistent. The clothing you do need, such as shorts and tank tops, will take up less space in your bags since it’s always pretty warm.
Furthermore, many of the Caribbean islands have a rather laid-back vibe. According to my observations, the dress code is never too formal.
So, you don’t need to worry about bringing dressy clothes to evening dinners. In spite of the overall dressed-down beach vibe, some of the nicest restaurants still have the overall beach feel. It’s great!
Many people overpack their clothing as well. Keep your outfit options to a minimum. Rather than lugging the heavy suitcase across the island, you’ll have to carry it through long airport terminals. It’ll only get worn half the time anyway!
Staying somewhere with a washing machine makes packing lighter much easier. By bringing swimsuits and casual t-shirts, you can wear them more than once.
Here is what I suggest packing for a week’s trip to the Caribbean, assuming you do:
- For women, one pair of denim shorts, and one pair of white shorts or khaki shorts for men.
- 3-5 casual t-shirts or tanks
- For the evening, wear 2-3 nicer tops/dresses
- There are two or three options for swimsuits
- (Ladies) Swimsuit coverup
- A pair or two of comfortable shorts for hiking
- Shoes with straps/sandals/flipflops
- If you want to hike (some beaches have short hikes), bring sneakers.
- A total of five pairs of socks
- A total of seven pairs of underwear
- Two sports bras, two bralettes, and two regular bras are available for women only.
- A hat
- An evening sweatshirt to keep you warm
- For me, this looks like two pairs of pajama shorts and five tank tops.
Personal Care Items for the Caribbean:
Buying personal care items at home will be much more cost-effective than buying them in the Caribbean. Since Caribbean islands must import all these items, even basic items like toothbrushes are more expensive.
Since we need more than a carry-on allows, we only buy bug spray and sunscreen on the island.
The following is what we manage to fit into our suitcases (with the exception of those two items):
- If checking a bag, use Reef Safe sunscreen on both the face and body
- Lip balm with sun protection
- Cotton balls or Q-tips
- Making up as little as possible
- An electric razor
- Brushing your teeth
- Ties for hair
- Items for Feminine Care
- Use a comb
- The majority of lodgings have a hair dryer (check with the lodging)
- Braces worn at night (e.g. I wear foot braces to bed, but you may need retainers or mouth guards)
- Are you prone to foot pain from time to time? As a precaution, I always carry a golf ball to roll out my foot.
Keeping electronics to a minimum is a good idea – we go on vacation to disconnect, right? In addition, valuables can be lost or stolen at any time.
Here is the maximum you should bring to get those perfect beach photos and listen to some tunes while you relax with your toes in the sand. It is so annoying for your fellow beach-goers who are simply trying to relax and enjoy the scenery if you bring drones!
- With a charger, you can listen to beach tunes on a waterproof Bluetooth speaker
- (With charger) Camera
- Action shots can be taken with a GoPro (with charger).
- Portable charger for when your phone dies on the go. Every time we go on a trip, we bring these along!
Use common sense when it comes to dressing for your Caribbean flight: a sweatshirt, light jacket, or sports jacket on top, and a pair of casual-but-neat or dressy long pants on the bottom.
Each week that you will be staying, you should bring two pairs of bottoms (pants, shorts, or skirts). For a cool or cold destination, bring two jackets to layer for warmth, and four shirts per week. Four bottoms and eight tops are needed for a two-week trip.
The least safe countries, as measured by murder rates and violent crimes, were Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
In the Caribbean, St. Barts is the safest island. There are also safe Caribbean destinations such as Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
Start your Caribbean vacation off right by packing wisely after doing your research on where to go in this diverse region. You should pack plenty of sunscreens, swimming suits, breezy clothing, and a nice outfit or two in your travel backpack. You’ve got everything you need for a tropical vacation when you pair it with a good beach book.
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