Essential Packing List for a Caribbean Vacation

What you need to pack for your vacation really depends on where you’re going and what you plan on doing.  You’ll definitely have a different packing list when you’re going for a ski vacation compared to what you would have if you were travelling to Europe for a month.  You’ll also need different things for a city break compared to a beach holiday.  In this article, we’ll detail our essential packing list for a Caribbean location.  Read on…


No matter whether you plan on sitting on the beach or not, you’ll definitely need to pack some sunscreen.  Some people figure they can just pick it up when they arrive – which is possible, but you’ll pay a premium for it!  Save yourself the money and the sunburn by bringing some with you.  If you’re planning on spending a lot of time on the water, consider some zinc-based sunblock as well. Make sure that it is reef-friendly sunscreen as traditional sunscreen can cause coral bleaching.


Sunglasses seem to fall in the opposite category of sunscreen when you arrive in a Caribbean country.  They’ll be plentiful and cheap.  But you get what you pay for and even though they might have a brand name and say they offer UV protection, most of the time that discount price results in discount quality.  If you have a good pair at home bring them.  If you don’t, look into getting some before you travel.

Bug Spray

Many locals will tell you they’re not bothered by bugs at all.  You may find that’s only because the bugs are attracted to you instead!  And especially with new insect-transmitted diseases such as the Zika virus, don’t take any risks by making sure to bring some with you. 


Once again, even if you don’t plan on sunbathing, you’ll still need to protect yourself from sun rays that are likely more intense than you’re used to at home.  Bringing a hat will not only protect your head, it’ll give extra cover for your eyes and face.

Flip Flops

Essential Packing List for a Caribbean Vacation

When you’re surrounded by sand, the last thing you want to be wearing is shoes.  You’ll be spending all your time emptying the sand from them.  And although it’s easy to go barefoot on the beach, you’ll want a quick slip-on to protect your feet from hot pavement, stones, and prickly plants.

Rain Jacket

You never want it to rain when you’re in a Caribbean country, but when it does you’ll be glad you had your rain jacket.  Storms can be swift and severe, so it’s good to have a light and compact jacket that you can quickly throw on.  It’ll ensure you’re able to remain active despite any inclement weather.


You don’t necessarily need to bring a thick, white terry cloth towel, but having something lightweight that you can spread on the sand and sit on can make your beach days and picnics more comfortable.  A lot of hotels, especially those not located directly on the beach, don’t provide you with beach towels these days.  Avoid being caught out.

Most of all, just pack a great attitude and enjoy your wonderful Caribbean vacation.

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