Packing tips and tricks for Caribbean travel

Caribbean Holiday Accessories
Caribbean Holiday Accessories

Although I am the classic over-packer when it comes to vacations, I have over the years, managed to streamline things. Smart packing cannot only save you time, but it can often enough save you money.

Most airlines restrict baggage weight and numbers and often include large fees for additional baggage which is why it is so important to streamline your packing. Luckily packing for tropical vacations means less bulky items and more bathing suits and flip flops! Not only do these take up less space in your luggage, but they also free up space for some essential items you may not have considered.

So here is a list of travel items that I have found to be very helpful for my tropical vacations, and most importantly they don’t take up much space which means more room for souvenirs on your way home!


In addition to the cool shorts, light shirts, and flip flops there are a few other items you can include in your packing to help make your trip a bit more comfortable.


  • Multiple bathing suits, no one enjoys putting on a wet bathing suit, and sometimes you may want to take an evening dip before bed, so be sure to pack two and switch them out so that you always have a dry one ready
  • A pair of sneakers, for cool tropical hikes or hours of duty-free shopping, comfy shoes mean happy feet.
  • Pack lightweight clothing that can serve multiple purposes. Beach cover-ups that can double as an evening wrap or a sundress that paired with a scarf is appropriate for dinner
  • Beach bag to carry all your belonging to the beach *Tip: this bag can be used as a carry on, which makes it a dual-purpose travel item.


Some of these items you may have thought of yourself, but I am sure you will find the entire list a handy packing guide for the Caribbean.


  • Reef friendly sunscreen-some island destinations have already banned non-reef friendly sunscreen so being proactive will go a long way to saving the reefs for years of beautiful diving and snorkeling.
  • After sun cream or aloe cream (Going to Aruba? No need to pack this as the Aruba aloe factory offers a wide variety of products to soothe your skin, available islandwide)
  • Medication and a copy of your prescription (in case you lose your medicine along the way) and ask your doctor for an extra refill in case of travel delays.
  • Include a sturdy reusable bag for grocery shopping.
  • Towel clips for windy beach days
  • Bug spray-some islands have more of a mosquito problem than others, and no one wants to be attacked when they are enjoying dinner on the beach!
  • Sunglasses, the sun is a lot brighter when you’re on the white sandy beaches, protect your eyes while looking cool.
  • Seasick tablets, nothing worse than going on a day trip to find out you get sick, better to have and not need I always say!
  • Travel Insurance-not all Caribbean islands have proper medical facilities and costs can rise if you are injured and need treatment quickly, so be prepared and have insurance so you can claim the charges when your back at home.


Handy Tips sometimes travelers discover convenient ways to make a trip to the warmer climates a bit easier.


  • A foldable cooler bag, to keep your drinks cold on the beach, stock up at your local grocery store and save money while sitting on the beach. Be sure to check to make sure wherever you go that drinks are allowed on the beach.
  • A few detergent pods so you can wash your clothes while there, many resorts offer washing machines on the property but buying detergent can get pricey
  • A digital photo (can be stored on your phone) of your passports, in case you misplace them while on your trip.
  • Baby powder-helps get sand off your feet after you leave the beach, sprinkle some on and brush the sand off before getting into your car or entering your room.
  • Power converter for phone charges depending on the country you are traveling too. Tip: check with your hotel pre-travel to see if they provide these at the front desk, this may be something you can skip packing
  • A waterproof phone case so you can take the cool underwater shots and send them home to make your friends and family jealous


Most importantly when packing for a Caribbean vacation, is to remember that most islands are casual atmospheres, so there is no need for suits and ties or high heels. Bring a nice pair of slacks or a pretty blouse, and you will fit in perfectly for a fancy Caribbean dinner. The whole point of going to the Caribbean is to relax!