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  • Courtney Nealis

Island Style: Packing Musts for Your Caribbean Getaway

Updated: Feb 13

From the warm embrace of white sands to the allure of clear waters, setting foot in the Caribbean always promises an immediate sense of escape. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, these helpful hacks and tidbits will get you ready to unlock the secrets to making your Caribbean getaway the epitome of relaxation, adventure, and fun.


Before You Go:

TSA and Flight Regulations

Before traveling, ensure that you are following TSA flight guidelines. Make sure all liquids are travel sized (nothing more than 3.4 oz). In addition, make sure to not bring any prohibited items such as liquor, pocketknives, etc. You don’t need a lot for a Caribbean vacation, so you can get away with packing your luggage in a carry-on.


Pre-Departure Tips

Before you go, also determine what you would like to do about your cellular communication. Let your phone company know you are traveling out of the country, and figure out which international plan is best suited for your needs.


Some Caribbean countries have their own currencies, so make sure to do your research, and ensure you are financially prepared for your journey. While you can make exchanges once you get there, an exchange fee will be charged abroad. Most banks will exchange your currency without an additional rate if you go in-person before you leave for your trip.

What to Pack: 

Travel Documents

Make sure you have the proper travel documents for flight check in, security screening, and aircraft boarding before you depart for your upcoming trips. This includes your passport, Photo/Real ID, and Visa if necessary. If you are traveling to Aruba, ensure you have your Aruba ED-Card (Embarkation-Disembarkation Card) which can be completed online within 7 days of travel. This card must be completed for everyone traveling, including children. In addition, print a photocopy of these documents just in case anything gets misplaced.


Travel Essentials 

For any foreign trip, make sure your most important items are accounted for and are kept in a safe place. Most hotels and resorts will have a safe in the room, so unless they are essential to be carried everywhere, leave the important things locked away on your daily adventures.


Travel Essentials: 

●      Passport

●      Visa (for Non-US citizens)

●      Flight Information/Itinerary/Boarding Passes

●      Aruba ED-Card

●      Credit Cards

●      Cash

●      Phone 

●      Driver's License



Preparing for an island adventure should not be a source of stress; rather, it is an exciting step toward sun-soaked relaxation. To alleviate the burden of packing, consider breaking it down into a straightforward checklist that ensures you have everything you need for your Caribbean escape. 


Begin with the basics– your clothing. Depending on the length of your vacation and laundry facilities, you may choose to bring more, but going simple is better. When you visit the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, you will be living in your swimsuit. Make sure you have nice swimsuits, cover-ups, flip flops, and sunglasses if you plan to spend your afternoons poolside or at the beach. When it comes to clothing, prioritize light and breathable fabrics that can easily accommodate your swimsuit underneath. This not only enhances your comfort but also saves you precious time as you seamlessly transition between the beach, boardwalk, and dining. Furthermore, bring comfortable walking shoes if you plan to do activities around the island.


In addition to your beachy summer clothes, make sure to bring at least one outfit that is stylish and upscale. Some fancier restaurants or hotel resorts have dress codes, so it is imperative to bring an option for a nice dinner or evening out. By incorporating a mix of casual and classy, you will be well-prepared for your Caribbean adventure. 


●      Swimsuits

●      Flip Flops

●      Lightweight Pants

●      Breathable Shirts 

●      Shorts/Skirts

●      Light Jacket for cooler evenings

●      Comfortable Pajamas or Sleepwear

●      Underwear 

●      Socks 

●      Nice outfit; Sundress or Button up, including shoes. 

●      Sunglasses

●      Beach Hat


Beach Needs  

When you are at the beach, you will not want to bring your entire carry-on bag with you. Opt for a smaller waterproof bag for that extra layer of protection against the ocean's playful waves. Remember, the Caribbean is close to the equator, which means the sun is scorching. Sunscreen, Aloe, and SPF skin care will be your trio of defense against the tropical sun. Make sure to shield yourself from the intensity of the Caribbean, whether you are lounging by the pool or riding the waves.


Dehydration happens quicker than you might think. Bring a reusable bottle to fill with ice and water at the hotel's water stations, and make sure to be drinking constantly to avoid dehydration. Sip away as you soak up the stunning scenery, ensuring that your energy levels remain high, and your Caribbean adventure remains as revitalizing as intended. 


Beach Items: 

●      Sunscreen

●      Aloe

●      Lip balm (SPF)

●      Small Beach Bag

●      Water bottle

●      An enjoyable book

●      Bug spray



As with every trip, you want to make sure you have all your necessities. Bring your everyday hygiene products, but do not load up on the products you do not use all the time. In addition, try to avoid bringing heated hair products like curling/flat irons and blow dryers. They can be very space consuming, and the hotel will already have a hair dryer for you in the bathroom. If curling is mandatory for your routine, try bringing non-heat curlers, or even look up how to use products you may already be packing for some hair curling hacks! Lastly, make sure to bring a first aid kit just in case you start to not feel well, and do not want to spend a fortune buying medication. Lastly, if you have any prescription medications, bring a copy of the prescription.



●      Band aids (blister) 

●      Body Wash

●      Deodorant

●      Hairbrush

●      Makeup (keep it minimal) 

●      Over the counter medication

●      Prescription Medication

●      Razor/Shaving Cream

●      Shampoo/Conditioner (hotel may provide these)

●      Toothbrush

●      Toothpaste



It is also smart to dedicate a small bag or laptop case to all your electronics. Remember to bring chargers for your devices, and depending on the locations you are traveling to, the necessary converters and adapters. Noise canceling headphones are great for listening to entertainment on the plane ride. A portable power bank might be smart if you are on the go a lot and must be accessible. While not mandatory, bringing a small portable speaker is also great for listening to music at the beach! 



●      Chargers for devices 

●      portable power bank 

●      converters/adapters (if necessary)

●      Noise-Canceling Headphones

●      Portable speaker


Now that we have gone through all the packing essentials, Here's to the effortless charm of the Caribbean! Cheers to the memories made, the sunsets enjoyed, and the adventures that linger long after the journey ends. Make sure you double check that you have everything you need for your perfect vacation. Toss in the perfect beach read and you are all set for your Caribbean getaway! Safe travels!



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