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How To Pack For Your Caribbean Vacation

Jun 26, 2008
Though many people worry about how and what to pack before traveling to the Caribbean, the process are often far simpler than it seems. Everyone already knows that the Caribbean is known for its beaches, clear water and fantastic weather. Therefore, the best method of packing for the Caribbean lies in traveling light, but preparing for the unexpected. If you follow the tips outlined here before packing for your Caribbean vacation, you shouldn't have any trouble packing the right items and preparing your family for the perfect getaway.

1. Before you start packing your clothes, try to organize all of your important documents - including your passport, driver's license, airline tickets or boarding passes and any other papers you might need for your itinerary in the Caribbean. As you prepare to leave, pack these items in a small secure bag or in the exterior pocket of your carry-on luggage. Also, make sure your prescription medications are stored in their original bottles and packed for easy access.

2. Next, start packing your carry-on bag. It is generally a good idea to pack your toiletries and one change of clothes in the event your luggage is delayed. Try to pack light in regards to toiletries as nearly every Caribbean resort will have items such as towels, soap and shampoo available. Make sure you also keep any valuable items, especially electronics such as laptops and cameras, in your carry-on bags. If you do pack a camera, make sure to take extra film or memory cards.

3. When it is time to start packing your main bag, try to use a wheeled suitcase, if possible. If you visit some of the smaller Caribbean islands, you may find that you need to carry your bags from the runway. Also, when trying to reach your hotel and moving between locations, a wheeled suitcase can relieve an incredible amount of strain.

4. Packing a wardrobe for a Caribbean vacation can be a challenge for many people. Remember that the Caribbean climate is typically mild, but you may experience some rain depending on where you travel. Start by packing plenty of socks and underwear. Next, add two or three pairs of cotton or linen pants and the same number of shorts. These lightweight fibers dry quickly and are less bulky than jeans. Each member of the family will want to pack a lightweight, waterproof jacket in the event of storms. Men will want to pack a decent number of t-shirts as well as some simple polo shirts for more formal occasions. In the evenings, a polo shirt can be paired with a lightweight sweater or cotton blazer. Women will want to add at least one dress for formal occasions. Lastly, all members of the family should try to roll each article of clothing before packing to conserve space and minimize wrinkling.

5. Both men and women should pack a pair of comfortable sneakers (for most general activities), sandals (for the beach and casual settings), water shoes (for use when engaging in water sports) and one pair of formal shoes (for nice dinners and events).

6. Prepare for plenty of water and even more sun when traveling to the Caribbean. Take along a pair of swimsuits, some sunglasses with good UV protection, plenty of waterproof sunscreen (at least SPF 30), a wrap or sarong if desired and hats to protect your head and face from the sun. If you plan on snorkeling in the Caribbean, consider packing your own; you will assure yourself the use of clean gear with minimal cost. It is also a good idea to prepare for sunburns by packing lip balm and a few bottles of lotion or aloe vera gel. If you plan on hiking or spending time outdoors away from the beach, you should also consider packing bug repellent.

7. When you are finished packing, make sure you will have enough space left over to squeeze in all of your Caribbean souvenirs. If your bag is a tight squeeze, try eliminating a few articles of clothing. Another way to conserve space is to wear all of your bulkiest items to the airport. However, to avoid any headaches once you reach the airport, place all of your metal accessories inside your carry-on luggage. Lastly, toss in a small backpack or tote bag for use during day-trips.

If you follow these simple packing tips when traveling to the Caribbean, you shouldn't have to worry about forgetting anything or packing the wrong items. As long as you plan ahead and focus on packing light, you will be able to enjoy every step of your Caribbean vacation without being weighed down by your luggage.
About the Author
Justin Burch writes articles about travel in the Caribbean for the Marriott Resorts.
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