With more than 7000 islands dotted with white sand beaches, aquamarine waters, palm trees, and friendly locals, the Caribbean is a prime destination for anyone looking to have some fun under the sun. Anyone who has been there wants to go back, and anyone who hasn’t been will find it well worth the travel investment.
If you are looking to head to the Caribbean islands, you already know that you will be in for a tropical treat. But to make sure that your experience will prove to be paradisiacal, packing in the right set of essentials is necessary. In this article, we will take you through six of the most important items that you will need for your excursion.
One of the most common misconceptions that people tend to have about the Caribbean islands is it is one group of interconnected islets and cays. Geographically, that can be valid; politically, however, it is not. These islands represent a polyglot of independent states and territories, which may have links to larger countries such as the United States. As such, areas may require differing travel documentation specifications.
As a rule of thumb, it is imperative to bring a valid passport, proofs of identity, and your plane tickets. Stash them in a safe clutch or purse that you can easily get to, at the immigration desk, and throughout your stay in your chosen destination.
Essential Carry-on Items
Aside from your travel documents, make sure that you pack your carry-on luggage with the things that you will need, after you land in the islands. This is because collecting your baggage may take more than a couple of days, and having important what you need within your reach will help enable you to do what you came to the Caribbean to do while waiting for your luggage. These include travel-sized toiletries, change of clothing, footwear, and prescription medication (if you need them).
It is also imperative that you ensure the protection of your belongings, while traveling. For this reason, TSA-approved locks are a must. This is not only important to ensuring the safety of your belongings, but also meeting requirements that may otherwise present challenges.
If you do not have the budget for TSA-approved locks, you can opt to use zip ties or cable locks.
Appropriate and Comfortable Clothing
When it comes to packing in your clothes, there are two things that you must remember: first, your clothes have to be appropriate; second, they should be comfortable.
So, appropriate clothing. It is important to note that, depending on how you are going to travel through the Caribbean, you may be subject to following dress codes. If you are joining a cruise, for instance, there may be restrictions as to what you can wear. Additionally, camouflage clothing is not legal in certain countries such as Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and The Grenadines.
When it comes to comfort, make sure to pack in a light of light-colored and flowy clothing. Ditch the high hees (unless you’ll be on a cruise for most of the time), and opt for sandals and flip flops. Also, you can opt to pack in as many changes of clothing as you want, but when it comes down to it, you will mostly be needing around two pairs of swimwear, a couple of shirts and dresses, and accessories like hats and sunglasses.
Sun Protection Products
With a lot of sunshine comes a great responsibility to be prepared and protected. Choose good sunblock products with the right SPF degrees, and invest in sun protection accessories such as wide-brimmed hats. It is also wise to bring a bottle of aloe vera, in case you get sunburnt, as well as lip balms with sun protection. Moisturizers are also essential for keeping your skin hydrated especially in very warm climates.
And don’t forget to bring all the extras that you will need. First off, make sure you have a properly-planned first aid bag. These should contain necessary over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrheal tablets, and hydrocortisone and anti-bacterial creams.
Waterproof cases and bags will also be essential, especially if you’re planning to carry some things while enjoying the sun. Extra bags will also be ideal, if you’re planning to buy souvenirs for the folks back home.
Going snorkeling? Bringing your personal gear will not only save you rentals expenses, it will also assure you of having safe and clean equipment.
Finally, don’t forget to bring your sense of fun! Here are some of the most prized tips that have helped many travelers make the most out of their holidays:
Get your body well-prepared for the trip. A few days before you jet it off to this little pocket of paradise on Earth, make sure that your body is well-equipped for the trip. Some travelers take the necessary vitamins that can help prevent untimely and inconvenient issues, such as catching a cold. Load up on vitamin C to boost your immune system, get enough sleep, and exercise while you can leading up to the trip.
Be socially responsible. When you’re abroad, it is important to be mindful of certain universal necessities, such as being nice and kind. A holiday always feels better when you have nothing but smiles and good will for everyone you happen to meet. Additionally, heed local rules and regulations. A holiday always feels better when you know you will not have to face fines.
Relax. You will be on holiday, and it will not feel like one if you keep sweating the small stuff. If you’re worried about mosquitoes, for instance, buy bug repellents that you can apply on your skin. Remember to accept the experience as it happens, and do not wear yourself thin trying to plan the perfect holiday. The Caribbean offers up treats for all the senses, and they will be better appreciated and witnessed if you have the right perspective.
Connect to the place. Finally, make connections when and where you can. Take lots of photographs, interact with the locals, and make friends.
CONTRIBUTOR: M Pimentel
M is a happily married Filipino mother to three wonderful little daughters, ages: 8 years, 5 years, and 4 months old. Her daily life is a struggle between being the Executive Content Director for Home Fine Living and deciding who gets to watch television next. She specializes in creating and editing content for female empowerment, parenting, beauty, health/nutrition, and lifestyle. As the daughter of two very hardworking people, she was brought up with strict traditional Asian values and yet embraces modern trends like Facebook, vegan cupcakes, and the occasional singing cat video.