Packing for a Caribbean Vacation

You’ve booked the flights, you’ve got a place to stay (thanks to those sweet hotel discounts you found online), and now all that stands in front of you and laying on the beach on your soon-to-be-fabulous Caribbean vacation is the dreaded thing we all try to put off as long as possible — packing. But, don’t worry too much about it, getting everything together and shoved into those old bags you still haven’t replaced won’t be nearly as hard as you might think. So take a breath, close your eyes, imagine yourself snorkeling with all kinds of different magical-looking fish, and let’s do this.

Packing for a Caribbean Vacation

Old bags with CAMERA

No Passport Needed

There are some interesting things you need to know about getting into the Caribbean as far as passports and visas go. First off, if you’re American and a full-fledged U.S. citizen, you don’t need to have a passport if you’re flying into Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes the trifecta of St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix — the others require you to have more than basic U.S. IDs (driver’s license, etc.). If you’re hopping on a cruise, you can actually visit more of the islands without a passport, but be sure to double-check where you’re going before assuming you’re all good.

Caribbean Weather

Another important thing to thing to do before you start packing is familiarizing yourself with the weather happening for wherever and whenever you’re traveling in the Caribbean. There’s not a lot of major differences between the temperatures from one to the other and the average temperatures are around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit most days, but depending on the month you’re traveling you might have more or less rain, which is a good to know. Brief showers happen nearly every day on most of the islands, too but not enough to pack any legit rain gear.

Vacation discount

Packing Light

It’s easier said than done, but thanks to the consistently hot climate, the Caribbean is a place where less is more. In fact, many people who are traveling for a week or less easily get away with packing a couple of carry-ons, wearing a light jacket, and keeping it simple. Depending on your needs (I know, shoes)  and length of stay you could easily get away with not checking any bags, which would also save you a lot of hassle and potential delays if you’re flying.

Your Itinerary Determines Your Needs

Are you planning on doing some hiking? You’ll need some active clothes and a pair of good rubber-soled shoes that can give you the support you need. Are you just going to lounge on the beach all day and drink cocktails? You can probably get away with packing not much more than a couple of swimsuit options, flip-flops, and one or two pairs of shorts or dresses to wear when you’re not listening to the waves. There’s no one perfect list for this since each trip is unique, but think through what you’ll be spending your time doing and pack accordingly.


Your toiletry needs will pretty much be the same, but you might want to throw in some extra sunscreen, lip balm, or aloe/lotion depending on your plans to get out into the wild or your skin tone. It’s going to be hot and sunny most of the time, so ease into it and remember, you can always get more sun the next day, but it’s hard to deal with a really bad sunburn.


Last, but definitely not least, don’t forget to pack in your cameras, selfie-sticks, GoPros, Kindles, or any other electronics that you feel like you can’t live without. You’ll probably want to keep the phone off as much as possible, but it’s your Caribbean vacation, not mine, so you can do whatever you want.


5 ways to help you save on a Caribbean vacation

No matter what type of vacation you are looking for, a Caribbean vacation deal is the right way to go. Rain forest, luxury hotels, snorkeling, lively nightlife and great vacation offers, it has everything you could want. That being said, maybe you are on a very tight budget this time around and in that case, we are here to help you find the best deal on Hotels Etc.

Here are 5 ways to save money on your Caribbean vacation:

Flight to caribbean


1.Pick the right island
Buying a flight to the Caribbean can sometimes be the most expensive part of your vacation and truth is, it can be cheaper to travel to some islands as opposed to others. In order to find the lowest airfare on any given date, you need to look at the low cost airlines such as JetBlue or Spirit. Although in saying that, our vacation packages will usually make it easier for you and just as cheap.
2.Have you considered the cost of living?
Many people book a vacation thinking it will be a cheap holiday but then arrive only to find out the destination is hugely expensive. Do some research, we can tell you Cancun can be affordable and somewhere such as the Dominican Republic is less developed but great value. Also, many destinations which are not fully developed are expensive to reach in terms of airfare but once you arrive, you will find very low prices.
3.What about a Caribbean cruise?

Maybe you want to see more than one island? Not only is a cruise vacation one of the best value options in the market right now but they also allow you to see more, for less. In fact, a cruise can cost as little as $150 per person and if you live close to a departure city you can even drive there to save even further on costs.
4.Pick the right time of year
Peak season is the most expensive and we all know it. Do you really have to travel at a certain time of year or maybe it’s worth holding out until the shoulder months? As a rule, the fall and summer are usually cheaper to travel to the Caribbean although with the exception of Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao, you need to be aware that hurricane season is between June and November.

Beach time
5.Exactly what is included?

Despite there being some fantastic rates out there, many hotels or resorts will not include important costs in the price up front. It is always a good idea to check before you book that activities or facilities are included should you need to avail of them. For this reason, we always recommend an all inclusive resort as they tend to give you everything packaged together.

After that, it really is your decision and please, if you want to save on vacations to the Caribbean or receive hotel discounts, let us do the work for you at Hotels Etc – the largest and best travel membership club in North America.