What to Pack for a Caribbean Vacation

In the land of sun and sea, it's sandal season year-round. This means travelling light is an achievable goal not only reserved for the seasoned travelers among us. Once-a-year amateur packers, rejoice! For the less-than-veteran of vacationers, we've compiled a shortlist of tips and travel tricks from frequent flyers. A packing-for-paradise 'how-to', so to speak.

What to pack

For the Flight

The 4-1-1 on the 3-1-1
The 3-1-1 airport security rule for carry-ons dictates that each passenger is allowed 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottles or less (by volume) placed in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger to be placed in screening bin. Ensuring that you adhere to this rule will make getting through airport security a (sea) breeze.

For the Stay

When packing for year-round summer, follow the rule of “S”: Shirts, shorts, sandals, summer dresses and swimsuits. Ensure that you pack comfortable clothing made from quick-drying and breathable fabrics. For the men, at least one dinner jacket is recommended. For the ladies pack a flowy maxi dress perfect for both day and night is recommended for those evenings spent enjoying the finer dining experiences the island has to offer. Cayman is, after all, the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

A flowing Maxi summer dress is a beach holiday essential

A flowing Maxi summer dress is a beach holiday essential

The Basics

Insect Repellent
Basic first aid should include bug spray and itch-relief lotions. Mosquitoes are rife here and the need for repellent and relief will come swiftly as the sun sets on your very first evening on the island and murderous mosquito masses descend. In the Caribbean, there are many areas at risk for Zika, so you’ll want a heavy-duty repellent. Keep in mind that insect repellents are a danger to the environment. Take a shower before entering the ocean to prevent damage to the beautiful coral and rich sea life in Cayman.

Always travel with a natural and reef-friendly sunscreen. In case of burns, pack a potent after-sun cream.

Wet wipes
Hygienic wet wipes are perfect for a quick refresh after a day at the beach en route to your lunch spot or sunset drinks.

Lip balm
A quality lip balm with SPF will aid in preventing chapped and dry lips. Keep your lips moisturised and protected from the sun's harmful rays while soaking up the sunshine.

Beach bag
A comfortable beach bag, preferably one you can carry on your back, is a convenient way to carry around your wet swimsuit, snorkel gear and beach towel.

Dry bag or phone protector
Whether you'll be spending your days lounging poolside, drink in hand, island hopping, or taking in cultural heritage sites, having a protective dry bag to keep valuables like mobile phones, cameras and other gadgets safe is a necessity you won't want to be without.

Travel insurance.
Whether or not you’re travelling during hurricane season, purchasing travel insurance is highly recommended.

You'll most likely spend entire days out adventuring, taking photos and /or videos for the 'gram. This will drain your battery fairly quickly and having a portable charger or extra battery pack is a convenient way of ensuring you stay connected.

Travel with an adapter, preferably one that has a USB port for multi-use charging.

For Fun

Books, Cards and Board games
Leisurely days on the beach are made more entertaining by means of card games or a good read.

Snorkel gear
If you have your own snorkel gear, you may want to consider packing it. Although snorkel gear is readily available to rent from most hotels, resorts and various shops in and around George Town, if you're going to be enjoying the coral reefs surrounding Cayman on the daily, it may benefit you having your own

Snorkel Gear

What NOT to Pack

Warm clothes
The Caribbean climate is tropical meaning year-round warm to hot weather with one or two distinct wet seasons per year. The wet season generally coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season and should you find yourself having to travel during this time, packing a raincoat and a sturdy pair of rain-resistant shoes could prove helpful.