Going to the Caribbean? Here’s the Only Tropical Vacation Packing List You’ll Ever Need

Are you rounding out the summer with a trip of a lifetime? Whether you’re hitting Jamaica, the Bahamas, or the Dominican Republic, you’re sure to have a great time.

But forgetting one vital item on your packing list can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Who wants to waste their first day in paradise looking for a bathing suit anyway?

On your vacation, you may be snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, or visiting wildlife sanctuaries. Make sure you make the most of your time there by having an encompassing tropical vacation packing list.

Do you need some inspiration? Read on to discover our Caribbean packing list and to get our bonus Ultimate Checklist PDF!

Bathing Suits

Of course, bathing suits are vacation necessities when you’re visiting a gorgeous tropical island. But don’t just bring one and call it a day.

You’ll likely be spending almost all day every day at the beach. With those warm tropical nights, you may even go for a midnight dip in your hotel’s pool. Come prepared with at least two bathing suits, so you don’t have to slip into a wet bathing suit every morning.

A Bathing Suit Cover-Up

When packing for a tropical vacation know that many restaurants and shops on the sea are used to people coming in with a bathing suit and light cover-up. Packing a simple coverup can save you tons of time.

You won’t have to go back to the hotel to change in and out of your bathing suit every time you want to leave the beach and grab a bite to eat. Plus, it’s great to throw over your swimsuit when kayaking or taking a party boat tour.

Lightweight Clothing

Of course, you won’t be in your bathing suit 24/7. There are tons of things to do in the Caribbean that don’t involve the water, including shopping and sightseeing.

To get the most out of your vacation, you’ll want to plan a few activities. Make sure you have lightweight and flowy clothing to keep cool in the harsh sun. While tank tops are great to keep you cool, pack some t-shirts to protect your shoulders if they get burned.

Plastic Flip-Flops

Do you know that uncomfortable feeling when you get out of the ocean and put your shoes on while your feet are all covered in wet sand? It’s even worse when you don’t have the right footwear.

Plastic flip-flops need to make their way onto your tropical vacation packing list. They’re easy to rinse off and you won’t have to worry about them getting dirty or sandy.


Do you plan to go hiking, caving, or exploring the oldest city in the Americas while you’re in the Caribbean? Then you’ll probably want to add sneakers or hiking shoes to your list of vacation necessities. They are more comfortable and safer than sandals when doing anything more challenging than walking around town.

A Hat

When coming up with Caribbean vacation outfit ideas, make sure they all look great with a hat. Even in early autumn, average temperatures in the Caribbean can hit the 90s.

The intense sun coupled with long days outside make your face susceptible to burning. A nice hat will protect your face, and a big floppy hat may even cover your shoulders as well. Future you will be thankful when your face isn’t as red as a lobster in all your pictures.

An Underwater Camera

And speaking of pictures, you’ll want to take tons. The Caribbean has some of the most beautiful photo ops around.

If you plan on going snorkeling, you’ll want to capture the moment and all the colorful fish around you. That’s why an underwater camera (with a wrist strap) needs to be on your tropical vacation packing list.

A Waterproof Phone Case

Underwater cameras are great for getting those underwater images where you wouldn’t dare risk your phone’s life. But modern smartphones come equipped with some amazing cameras and you’ll be able to share your photos easily instead of having to download them from an underwater camera first. A waterproof phone case or cover is the best way to get some great pictures at the beach while ensuring your phone stays dry.


When packing for a tropical vacation, the importance of sunscreen can’t be overlooked. Not only is sunburn uncomfortable, but it can be dangerous, too! So, bring some sunscreen and protect your skin from harm.

Bug Spray

Tropical islands tend to have their fair share of bugs. If you plan on exploring the lush rainforests or staying out at night, be prepared to deal with bugs. Adding a can of bug spray to your tropical vacation packing list can save you from a lot of itchy bug bites.

A Snorkel and Mask

Are you excited to go snorkeling? You may think that you can just rent a snorkel and mask while your there, but sometimes it’s better to bring your own.

If you get stuck with an ill-fitting mask, you’ll have to deal with it constantly filling up with water while you’re trying to have fun. Many people also feel more comfortable bringing their own snorkel since they know it’s clean and hasn’t been in anyone else’s mouth. Plus, both a snorkel and mask are affordable and easy to pack.

A Swimsuit Bag

So, the final day of your Caribbean vacation has arrived. You grab your bathing suit to pack it away, but it’s still a little damp! So, how can you keep that moisture away from everything else in your suitcase?

A swimsuit bag is one of the best vacation necessities. It offers a simple solution to keep the rest of your belongings dry without taking up much room in your suitcase.

The Ultimate Tropical Vacation Packing List

If you have a Caribbean vacation planned for the near future, you may be wondering what exactly you should pack. Well, we’re here to help! Just follow our ultimate tropical vacation packing list to ensure you have everything you need to enjoy your trip.

Did you like this list? Check out our blog for more great travel articles like this.

BONUS! As promised, here is a checklist you can download and print to help you pack.

Leave a Reply

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop