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  • Essential Caribbean Travel Items

    by Lisa Banks



    I have heard people say, “All I took on my trip to the Caribbean was a toothbrush and bathing suit." While there are those who can do just that, I am not one of them. I know that I can not be the only one who finds this impossible, so I decided to put together a must-have items list for travel to the Caribbean.

    When packing, you want all of your needs covered, but you do not want to get stuck lugging a two-ton suitcase around with you either. With the burden of baggage charges, you want to pick and choose what to bring carefully.

    Clothing: The average high summer temperature in the Caribbean is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, this moderates to around 80. Take comfortable, lightweight clothing: shorts, sundresses, khaki and cotton slacks. Tropical breezes can be cool at night, so tuck a light jacket or sweater into your suitcase. With some of the most beautiful beaches on earth, you should bring a bathing suit... or three. Clothing dries slower in the humid client of the Caribbean, so plan on at least 24 hours between wet clothing and dry clothing. The Caribbean is made up of islands after all, with water surrounding it and many internal watery inland activities, a pair of sturdy water shoes it highly recommended. I favor the sort that can double as hiking shoes since there are numerous hiking and biking trails.

    Personal Items: Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! You could opt to buy it on the island, but it will be considerably more expensive, and you may not find your particular brand. This is one item you do not want to skimp on. If bringing prescription medications, carry them in their original labeled bottles. After the sun sets, tiny insects can be a problem, but insect repellent will keep them at bay. Take travel-sized packets of over-the-counter pain relievers, antacids and stomach medications. International phone cards will allow you to phone home without expensive cell roaming charges. 

    Accessories: No matter what kind of activity you chose to do while on vacation, a waterproof container you wear around your neck can be useful for holding keys and currency. Even if you never wear hats, take one! Sunglasses are a must. Scattered showers are common, particularly in September and October, so you might take along an umbrella. 

    Packing Tips: At the airports, you will find plenty of porters who will carry your baggage to your transportation for tips. Use rolling luggage, it will make things easier for them and for yourself. If you know you are going to take souvenirs home with you, plan to either pack lighter or carry an empty duffle bag in your suitcase for the return trip. Whichever method you choose, be sure not to exceed your airline's weight limit for baggage or you'll pay hefty up charges. Pack prescription medications, prescription glasses, jewelry, cameras and other electronics in your carry-on luggage. Plastic bags will come in handy for storing dirty clothes and wet bathing suits. Your luggage is subject to inspection before you leave the country, so plan accordingly and don't pack anything you'd be embarrassed to have a stranger examine in public.

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