Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
May 8, 2018
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Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers

Exploring Jamaica as an independent traveler can be somewhat rustic. As a good portion of visitors to the island come on cruise ships or stay in all-inclusive resorts, adventurous travellers are not always expected and catered to. Follow this Jamaica packing list to ensure you have everything your need to enjoy your road-less-travelled experience on the Caribbean island.


  • Check the yearly temperature and rainfall averages and adjust your packing according to the time of your visit.
  • Pack light colours, because mosquitos are attracted to dark tones.
  • Consider the challenges of disposing of rubbish on a small island. Try not to take anything to Jamaica, that you aren’t prepared to take home again. Minimize packaging and disposables as much as possible. This guide will help: 8 Essential Eco-Friendly Travel Products.
  • Furthermore, consider the environmental impact of the toiletries you take to Jamaica and opt for as many natural products as you can to minimize chemicals in wastewater.
  • By nature, Jamaica is very laid back and casual when it comes to dressing, because of the hot climate. I would particularly note for independent travelers to dress down, so you don’t appear such a target for potential thieves.
Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Bamboo Avenue

Jamaica Packing List


  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sleepwear
  • Shirts – one for each day, as between the balmy heat, sunscreen and salty water, you will probably prefer not to recycle shirts as you might in other, cooler destinations. A mix of t-shirts and light, long-sleeved shirts with collars, will allow you to adjust your clothing to the activity and sun intensity.
  • Several pairs of shorts and/or light pants that will be cool, provide sun protection, and be comfortable for light walking.
  • One pair of light, long pants or maxi skirt/dress for evening activities when mosquitos and other biting insects are on the hunt. This item can be re-worn night to night as it won’t be exposed to sweat and sunscreen in the way your day pants will.
  • A light jumper (sweater) is good to have if you are spending time in the Blue Mountains visits.
  • Rain jacket or poncho.
  • Shoes  – a walking pair sturdy enough for uneven surfaces, and a pair of sandals.


  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with SPF 15+ minimum
  • Aloe vera – doubles as sunburn relief and body moisturizer
  • Face wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Hair accessories (ties and pins)
  • Menstrual cup/ tampons
  • Light makeup and perfume (I took nothing more than some bronzer)
  • Laundry soap – I pack a cake of laundry soap as a standard for all travel, so I can wash underwear and socks in the hotel basin if need be.


  • A swimsuit, or two. In the humidity, everything takes a long time to dry out, so if you prefer to put on a dry suit in the morning, alternate.
  • Snorkel, mask and flippers aren’t essential if you want to explore underwater.
  • A wetsuit isn’t essential as far a temperature goes, but is good for added sun protection during long stints in the water.
  • A wide brim hat with a fit that won’t blow off with a breeze or movement of a boat.
  • Sarong or cover up to keep you sun protected and modest between swims.
  • Sunglasses, preferably UV rated to protect your eyes and polarized to cut glare.
  • Water shoes for activities such as visiting Pelican Bar (lots of sea anenomes), and climbing Dunn’s River Falls.
Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Pelican Bar near Treasure Beach
Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Bob Marley Museum, Kingston
On Island Time - Jamaican inspired vacation t-shirt


  • An international adapter, ideally with a USB socket, and chargers for your camera and other electronics. Too Many Adapters is great for finding reviews and recommendations on anything travel technology related.
  • A camera and accessories including charger, spare batteries; SD cards; and tripod. Polarizing and neutral density filters for your DSLR would also be helpful for the harsh tropical.
  • A waterproof camera is a must for diving, snorkeling, kayaking etc.
  • Phone and charger.

Day bag/ backpack

  • Refillable water bottle.
  • Waterless hand wash.
  • Bandana/cloth napkin.
  • Toilet paper in a ziplock bag to keep it dry.
  • Headphones
  • Money belt
  • First aid kit
  • Medications and prescriptions.
  • Dry bag for keeping your camera, phone and other water sensitive valuables dry, during water activities.

Making memories and filling spare time

  • Book
  • Sketch pad and pencils/paint
  • Notebook
  • Tablet device
  • Diary
Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Dunn's River Falls

Don’t forget to pack a sense of adventure and eat lots of yummy Jamaican food.

Peace, love and adventure,

Madam ZoZo

Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I'm Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I'm passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

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