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
- 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.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Lip balm with SPF 15+ minimum
- Aloe vera – doubles as sunburn relief and body moisturizer
- Face wash
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Sketch pad and pencils/paint
- Tablet device