Travel
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.

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General packing notes

  • 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

Basics

  • 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. Water shoes for activities such as visiting Pelican Bar (lots of sea anemones), and climbing Dunn’s River Falls.
  • 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.
  • 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 protected from the sun and modest between swims.
  • Sunglasses, preferably UV rated to protect your eyes and polarized to cut glare.

Toiletries

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • 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)
Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Pelican Bar near Treasure Beach
Jamaica Packing List for Independent Travellers
Bob Marley Museum, Kingston

Gadgets

  • An international adapter, ideally with a USB socket, and chargers for your camera and other electronics. Jamaica’s electricity is supplied at 110V, 50 Hz so may also need a travel converter depending on the gadgets you are carrying.
  • A camera and accessories including charger, spare batteries; SD cards; charger and tripod. Polarizing and neutral density filters for your DSLR would also be helpful for the harsh tropical light.
  • A waterproof camera is a must for diving, snorkelling, 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
  • Dry bag for keeping your camera, phone and other water sensitive valuables dry, during water activities.
  • Sunscreen SPF 30+ minimum
  • Lip balm SPF 15+ minimum
  • Insect repellent – There is a risk of mosquito transferred illnesses in Jamaica. Pack an insect repellent that contains recommended amounts of DEET, picaridin or other approved active ingredient. Products took look for include RID Tropical Strength or OFF Deep Woods.

Other

  • Snorkel, mask and flippers aren’t essential but if you want to explore underwater without having to hire them every time, BYO.
  • A wetsuit isn’t essential as far a temperature goes but is good for added sun protection during long stints in the water.
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Laundry soap – I carry a cake of laundry soap everywhere as a standard, so I wash underwear and socks in the hotel basin, or deal with small spills and stains immediately.

Making memories and filling spare time

  • Book
  • Sketchpad 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 inspiring travel,

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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