If you’re planning an escape to the Caribbean you’ll likely need more than just a swimsuit, some sunscreen, and a pair of shades. Whatever your itinerary, consider packing these essential items and arrive at your destination prepared for an island adventure.
As the days become shorter and the storefronts fill with festive holiday decorations, the idea of an island escape becomes very appealing. Planning for a winter-sun escape can help you endure the temperature drops, and knowing that very soon your view will be one of palm fronds and white sands makes it easier to shake off the diminishing hours of sunshine.
Inspired to take a Caribbean vacation—especially one filled with active adventures? This second installment of our three-part Caribbean travel series highlights my five must-pack island essentials for active travelers. These items will help make your stay as stress-free as possible, although with all the rum cocktails on offer it’s hard not to relax into island life.
Lightweight Trail Shoes
Regardless of the season, the Caribbean offers a wealth of outdoor activity options for every type of traveler. Therefore, a good pair of all-terrain shoes is well worth its weight in your travel pack. That said, you can save yourself a pound or two by choosing a lightweight shoe that has the added benefit of being drying more quickly than its bulkier counterpart.
A shoe solution such as a light and durable shoe sac also makes a great addition to your packing list. This helps keep the dirt and moisture quarantined from the rest of your bag, so you can sling your wet, muddy shoes into the sac and straight into your luggage without a second thought.
BPA-Free, Filter Water Bottle
If you’re concerned about the health risks of chemical plastics, bring your own BPA-free water bottle as they are not widely available for purchase on the islands. In most Caribbean destinations you can drink water straight from the tap, however adding an additional level of filtration on the go ensures that no microscopic nasties end up in your tummy and ruin your vacation.
Water activities are synonymous with island adventures so it’s likely that at some point you will venture out into the waves during your visit. Whether heading to the beach for a swim in the azure shallows, or out on a snorkeling excursion with a local guide, a water-resistant bag offers protection for your kit and clothing while either keeping the water out, or wet gear contained inside, depending on the desired use.
Choose a bag made from water-resistant fabrics that is lightweight and versatile, and you’ll find it doubles nicely as a daypack for hiking and sightseeing too.
Trail Mix and Protein Snacks
Every active traveler knows that the key to a great adventure is to stay hydrated and maintain your energy levels. Fortunately, the Caribbean boasts a wealth of fresh fruits that contain natural sugars and in some cases thirst-quenching properties too. However, when you’re on the go all day it’s possible you’ll need something a little more substantial.
Trail mix and protein bars are a wise addition to your daypack if you plan to be out exploring for more than a few hours at a time. While you can typically find these items on the islands, you’ll pay a premium if they’ve been shipped in so bringing some from home is a great option to save a few bucks.
Dry Bag and Electronics Organizer
In much the same way that a water-resistant bag is ideal for active excursions, those of us who love to photograph, Instagram, and share when we travel should consider a dry bag and an electronics organizercombo to keep valuables together, and out of harm’s way in the Caribbean’s tropical climate.
Where water-resistant bags provide a basic level of defense against the elements, a dry-bag is designed to lock out all fluids, as well as things like sand which can play havoc with electronics, away from your precious cargo. Pack up your charging cables, memory cards, and GoPro accessories into an electronics organizer, pop it in a dry bag, and you’re all set for an all-terrain adventure!
Whatever your itinerary, these five essentials are a must for your winter-sun packing list. Looking for more Caribbean travel guides to help you plan your stay? Check 5 Caribbean Islands That Offer Active Escape, and stay tuned for our coming feature on the Caribbean Bay for Adventure Travel.
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
5 Caribbean Islands That Offer an Active Escape
Why You Should Plan a Vacation To The Island of Nevis
Caribbean Without Crowds: Quiet, Beautiful Beaches