What to Pack for Jamaica: Free Packing Checklist

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Jamaica Sign on the Beach with Palm Trees

Is Jamaica your next vacation destination? You’re probably wondering what to include on your packing list and what to leave off. Here is a comprehensive packing list for Jamaica, perfect for any season.

If this is your first trip, you must be wondering what the right items are to pack for Jamaica. Even if you’ve been around the Caribbean, you still want to bring along the most suitable items when you visit this island. You’ll want to consider a few things while you’re packing: the country’s culture (especially its deep roots in reggae), numerous hiking sites, waterfalls, excellent Jamaican food, and beautiful beaches.

The ViaTravelers team has you covered. Let’s check out some packing essentials you’ll want to bring when you visit Jamaica. To make sure you have the vacation of a lifetime, here is what you need to bring when traveling to Jamaica.

Jamaica Packing List: What to Bring & Pack on Your Trip

Get ready to enjoy the country’s musical culture from an all-inclusive resort or get an aesthetic ocean view from your overwater bungalow. Before you head out, check out this list of things you will want to bring along for your trip to Jamaica.

1. Luggage

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45 in Black
Peak Design / Peak Design

DAN – Peak design backpack photo here

Regardless of trip duration, luggage should be the first item on your Jamaica packing list. Larger suitcases are ideal for longer trips, whereas a small backpack would suffice for shorter vacations.

Either way, a smaller backpack is perfect when you want to pack essentials for outdoor adventures. Grab this top-rated bag from REI.

If you don’t want the hassle of dragging around a large suitcase, there are incredible options for carry-on luggage. A travel backpack makes airport trips an ease. No more waiting in long check-in lines or the dreaded carousel when your luggage arrives.

When packing light, you have to make sure to bring what you need for the entire trip without compromising the comfort of your travel. For example, multipurpose clothes are something to keep in mind.

One of my favorite travel backpacks is Peak Design Everyday Backpack. And if you want a suitcase, any of the TravelPro hardside suitcases will do the trick. While I’m usually a soft-sided luggage person, when visiting hot, humid, and sandy islands, hard-sided is the way to go for easy clean up.

See Related: Credit Cards for International Trips

2. Shampoo, Toiletries, and Skin Care Products

Purad'or shampoo

While all-inclusive resorts typically provide basic toiletries, it’s always a good idea to pack your own. Maybe you have sensitive skin, or the resort doesn’t provide something you may need. With so much sun and salt in the air, you’ll want to pack for Jamaica while considering your hair and skincare needs.

Even though common brands may be available in the local stores, they might be expensive. If you bring enough products to last your trip, it could save you some extra money.

Considering the new and unknown weather in the Caribbean Islands, your best bet is to stick to products you’re familiar with. You might want a good hydrating shampoo to combat the frizz from the humidity. Add Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo to your Jamaica packing list.

You can’t forget to bring your skincare products when traveling to Jamaica. Taking care of yourself is absolutely essential during your Caribbean vacation. TruSkin Vitamin C Serum is a best seller.

Sun protection is crucial in Jamaica. With the tropical climate, you have the sun beating down on you year round. Be the hero and pack enough sun protection for everyone to share.

Aloe Vera is another top item you should pack for Jamaica for yourself and others traveling with you. Even if you’re traveling during the rainy season, it’s still a good idea to bring this along.

Want robust guides on toiletries for the road? Check out our guides to help you find the best ones for your trip:

If you need help planning trips, download our completely free printable travel planner to help you keep your trip organized.

See Related: Best Travel Sandals for Beach Destinations

3. Travel Insurance is Essential for Jamaica

Travel Insurance Claim Form

Some people believe that just because they are staying at a luxury all-inclusive resort and flying first class, they don’t need travel insurance. You need travel insurance for a TON of reasons and it’s something to purchase beforehand every time you go abroad.

Travel insurance has your back when it comes to unexpected interruptions. It protects you against travel risks or when you do extreme water sports like scuba diving (which is awesome in Jamaica, by the way – discover the beautiful Caribbean waters with an amazing tour through Viator). Other travel risks may include stolen or lost luggage, medical costs while traveling, or trip cancellation coverage.

Insurance coverage is important, and people don’t realize it until they are in such a situation. Before you board that flight, ensure you are covered for your entire stay. Check out plans to fit your needs on TravelInsurnace.com.

See Related: How To Find The Best Expat Health Insurance

4. Neck Wallet

Black neck wallet

Security in Jamaica isn’t the best. Items like credit cards, cash, jewelry, cell phones, and even passports are attractive to pickpockets.

You might need extra preventative measures for a safe and happy vacation. A neck wallet is perfect for this.

The Travel Neck Wallet by VENTURE 4TH will come in handy as you’re exploring the beautiful island. The last thing you want is for your credit card to get stolen as you’re trekking through a busy area.

Speaking of cards, it’s a good idea to call your credit card company before you travel so they know you’ll be using your credit card in Jamaica. This secure wallet is spacious and can comfortably hold your credit cards, phone, passport, and travel documents, which are crucial to have in a close spot during an international trip.

The best thing about a neck wallet is that you can hide it under your shirt so no one can know whether you have it or not. With this kind of wallet, you avoid all the stress you would undergo if your wallet got lost. It’s an excellent tactic to beat pickpockets.

See Related: All-Inclusive Family Resorts in Jamaica

5. A First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit in a Backpacking Bag
Aleksey / Adobe Stock

Carrying a personal first aid kit is vital, regardless of your health status. You should always bring one along when traveling. It doesn’t have to be complex; a simple kit with the basics should suffice.

The first aid kit should include items like personal prescriptions from home and daily supplements. Make sure you prepare for things like diarrhea, headaches, stomach issues, or other unexpected mishaps.

Sometimes, a stomach virus is inevitable, but having antidiarrheal drugs will make you feel even safer. Having these extras can really help before accessing a clinic or a pharmacy. This truly is an essential item on your Jamaica packing list.

See Related: Black Sand Beaches in the World

6. Earplugs or Pressure Earplugs

EarPlanes
Best earplugs

If you’ve ever had to endure discomfort or excruciating pain in your ears during ascent or descent, you’ll know what these are for. Earplugs are essential items to prevent ear discomfort and pain during a flight. You insert these small gadgets in your ear before the takeoff or landing.

They help to regulate the air pressure between the cabin and your middle ear, thus preventing pain. EarPlanes is an ideal type of earplug that will ensure comfort while helping you deal with air pressure.

See related: EarPlanes Review: Do They Work for Travel

7. Waterproof Phone Casing

OtterBox FRĒ Series Waterproof Case
OtterBox / Amazon

Since you’ll probably be near water most of the time, having a waterproof casing for your phone is paramount. The OtterBox FRĒ Series will protect your phone from ocean waters, waterfalls, or rushing rivers.

A waterproof case will also make it easy to take photos or videos underwater without worrying about damaging your phone. This way, you can safely record your best moments, whether underwater or on land.

See Related: Travel Cases For Camera Gear

8. Cell Phone

Woman Holding a Phone

Your trip won’t be complete without some electronic gadgets. Your cell phone will ensure that you are still connected to the world and that you can record your memories.

If your devices are dual voltage or can run on 110V, you are safe in Jamaica. However, your plug must be suitable to fit Jamaican power outlets. 

A type B plug adapter will help with that. Americans don’t need to carry a converter. Most hotels in Jamaica are compatible with US systems. 

Phones can keep you entertained as you can access e-books, magazines, and social media. If you didn’t hire a travel concierge, Google Maps is an incredible tool. Since some areas don’t have access to electricity, it’s prudent to carry a portable charger for your devices.

See Related: Travel Accessories and Gear

9. Sand-Free Beach Blanket

Family using a Urbaneco Outdoors Lightweight Beach Blanket
URBANECO OUTDOORS / Amazon

A lightweight sand-proof beach blanket will come in handy if you want to enjoy the warm, sunny beaches in Jamaica. It’s an impeccable alternative to the everyday large beach towel and perfect for family vacations.

The oversized beach blanket by URBANECO OUTDOORS is a phenomenal choice for a day at the beach. It can easily fit into your travel backpack and is big enough to share with friends or family.

It’s waterproof, sandproof, durable, and quick-dry. With a lightweight sand-free blanket, you don’t have to worry about sand damaging your skin. If you go with the beach blanket, consider purchasing a waterproof bag to carry your beach towels, bug spray, and other essentials.

10. High-Quality Bug Spray & Insect Bite Relief Cream

OFF! Deep Woods Sportsmen Insect Repellent II
OFF! / Amazon

Get the bugs off with Off! Insect Repellent. This top rated bug spray is loved by many Amazon customers, and hundreds compliment that it works as advertised.

If you prefer something without deet, you’ll want to look for products with 20% picaridin or 30% oil from lemon eucalyptus. These alternatives are safe ways of staying dry from mosquitos and ticks.

Sometimes, bites do happen. Try the Insect Sting & Itch Relief Stick to bite away. It’s a chemical-free treatment that provides instant relief without any odors or messes.

See Related: Top-Rated Restaurants in Jamaica

11. Beach Bag

Lands' End unisex-adult Natural 5 Pocket Open Top Canvas Tote Bag
Lands’ End / Amazon

Don’t underestimate the power of a good beach bag. You’ll want something that holds everything in place while you get lost in the stunning Jamaican sands.

Grab yourself a tote bag off Amazon from Lands’ End. These stylish beach bags come in a variety of patterns and colors.

The base is water-repellent, so you can set it down if you’re by the beach or pool. We hope you’ve brought everything because these durable bags can hold up to 500 lbs.

Yes, it’s been tested. Even if you’re not going to the beach, this is the perfect take-along bag for just about anywhere.

12. Waterproof Camera

OM SYSTEM Tough TG-7 Red Underwater Camera
OM SYSTEM / Amazon

For underwater adventures, capture memories with the Tough TG-7 by OM System. This high-resolution camera is waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof. The camera comes with five separate underwater modes for incredible pictures you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Many happy Amazon customers compliment the camera’s durability. Test out your new camera with an incredible snorkeling cruise in Negril. Book your spot through Viator.

13. Action Camera

GoPro HERO9 Black Waterproof Action Camera
GoPro / Amazon

While we are on the topic of cameras, no adrenaline-pumping adventure is complete without an action camera. What better pick than the GoPro?

Whether you are horseback riding, mountain biking, or hiking, capture those energetic moments to remember them for years to come. Customers adore the GoPro, and 80% of buyers rate it as a 5-star item.

14. Quick Dry Towel

Ultra Compact Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
Rainleaf / Amazon

Towels are essential for any vacation near the water. A quick dry towel is one of those things that are just nice to have.

You deserve a little luxury. The Microfiber Towel by Rainleaf is fast drying and compact.

Not going to the beach? They’re also awesome for hiking, camping, yoga, and anywhere else that you break a sweat.

Rainleaf is the perfect companion for a beach horseback riding session. Grab a spot through GetYourGuide.

Clothing to Bring to Jamaica

Couple Watching the Sunset in Jamaica
underworld / Adobe Stock

You’ll need different types of clothing depending on what you’re getting up to. Sunny weather is another aspect you need to keep in mind when choosing what clothes to bring to Jamaica.

You’ll have a different choice if you plan for a honeymoon cruising in the tropics than a person planning to hang out at a high-end beach resort. Although you should keep your clothes light and casual, here is an exact packing list of what to bring on a Jamaica vacation:

15. Bathing Suit

Men's swim suits

When traveling to the Caribbean islands, swimsuits are a must. How else will you enjoy the beautiful beaches and the clear, cool waters?

This means that you need several bathing suits with you. One-piece swimsuits are ideal for optimizing packing space.

For men, a Calvin Klein Swim Trunk will be perfect. They have tons of positive reviews on Amazon and dry quickly. It’s a great pick, especially if you plan to partake in the Dolphin Swim Encounter through GetYourGuide.

See Related: Best Travel Shorts for Warm Climates

16. Cover-Ups for Ladies

Jeasona Women’s Bathing Suit Cover Up
Jeasona / Amazon

If you are looking for a simple way to look beautiful and elegant, a coverup on top of your bathing suit will do the trick. Many happy Amazon customers love the phenomenal quality of this crochet coverup.

Another option is a simple sundress. These stylish summer dresses from Amazon are breathable, lightweight, and extremely easy to pack.

It’s an essential clothing item on your packing list. These dresses can serve the same purpose as cover-ups and still portray the desired style.

17. Flip Flops or Sandals

OluKai Womens 'Ohana Flip-Flops
OluKai / REI.com

As someone who spent a lot of time at the beach in my youth, I can confirm that flip-flops or sandals are one of the best things to wear. They don’t get tangled up in your towel (a big problem!), they’re very comfortable and will work with any dress you want to wear.

Travel sandals help keep your feet cool during a sun-filled beach vacation. Women will love the Ohana flip flops by OluKai. With over 200 five-star ratings, these comfortable, lightweight sandals are a must buy. The Ohana Flip Flops also come in men’s colors and sizes.

18. Water Shoes

VIFUUR Black Water Sports Shoes
VIFUUR / Amazon

If you don’t want to walk barefoot on the sandy beaches or intend to visit the waterfalls, you may need to add water shoes to your packing list. Water shoes will fit in your suitcase without taking up much space and will also ensure you enjoy those walks on the water. Your own pair is cost-effective, as buying from the shops on the island will be expensive.

19. Casual T-Shirts and Shorts

Opna Women's Short Sleeve Moisture  Athletic Shirts
Opna / Amazon

Some pairs of shorts and T-shirts will help you enjoy every bit of your hot vacation in Jamaica. These are particularly useful when hiking or taking walks. Breathable cotton is your friend.

If your trip is during the rainy season, you’ll want to dress accordingly. Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes.

You might need extras, depending on what you’re doing. Garbage bags are a good idea to store dirty clothes.

Opna is a stellar brand selling moisture wicking shirts on Amazon. They come in a variety of colors for men, women, and kids.

This breathable material also offers UV protection. It’s a great choice for tropical vacations. You’ll need these if you’re planning for a full-day adventure through Viator.

Additional items for your Jamaica vacation could include:

  • Underwear, socks, bras (for ladies)
  • Pajamas
  • Scarves, belts, and jewelry (not extremely expensive ones)
  • Sunglasses
  • A straw beach hat
  • Athletic wear
  • Packing cubes
  • Action camera
  • Dress shoes (perfect for luxury resorts or formal cruises)
  • Waterproof pouch for swimming or snorkeling
  • Small portable travel safe for extra support and security
  • A durable travel tote

See Related: Most Famous Landmarks in Jamaica

What Should I Wear in Jamaica?

Woman Standing on Bamboo Raft in Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jam Travels / Adobe Stock

Depending on the activities you’ll be doing and the location you plan to visit, what you need to wear in Jamaica will differ. Think about things that are robust and light before heading out.

Although many locations do not demand formal wear in Jamaica, bring at least one nice outfit for a wonderful dinner. Bring a light fleece jacket and hiking pants if you intend to journey to the Blue Mountains near Kingston. It’s likely to get chilly at higher elevations, particularly at night.

Natives and locals of Jamaica wear a variety of outfits. You can buy any clothing in Jamaica, from laid-back to the finest formal attire.

The best thing about Jamaican fashion is that it has something for everyone. If you want funky, Jamaicans have it. Jamaica is one of the best Caribbean Islands for a shopping extravaganza.

Natives have a unique way of putting things together and mixing items from vastly different outfits to create amazing results. The best thing is that beach vacations like Jamaica don’t require you to carry lots of clothes.

What NOT To Wear During Your Jamaica Trip

However, the weather in Jamaica is warm and wet, so you’ll want to stock up on lightweight clothing and breathable fabrics. Boots aren’t necessary unless you’re planning on doing long treks in Jamaica.

Because of the tropical weather, you’ll want to keep clothing material in mind. Choose what you’ll wear for supper, a night of shopping, and, most importantly, attractive and comfortable clothing.

You’ll be cozy in any scenario. A patterned maxi skirt is a nice choice for women, and open-toe sandals for men.

What Is the Weather Like in Jamaica?

Shining Sunset on the Beach in Jamaica
Ben Keith / Adobe Stock

The time of year you are traveling will majorly impact what you wear. However, the humidity is high year round, so breathable fabrics are key.

Hurricane season is from June until the end of November, reaching a peak from August to October. Jamaica experiences two rainy seasons. One peaks in May to June and the other from September to October.

Temperatures drop from December to March, but not enough to pack winter gear. You’ll want something a bit warmer for the nighttime. Regardless, it’s a sunny country, so it’s essential to pack sunscreen.

How Safe Is Jamaica?

Kingston Road Sign in Jamaica
ozphotoguy / Adobe Stock

Jamaica has a reputation for petty thefts and assaults. If you use street smarts and common sense, you won’t have to worry too much.

Try to stay in places where there are many people and carry a minimal amount of cash. You’ll definitely want to purchase some travel insurance to protect you.

Certain areas of Kingston, Negril, and Montego Bay are thought to have higher risks of crimes and violence. Don’t walk around after dark, and never roam alone.

Be cautious of street vendors, as some can be aggressive in nature. If you’re looking to buy souvenirs to bring back home, I’d recommend visiting the shops near the tourist attractions. I never had issues buying merchandise there.

Final Thoughts

Jamaica Packing Checklist

Traveling when you know you have packed everything necessary for the trip is fulfilling. You don’t want to realize that you lack an item only when you want to use it. It’s essential to know exactly what you need to pack for a trip to ensure that you’ll have uninterrupted fun.

Places like Jamaica can be tricky for first-timers to choose the correct items to carry. But, with the help of this guide on what to bring on your Jamaican adventure, you can enjoy your stay and ensure that it is a stress-free one. You will be well prepared and equipped with everything you need.

FAQ

What do I pack for Jamaica?

Your packing checklist should include lightweight clothing, sunscreen, bug repellent, insect repellent, a sun hat, or a baseball cap with a brim to afford protection from intense sun exposure. You should also bring any prescription medications needed during your stay in Jamaica – including contact lens solution.

It is important to always carry travelers’ diarrhea treatments with you, as unhygienic conditions may result in travelers’ stomach sickness. Finally, put together some reading material or entertainment you enjoy on the plane ride.

What is the dress code in Jamaica?

In Jamaica, there are no specific dress codes. You can wear what you would wear in public areas in the United States. Dress codes depend on where you are going. If you’re not sure, then be conservative at all times.

That means no sleeveless t-shirts or spaghetti strap tops, shorts, or anything that reveals too much skin are permitted unless it’s a private function like a pool party where bathing suits are appropriate. If you plan to wear pants, make sure they’re either long enough or loose-fitting enough that they won’t reveal what’s underneath when bending over or sitting down. If it’s too hot for long pants, try some dress shorts.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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