What To Pack For your Holidays In Jamaica? The Ultimate List

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Jamaica is a popular Caribbean destination for more reasons than one. It’s one of the Caribbean region's largest islands and is known for being the birthplace of Reggae, the land of stunning waterfalls and the home of sporting legends.

Veteran visitors know what to expect when heading to the island, but first-timers may need help deciding what to pack for Jamaica. Whether you’re heading to Jamaica to experience the lifestyle at one of the many all-inclusive resorts, or you’re planning to rent something for yourself, this checklist will help you get ready to have the most amazing holiday of your life.

In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Packing considerations

Packing clothes for 7-days
List of essential travel items
Things you might not have thought of

5 Things to consider before packing for Jamaica

Read on to find out what things you want to consider before packing for Jamaica, or go directly to clothes to pack for 7-days in Jamaica instead.

Expert tip: Wearing clothing with camouflage print is illegal in Jamaica and only reserved for the local army.

Are you travelling alone or with a group?

Travelling solo means you’ll likely have to pack less. However, packing for trips where you’re bringing kids along or other family members might lead to you packing more. Babies, toddlers and the elderly often need more specialised items to take along with them on a trip, and if any of these age groups are part of your party to Jamaica, you can expect your packing list to be more extensive.

What is the expected weather like when you are travelling?

The best time to visit Jamaica is from mid-December to mid-April annually, and the reason for that is you can expect stable weather conditions.

Picture: Overwater bungalows at Sandals South Coast, Jamaica.

As with most other Caribbean islands, you’ll still find good weather outside of this time, although you might want to pack accordingly, accounting for brief tropical rainfall. The difference between Jamaica and some of the smaller Caribbean islands, though, is that because of its larger size, the weather in one area of Jamaica compared to another may be very different. The varied terrain on this island influences conditions in various areas, have a look at our Best Time To Visit Jamaica article to find out more.

Tip: Don’t expect any Jamaican to have a conversation with you about the weather. No one really pays attention to the figures, just what the skies and clouds are saying, which is usually pretty reliable!

What items will be provided by your accommodation?

Consider the complimentary items the accommodation provides (like toiletries, beach towels and hairdryers) — the less you need to take, the better!


How long will you stay in Jamaica?

You may feel the tug at your heartstrings to take more things if your trip is longer than the average 5 to 7-day trip. Try to avoid this, as once you get there, you’re likely to find that you don’t need half of the items you brought along. Plus, most resorts have laundry services. If you plan to stay at a resort for longer than a week, it’s probably best to simply pack for a week and use the laundry services available. This way, you are packing smarter.

What is the purpose of your trip?

Are you attending a destination wedding, immersing in local culture or venturing on an aquatic adventure? Your itinerary will determine the contents of your suitcase — whether it's sturdy swimwear or elegant evening attire.

The activities you will partake in will influence what you will need to pack. Things to do in Jamaica include some of the most spectacular waterfall hikes, river rafting, cliff jumping and stunning beaches, including the popular Seven Mile Beach. You’ll also find a vibrant nightlife scene in Jamaica, which is perfect if excitement is what you seek.

Tip: Keep in mind that beach hopping trips require more swimsuits, while trips purely to enjoy the amenities of all-inclusive resorts, like Sandals, may require more elegant options for dining at some of the speciality restaurants you can expect to find on-site.

Here’s what you’ll need for a 7-day trip to Jamaica

Women’s 7-day clothing packing list


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  • 2 swimsuits/bikinis
  • 4-5 tops/T-shirts
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 trousers or capris
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • Underwear (enough for the duration of your trip)
  • 2 sets of PJs
  • 1 summer dress
  • Toiletries such as a hairbrush, makeup, deodorant, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Dinner attire for a special night out. Remember, the best hotel restaurants often have dress codes, so if you’re staying at a resort, bring some options!
  • Heels or wedges (if you wear them)
  • 1 pair of trainers (if you plan on hiking)

Packed your clothes? Take a look at these 12 essential travel items to pack for Jamaica.

Men’s 7-day clothing packing list

  • 2-3 polo shirts
  • 1-2 pairs of beach shorts
  • 2-3 T-shirts
  • Underwear (enough to last the duration of your trip)
  • 2 beach tops
  • 2 sets of PJs
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of long trousers and a button-down shirt (for semi-formal or formal dinner). Remember, the best hotel restaurants often have dress codes, so if you’re staying at a resort, bring some options!
  • 1 pair of closed-toe shoes
  • 1 belt that matches everything
  • Cuff links (if you want to wear them)
  • 1 pair of trainers (if you need them)

Not sure what to wear for your flight?

Two words: Simplicity works. Getting through airport security can be a hassle, so the most important thing to remember is to be comfortable. Wear shoes that you don’t mind taking on and off if you’re asked to, and clothing that will keep you warm on the plane that you can easily peel off once in the Bahamas. Cardigans or lightweight jumpers over your casual airport attire (jeans, trousers, casual shirt) work just fine.

12 Essential travel items to bring to Jamaica

Keep these essential travel items either on you or in your carry-on luggage.

1. Valid passport


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Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay, so make sure to check it’s valid before your trip. You also need two blank pages for entry and exit stamps.

Expert tip: Take photos of your passport and travel documents with your phone as an added precaution in case they get lost or stolen.

2. Boarding pass

Bring along all information associated with your flight to the airport; you can store your information on your phone just as long as you can access and present the information once you get to the airport. It's always good to have a printed backup if you accidentally drop your phone or run out of battery. Once your boarding pass is issued, keep it in a safe place, or you won’t be able to board your flight.

3. Contact number and accommodation address

You’ll need your contact information to answer any questions that may arise once you arrive at your destination. Additionally, you might need this information when arriving at the airport so your taxi knows where to drop you off.

If you stay at any of the Sandals or Beaches Resorts in Jamaica, you will be picked up and returned to the airport at no additional costs.

4. Health & life insurance paperwork

Don’t leave your insurance information behind. It will be useful if you’re in an emergency or require medical assistance in Jamaica.

5. Valid driving licence

Doing some exploring on your own? If you rent a vehicle, bring a valid driving licence to Jamaica. Your UK driving licence can be used to drive in Jamaica for up to 6 months. Beware that you might not be able to rent a car in Jamaica if you are over 75 or under 23 years old.

6. Travel insurance for Jamaica

It’s reassuring to know that you have insurance in place in case of unforeseen events or accidents. Most travel insurance policies cover lost or stolen luggage, flight cancellations and medical expenses.

Good to know: Sandals and Beaches properties offer travel insurance at additional costs when booking a stay at all-inclusive resorts.

7. Cash and credit cards


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While it’s not advisable to walk around with large sums of money, you’ll need to walk with some cash for tipping or small purchases. It’s also important to let your bank know you will be travelling to Jamaica, so you don’t have any issues using your debit or credit cards. Remember that not all vendors take debit or credit cards in Jamaica.

Resorts like Sandals and Beaches have currency exchange points at the front desk.

8. A blue or black ink pen

This might seem like a given, but if you’re a regular traveller, you’ve seen how often people ask others to borrow pens to fill in their visas and immigration forms. Perhaps you’ve been one of those people. There’s nothing wrong with sharing, but it’s just easier to bring your own. Perhaps this time, you can be the person with the extra pen to give to someone else. Keep your pen close by; preferably in your pocket or in your carry-on bag.

9. Prescription medications

Avoid any unnecessary hassle trying to source these in Jamaica by bringing an adequate supply. If you do happen to forget your medication, you may not find the same brands in Jamaica as in the UK. You may also be required to see a doctor before a pharmacy even considers your request. Keep in mind you may have just as hard of a time getting non-prescription items like pain medicines. Take your own medications in their original packaging to avoid any problems.

10. Items you cannot live without

Everyone has that one thing they can’t imagine living without, albeit for a few days. Try to narrow this down as much as possible for your trip. Remember, you can purchase most things while in Jamaica. If it isn’t essential, leave it behind.

11. Electronic gadgets

Dealing with a flight delay can be frustrating, but being prepared can make all the difference. Alongside books or magazines, consider packing an e-reader, tablet or laptop to keep yourself entertained. This is especially helpful if you're travelling with kids. Don't forget to bring along the necessary chargers to ensure your devices stay powered up throughout your wait!

12. Change of clothes in your carry-on

Be sure to bring some extra clothes and personal items in your carry-on just in case there is a delay in your luggage arriving to Jamaica. Carrying emergency supplies ensures that your holiday plans don’t come to a standstill while you wait for your luggage to arrive.

Staying at a resort or hotel? Toiletries and towels are often provided, so no need to worry about the shampoo bottle leaking in your luggage. All Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica provide toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash, soaps and towels directly from the Red Lane Spa.

Items you’ll need for a day at the beach

Sun cream


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There’s nothing worse than getting sunburnt during a trip to the beach, much less while on holiday. Sunburn can be painful, so find a sun cream that works for you. Make sure it is water resistant, 30 SPF or higher, and reef safe if you plan to go snorkelling or scuba diving. It is best to apply sun cream liberally every two hours — and don't neglect your ears and scalp, especially if you're bald.

Wide-brimmed hat


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Not a fan of sun cream? Grab a wide-brimmed hat, and you’ll be good to hit the Jamaican beachfront. Just wear the appropriate clothing, and you’ll be both fashion-savvy and sun safe. If you’re at Sandals and on the beach, head for a beach umbrella or cabana!

Cover-ups for the beach


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Instead of wearing bulky clothing over your swimsuit, opt for cover ups like sarongs, lightweight beach dresses and wraps, or even loose-fitting long sleeve shirts and trousers. You can also try UV protection clothing, which is practical for activities like snorkelling that leave your back exposed to the sun’s rays.

Sunglasses with UV protection

You can’t go wrong with a good pair of polarised sunglasses. These will protect your eyes from the elements, even when it's overcast, and you can’t even tell how the rays could possibly be harmful. Remember that looks can be deceiving; protect your eyes, particularly if you’re out on the beach.

Tip: Bring a pair you aren’t particularly attached to for your holiday, just in case they get lost while hiking one of Jamaica's waterfalls.

Beach bag


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Beach bags are ideal when you want to bring everything but the kitchen sink with you on beach day — especially when staying on the beach through to sunset. Pack everything you need, from towels to your favourite novels, as well as sunglasses and bottled water. Some people prefer beach bags with interior cooler storage, perfect for keeping your drinks cold.

Beach blanket

You don’t realise how much you need a beach blanket, until you get to the beach and realise you don’t have one. Towels are never quite big enough, so take some time to select the perfect beach blanket which will add to the comfort of your beach day. Choose one that is lightweight and easy to pack.

Waterproof phone case


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You never know what can happen, so it helps to be prepared when you’re on an island surrounded by water. Whether you’re out exploring the ocean, waterfalls or rivers, a waterproof phone case will ensure that your phone is always kept safe and water free. Opt for a high-quality one that will last. Look for a case that makes it possible for you to take underwater photos, or even videos.

A quick-drying towel

This will help ensure that you use fewer towels, whether you plan to explore a beach or waterfall during a day. If you stay at a resort, you can expect beach towels to be provided.

Flip flops


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You’ll need something you can get off and on your feet quickly, so anything with laces is not ideal. Flip flops or sliders will keep your feet cool, and you won’t have to worry about emptying a shoe filled with sand at the end of the day!

Tip: Just in case you spend too long in the sun, Aloe Vera is worth packing and bringing along with you. Look for one that contains 99 percent Aloe Vera. It will work wonders to soothe your skin!

20 Things to pack for Jamaica that you may not have thought of

1. Water shoes


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Water shoes are available to rent, but it’s easier to bring your own. Choose an inexpensive pair for use during water activities while on the island. Dunn's River Falls is a location where you may need to bring along water shoes, as the surface of the rivers and waterfalls in the area tend to be gritty. They will also come in handy for climbing the falls.

2. Replacement jewellery

A good rule of thumb is don't bring jewellery on your holiday that you don’t want to lose during snorkelling and other activities, like your engagement or wedding ring. That can be difficult, particularly if you’re travelling for a destination wedding or vow renewal. Some people bring cheaper replacement versions for their holiday and leave the real stuff at home for when they return.

3. Snorkelling gear


If you’re packing light, you may not want to bring along snorkelling gear, but you can rent some once you get to Jamaica. Customised or otherwise personalised goggles you can bring along, particularly if you need prescription goggles. At all Sandals resorts snorkelling equipment is provided for free to interested guests.

4. All-natural fish food

If you’re into it, you can bring these along to feed the fish something safe when you go snorkelling. You’ll be happy you did.

5. Waterproof camera


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If you don’t have a waterproof camera, perhaps this is the ideal time to look into getting one. There are so many interesting things to do in Jamaica, many of which involve getting wet. Cherish and keep those moments by investing in a waterproof camera. Or you could just get a waterproof pouch for your phone.

6. Waterproof pouches or bags


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You'll need something to store wet swimwear, and resealable bags are the perfect solution. Bring three or four large ones; they will surely come in handy. These are also ideal for keeping your cash and documents dry if you carry them on a boat trip.

7. Luggage scale


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Keep track of what you’re packing with a luggage scale. Your luggage may be limited to 23kg, depending on the airline. Investing in a luggage scale will save you from exceeding your luggage allowance and paying an extra luggage charge. This comes in handy if you plan to shop on your trip.

8. Extra camera supplies

Make sure you're fully prepared to capture those unforgettable moments in Jamaica by packing essential camera equipment. Don't forget extra batteries and memory cards to avoid missing out on every photo opportunity. Consider rechargeable batteries for more peace of mind.

9. Multi-port charger


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Plug all your devices in one place so you can keep track of them during your stay. The last thing you want is to come home and realise you forgot to unplug your charger from that outlet behind the bed.

Rooms in select categories at Sandals offer USB charging ports, which may come in useful during your trip.

10. Distinctive luggage tags

You’ll be astounded by how quickly you can find your luggage with the simple addition of coloured ribbons or bright tags. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to return to plain old luggage again.

11. A surge protector

This helps to keep your electronic devices protected against power surges, which are more common than you think. The last thing you’ll need is your laptop getting damaged by a power surge or any essential device you need to last through your holiday.

12. A money belt


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Money belts are the evolution of the fanny pack. If you choose the right one, you’ll feel at ease wherever you go in Jamaica. Slim-fit designs make it look as if you’re not wearing anything under your top, and some include hidden pockets that are ideal for keeping your money safe.

13. Medicine & first aid kits


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These always come in handy, especially if you plan ahead to bring the essentials, like plasters, painkillers, antihistamine medications, Aloe Vera ointment, alcohol pads and antibiotic creams. You may also want to include medicines for common gastrointestinal problems, like Imodium. Medicine for seasickness is also worth packing if you’re planning to book a boat trip, while baby powder is ideal to help with chafing in humid weather. If you’re travelling with a group, consider designating one person to be responsible for packing and carrying the kit.

Tip: Ask your doctor whether to pack an EpiPen. This is highly recommended if you have allergies to food or insect bites.

Some resorts like Sandals make it a priority to keep guests safe while on the property by having dedicated nurses on hand, who are always available for emergencies and other occurrences.

14. Insect repellent/bug spray


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Bugs and mosquitoes can't be avoided in the tropics, but you can be ready to keep them at bay. Choose products with 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus for effectiveness. Avoid DEET, a controversial ingredient. Carry insect bite relief cream in your bag at all times, especially if you may be allergic to certain bug bites. You can also purchase bug repellent at all Sandals Resorts shops.

15. Hand sanitiser or disposable wipes

Even if you’re not bringing a first aid kit, you may want to keep sanitiser and disposable wipes on hand. These will help to keep your hands germ-free and help you wipe down dirty surfaces that you may come in contact with.

16. A laundry bag

Take a laundry bag, pillowcase or bin bag — whatever works. The key is to have something handy for storing your dirty clothes. After all, no one wants their fresh clothing to mix with the grime of the day. So, be sure to pack a bag of some kind for your dirty washing and keep your travel wardrobe in tip-top shape.

Tip: Who wants to worry about laundry when on holiday? Sandals provides laundry services for guests, which you'll appreciate when you reuse the same outfit throughout your stay.

17. A hairdryer

Taking your own hairdryer is a good idea if your accommodation doesn't provide one. Travelling with others? Plan with your group to determine who will carry a hairdryer in their luggage that you can all use.

Did you know? While it’s typical for hotels to provide guests with hairdryers in their rooms nowadays, Sandals Resorts was the first resort in the world to do this.

18. Portable water bottle


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Keep the environment clean by investing in a reusable water bottle, instead of purchasing bottles of water every time you get thirsty. The truth is, it’s hot in Jamaica, and you’ll probably drink a lot of water. It’s best to walk with something you can safely refill.

19. An insulated mug

Save yourself the back and forth at the bar. Invest in a big insulated mug that will keep your drinks cold longer, while you enjoy the Reggae vibes in Jamaica. It’ll be perfect for your first cup of lemonade (or Red Stripe if you insist)!

20. Plug adaptor

In Jamaica, plug sockets are mainly type A and type B, so most UK devices aren’t compatible. It's a good idea to pack travel adaptors to guarantee that your electronics work properly during your holiday. You can purchase one at the airport if you forget to pick one up before your trip.

Last but certainly not least, have fun!

Now that you're equipped with all the essentials for your Jamaican getaway, don't forget to bring your adventurous spirit along. It's time to kick back, relax and soak up all the incredible experiences Jamaica has in store for you. After all, you're in the Caribbean — and it doesn't get much better than this!

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Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Born on the tropical island that is Saint Lucia affords a never-ending source of inspiration. In the past 13 years, Kylie loved to work with various newspapers, magazines and blogs in the Caribbean.