My family is from Jamaica, St. Elizabeth parish to be exact. I’ve grown up visiting nearly every year and have explored Ocho Rios, Negril, Portland, Kingston and of course St. Elizabeth. So trust me, you need this Jamaica packing list!
Jamaica Packing List
There are a lot of mosquitos in Jamaica. Unfortunately some of them do carry diseases like Dengue Fever and Zika. That doesn’t mean you can’t visit, it just means you should consider extra precautions to prevent as many bites as possible. Whether you’re into DEET or a natural form of repellent, be sure to pack some!
If you’re staying at a resort in Ocho Rios, Negril or Montego Bay you can get away with not packing a mosquito net. However if you’re visiting Portland, St. Elizabeth or staying at a smaller boutique hotel or airbnb it’s best you pack your own. While some of these places may provide one you don’t know if it will have any holes and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Waterproof Phone Case or GoPro
If there is one thing not to forget off your Jamaica packing list it’s this. Jamaica has a ton of water activities, so whether you’re snorkeling, climbing a waterfall or swimming at the beach or pool I’m sure you’ll want to capture those moments. If you don’t do water activities often you can just get a waterproof phone case. However, if you are always going on trips with lots of water involved especially snorkeling or diving I recommend getting a GoPro. I absolutely love mine, here is a video I made with it just using a selfie stick.
Portable Battery Pack
Chances are you’ll be out and about exploring the island or relaxing on the beach all day. Either way you won’t have access to an outlet so be sure to bring a portable battery pack. This one by Jackery Giant is my favorite, it can charge two phones or iPads at once and recharges my phone up to 3 times.
I know I’m a little weird but yes I travel with my own snorkel mask. I just don’t like biting the mouth piece that everyone else has used. I’m also more comfortable with the full face masks so I always bring my own. Doing this also saves me money on excursions where you have to pay extra to rent snorkel gear.
Even though I forget mine 50% of the time I always wish I’d have remembered or am thanking myself I did. The times I have to bring my backpack instead I get so irritated when there is sand all in it or it inevitably gets wet. To help I also pack a wet bag so I have somewhere to put my swimsuit if I change before getting in the car.
Quick Dry Towel
While you will have access to beach towels at your resort you may or may not be able to take them with you on excursions. If you’re staying at an Airbnb they most likely won’t even provide beach towels. That’s why I always travel with my own lightweight quick dry towel. I’m team carry-on so I don’t have space for bulky towels and wet towels are annoying.
Listen, the sun in Jamaica is no joke, especially during the summer months. You can definitely buy sunscreen in Jamaica as a last resort but expect to pay top dollar for it. That’s why it’s better to pack your own. We personally love Black Girl Sunscreen as it doesn’t leave a white residue on our brown skin.
Aloe Vera Gel
If you forgot to apply your sunscreen or just burn easily in general you’ll be happy you packed some Aloe Vera Gel. It is the cure for burning skin as it cools down the area burned. I like to keep mine in the fridge as when it’s cold it gives a more instant relief.
While I’m typically team use my credit card for everything Jamaica is the exception. The resorts will accept credit cards (although not always American Express) but local vendors and smaller attractions may not. It’s best to exchange your US dollars to Jamaican dollars as you will always get a better rate with local currency on the island.
If you plan on climbing any waterfalls in Jamaica you will need water shoes. Again, pack your own because desperation will get you and it will cost more for a pair outside of the waterfall you’re visiting.
Yes, I know you are visiting a tropical island but pack your sneakers. If you want to go zip-lining, ATVing or any other adventurous activity you will need a pair of sneakers to participate.
If you are traveling with children bring your car seat. The roads in Jamaica are no joke and you’ll want your kids strapped in for what sometimes can be a bumpy ride. If you’ve never traveled with a car seat, here are some tips.
Items to Help You Pack for Jamaica
If you’re not already using packing cubes you are missing out on a great travel hack. Packing cubes allow us to easily pack light and stay organized. They are seriously the best invention ever!
Travel Size Bottles
Since we do travel carry-on only we can’t pack full size hair products, sunscreen, etc. Travel size bottles make sure we stick to the 3.4 oz rule for liquids so nothing gets taken away from TSA.
If you don’t have a carry-on suitcase I love our AWAY ones. While they are a bit expensive, they are the best pieces of luggage I’ve ever had. I’ve had no issue rolling them down cobble stoned streets and they come with a lifetime warranty. I used to always buy my luggage from Ross or TJ Maxx for the savings but honestly with as many times as I’ve had to replace them I could have had a family set of AWAY a long time ago. You can save $20 on your purchase here.
This Jamaica packing list should have you fully prepared to have an amazing Jamaica vacation. Did you find this post helpful? Please share it!