If you have a tropical getaway planned, you might be wondering what to pack and planning your Caribbean Vacation outfits. Lucky you, because having travelled to multiple Caribbean islands, I am sharing my tropical vacation packing list in this post! More than outfits, this post covers everything you should bring with you, and what to leave at home. I seriously overpacked on my first trip to the Caribbean, so trust me on these recommendations.
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In this tropical vacation packing list, we will cover everything from toiletries to suitcases! I personally love travelling light (to avoid lost luggage & waiting in baggage claim) so this packing list is carry-on friendly. Everything can fit in a carry-on suitcase and personal bag!
What is covered in this post:
- Caribbean Vacation Outfits & Clothes
- Makeup & Toiletries
- Packing Gear
- Beach & Pool Items
Remember, it is important to consider the length of stay and activities you will be doing on vacation in order to determine your unique packing list. Use this post as a guide for general Caribbean vacation outfits. If you have a particular outfit request let me know!
Clothing for Caribbean Vacation Outfits
The clothes you add to your tropical vacation packing list are highly dependent upon your personal style. However, there are a few key pieces that I have noticed to be universal must have for anybody’s Caribbean Vacation Outfits. I always take swimwear, coverups, outfits for excursions or day trips, and evening clothing for dinners.
My personal 5 day 4-night stay would include these items for my personal Caribbean vacation outfits:
- 4 swimsuits
- 3 coverups
- 3 casual tops
- 2 bottoms (shorts + pants)
- 3-4 sundresses
- 6 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of socks
For me, when I go to the Caribbean I live in bathing suits until it is time for dinner. Especially if you are staying at an all inclusive, you’ll want to bring your favorite swimsuits for beach/pool days. A one piece can even be worn with denim shorts & sun hat for a day of shopping or sightseeing. The best part?! Swimwear takes up very little room in luggage!
This swimsuit is an Amazon best seller, with over40 color options, 20,000 reviews and 4.3 star rating!
You will want a variety of beach coverups, because they are essential for daily wear! Most all-inclusive resorts I’ve stayed at will not let you in the dining areas in a bathing suit, so it is important to have coverups. They are also great for wearing over suits as you walk the beach, get a break from the sun, and walking back and forth to your room. Linen tunics are another great option to wear over one-piece swimsuits & shorts.
Here are some of my favorite beach coverups:
- Beach Coverup Set: Favorite Amazon Set
- Crochet Beach Coverup Dress: Dress coverup
- Maxi Skirt Sarong: Perfect over a one piece
Tops to wear with Caribbean vacation outfits
Bring a few basic tops to pair with bottoms for daytime outings and casual evening wear. Most resorts will also have evening entertainment, sometimes I prefer casual looks for these nights. Below are three tops you’ll want to have on your tropical vacation packing list! Tap the images for more details!
- Casual tee – perfect for excursions and covers your shoulders from harsh sun
- Flutter sleeve top – For casual dinner or day trips
- Floral set – Two pieces that can be worn together or separate!
These pants can double as a swim cover and offer amazing, lightweight coverage from the sun. Let me tell you, the Caribbean sun is no joke! I also find the indoor dining to be chilly, especially after being in the sun all day, so you will not regret a pair of linen pants for evening wear.
Shorts to pair with Caribbean vacation outfits
Shorts are great to have when you need a casual outfit or are going on an excursion. I ABSOLUTELY wore shorts while zip lining in Jamaica! SO FUN!
Personally, I like to bring at least two pairs. One blue and one white. Denim shorts can easily be dressed up or down and go with everything. Below is the pair I own and LOVE!
Pack 3-4 sundresses and you will have the easiest Caribbean vacation outfits. Right?! With dresses, you don’t have to worry about matching separate tops & bottoms. Just slip on the dress and some accessories for an easy and beautiful beach look. Shop the dresses below for effortless vacation outfits!
Don’t Forget to Pack
Accessories for Caribbean Vacation Outfits
Keep it simple with your accessories when packing for your trip. A few basics is all you really need!
Take two inexpensive pairs for your Caribbean vacation outfits. You do not want to risk losing or breaking anything valuable on your trip!
For me, I like a beach bag that can hold a book, sunglasses, my hat, sunscreen, my phone, and maybe a few other things. Other than that, when in the Caribbean, there’s not much else you need. That is assuming you are just at the beach by your resort. If venturing out to another beach, you’ll probably need a bigger bag. Below are some great options!
Jewelry with your Caribbean Vacation Outfits
Keep it simple, and leave expensive pieces at home. All you really need are some fun beachy pieces to go with your Caribbean vacation outfits! Here are my recommendations – each under $20!
Some women like to wear layered chains at the pool. If you want a stylish pair check out this set!
Beach Hat for Tropical Vacation Looks
A baseball cap and/or straw hat are all you should need! Our first trip to Aruba, I was not prepared for how brutal the sun would be. Ever since then, I make sure to pack a hat to protect my face more from the sun. When you’re in the Caribbean, it is so easy to lose track of time and forget to reapply sunscreen. Having a hat on hand will save you! Just don’t forget to wear it.
This packable hat is not only BEAUTIFUL, but it can be rolled up in your suitcase, so you don’t have to worry about carrying it through the airport!
Shoes for Caribbean Vacation Outfits
An essential for beach and pool days! A slim rubber flip flop takes up minimal space in luggage, so I usually pack two pairs. Black and white will go with anything, but I also love gold flip flops to elevate my Caribbean vacation outfits. You will wear these daily, especially if you’re planning on lounging at the pool regularly.
Wear these with your travel outfit to save space in your suitcase! These can then be worn if you like to workout on vacation or for excursions. My husband and I went to on an island tour in Saint Lucia and we were so thankful to have sneakers for a full day outing that was full of hiking, tours, and shopping.
Many Caribbean islands are considered under developed, like Saint Lucia, so we actually left our gently used shoes in a donation box at our resort before we left! We saw similar donations in Jamaica.
Sandals with your Caribbean Vacation Outfits
One nice pair of leather slide sandals and one pair of wedge sandals is all you should need. I personally prefer to only take flat slides, but if you like heels, you will want a wedge with you! Your tropical vacation packing list should include sandals that can be worn with all of your dresses. These wedges are comfortable and an easy way to elevate casual dresses on vacation.
Makeup and Toiletries
This is where you need to make big sacrifices if you want to travel carry-on only. If you are planning to check a bag then you will want to personalize this list to fit your needs.
You will want to grab travel size bottles from Amazon in order to take your favorite shampoo, conditioner, & moisturizer. I also combine my hair products (smoothing cream, oil, and heat tamer) into one bottle to save extra space. Remember, liquids cannot be bigger than 3.4oz if in a carry-on.
Here is what I pack!
MAKEUP for Caribbean Vacation Outfits
- Face Sunscreen TSA Friendly
- Powder Foundation
- The BEST Full Coverage Concealer TSA Friendly
- Tinted Lip Balm For Daytime
- Lip Color for Evening
- Tarte Face Palette (eye shadow, blush, and bronzer)
- Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil
- Makeup Brushes
- Sunscreen Stick TSA friendly
- Shampoo & Conditioner (use travel size containers)
- Shave Gel Bars TSA Friendly
- Bar Soap
- Hair Products
- Makeup Remover Wipes
- Nail Clipper & File
- Hair Brush
- Hair Ties & Clip
This bag is the ULTIMATE TOILETRY BAG! It is a best seller for a reason. Not only will it hold all your toiletries on your tropical vacation packing list, but it will keep you organized! There is a hook for easy hanging, which is perfect for those hotels with small bathroom vanities. It is also water resistant… which just makes sense.
Packing Cubes to Organize your Caribbean outfits
A game changer for packing efficiently has been packing cubes. I use these for travel and for our diaper bag! Having everything compartmentalized is such a time saver! Everything is easy to find and I love taking the cubes out of the suitcase and throwing them in the drawers at the resort!
Airtight Packing Bags
Looking to pack carry-on only? You need airtight travel bags. We once went to Europe for two weeks and I had only a carry-on suitcase and personal bag. Could not have done that without these bags! Even if you can fit everything into one bag before you leave home, take these bags with you for your return trip. That way, if you end up with a bunch of souvenirs, you can make space in your luggage for them!
Suitcases for packing your Carribean Vacation Outfits
If you are making more travel plans, you’ll want to make sure you have a quality set. This three-piece hard-shell set retails at around $300, but I have seen it on sale for under $200. With so many amazing reviews, this is not one to miss!
For personal bag, I like to take a small backpack. Just enough to pack odds and ends and everything I want to have under the seat while in flight! I usually throw my small purse inside that has my wallet, travel docs, etc.
Beach and Pool Items
Being out in the Caribbean sun all day will drain your phone battery so fast. You’ll likely be using it a lot, so make sure you’re always connect by taking a portable charger with you. This will be a life saver if you take an e-reader too!
I personally love to lounge in the sun on the beach all day long in the Caribbean, therefore a good beach read is a must. Most resorts have books out left by other guests that you can read for free. I always like to take one since I hardly have time to leisurely read at home!
Check with your hotel first. If they do not provide towels, then take this towel! It is a space saver, fast drying, and perfect for travel and exploring other beaches outside of your resort.
You will want this. Most resort cups will not keep your drink cold in the hot, hot sun. Ice melts quicker than ever in the Caribbean. You’ll want a stainless mug to keep drinks cold. This is also great if you will be out on an excursion all day. Trust me, after a two-hour horseback ride through Aruba, I only wish I had a personal water bottle with me!!
The Caribbean has some amazing snorkeling spots. If you plan on snorkeling, take your own mask! A lot of resorts have rentals, but if not you will really want your own, then you wont have to worry about shared germ!