What to Pack for Jamaica
Essential Party Pack List — What to pack for Jamaica!
If you’re expecting me to riddle off packing bongs, rolling papers, and ganga- wrong article lol- you need not pack that for Jamaica, the island has a plenty!
For real though, not only is this a great list of what to pack for Jamaica, it’s also a great list for anyone about to go down south, on an all-inclusive vacation, with a fun group that is ready to rage lol.
Here’s my 9 must have “What to Pack for Jamaica” items. Hope it serves you well. No matter what, this island is a blast and if you’re considering traveling there, it’s worth the steeper price tag. Grand Bahia was amazing – food, views, & rooms! Rui Negril… not so much (ZERO ocean view rooms and you can never get a pool seat…) Grand Palladium I visited in 2016 – nice resort, but too sprawling – food meh… Next time, I am going back to the Grand Bahia! It’s my top pick resort for this island so far.
Bring a Bubba
If you plan on raking in the benefits of free drinks (like I did…) you need a good, seal-able, insulated, travel mug, or you’ll be sipping from toy cups. A good, not too large Bubba brand mug seems to be the preferred choice of travelers (SEE HERE for $13) since they insulate cool & hot drinks so flipping well. Same kind you’d use to bring your coffee to work in the morning works too.
If you don’t have a good drink holder, you’ll be stuck with drinks in dinky plastic, polluting cups that barely contain a shot. They blow around, tip over, and you end-up getting everyone’s drinks mixed-up.
A sweet Bubba to house your miami vice’s, daiquiri’s, and banana mama’s is seriously a must. You can also buy huge, bucket sized Bubba’s but I find I can never finish the contents before it gets warm, so just a normal large coffee size works… You and your Bubba will go everywhere together all week, it’ll be your new BFF.
Sand Flea Spray
This is not to scare you, but if you’ve never experienced or heard of sand fleas, they suck… so why not try and avoid them. They won’t kill you, but they’ll make you itch like a mad person, and for some people they even form welts.
Sand fleas are common in beaches down south. They come out to annoy mostly when sand is moist (later in the evenings, early cool mornings, or especially after it rains…)
I did as much research on these little buggers and came-up with my own DIY Sand Flea Spray recipe HERE.
Trust me, it works and will keep you from itching all week. Just spray this stuff sporadically on your ankles legs and about… I re-applied anytime I showered or felt a little itch. I guess sand fleas aren’t fans of coconut oil either, considering it’s in most good moisturizers now- that may serve you well too.
Pack Your Own Tacky Towel
This is my own personal choice for two reasons: I’m cheap and I couldn’t steal if you paid me… Let me explain lol
When you check-in to your resort (most often) you’re given a card that gives access to towels when you’re by the pool- you give the card, they give you a towel. When you’re done with the towel, you return it- and you’re given a card back… At the end of the week you’re obligated to give this card back or you owe $25USD typically.
BUT HERE’S THE CATCH! Bloody idiots steal your towels- all day, every day! So you get stuck in this evil cycle of either owing $25 dollars or stealing back by skeefing someone else’s towel.
My solution, I buy a few really tacky, awful towels, that if anyone tried to take I could see from space. I never use my nasty towel card all week so when checking-out, I just hand it back and voila I saved myself $25.
Bring a STACK of One Dollar Bills
Even if you don’t plan on drinking, you’re going to have to tip. Nothing big, an American dollar bill does the trick. So when you exchange your money, I always ask the bank to give me at least $150USD in one dollar bills.
This is really important to make your service standards all week beyond exceptional. Don’t break the bank, I just gave a buck every time I got a drink at the bar, or a few extra bucks for the following:
- Tip the person who brings your luggage to your room
- Tip the front desk clerk who checks you in
- Tip your maids everyday, treat them well & you will reap the benefits when they refill your mini bar and fridge everyday (leave money on the bed every A.M– I also buy a few things in Canada and leave it as a gift on the last day…)
- Tip your servers at the buffet and “a-la-carte” restaurants
- Tip drivers
- Tip guides
Basically tip anyone who helps you, cause they bust ass and don’t make that much doing it. They rely a lot on tips. If a server becomes over bearing, and trust me it can happen- tell em’ to back off. My group had an argument once with a server who was treating us like her own personal ATM machine- bringing us drinks and expecting money even after we said no several times, very adamantly, over and over again.
Don’t be played, tip wisely, not overly- use common sense is my route and by the time you leave that resort everyone will be treating you like a rockstar, know you by first name, throwing-out “ya mon’s!” like they’ve known you for years.
Color Copies of your Passport
We all expect our trips to go smoothly and not lose a thing, but it’s not always the case. In the event you should lose your passport, making sure you have some extra color photocopies on hand can really help speed up the process to get you home. It’s easy to do, if you have travel insurance (which you should! Make copies of that too)
Put some copies in your luggage and leave a few with people at home you trust (parents, siblings…) You’ll at least have something on hand to help facilitate to process of substantiating who the hell you are when you want to fly home…
Pool Toys! (floaties, games…)
Again, I’m cheap don’t buy pool toys on the resort. To save yourself a few bucks buy them before you leave. You will be that group having the most fun by the pool- a few floaters, balls, net…
It makes pool time turn into party time. It’s a blast and you end-up making a bunch of new friends who want to join in on your games.
I’ve recently seen floating drinking games, to perfect tiny flamingo drink floaties– you name it, it’s out there now.
For a Canadian, pool time is a rarity in my life, so I soak in every minute of it by making the most of it and games just make it that much more of a blast.
I know I’m gonna eat it for saying this, I love me some Bob Marley music as much as the next person.
He was a legend and I expect to hear his music in Jamaica, BUT! they really love to play his music, all day, every day, everywhere. It’s like listening to the same CD on loop 24/7- you start to go a little Marley mad…
By bringing a little portable speaker with an Ipod, MP3 player, cell, whatever you want- that works to play music, you may save your sanity.
It’s so refreshing to hear your own favorite tunes while taking in some of the most incredible views and moments of your trip. It’s a sweet perk to making your trip the best time ever.
Aloe Vera Gel
I can count off my hand, how many times per year the tops of my feet are exposed to sun. Southern sun is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s hot and it’s a matter of time before you gonna burn baby!
Pack the best suncreen, YES…! But GET OUT OF THE DAMN SUN every now and then. That’s the trick to not burning. Instead of sitting for hours in the sun (even when reapplying sunscreen) you may end-up a lobster by night.
My trick was to go pee, go to the bar, go to my room- every hour. I found any excuse to give my white ass a break, leave the sun for a few minutes, and get shelter. But no matter what, if you’re a group someone is going to get sun burnt.
If you can quickly slather on some high quality, organic aloe vera gel, it’ll make a world of difference on healing and cooling down the sun damage. It’s a life saver for skin, a must for any trip down south.
Water Shoes (especially if you plan on going to Dunns River Falls)
You can buy a pair of water shoes on ebay (like I did for under $10USD) or major box stores (Target, Walmart…)
Water shoes are awesome when walking along the beach- there’s only 7 miles of natural sand beach in Jamaica… So if you’re not rich like me, you’re probably not staying on that small 7 miles of mega-uber hot hotels. If you’re anywhere on the island that is not Negril, you’ll be living with a man made beach. It’s not horrible but it’s a little rougher on the feet. Water shoes just make it better.
Also, if you plan on doing an excursion to Dunns River Falls, you’re obligated to wear water shoes. If you have none, you’re forced to rent a pair. The thought of sharing water logged shoes with hundreds of other toes is something I just can’t do. If you’re like me, buy your own pair of water shoes before your trip.
When considering what to pack for Jamaica, you could literally bring your body, no luggage, and still have one of the greatest times of your life. The island has this tranquil effect where sometimes, it feels like time stands still. I love all-inclusive 7 day get-away’s, it changes me for the better, resets my internal clock, and I always leave with new friends. Pack light, pack for you, and above all no worries mon’!!!
Thanks for reading my “What to Pack for Jamaica” ramblings! Hope it serves a few travelers well.