Your long-awaited tropical escape to The Bahamas is scheduled, your hotel is reserved, and your flights are booked! Now you just need to make sure you pack everything you need for your Bahamas trip. This article will help make sure you don’t forget any essential items!
Bahamas Packing Essentials
A passport is required to get into The Bahamas for U.S. citizens. Make sure yours is up to date and not expiring soon. Some immigration officials will not let you enter if it’s within 6 months of expiring.
The easiest and safest way to pay for things during your vacation in The Bahamas is with a credit card. It takes up less room than cash, and you can always cancel a card if it gets stolen. If you are staying in an all-inclusive resort, your credit card may be all you need to pay for everything on your trip. Just be sure to call your credit card company and notify them that you are traveling.
Tip: Bring two cards and hide one in a safe place for an emergency backup. Also, make sure you have a record of your credit card numbers, as well as the customer service contact information.
Having a little cash on you can come in handy for minor purchases or places that don’t accept credit cards. If you don’t want to carry much cash with you on the plane, you can always get it from an ATM once you’re in The Bahamas.
Most places in The Bahamas will accept American dollars, especially in the tourist areas, (although you may end up paying a little bit more) or you can get some Bahamian dollars. Keep in mind that you do not want to walk around with a lot of cash on you at any time.
As with any trip, make sure you pack all medicine that you need. Put it in your carry-on bag so you don’t have to worry about your luggage getting lost. In addition to any prescription medication, make sure you bring some over-the-counter drugs (like aspirin, ibuprofen, stomach remedies, seasickness medicine, antihistamines) so you’ll have them on hand if you need them. People tend to overindulge while on vacation!
Tip: Keep all prescription medications in the original bottles to avoid any issues.
You may be asked to provide the name and address of where you’re staying when you get to The Bahamas, so be sure to have that readily available. This will also come in handy if you are taking a taxi to your hotel.
If you’re planning to rent a car in The Bahamas, bring a valid driver’s license.
Health Insurance Cards
Hopefully, you won’t have any need for your health insurance information while on your Bahamas vacation, but it’s good to be prepared for an emergency.
Travel Insurance Information
If you have purchased travel insurance, make sure you have this on hand as well.
Tip: Take pictures of all important documents (your passport, driver’s license, insurance cards, etc.) and keep these on your phone. You may even want to email them to yourself or to an emergency contact just in case.
Hand sanitizer is an absolute travel essential these days. Pack several small bottles, and make sure you use it frequently.
The Bahamas Beach Packing List
When it’s time to hit the beach, a beach bag is an easy way to carry all your beach packing essentials. Make sure it’s made of a material that can get wet.
As on any beach vacation, you’re going to need plenty of sunscreen. This is especially true for a trip to the Caribbean, which has stronger sunlight since it’s closer to the equator. Also, being on sand or water intensifies the sun’s rays.
The higher the SPF, the better while you’re on the beach! You don’t want to go below SPF 30 while in The Bahamas, but 50 or higher is best.
Bringing it from home ensures that you have the SPF you need, and will save you money. I recommend bringing some in your carry-on or personal item on the plane that is not larger than 3.4 fluid ounces. In addition, you will want a lot more in your checked luggage.
Tip: If you are going to be snorkeling or scuba diving, make sure your sunscreen is reef-safe.
Lip Balm with SPF
Lips are very susceptible to sunburn so protect them with a balm that has sun protection in it.
Pack a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the sun and help prevent headaches, heatstroke, or sunburn on your face and neck. One that is crushable and can easily fit in a small bag is ideal so you can take it on excursions.
The sun in The Bahamas can be strong, so you’ll want to make sure you protect your eyes. Sunglasses are a must, and you’ll want them to have UV protection.
Flip flops are the best footwear for the beach. You don’t want to bring your expensive shoes to the beach or to walk around your resort. I usually bring two pairs, a nicer pair for dining and one for everything else.
You will likely be wearing a swimsuit every day of your vacation in The Bahamas. Make sure you bring several choices so you don’t have to wear a wet suit.
If you’re planning on doing any water activities, women may feel more comfortable wearing something other than a bikini bottom. Either bring some shorts you can put over your swimsuit, or find swim shorts for women.
If you’re planning on doing any water sports, a rash guard will come in handy. It can also protect you from the sun.
Clothes Packing List for The Bahamas
When packing for your trip to The Bahamas, plan on wearing shirts that are suitable for warm weather. Men can bring t-shirts, polo shirts, and button-up short sleeve shirts. For women, you can bring t-shirts, tank tops, and lightweight blouses. If you’re planning on golfing, make sure to bring the appropriate clothing.
Dresses and Skirts
You may want to add a few casual dresses or sundresses, or a skirt and top, to your packing list, especially if you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort that asks for “resort casual” wear in some areas. If you’re planning on dining at a more formal restaurant, bring a nicer dress and shoes to match. (Don’t forget an appropriate purse, too!)
Instead of changing in and out of your swimsuit, it is much easier to just throw on a cute cover-up. These are easy to pack and will save you time when you’re getting ready for dinner or drinks by the pool. You can wear them to many dining options as well.
The Bahamas is a warm climate, so shorts are essential for both men and women. Cotton shorts, khaki shorts, and even workout shorts can all be worn during the day. Just make sure they’re comfortable. Breathable fabrics like linen are ideal.
For men, pack lightweight pants such as linen or khakis. Women can pack Capri pants or lightweight slacks. If you’re planning on golfing, make sure to bring the appropriate clothing.
The type of shoes you bring will depend on what activities you want to do while in The Bahamas. You will probably want to bring water shoes, flip flops, and sandals; you may want to add tennis shoes if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, hiking, or playing sports. Plus, if you plan on going to a nicer restaurant, bring a pair that will fit in there. And if you’re going to golf, bring appropriate shoes.
Underwear and Pajamas
Make sure you pack enough pairs of underwear for your vacation and bring whatever you like to sleep in.
Scarf or Shawl
Women may want to bring a scarf or shawl in case they get chilly in air-conditioned places.
Other Items to Consider
The great thing about smartphones today is they have such great cameras built-in. There’s no need to pack an extra camera unless you want higher quality pictures than your phone can provide. If you do bring a camera, pack extra supplies like batteries and memory cards—and bring the charger if it has one!
The one camera we do recommend is a GoPro. That way you can take some videos of your adventures underwater or other places where you won’t want to take your phone.
Waterproof Phone Case
A waterproof phone case can be a lifesaver when you’re on a beach vacation!
You can’t use your phone if it isn’t charged!
Most resorts these days have hairdryers in the room, but you may want to doublecheck this in case you need to bring your own.
Insect Bite Relief Cream
The Bahamas is a tropical climate which means there will be bugs. No one wants to deal with itchy mosquito bites, so make sure to pack some insect bite relief cream.
Rucksack or Backpack
You’re going to want both hands free at times, so I recommend bringing a backpack for all your water activities. It’s also perfect to take sightseeing or hiking if you plan to do that.
Resorts will provide you with beach towels, but if you won’t be staying at a resort, bring a couple of towels if you have room.
Snorkeling Gear and/or Goggles
While all-inclusive resorts will often have complimentary snorkeling equipment, and you can certainly rent it if not, you may prefer to bring your own. Goggles especially are easy to pack; if you wear prescription goggles you will definitely want to bring those.
Waterproof bags are great for keeping your things safe from sand and water. You can take them with you snorkeling or scuba diving and leave the bag in the boat knowing your valuables won’t get wet. They are also perfect to bring to the beach or the pool.
First Aid Kit
While most resorts will have a first aid kit on hand, it is always good to be prepared. A small first aid kit should include bandaids, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, and pain reliever medication.
Make sure to put your name and address on all of your luggage with tags. That way if your luggage gets lost, it will be easier to get it back to you. If it’s your honeymoon, you can find honeymoon-specific luggage tags.
Tip: Use luggage tags that are brightly colored or tie a unique ribbon on your bags to help them stand out on the baggage carousel at the airport.
The Bahamas Packing Tips
As you prepare for your trip, here are some tips to make sure you bring everything you need.
- Check the weather. While The Bahamas is a tropical island and a great year-round destination, there is some variation in the weather. You may need to add some rain gear or a light jacket to your packing list.
- Check your resort’s dress code. Most resorts in The Bahamas are very casual, but they may have a nicer restaurant or two that require you to dress up a bit more.
- Make sure you pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag. This way, if your checked bag is lost, you will have at least one fresh outfit. With most of your clothes being so light, and since you will likely be wearing a bathing suit most of the time, you may be able to travel with just a carry-on anyway.
- Do not pack your valuables in your checked luggage. Luggage gets lost (or rummaged through) all the time; you can easily replace clothes, but not your jewelry or cash. The same goes for your prescription medication. Many people don’t bring irreplaceable jewelry like wedding rings when they travel, but wear less expensive replacements.
- Pack light. Not only will this make packing and unpacking easier, but you’ll be thankful when you’re carrying your bags around.
- Leave some room for shopping. The Bahamas is well known for their beautiful handmade crafts. You will want to leave some room in your suitcase to bring a few treasures home with you.
When it comes to what to pack for The Bahamas, the most important thing is to make sure you have everything you need to have a great time! With these packing tips, you will be sure to enjoy your trip without any worries.