Packing Light for a 10-day Caribbean Vacation

Now that I’ve returned from my trip to the Caribbean, I have a little bit of hindsight about what I packed for the trip. I wore almost everything I brought, but not all – and there were one or two other items I wish I had packed.

To start, here is EVERYTHING I packed, broken down between my two carry-ons:

Emma Fox Classic Dome Satchel Navy and White Striped Beach Tote
  1.   Navy   dress *
  2.   Black   leggings *
  3.   Grey   sweater *
  4.   White   scarf *
  5.   Floppy   summer hat
  6.   Cap   toe flats *
  7.   White   dress
  8.   Aqua   patterned dress
  9.   Black   skirt
  10.   Aqua   top
  11.   Black   top
  12.   Black   shorts
  13.   Spare   tank top for sleeping
  14.   One   piece bathing suit
  15.   Bikini   bathing suit
  16.   Aqua   scarf/coverup
  17.   Flip   flops
  18.   3   pairs spare underwear
  19.   1   spare bra
  20.   Passport
  21.   Bathing   suit **

* These items will be worn on the plane and not
carried in my luggage

  1. Candle **
  2. Sweatpants **
  3. Bathing suit **
  4. ipad, charger **
  5. ipod
  6. US phone, charger
  7. Global   phone, charger
  8. camera, charger, spare battery / memory cards
  9. Colgate   Wisps
  10. comb
  11. hair   elastics
  12. copy   of passport
  13. An   Open Heart
  14. sketchpad / pencil sharpener
  15. watercolor pencils
  16. mascara   ***
  17. eye   liner ***
  18. foundation ***
  19. chapstick   ***
  20. medicine   ***
  21. tide   to go ***
  22. dry shampoo ***

  ** These are my friend’s items and  take up most of the space in the bag.
*** These are in my liquids bag.

Emma Fox Classic Dome Satchel, packed with everything listed on the left above.

Now for my thoughts on how well this minimal wardrobe served me while in the Caribbean.

  1. First of all, it was hot – and HUMID! I was prepared for that – my shorts, tank tops, skirts, and dresses were all comfortable for the temperature and humidity. The leggings were good to have at night when it started to cool down and the mosquitoes came out, as well as for the horseback ride.
  2. Second, it was very casual there, and slightly dirty/dusty, and I wish I had brought a second pair of shorts instead of the white dress. I was afraid to wear my white dress anywhere because I didn’t want to end up with stains. If I were staying at the Marriott, I could probably have found a time to wear it, but since I was staying with local students, it was a bit too formal for anything I needed.
  3. Third, I had to borrow a tshirt from my friend for sleeping. I had packed an extra tank top, but I was a little chilly in her air conditioned bedroom. The shorts and tshirt made for perfect pajamas – I would have been cold with the shorts and tank top.
  4. The shoe situation was as good as could be expected. I wore flip flops most of the time, and my flats a couple of times. The only time this didn’t work for me was during the horseback ride. For that, I borrowed some rain boots from my friend’s roommate to give my legs some added protection. I wouldn’t have packed boots for this trip – and while I could probably have brought a pair of small sneakers, I would only have used them on that single occasion.
  5. I should have packed an extra week of my medication. I have to apply a new patch every week on the same day – I brought one and luckily it all worked out, but I should have brought a spare. The beach and waves could easily have taken the patch right off of me, and I would have been without it until I could get back to the States. It wouldn’t have been life threatening or anything, but it would have been a big inconvenience.
  6. I didn’t need the second bathing suit. I wore the two piece a few times that week, and it dried plenty quickly. My friend had a couple friends who brought their dogs to the beach, and they needed a one piece to stay covered while playing with their pets – but since I didn’t have that problem, I wore the two piece the whole time.

I’m glad I packed lightly though – it made getting through the airports and onto the planes quick and easy.

On my way back, however, my friend asked me to check a bag for her – she wanted to get it back to her home in the States, but her layover in Miami is only 2 hours – that includes getting through customs, getting her checked bag, then checking it again, and going through security all over again. It’s a crazy rush, so I agreed to check it for her. It actually made things really easy for me – a couple extra steps up front and at the end, but then I only had one lightly loaded carryon to deal with on the plane. I was glad to be able to help her out!

What sort of hindsight do you have from your travels? Do you pack more than you need and get weighed down by your bags? Or do you pack so lightly you have to buy things at your destination? Has anyone packed exactly the right amount of stuff??

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Categories: Caribbean, Fashion, Luggage, Planning

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. I have always like to go with the ultra-light backpacking concept. Maybe because I’m a guy, I find myself able to survive on days on end with 2 T-shirts or so. haha. And usually I go without the electronic gadgets, at most the camera and a charger with no laptop. If it’s in underdeveloped countries, the 3-hole plug comes in handy for charging the phones etc. Also medication for the basic ailments is a must I feel so I have a ziplock bag with all the meds. Have survived with packing light till now.

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