Things I Wish I Would Have Brought with Me on My Trip to Jamaica

I recently got back from a quick getaway to Ocho Rios, Jamaica for my sister’s wedding! Jamaica is beautiful and it’s people are some of the friendliest I’ve come across in my travels. Not only was this my first trip to the Caribbean, but it was also my first time staying at an all-inclusive resort. Overall, I did a great job packing the items I needed, but there were a few things that I wish I would have brought with me. Here’s a packing list of things you need specific to a trip to Jamaica:


Packing List (What I got right!)

Clothing Items

Swim Shoes


This was my most prized item I bought on my trip. I used my swim shows at the Dunn River Falls and when I went Horseback riding through a forest and on the beach. I bought the Aleader Women’s Quick Drying Aqua shoes from Amazon which were super comfortable. If you don’t bring your own, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to purchase them while in Jamaica. Most of the excursion places rent or sell swim shoes.

Swimsuits & Cover-ups


I anticipated most of my time would be spent doing some water-related activities. I brought a couple of swimsuits and cover up options for my time at the beach, pool, and excursions.

Wide Brim Hat/ Sunglasses

Ya’ll, I gave this weather report some serious side eye when I saw it. But then I spoke to a few friends that said it’s typical of Caribbean weather to have a shower or two during one part of the day, but have sunshine most of the day. Luckily, during my trip we didn’t have any rain! In fact, the sun was quite brutal. I’m glad I had a wide-brim hat and sunglasses!


Beach Bag

This was a clutch item to have as it held all of my essential items.


Protect your skin!

Aloe Vera Gel

In the event that you didn’t protect your skin enough, organic aloe vera gel is great for sunburn relief.

Insect Repellent

I didn’t use insect repellent when I was at the resort. I used it mainly during excursions.

Packing List (What I wish I brought!)

Mix of American & Jamaican Money

When I arrived in Jamaica I decided to wait until I was at the resort to take out money. When I got to the resort I was told there were no ATMs on the resort. I took a taxi to an ATM and got Jamaican dollars (JMD). Soon after, it became clear to me that shop vendors would rather work with American Dollars. All of the prices they give you tend to be in American currency. One woman even said to me, “why didn’t you bring American money?” and in my head I’m thinking “because I’m in Jamaica”. This was probably because I mostly visited touristy places. But, I think it’s important to have a mix of both currencies, because when you go away from tourist areas JMD is used. Also, bring small USD to make tipping easier.

Go-Pro (or a better waterproof case)

This trip made me realize I need to upgrade my photography gear! Since I knew there would be a lot of water activities I bought a waterproof case, but I misplaced the necklace lanyard that goes with it, making it less functional. During excursions, I relied on my tour guides to take pictures. But, some of the pictures I took with the waterproof case came out blurry. I have a number of friends with Go-Pro Heros and they don’t have these issues. As someone, who cherishes both living in the moment and capturing it, I realized having a camera like the Go-Pro Hero that is waterproof, durable, and wearable is definitely needed.

Waterproof bag

During my trip, I also realized that having a dry bag to protect my items during excursions would have been useful.

Packing List (Things you don’t need!)

Power Convertor

If you are traveling from the U.S., don’t worry about bringing a power convertor. Jamaica uses the same plugs and sockets as the U.S.

Beach Towels

If you are staying on a resort, there will be plenty of beach towels for you to use throughout your stay.

Have you taken a trip to Jamaica? What was on your packing list?

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Jewels Rhode

Frequent Flyer. Chief Enjoyment Officer. Helping you make your travel dreams a reality!