Note: This post was edited for correction on 10/30/2015.
Now that winter is approaching, a vacation in some warm destination is starting to sound like a pleasant idea. Puerto Rico, set on the warm Caribbean waters and grazed with constant tropical breezes, can be that perfect warm destination and it is just an easy and quick step away from the mainland USA.
Still, you should know that packing for a trip to Puerto Rico is done a bit different, or in other words, a bit more tropical. Here are 19 items you should not forget to pack for your next trip to the Island of Enchantment:
First things first… try to pack as light as possible. You want to be comfortable and able to move around with ease. You can pack all this in a decent sized carry on bag:
- Lightweight clothes – Puerto Rico’s weather is hot and very humid year round, so try to dress as comfortable and as light as possible.
- Shorts… lots of shorts! – With an average of 85°F to 95°F, it is likely you will want to wear shorts every day – plus, it’s time to tan those legs! Still, pack one pair of long pants/jeans for any casual occasion.
- Sandals – You’ll see it’s quite common to see people walking the city with their sandals/flip flops. It’s just comfortable and great for the hot weather.
- Swimwear- You WILL go to the beach. Enough said.
- Sunglasses – Protect your eyes and look cool, you’re in paradise!
- Sunblock – Get one with strong UV protection, Puerto Rico’s tropical sun has no mercy.
- Suntan lotion– Well, if you’re into getting really tanned, this will just speedup the process.
- Aloe Vera lotion – In case you took your tanning a step too far. Will help soothe the burning sensation. Believe me, it’s not a pretty sensation, especially if on your back.
- Beach bag (or day pack) and beach towel – You know, to put all these things I’ve mentioned before and to look very cool, casual, and even sexy while laying on the sand.
- Light sweater/jacket – It is highly unlikely you will use it unless you go during “winter” (notice the quotes, since winter in Puerto Rico is still hot!). But, nights might get in the low 70s or high 60s… I know, I know… this is still so tropical!
- Toiletries and medicines – Pack only the essential. There are pharmacies at every corner where you’ll find anything else.
- Evening wear– For some reason, women (and men) love to dress up when going out at night for dinner or to the nightclub (this is mostly in the San Juan area). Don’t just stand out from the crowd by wearing any random travel attire. Do dress up a bit and you’ll see how awesome a night in Puerto Rico can be!
- Camera – Um, yes, the country is beautiful, so you should take lots of pictures to show your friends back at home and make them jealous.
- ID / Passport / Documents – If you’re an American citizen, you don’t need a passport to go to Puerto Rico; just a photo ID will suffice. For kids, usually a birth certificate is good for travel.
Some extra items for the adventurous ones:
- Mosquito net– If you’ll go camping or stay at a parador deep in the mountains, you’ll probably need this – especially in the rainy season.
- Mosquito repellent – No one like to get bitten by mosquitoes, right?
- Camping gear– You can buy these at any big box store or camping store for a relatively cheaper price, but if you have your preferred camping equipment, bring it.
- Hiking boots– There are lots of excellent hiking trails, so get your feel comfortable because you will walk a lot.
- Waterproof Jacket – During the rainy season, it does rain a lot! Hint: Puerto Rico has the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Forest System. Know which one it is? El Yunque.
Forgot to pack something?
Don’t worry, there are all major stores found in the US readily available in Puerto Rico. For sure, whatever you will need, you’ll find there.
While you're packing, don't forget to get a travel insurance policy from RoamRight. Get coverage for situations that may result in a cancelled trip, or for medical emergencies that may happen while you're away from home. Get a quote for affordable travel insurance here.
Got your bags ready for a tropical vacation in Puerto Rico?! Tell us about it in the comments below!