Updated: Sep 20
As a former Sandals Business Development Manager I have lost track of how many times I have been asked by first time guests for help with what to pack for a great vacation. So I went ahead and compiled my list of items that most people may or may not think about tossing in their bags prior to arrival. Let me know what you think!
Sunscreen and Bug Repellent Combo
Nothing will ruin a vacation faster than getting burned or eaten alive on the first day. The sun in the Caribbean is just different, even if you are the outdoorsy type at home. Being closer to the equator means the sun rays will give you a great view of all of the aquatic life, but will also roast you without adequate protection.
Also, keep in mind these are tropical islands, which means lush forest and ginormous mosquitos. On each Sandals and Beaches resort they have some great bug abatement programs but at the end of the day it is still a tropical paradise. I discovered this product completely by accident and have carried it with me on EVERY trip down to the islands. Here is the link! I stumbled upon it by accident while picking up some fishing gear for my kiddos! It lasts all day and you only have to apply once to get coverage.
**Fun Fact: Sandals South Coast is nestled within a 500-acre nature preserve. Click here to learn more.**
Multi USB Plug
If you are like me, you now travel with enough electronics
to rival some small offices. This leads to an impressive amount of cords and power supplies tucked away in various pockets of my laptop bags. When I am traveling I am usually brining a cell
phone, wireless mouse, tablet, white noise machine, etc. I came across this during a random Amazon buying session and haven not looked back. The best part is it makes a great addition to any home office or even night stand. It helps keeps everything in one place and lets you keep all those USB charger power supplies at home. Best part is the higher quality ones have built in voltage regulators to ensure each device is being charged properly and has enough spots for you and your travel partner.
**Fun Fact: Sandals Grande St. Lucian is located on its own peninsula next to Pigeon Island National park, featuring hiking and magnificent views. Click here to learn more!
The resort is full of fun things to do, especially since all of you land and water sports are included! So while you might start off catching some rays at your favorite section of beach or pool, you
probably wont spend your entire day there. This is why these are so handy. Be sure to uniquely mark your chair while you grab another drink from the bar or to grab some pizza from Dino's. These towel clips will also keep your towel from relocating if the sea breeze kicks up.
I got these guys from Walmart prior to heading down to Sandals Montego Bay for a work trip. **Pro Tip: If you are going down with a group there are websites that can make custom towel clips that you can design as a keepsake from the trip for everyone.
Double Walled Vacuum sealed drink cup
The Caribbean is full of sun, and the sun does not like your ice cold Red Stripe. Bring a cup to make sure your "Bob Marley
frozen Daiquiri" stays just as cold as when the bar tender made it fresh.
These are also referred to as Yeti Cups or Double wall tumblers. When selecting a tumbler, be sure to see if you can toss them in the dishwasher. Some manufacturers do not recommend their product go though dishwashers so be sure to double check that when buying. Personally, I have enjoyed using my Ozark Trail tumbler and even decorated with some automotive decals to make sure it stands out and they can survive the dishwasher.
**Fun fact: Sandals Royal Barbados features a bowling alley and 19 different international beers. Click here to learn more**
OK, I know you have cute sunglasses, but for me there is no substitute for ensuring that I do not get a headache while playing on the beach. I always make sure my eyewear is polarized, the one time I forgot to pack them my eyes seemed more tired by the end of the day and I always had a low grade headache from all the additional sun rays.
Sandals and Beaches resorts have eliminated all single use plastic straws and stirrers from their resorts, hooray! However, if you are used to using straws and can not imagine yourself without one, bring your own metal straw! My go to is a collapsible straw from the Sandals Foundation. It folds up into a hard side case with a key chain and even includes a cleaning piece as well. I have it attached to my travel bag so I can take it with me everywhere now. Also, the proceeds go to the Sandals Foundation which is an amazing group in the Caribbean focused on clean water, school building, and education in the islands.
Mini First Aid Kit
This is incredibly handy! There is a nurses station on each resort and the staff is happy to assist with larger emergencies. However, for the random blisters, sea shell scratches, or bug bites it is best to be able to just handle it yourself so you can keep vacationing hard. Also, with a small First Aid kit I always add travel packets of Pepto, Tylenol, Advil, bug bite soother, and Dramamine to the kit. This will cover the hangovers, motion sickness, Stand Up Paddle board soreness, and the "I forgot to put bug repellent on" bites.
Sandals and Beaches features premium liquor (All Included) at each of their resorts and the drinks will be flowing. This will make for amazing memories and fun times. However, each of us will recover at different rates.
I bring these to make sure I can recover quickly from 6 hour beach volleyball sessions or the extra glass of wine at dinner. These can be poured into any glass of water and chugged down first thing in the AM. By the time you hit breakfast you will already start to feel better and will be ready for your day of beach, pool, or excursions. One added bonus is they actually taste good!
Let me know what you think of the list! Do you have any suggestions of essentials that someone else might not have thought of?
If you are ready to pack and head out to your next Sandals or Beaches vacation, click here!