What to Bring when packing for your island vacation

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What to Bring when packing for your island vacation

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Here are some suggestions on what to pack for your Belizean adventure on the barrier reef or in the jungle.


  • Check to see that your passport is valid for up to 3 months past your date of return.
  • Advise post office to hold mail.
  • Place valuables in safe deposit box.
  • Stop delivery of newspapers, milk etc.
  • Buy travelers checks in low denominations (bring approximately $20 in $1 and $5 bills to purchase drinks) NOTE: There is a service charge made by most businesses in Belize for cashing checks.
  • Put away all yard equipment and furniture.
  • Put address labels on all baggage (inside and out).
  • For the purpose of fast identification, please print name and address legibly on your baggage tags, last name first in capital letters.
  • Leave extra house key and itinerary with relative or friend. 8/22/01
  • Arrange for pets.open suitecase
    Check with doctor about malaria prevention and other health concerns.


  • Turned off all appliances and taps?
  • Closed and locked windows and doors?

DO YOU HAVE: (Do not pack in your suitcase)

  • Passport.
  • Domestic air tickets.
  • Name tag so you can be identified at the airport.
  • Travelers checks and money.
  • Luggage keys.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Camera, film, flash, extra batteries, silica gel packets and zip-lock bags for keeping camera, lens, film and binoculars dry and fungal free.
  • Prescription medicines required while traveling.


  • Favorite remedies for headache, colds, upset stomach, including Lomotil or Pepto Bismol (for lower intestinal distress), nerves, insect bites, skin irritations, motion sickness, etc.
  • Special medicines and prescriptions including malaria prophylactic.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Binoculars and field guides.
  • Lightweight rain poncho.
  • Small flashlight.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Zip-lock baggies (quart size, and plastic trash bags for wet clothes).
  • Hat with brim for sun protection.
  • Ballpoint pen and pad. Sunscreen lotion and chapstick (a must in tropical sun). Mask, fins, snorkel.

romantic couple belize

Kleenex mini packs. Wash n’ Dry premoistened towelettes. Towel for supplemental use and between-hotel swims. First aid kit. Postcard address list. Credit cards. Water bottle. Swiss army knife. Field guides and reference materials. Insurance certificates Address and telephone number of whom to contact in case of emergency.


The items on this list represent everything that you will need on your trip. Since space for baggage is often limited in the field, it is important that you do not bring extra items. Your own experience should help you choose individual items, but don’t overestimate the predictability of the weather. On many of our trips you should be prepared for showers and hot sun.

CLOTHING – Casual Clothes for travel in cities and airplanes.model-belize

Shirts: Cotton, or light synthetic blend such as those sold by Ex Officio, short-sleeved, or T-shirts; one light long-sleeved NOTE: Many travelers enjoy purchasing T-shirts throughout their trip and, therefore, pack accordingly.

Trousers: Jeans or light hiking pants. Shorts can be worn in all places except town
Underwear: Cotton is comfortable, synthetic blends dry better overnight.
Headwear: Light hat with wide brim, including back of neck, for sun protection. Tie under the chin is advisable to prevent possible loss due to wind on boats.
Foul Weather Gear: Poncho – lightweight but sturdy (with any rain garment make sure the seams are sealed). Small folding umbrella can be useful while walking trails or in boats. Light- weight jacket or wind breaker for nights in the mountains or boat rides. A heavy cotton sweat shirt can be substituted for a windbreaker and feels great on the boat after snorkeling.
Socks: Cotton, athletic.
Shoes: Trails are often wet and therefore slippery, so your footwear is important. Walking shoes that grip or two pairs of tennis shoes (in case one pair gets wet and muddy). Flip-flops or shower togs. NOTE: Most landings on islands are wet landings and we recommend always wearing shoes in the field
Swimsuit: An extra swimsuit may be helpful.


NOTE: Snorkeling and diving equipment are available for rent. Due to the difficulty in getting a proper fit it is recommended that you bring your own mask and snorkel.

Mask: Be sure that it fits properly. (Those with mustaches should bring Vaseline.) The best type is the strap-behind-the-heel type worn with dive booties. Flippers should fit properly because blisters can make marine activities very painful. NOTE: Those who are new to snorkeling may wish only to use tennis shoes for standing up on rocks in the shallows.

Booties: Slip-on rubber dive booties protect from blisters and protect ankles against coral scrapes.
Snorkel: Many varieties are available. Be sure the mouth piece is comfortable.
Gloves – Cheap artificial leather or cloth garden gloves. NOTE: IT IS DESTRUCTIVE TO THE REEF TO HANDLE CORAL, SPONGES, ETC. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH!
Divers: NOTE: You must have your own dive certification card with you.
Weights and tanks are available for rent.
Dive light if you are taking a night dive.
Wet suit jacket or shorty wet suit (optional for those who are cold natured, otherwise use a T-shirt).
Buoyancy compensator and gauges are required of all divers. Divers should have depth and pressure gauges, watch and knife.


Travel light! One medium-sized suitcase or duffle bag and a carry-on bag per person should be adequate. People who make a habit of traveling “light” report relatively trouble-free journeys uncomplicated by several pieces of luggage. Those of you who are taking collecting equipment need to be even more conservative in your packing. We recommend a duffle bag approximately 14″ x 30″, made of strong, waterproof duck with full zipper and wrap-around nylon type handles, or army surplus duffle. Duffle bags pack more easily and will protect your gear from dust.


One plastic water bottle (1 quart rapacity, widemouth — check for leaks). Water will be provided in the vehicles.
Personal first aid kit (bandaids, aspirin, personal medications, insect repellent, after-bite stick, etc.)
Toilet Kit (soap, toothbrush, personal toilet articles).
Disposable towelettes (Wash n’ Dries) are useful for personal hygiene.
Sun-blocking lotion, 8-15 level Paba (preferably the type that will not easily wash off).
Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb.


  • Camera and film: your choice but keep the weight down.
  • Bring ample supply of film. Film purchased abroad is expensive.
  • Flash and extra batteries. You will find a lens with macro waterbagcapabilities most useful.
  • Binoculars (new lightweight models are generally excellent).
  • Watch (waterproof).
  • Reading material, writing material, playing cards.
  • Repair kit: needle, thread, buttons, 1/8″ nylon cord, ripstop tape, etc.
  • Regular sunglasses: spare pair if you wear prescription lenses
  • Stuff bags: various sizes, heavy duty, zip-lock for film, books, and small items; trash bags for wet clothes and dirty shoes


We recommend that you hand carry on the plane in your daypack or hand luggage, camera, important documents, medicines and other irreplaceable items. Make sure they will fit under the seat of the plane or in the overhead compartment. DON’ T CHECK BAGS THROUGH to an overseas destination from your hometown — wait until your final domestic gateway city.)


belizepassportA valid passport is required. Each U.S. citizen must have one. Passports may be applied for at the Post Office in towns of 35,000 to 40,000 population and above. If you live in a smaller community, call the clerk of the Circuit Court in your county seat. He can tell you where to apply for one. NOTE: Some countries require that your passport be valid for six to twelve months from the day you enter the country. Please contact the embassy for special requirements. Visas for Guatemala (Tikal) are obtained at the Belize/Guatemala border as you cross. If you are going to Honduras (Copan Extension), a tourist visa can be obtained at the airport in Honduras.


There are no inoculations required by the Belizean Government, however, we encourage you to check with the Public Health Department or your physician. Compazine and Lomotil are often recommended. We highly recommend malaria prevention, which usually begins several weeks before departure. Please consult your physician. Also, you should bring a supply of motion sickness remedies if you are prone to sea sickness. The Centers for Disease Control, located in Atlanta, can be reached by dialing (404) 639-1610, (404) 639-3311, or (404) 639-2572.


uscurrencyU.S. dollars are accepted everywhere. Travelers checks are accepted in most places. A service charge is usually made by most businesses for cashing these checks. Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are accepted in major hotels. Some hotels will accept one or two of these three cards. ASK! Smaller shops and hotels often do not accept credit cards. Be sure to save $30 BZE for departure tax when leaving Belize. The Belize currency exchange rate is $1.00 US = $2.00 BZE.

NOTE: We cannot overemphasize how important it is for all participants to carry a generous supply of sun screen, preferably a number 8-15 PABA type.