You’ve made up your mind and you’re coming to Belize! Awesome, that is exciting news! Now it is time to get to the nitty-gritty, develop a Belize packing list and choose what you will bring and what you should forgo. However, deciding what will fill your travel suitcase with is no easy task. Luckily as a Belize travel expert I can offer some guidance and make your life easier.
1. Only pack the essentials
Save yourself some hassle and stress when traveling and only carry the essentials. Cover all the basics and make a list of things you absolutely need. To develop your list, search through blogs and websites to see what others recommend.
2. Fit more into your suitcase
The best way to gain space in your suitcase is by rolling your clothes. You will end up making less of more and possibly not having to pay extra baggage fees.
3. Buy stuff at your destination
Take into account that Belize will have tons of stores where you can buy stuff that you will need. I recommend that you only pack the essentials and then make a list of the things that you can get at your destination.
4. Belize has seasons
December, January, February, March, April and May are Belize’s dry season. The heat makes for a fun time in Belize but you must pack for it – use appropriate clothes and protect yourself against the sun. June, July, August. September, October and November are the rainy season. For a couple hours a day there may be unexpected rain outbursts and a poncho can come in handy.
5. Use layers
Heavy clothes can be comfy and warm but it takes up a lot of space in your luggage. It is better to bring lighter clothes and layer up for the same effect.
6. Set aside heavy items
Heavy items can be worn during transit. I usually wear my jacket, thick jeans and sturdy boots since it frees up some space and makes my bags lighter.
7. Dressy vs Casual
Contrary to you traveling to Paris or NYC, tropical destinations are all about dressing casual. Most of the time you will be hiking and beach lounging so it is all about dressing comfortable. Plus, being overdressed will make you stick out like a sore thumb and may draw unnecessary attention.
8. Overpack vs Underpack
What’s worst, to overpack or underpack? People that are for overpacking say even though you don’t end up using some things, the security of having it is reassuring — people who are against overpacking say large bags are too much of a burden and why bother since it is always possible to just buy stuff if you ever need it≥
Let’s just say that it is best to do what makes you happy and try to strike a balance.
What to pack for a week or two in Belize
- Regular T-shirts and a couple long sleeved T-shirts for sunburn protection and jungle hiking. A couple dress shirts or blouses.
- Shorts or skirts, preferably cotton – remember you’re in the tropics.
- Beachwear/ swimsuits. Women, a sarong is multipurpose and very handy.
- Two pairs of long pants. Something dressy and something for the jungle.
- Comfortable socks – nothing too thick.
- A light-weight jacket or raincoat. Something waterproof that will keep you dry and warm if the temperature drops.
- A hat to cover your face from the sun. A baseball cap or some other type of hat.
- Hiking or walking shoes
- One or two beach sandals/ flip-flops
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Shampoo and body soap if you don’t want to use the one provided by hotels.
- Brush or comb.
- Deodorant and antiperspirant
- Beach towels (I prefer to buy mines at destinations)
- Cosmetics and other personal items such as body lotion, antibacterial wipes, etc.
Books and documents
- A good guidebook – perfect for planning specialty trips i.e. birding.
- Reading materials to use during transit.
- A passport that will not expire in the next six months. Have photocopies (paper and digital).
- Identification cards (drivers licence) and insurance card with emergency contact information. Have photocopies (paper and digital).
- Most credit and debit cards are accepted in Belize and there are Banks/ ATMs at most towns. Only carry small amounts of cash for street-food, bus/ taxi fare and tipping.
- If you wear prescription glasses, pack a spare pair.
- Contact lenses and cleaning solutions. Eye drops?
- Important medicines and vitamins or doctor prescriptions.
- A small travellers first aid kit
- Insect repellant – you will need copious amounts for jungle hikes.
- Sunblock is your friend. Choose one that is highly water resistant and reef friendly.
- Ziplock bags
- A small flashlight
- Binoculars for birding
- Pocket knife
- Laptop or tablet
- Cell phone – If you have a good international roaming plan or just to take Instagram photos 😉
- Daypack for daily activities is useful
- Don’t forget the chargers for all your electronics
- Head phones for flight time
- Healthy snacks
- Addresses of family and friends for sending postcards or emergency contacts.