Belize packing list and tips

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belize packing list

You’ve made up your mind and you’re coming to Belize! Awesome, this is exciting news! Now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty, develop a Belize packing list and choose what you will bring and what you should forgo.

Related:  Know before you go to Belize & Best Time to Visit Belize

However, deciding what you 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.

Essential packing list for Belize

1. Clothes

  • Regular lightweight cotton T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt for sun protection and jungle hiking
  • 1 or 2 dress shirts/ blouses to use for dining at nice restaurants
  • 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 hiking
  • Raincoat or Light Waterproof Jacket. In case of rain showers or cooler temperatures at night
  • Sunglasses and a sun hat or baseball cap
  • Underwear and comfortable socks, of course

2. Shoes

  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sandals/ flip-flops
  • Hiking boots if you visit the jungle (waterproof is best)

3. Toiletries

  • Razor
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and body soap (if you don’t want to use your hotels’)
  • Brush or comb
  • Deodorant and antiperspirant
  • Beach towels (this can also be bought in Belize)
  • Cosmetics and other personal items such as body lotion, antibacterial wipes, etc.

4. Books and documents

  • A good guidebook – perfect for planning specialty trips e.g. birding in Belize
  • Reading materials to use during transit
  • A passport that will not expire within 30 days after arrival. Have photocopies (paper and digital)
  • Identification card (driver’s license) and insurance card with emergency contact information. Have photocopies (paper and digital)
  • Most credit cards and debit cards are accepted in Belize and there are Banks/ ATMs in major towns. Only carry small amounts of cash for street food, bus/ taxi fare, and tipping

5. Health products

  • If you wear prescription glasses, pack a spare pair or bring a floating strap if you’ll be using them while you kayak or canoe
  • Bring your contact lenses and cleaning solutions. How about eye drops? It’s expensive in Belize!
  • Bring sunscreen! It is your friend! Choose one that is water-resistant and reef-friendly, please. And remember, clothing is generally the best protection against the sun
  • Important medicines and vitamins or doctor prescriptions
  • Insect repellent – you will need copious amounts for jungle hikes
  • A small traveler’s first aid kit

6. Anti-COVID-19 hygiene items (optional)

  • Face masks (no longer required in Belize)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Hard-surface cleaning supplies (This is only if you want to be extra precautious. Use items that are approved by the CDC or Health Canada)

7.  Miscellaneous items

  • Water bottle (it is not safe to drink the tap water in Belize – purchase purified water at stores or hotels or Airbnb hosts may provide water)
  • 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 very useful
  • Don’t forget the chargers for all your electronics
  • Headphones for flight time
  • Healthy snacks
  • Addresses of family and friends for sending postcards or emergency contacts.

Packing tips and tricks

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 have 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 until mid-May is 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 (bring sunglasses and reef-friendly sunscreen). June, July, August. September, October, and November is the rainy season. For a couple of hours a day, there may be unexpected rain outbursts and a poncho can come in handy.

See: Best time to visit Belize & Rainy-day activities in Belize

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 casually. Most of the time you will be hiking and beach lounging so it is all about dressing comfortably. 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 prefer overpacking say that 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 at your destination 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. Personally, I just travel with a carry-on so you can imagine that I don’t bring a lot of stuff with me.