• Liz Lopez

Packing for Barbados: What to leave, what to bring and one Must-Do item before you leave

Leave Home:

1. If you’re anything like us, you’re accustomed to seasons and therefore cannot fathom packing for a trip without clothing for all weather. Do not waste your luggage space. Do not pack pants, do not pack long sleeves, do not pack a hoodie for ‘evening snuggles’. It is hot as balls here and I have a pile of untouched ”just in case it gets cool’ clothes” shoved to the back of my closet. Do. Not. Bother. In fact, don’t even pack summer clothes with thicker material, or you could die.

Bring Here:

1. Citronella candles in bulk if you have the space. We have them lit constantly in the evening. Many homes don’t have screens and I recently learned from a Facebook argument that some locals prefer it, considering the screens to be an obstruction to the breeze. We’ve only found the big candles we have at home once, and it’s almost burned out.

2. Bug spray and sunscreen. Like everything, they’re considerably more expensive here and you will need these items above all others. I wear bug spray every day, and now know five women who’ve had dengue recently.

3. Fewer kid clothes and more kid toys. There is still downtime here and they miss their toys. They go through far fewer clothes here, so switch those out in the packing. Between beach days and school uniforms, they have shirts that haven’t even been worn yet.

4. Pack straws if you use them. Only eco-friendly ones are sold here (which is great), but they break easily. Straws don’t take up a lot of room and I have about a dozen metal ones at home I should have brought with me.

5. No Pants, just so I can bring that point home. Don’t bring them.

Fun Story: Last week at karaoke, I was loudly asserting my distrust of people who wear pants here. It makes no sense; it is simply too hot. Then Jerry points to my husband and laughs because he’s wearing linen pants with his Hawaiian shirt and fedora. Point proven.

6. One nice pair of heels/wedges if you think you’ll want to go out somewhere a bit less casual while here.

7. An assortment of comfy sandals, you don’t want to wear the same ones every day (it's bad for your feet!).

8. Several beach coverups, you’ll wear them over your suit to the beach every day.

9. Nice, insulated water bottles. You don’t have to buy them at home, they sell them here, but if you have one at home you already use regularly, bring it with and take it everywhere you go.

10. Backpacks to take with you for day excursions.

11. Sugar-free drink packets if you’re into those; Lopez drinks several a day at home and we’ve yet to find them anywhere. We just ordered 130 of them for $98 with shipping from DesertCart.

12. Extra prescription glasses or sunglasses; if something happens to yours here, it’s just easier to have a backup than deal with it.

13. Diharrea medicine – they don’t see that OTC here. It’s available through the pharmacist only, and they give you six at a time. Really.

14. Small extension cords. There doesn’t seem to be a building code for an outlet every 10-13 feet (in our house at least) so they can come in handy.

15. Little desk fans if you’re working here. After our first gigantic electricity bill, we now live in hot sticky air during the workday and enjoy the AC during sleep hours only. If our teenagers are caught violating this, we turn it off then steal their remote for an unknown period of time.

16. An extra router that allows for VPN’s if you’re interested in streaming all your stuff here on a TV, as opposed to watching on your laptop. (Prime, HBO, CBS, PBS Kids, Hulu all require Multi-hop location VPNs).

17. If you can take money out ahead of time, do it at home because you’ll pay $11 (give or take) each time you withdraw money here.

Do not skip this step before leaving

1. Get a TextNow number and change all your accounts to this number before you leave. I mean every account that you may have to deal with during your duration here. We did not do this and some of our accounts have been impossible to access without using our American numbers and an international plan for the day because we need to verify our identities via text on the numbers associated with our accounts.

a. Text Now works on wifi and you get an American number, so if you change it to that number ahead of your departure, your life will be much easier. I’m talking credit cards, bank account, cable bills; anything you may need to access remotely while here.

b. Also change it with the credit bureau if possible; they're the reason the credit companies are so strict about the verification process.

c. $9.95 USD/month gets you international calling as well (seeing as companies at home do not use FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype for everyday dealings).

PS - dear readers, I love how many people are posting suggestions and additional feedback on my Facebook posts. Seeing as though I've subscribed to just one blog in my life, I'm not sure the effort to comment here; but if possible, can you please leave 'you forgot this!' comments here so any future Barbados travelers can see it? My goal is to help others coming on the Welcome Stamp, and reading added tips would be beneficial to them <3