Handmade Soap & 4 Other Must-Haves to Pack For Your Best Caribbean Vacation

Handmade Soap & 4 Other Must-Haves to Pack For Your Best Caribbean Vacation

Are you getting ready for your best Caribbean vacation yet? If you're still trying to figure out what to pack in your suitcase, don't worry! We've got you covered.

woman pulling a suitcase while looking into her phone

When packing for a vacation, it's important to remember the essentials. In addition to Caribbean vacation must-haves like clothing such as T-shirts, jeans, shorts, swimsuits, outfits to wear to breakfast, lunch, dinner, or special occasions, and footwear such as sneakers or sandals, you'll need to pack a few other key must-haves. Here are 5 things that you need for your tropical getaway.

1. Handmade scented soaps - These handmade soaps will help you stay refreshed and smelling great all day long. 2. Reef-safe sunscreen - The sun is incredibly strong in the Caribbean, so make sure to protect yourself with a good sunscreen. 3. Polarized sunglasses - A little bit of extra eye protection goes a long way on a hot, sunny Caribbean day! 4. A hat - It will also help protect you from the sun. 5. Insect Repellent - You don't want mosquito bites to spoil your vacation.

By packing these key items, you'll be sure to have what you need for an enjoyable Caribbean vacation.

Let's look a little more closely into the reasons why you should pack these items.

1. Handmade scented soaps

When you travel, it's important to be prepared for anything. That includes packing your handmade scented soaps to use on your vacation. Although most hotels provide soap for their guests, there's no guarantee that it will be to your liking. It may be too fragrant or not fragrant enough. It may not lather well. Or it may be a mass-produced hotel soap or even a detergent bar that is not even soap. Or it may be a liquid soap or body wash and you prefer a handmade soap bar. By bringing your own soap with you on vacation, particularly a nice handmade soap, you can avoid all of these potential problems. Plus, it'll save you from having to buy soap at your destination.

Some Caribbean resorts do provide handmade soaps to their guests, so if you are staying at one of those resorts then you are fortunate. Point Pleasant Resort on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands is one such resort. Their room soaps that are the size of samples of handmade soap are so popular that their guests have even written about them in Tripadivisor member reviews of Point Pleasant Resort. If you stay at a resort like that, then you won't need to pack your own soap so ask about it before you travel.

Of course, stores at your destination will have soap for sale, but with supply chain issues as they are these days, choices may be limited and they may not have your favorite brand in stock. If you do have to buy soap when you get there make sure to buy locally handmade soap as a special treat and to help support the local maker economy.

handmade cabana by the sea scented soaps by JDNatlady's Creations

The size of the soap that you need to pack depends upon how long your trip will be and the size of your suitcase. If you are traveling light or your trip will be short, a handmade soap sample or two might last just long enough and not take up much space in your luggage, especially if it's a carry-on.

So the next time you pack your bags for a trip, don't forget to pack a bar of handmade soap!

2. Sunscreen

Don't forget to pack your sunscreen! The Caribbean sun can be harsh, so make sure you have a good reef-safe sunscreen. This is true whether you are fair-skinned with a very pale complexion or your skin is richly melanated and you have dark skin or your skin tone is in between these two.

woman on Caribbean vacation

We all know the importance of using sunscreen to protect our skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. But did you know that many sunscreens contain chemicals such as oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate that can be harmful to marine life? When we swim in the ocean, these chemicals can be released into the water and ingested by fish and other sea creatures. In addition, they can accumulate in coral reefs, which provide vital habitat for many species of fish.

One Caribbean destination has banned all three of these ingredients in topical suncreens. The U.S. Virgin Islands has banned the use or sale of any sunscreen containing oxybenzone, octocrylene, or octinoxate with a limited exception involving medical prescriptions for such products.

Reef-safe sunscreens are made with natural ingredients that are less likely to harm marine life. So next time you hit the beach, make sure to reach for reef-safe sunscreen. Your skin will thank you, and so will the fish! And if you are vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands and you use reef-safe sunscreen, you will also be obeying the law.

reef safe sunscreen

If you forget to pack reef-safe sunscreen, pharmacies and other stores at your destination may have some in stock.

3. Polarized Sunglasses

Have you ever wondered why so many people wear polarized sunglasses on a Caribbean vacation? It's not just because they look cool (although they definitely do). Polarized sunglasses serve an important function in reducing glare and protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Glare is caused when light reflects off of a surface, such as water or sand. This reflected light is scattered in all directions, making it difficult to see. Polarized sunglasses have a special lens that blocks out this reflected light, making it much easier to see.

In addition to reducing glare, polarized sunglasses also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. These rays can cause damage to your eyes, including cataracts. By wearing polarized sunglasses, you can help reduce your risk of sun-related harm to your eyes. But make sure that your polarized sunglasses are also marked as having 100% UVA and UVB protection to get the maximum protection.

So next time you're packing for your Caribbean vacation, make sure to pack a pair of polarized sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection! They'll not only help you see better, but they'll also help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

4 . Hat

There are a few reasons why you might want to consider wearing a hat on your Caribbean vacation. For one, the sun can be incredibly strong in this part of the world, and a hat can help to protect your face and eyes from the harmful UV rays. Additionally, a hat can help to keep you cool by shading your head and face from the heat of the sun. But to truly be protected, you should look for a hat with a high ultraviolet protection factor ("UPF"), because that will provide more protection from UVA and UVB rays than a hat without any UPF rating. Finally, a hat can be a great way to add a bit of style to your vacation look!

open suitcase with hat and sunglasses

Whether you choose a straw sunhat, a fashionable fedora, or a trucker hat, wearing a hat is sure to turn heads on the beach. So if you're looking for a practical and stylish way to enjoy your Caribbean vacation, don't forget to pack a hat!

5 . Insect Repellent

insect repellent is an important part of any travel packing list, but it is especially essential for a Caribbean vacation. The warm, humid climate of the Caribbean is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can carry dangerous diseases like Zika, dengue fever, and Chikungunya. While there are many ways to prevent mosquito bites, the most effective method is to use insect repellent. Insect repellents work by creating a barrier on your skin that repels mosquitoes, and they come in both spray and lotion form.

partially open suitcase

When packing insect repellent for a Caribbean vacation, be sure to choose a product that contains DEET or another powerful active ingredient. Apply the repellent generously, and reapply it every few hours for maximum protection. If the area that you will be visiting is known for being mosquito infested, you may wish to consider also bringing permethrin insect repellent that you spray on your clothes. With insect repellent, you may be able to enjoy your Caribbean vacation without worrying about pesky biting insects.


These are just a few of the things that we think are essential for any Caribbean vacation. With your handmade soap and other must-have items in your suitcase, you're sure to have an amazing time! So start packing now and get ready to enjoy the best Caribbean vacation ever!

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