This summer we took our first really big vacation to the US Virgin Islands. We really wanted to go to a beautiful tropical location that didn’t require passports. We learned all we needed to know before we went to the Virgin Islands and learned a few additional things as we visited. On top of all the things, you need to know before you visit we also learned the things to pack for a trip to the Virgin Islands.
Beach Necessities are Expensive There
I know it may seem a little silly to have a specific list of things to pack to go to the Virgin Islands but I’m hoping this will save you some time and money once you get there. I say that because while you can get some amazing things that are tax-free while visiting there you can also spend way too much on items that are way cheaper in the US.
Think of visiting an amusement park and how they charge an outrageous amount for things you left at home like sunscreen. That’s exactly what the Virgin Islands does. My rule of thumb is if it’s cheap in the US and it’s a really needed beach item but it and bring it with you. Save your money for the fun stuff!
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Things to Pack for a Trip to The Virgin Islands
Creams, Lotions, and Salves
We learned really fast how expensive Sunscreen was in the Virgin Islands. We paid nearly $60 for 2 bottles of sunscreen. Learn from us and bring your own.
I’ve already declared Rosebud Salve as one of my favorite things you can use it for so many things like dry skin, chapped lips, abrasions or chafed skin. Both my husband and I experienced chafing under our arms from the life vest we were wearing. The rosebud eased the pain and healed the skin within 24 hours.
Although we tried our best to keep the sunscreen reapplied the sun is super bright and reflects a ton off the water and some of us still got a little burnt. Aloe Vera lotions are available but again are extremely expensive! Bring travel sizes if you think you may need it.
Beach and Water Proof Bags and Cases
I noticed when we were at the Beach that tons of people had these awesome Waterproof Phone Cases I almost bought one while I was there but it was super pricey. Get one before you go and you will keep your phone water and sand free. Beach Bags and Beach Totes were also hard to find and when I could find them the prices were up there even for non-designer bags.
Make sure you bring those type of bags with you. The totes featured below come in tons of patterns and you can get them monogrammed. They are very well priced and adorable.
Toys and Cameras
Skim boards are so much fun for kids. They are different than boogie boards which were readily available because they are much thinner. Skim boards are great for beaches with small waves. That being said my kids had to watch others enjoying their boards because we couldn’t find them anywhere on the islands. Next time we will bring our own.
We did however have a blast with our Go Pro Hero Black 4k but it was kind of hard to swim and snorkel at the same time. I actually had to stick the tripod in my bathing suit a few times so I could swim. Don’t worry in only captured the fish and nothing inappropriate.
I saw many people with snorkel masks like this one Snorkel and Mask Combo with GoPro Case I really really wish I would have had one of these. Not only would I have been able to snorkel better but I wouldn’t have had to worry about the go pro as much! Snorkels are available to rent or buy but again they are pricey and the one featured below was not available there.
Beachwear and Sun Protection
I adore my Maui Jim Sunglasses. I wear these all the time. Maui Jim’s have such great polarized glass lenses you can actually see things better with them in comparison to other glasses. For instance without these glasses I couldn’t really see to the bottom of the deep ocean on our sailboat trip. When I put them on I could see everything. Maui Jim’s were available at our resort and they actually were nearly the same price as what you would pay stateside. I say you want to buy them before because you literally need sunglasses the second you step off the plane.
Beach Cover Ups are again expensive… like really expensive.. So are the bathing suits. Buy one before you go.. in fact by a few. You will want ones that dry fast and are really comfortable.
Comfortable Flip Flops are a necessity. I suggest Rainbow flip flops because they look good and they are so comfortable. I live in my all summer.
Helpful Travel Items
Our resort did not have a dryer but we did have a balcony. I really wish I would have had a Clothesline to use on the balcony. Although we packed tons of swimsuits, we still had to dry them and wear them again. We quickly ran out of space to lay out all of them to dry.
When it came to packing up we had done quite a bit of shopping and we were a little worried we’d be overweight. With the Electronic Luggage Scale we put our mind at ease and were able to make sure we had the right amount of weight in each bag.
Speaking of bags, I highly recommend bring Duffle Bags with you to bring home your goodies. Pack light on the trip there so you can bring back all the cool stuff you find.
How do you bring all of this stuff and pack light. Don’t overpack clothing. Bring a lot of bathing suits and coverups and a few nicer outfits to wear out to eat. You really do NOT need a lot of clothes or shoes… if you are exploring and enjoying the Islands you aren’t going to need them! Now let’s go find out where to stay, where to eat and what to do while you are there. Oh and don’t worry if it’s not summer where you are… it’s summer all the time in the Islands.
Let me know if you have any questions I’d love to answer them. And please let me know if I’ve left anything out!!!