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17 Top Antigua Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for antigua
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Antigua, also known as Wadadli by the native population, is a tropical island paradise in the Caribbean Sea. Located not far from Puerto Rico, Antigua is an easily reached destination for an incredible vacation. With crystal clear water, miles of beaches, and access to great water sports like snorkeling and sailing, it’s easy to see why almost anyone would want to visit Antigua.

If you’re planning a trip to Antigua, make sure you’re prepared with all the necessities. We’ve gathered a list of the top items to bring, what NOT to bring, and answers to FAQs about Antigua to help you make your visit the best possible.

What to Pack for Antigua – 17 Essentials

  • 1.

    The sun is intense in Antigua, and a rash guard will help keep your skin protected, especially if you are surfing or paddle boarding in the ocean for the day. We like rash guards with long sleeves to give you extra protection from the elements.

  • 2.

    These ultra-lightweight towels are incredibly absorbent, but take up very little space in your suitcase. They are ideal for Antigua, where you will be thankful you have them while sailing, snorkeling, surfing, or just enjoying the Caribbean.

  • 3.

    Quick-drying water shoes are a necessity when exploring Antigua. These will help protect your feet on sand, rocks, reefs, boats, and more. Plus, because they are breathable and drain water out, they are comfortable enough to wear in and out of the water at the beach.

  • 4.

    On a hot day in Antigua, this towel can be a game-changer. Just dip the towel in water, and it will keep you cool for 30-60 minutes. If you’re out on the water or just exploring in Antigua’s tropical weather, this can make your day much more comfortable.

  • 5.

    If you plan to be out and about exploring Antigua, a portable phone charger is a must. This one is lightweight and slips right into a purse or daypack, but can fully charge a phone. It’s only about the size of a tube of lipstick but can make all the difference for you when traveling.

  • 6.

    Packing cubes have become absolutely essential for travel. We use them to keep different people’s items organized, to separate clean and dirty clothes, and to make the suitcase much more manageable. We love using a different color for each person in our family, and appreciate the lifetime guarantee, although these are 100% ripstop nylon and seem like they will last forever.

  • 7.

    As we’ve noted, the sun in Antigua is intense, and you’ll want to protect yourself with a sun hat while out. This one has a large brim to keep you protected, and can be rolled and packed up easily while maintaining its shape and style.

  • 8.

    When you leave your room for the beach, you’ll want to bring quite a few items with you, including sunscreen, a water bottle, snacks, your coverup, and your kindle. We love this bag because it holds all that and more! The insulated section keeps drinks cold, and there are handy pockets for things like sunglasses. It’s both sand- and waterproof, making it a great bag for a day at the beach.

  • 9.

    A neck wallet can carry all your most valuable items, with a little added security since it sits close to the body. This model is large enough to hold your passport and phone, but discreet enough to be worn under clothing if desired. It’s made with durable ripstop fabric with RFID-blocking for extra security and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

  • 10.

    While you will probably be in swimwear for a lot of your Antigua vacation, you’ll want to pack at least one coverup to throw on over your suit. Many restaurants and bars require a coverup, and this one is lightweight and easy, yet classy enough to wear out to lunch or pop into a shop. Comes in sizes Small-XXLarge.

  • 11.

    This one small item can make an enormous difference in your trip. When visiting Antigua, no matter what your travel style is, you’ll probably find yourself on a boat, in a kayak, near a pool, or at the beach at some point. Protecting your phone in this waterproof case is a very simple and easy way to save you from potential disaster. This model allows you to still use your phone through the cover, and even take pictures underwater through the clear case.

  • 12.

    Now that you’ve protected your phone in a waterproof case, make sure you don’t lose it by attaching this floating wrist strap. In case you accidentally drop your phone, keys, or other valuables, the strap will keep it floating where you can see and grab it.

  • 13.

    if you plan to work or connect online while in Antigua, be sure to include this VPN. It will provide you with a safe connection no matter where you are, and protect you from hackers who can steal your account numbers and other private information. If you work remotely, this will also provide you with a secure connection to sites from your home country while abroad.

  • 14.

    Antigua = tropical. That also means Antigua = very intense sunshine. No matter your complexion, you will want to bring a high-SPF sunscreen and use it regularly while in this tropical paradise. Because Antigua is also a site of natural beauty such as coral reefs, make sure your sunscreen is reef-safe. We like this one because it’s vegan and octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free, as well as reef-safe.

  • 15.

    So, you had an amazing day in the Antiguan sunshine! But, maybe a little too much sunshine….and now your skin is feeling it. Pack some aloe vera “Cool Down” gel to help soothe any sunburned skin, and you’ll be thankful. We love this brand because it’s dermatologist-recommended, vegan, and hypoallergenic as well.

  • 16.

    Even the island paradise of Antigua gets rainy sometimes, and if you visit during the rainy season, that could be quite frequent. Be sure to pack this small, lightweight umbrella so a little rain doesn’t ruin your day. This windproof umbrella easily fits in a purse or daypack and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

  • 17.

    Even the best-planned vacations can have surprises, and travel insurance helps protect you when the unexpected happens. When you plan to be relaxing in Antigua, you don’t want to have to worry about what would happen if someone had a medical emergency, your luggage was lost, or your flight was canceled. Having travel insurance from TravelInsurance.com will give you the extra peace of mind to help you totally relax on your Antiguan getaway.

What to Wear in Antigua

The weather in Antigua is tropical year-round. Even the coldest days tend to be warm, so you won’t need to pack very heavy fabrics. When packing for Antigua, try to bring natural, lightweight fabrics that will breathe. Bring sandals or flip-flops for most days, but pack sneakers if you plan to hike one of the many beautiful trails.

You’ll also want to pack for all the different activities and types of locations on the island, including the beach, waterfront, fine restaurants, and casinos. Beachwear like shorts and sundresses are acceptable for most of the island, but upscale restaurants will require more formal wear.

What WOMEN should wear in Antigua – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Packing for Antigua will depend on what you plan to do for activities while there, but can include everything from beachwear to evening wear. If you plan to explore the island, some lightweight sneakers would be a good idea, along with cute sandals for going out. If you will be out on the water, make sure to bring a good sun hat and some quick-dry, lightweight clothing.

Obviously, you’ll want some swimwear but plan to cover up with a cute sundress if you are going shopping or out for lunch. Although it’s tropical, bring a light sweater or pashmina for cooler evenings. For dinner, it’s okay to wear a sundress, but if you plan on a fancier restaurant, be sure to pack a more formal dress. Bring some statement jewelry (leave the valuables at home) to finish off any look.

What MEN should wear in Antigua?– (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

To pack for tropical Antigua, men can get away with shorts and a short-sleeve shirt for most activities. Be sure to pack some lightweight sneakers for exploring, and quick-dry clothing for sailing or other watersports. A baseball cap, water bottle, and daypack will make your excursions much more enjoyable.

Beachwear is accepted at most bars, restaurants, and of course, at the beaches! If you plan to go out to casinos or nicer restaurants, make sure to pack at least one pair of long pants and bring a lightweight blazer to top off your outfit.

Packing for the Seasons in Antigua

Wet Season – June, July, August, September, October, and November :

During Antigua’s wet season, expect temperatures to be slightly warmer. Even though it’s called the wet season, rainfall is not that frequent, so pack an umbrella, your swimsuit, and plan to visit. Although June through November is considered hurricane season, don’t let that keep you from visiting – hurricanes are rare. During this season, be sure to pack lightweight fabrics for exploring the island and quick-dry fabrics for water-based adventures. Temperatures in the wet season average between 75°F or 23°C lows and 88°F or 31°C highs.

Dry Season – December, January, February, March, April, and May :

The dry season is the perfect time to visit Antigua, as the temps are slightly cooler and the humidity is slower. If you visit during the dry season, plan to pack the same lightweight, breathable fabrics as any other time of year, but bring layers. The nights can be a little cool at this time of year, so a lightweight jacket, pashmina, or long sleeve shirt is a good idea. Temperatures in the dry season average between 72°F or 22°C lows and 86°F or 30°C highs.
How to dress for activities in Antigua – (Click to expand)

Beaches and Pool – The weather is amazing in Antigua, but the sun can be intense. Be sure to pack a high SPF sunscreen and a sunhat if you are lounging poolside or at the beach. You’ll want to bring a coverup as well, and flip flops to protect your feet on that hot sand. Put everything for your day in a beach bag and you’re good to go!

Nightlife – Antigua is known for the tropical vibe of its nightlife, with beach bars and tropical cocktails everywhere. With that said, there are a number of restaurants with a dress code, so if you are planning on fine dining, be sure to pack a nice dress or blazer.

Water sports – If you enjoy water sports like sailing, snorkeling, diving, SUP, kayaking, and more, you will never be bored in Antigua. You’ll want to pack a rash guard to protect you from the sun and the ocean, and don’t forget reef-safe sunscreen. Bring your water bottle and phone holder, and store everything a daypack for your excursions.

Summer Carnival – Held in late July and early August, Carnival is the most festive event during the year in Antigua! If you get the chance to visit during Carnival, be prepared for music, parades, costumes, food, and fun. You really can’t dress “wrong” at Carnival – anything goes – but if you want to get into the spirit, pack colorful and fun dresses, hats, and more. Maybe even throw in some feathers or a costume!

What NOT to Bring to Antigua

  • 1.DON'T PACK beach towels.

    No matter where you stay in Antigua, beach towels will likely be provided, and they will take up far too much valuable space in your suitcase. For watersports, you may want to consider a Quick-Dry Travel Towel that can be thrown in your daypack and takes up little space.

  • 2.DON'T BRING books.

    Even if you plan to spend your Antigua vacation poolside, do not pack books in your suitcase. They take way too much space and need to be carried around or discarded when you are done. Instead, consider an e-reader such as a Kindle to enjoy reading on your trip.

  • 3.DON'T USE low-SPF sunscreen.

    We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s important to spread the message: the sun in Antigua can be intense. This means your SPF 15 sunscreen may not cut it, especially if you are out in the middle of the day. Instead, opt for high-SPF Reef-friendly sunscreen, and reapply frequently.

  • 4.DON'T PACK your own watersports gear

    Unless you are really attached to your own specific piece of gear, plan not to pack your own snorkels, scuba gear, and stand-up paddleboards. There are countless places to rent gear or join a trip that provides its own gear. While you’re in Antigua, consider checking out a new sport – you can rent kayaks, kiteboards, and more!

  • 5.DON'T BRING expensive jewelry

    Even if you plan on dining out at a nice restaurant, plan not to pack your valuable jewelry. Bring some statement costume jewelry pieces, and leave the pricey stuff at home – Antigua’s vibe doesn’t really match expensive, flashy jewelry anyway.

What clothing should I NOT wear in Antigua – (Click to expand)
Because Antigua is warm year-round, you do not want to pack warm clothing. Stay away from bulky or heavy fabrics, but pack a pashmina or light sweater for cooler nights.

FAQs about Antigua

  • 1. What is the weather like in Antigua?

    The weather in Antigua is warm and tropical year-round. It can be humid at times, especially during the wet season (June-November). During the dry season (December-May), expect less humidity, sunny days, and cooler nights. Antigua has perfect vacation weather. Relax on the beach, lounge by the pool, eat outdoors, and walk around to take advantage of the warm, tropical climate Antigua has to offer.

    What is the weather like in Antigua?
  • 2. When is the best time to visit Antigua?

    If you want to visit during the best weather, the winter months of December through March are beautiful, tropical, and not too hot or humid. However, they are the busiest months in Antigua. If you are trying to save some money, you could consider a visit during the shoulder season (May and June), or during the off-season (July through November). Luckily, Antigua is beautiful all year round, so no matter when you visit, you’ll be sure to have tropical weather and incredible experiences.

  • 3. Are there hurricanes in Antigua?

    While Antigua is in the range of tropical storms and hurricanes, they are not very frequent, and you shouldn’t let this dissuade you from visiting. One step you can take if you do visit during the time of year when a hurricane is more likely (June-November), make sure you get Travel insurance for Antigua to give you extra coverage just in case. This will help you out in case of any unexpected flight or hotel cancellations.

    Are there hurricanes in Antigua?
  • 4. What currency is used in Antigua?

    The US dollar and Eastern Caribbean dollar are both accepted in Antigua. Make sure to pack some cash, as most bars and all taxis are cash-only.

  • 5. Can you gamble in Antigua?

    Yes, Antigua is known for its lively casinos, mainly in the St. John’s area. Try your luck at the tables, or check out the slots – did you know Antigua is home to the world’s largest slot machine?

  • 6. When visiting Antigua, what kind of activities can I do?

    If you are looking for outdoor adventure, almost anything! Antigua is known for its beautiful waters, and therefore draws snorkeling, diving, and sailing enthusiasts. If a more laid-back vacation is more your style, check out the incredible beaches or one of the many luxury spas. Antigua is an absolute paradise to explore. Take advantage of all it has to offer!

    When visiting Antigua, what kind of activities can I do?
  • 7. What are the best destinations in Antigua?

    Half Moon Bay is one of the most famous beaches in the world, with incredible sand and crystal-clear water. If you are looking for history, check out Nelson’s Dockyard – a 18th century British naval yard that is still operating today. St. John’s, the capital, hosts historical sites, restaurants, and tons of shopping, including the island’s unique market stalls.

  • 8. What’s the best way to get around when visiting Antigua?

    You may consider renting a car while visiting Antigua because there is no public transportation and Uber is not really popular yet. There are taxi services to help get you around the island. However, many folks stay at resorts and enjoy all they have to offer, so find no need for their own car.