Table of Contents

33 Top Bahamas Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

Bahamas
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Many people don’t realize that Nassau, Bahamas is only 150 miles from the coast of Florida! This means you can get to a tropical getaway and start enjoying paradise in very little time. The Bahamas are made up of 700+ islands, dozens of which are inhabited, and everywhere you look is the clear, turquoise sea.

If this is your first time visiting, knowing what to pack may be difficult, so we’ve compiled a Bahamas packing list to help you out. Below you’ll also find helpful sections on what to wear in the Bahamas, what NOT to bring, and some answers to FAQs.

snorkeling bahamas
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What to Pack for Bahamas – 33 Essentials

  • 1. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    Since the Bahamas is an archipelago, you’ll be in and out of the water all day, every day. Resorts and waterparks like Atlantis will have towels available for a fee, but it’s wise to bring your own so you don’t end up paying an arm and a leg. This one is ultra-lightweight and dries 10x faster than cotton. Trust us, it’s better than carrying bulky, water-logged towels from island to island.

    HERO Travel Towel - Blue

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    In the Bahamas, the local water activities do not disappoint! Protect your phone as you kayak, snorkel, sail, jet ski, windsurf, etc. This waterproof case will keep out moisture and ensure no sand or debris scratches your camera lenses.

    Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    The Bahamian Ministry of Economic Affairs is currently working to improve cybersecurity due to the drastic increase in online theft. As hackers get more savvy, we have to take new measures to protect our private data and ensure an encrypted network. We use a VPN when traveling to give you a truly private connection, but wish we would’ve known about it before having my credit card numbers stolen on vacation recently. This was from using our Airbnb’s Wi-Fi, and now we understand that you can’t always trust free Wi-Fi networks at cafés, hotels, airports, etc.

    Our go-to provider is NordVPN because they’re affordable, easy to set-up, and minimize any targeted ads or online censorship in that country. It is next-generation encryption that will deter any threats to your passwords, credit card numbers, and identity – while also preventing any connection interruptions or streaming blocks.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    View NordVPN.com Options ➜

  • 4. Packing Cubes

    I’ve been using packing cubes for all of my travel for the past few years, and now I will never pack without them! I use one for undergarments, one for tops, one for bottoms… you get the idea. This set also comes with laundry bags, which is perfect when you don’t want your dirty clothes mixed in with your clean ones. Each person in your family can choose their own color to keep everyone’s luggage organized.

    packing cubes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Flotation Strap

    Don’t neglect to attach a flotation strap to your waterproof case. We bought this after losing my wife’s iPhone in a sharp coral reef where it became unretrievable. Learn from our mistakes and strap this to any phone, keys, or valuables that you wouldn’t want to watch slip to the bottom of the ocean.

    Flotation Strap

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for the Bahamas

    In case you are not aware, most domestic insurance plans do not extend to travel abroad, and this means you could face huge out-of-pocket expenses without proper coverage. Our friend faced this when they broke their wrists in Mexico. Luckily, he had travel insurance and wasn’t left with huge international bills. It will also support you if your luggage gets lost, your flight gets delayed or canceled, or you have unexpected incidents like theft and illness. No one ever plans to get sick, so prepare for the unknown.

    We recommend using Faye to design a custom plan that suits your travel needs. They even offer the ability to “cancel for any reason,” which is huge in today’s age. They are the first all-digital provider with everything handled on their mobile app, so you don’t have to deal with any wretched paperwork. It’s too affordable to overlook, and there’s a reason it’s mandatory in many places! An airlift from the Bahamas to the mainland alone would start at $30K.

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Cooling Towel Set

    Beat the heat with these handy cooling towels. Whether you’re relaxing on beaches or boats, these towels can cool you off in an instant. Simply wet the towel, wring it out, and you have a refreshingly cold towel that is 20-30 degrees cooler than the outside temperature! It will stay cold for up to an hour, then simply rewet it for more chilly, fast-acting relief.

    towel pink

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 8. Stylish Dress for Women

    If you are planning to go out to dinner or for drinks while in the Bahamas, you’ll want to look amazing and still feel comfortable. This maxi dress has it all – it’s incredibly lightweight, breathable for the humid island air, and flatters many body types. Choose black for the most versatile look, or red if you want to stand out in a crowd. You may want to grab one in every color!

    Stylish dress

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Although the Bahamas is known for its sunny beaches, it also gets frequent (but brief) thunderstorms and rare hurricanes, depending on the season. It sometimes even rains while the sun is still shining! If you do get caught in a sudden downpour, you will be happy you packed this sturdy umbrella – small enough to fit in a handbag and guaranteed for life.

    Hero Umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 10. Jet Lag Relief

    Depending on where you’re coming from, jet lag relief supplements can make or break your first days of arrival and the first few days back home. Use this natural remedy to balance your internal clock, helping your adjustment period go more smoothly. We prefer this brand since it uses botanicals like chamomile (instead of stimulants like caffeine which result in an inevitable crash).

    Jet Lag Relief

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 11. Luggage Locks

    We always travel with luggage locks after having something stolen from our checked bag. This is our go-to set since they’re TSA-approved (with a lock that can be opened by security during a random screening), but the 4-digit combination makes it more secure than typical 3-digit locks. Use them for suitcases, purses, backpacks, lockers, and more.

    luggage locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 12. Discounted Tickets to Bahamas Attractions

    NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly once called the Bahamas “the most beautiful place from space,” and you’ll want to cover as much ground as possible with pre-booked excursions! Get Your Guide is our favorite booking service for flexible itineraries that will add a lot of magic to your getaway.

    Swim with Pigs on a speedboat tour, spend the afternoon rum tasting and exploring the history of Queen Victoria’s staircase, then sail off into the sunset on a catamaran dinner cruise. And there are great daytrips to Pearl Island, Rose Island, Paradise Island, where Atlantis is, and more.

    Discounted Tickets to Bahamas Attractions

    See all Bahamas attractions at GetYourGuide.com ➜

  • 13. Neck Wallet

    Big enough for your passport, cards, cash, and phone but small enough to wear under your clothes – this pouch is perfect for international travel. The RFID lining adds an extra level of security (meaning bad guys won’t be able to scan your bag for financial data), and the ripstop nylon means it won’t wear out. I wear ours under my shirt so as not to flash around cash and credit cards. It’s a discreet way to ensure your valuables are safely concealed and out of sight.

    Available on HeroTravelSupply.com with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    Neck Wallet

    Or view on Amazon.com ➜

  • 14. Lightweight Blazer for Men

    Many of the nicer restaurants and casinos in the Bahamas (especially upscale restaurants in Nassau and Freeport) will require men to wear a jacket to dinner. Pack a lightweight, neutral blazer like this to dress up most outfits. The linen gray and light khaki colors will go with everything and still maintain an island vibe.

    Lightweight Blazer for Men

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 15. Lipstick-sized Portable Charger

    As you Island hop from Pink Sand Beach to Pearl Island and hike through the 13+ national parks, you’ll be spending long days away from a reliable power grid. Due to this, keeping a portable charger with you is a smart precaution. This one is about the size of a tube of lipstick and fits in almost any small bag. You’ll wonder how you ever traveled without it!

    charger

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 16. Sunscreen

    The sun in the Bahamas can get intense – you NEED to wear sunscreen if you are going to be outside. This is our favorite sunscreen – it’s reef friendly, vegan, offers UVA/UVB protection, and comes in both an 8oz and 3oz bottle, the latter being a perfect size in case you just want to bring a carry-on. Bonus: people say it smells like summer.

    sunscreen

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 17. Waterproof Backpack

    In a destination like the Bahamas, you’re often moving between land and sea. Waterproof bags will prevent your items from getting drenched or covered in sand. You can use this bag for hiking, boating, docking (or trudging through the ocean to the pier holding your valuables over your head if the beach is too shallow for the boat to dock! It happens!) It’s also perfect for sunbathing by the beach or pool. Much better than watching your cash disintegrate into a ball of worthlessness.

    Waterproof backpack blue

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 18. Beach Blanket

    This lightweight and packable beach blanket can make all the difference for your day in the sun. It’s large enough to stretch out on but packs up into a tiny pouch, which takes up very little room in your luggage. It’s also waterproof and sandproof, making your beach day that much more enjoyable.

    blanket

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 19. Affordable Underwater Camera

    You’ll be smack-dab in the center of the third-largest barrier reef system in the world! Between the stunning wildlife, vibrant coral reefs, and rich underwater world that will keep you diving and snorkeling for hours – you will want to snap some photos. This underwater camera is our favorite because the videos record crystal-clear (and even include sound!) This option is way cheaper than the investment of a GoPro or DSLR, with comparable quality.

    underwater camera

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 20. Sun Hat

    A trip to the Bahamas would be much less pleasant without a stylish and functional sun hat. This hat goes with every outfit and features UPF protection with a full brim – perfect for the sunny shores of the Bahamas. It’s also foldable and packable, so you can pop it out of your suitcase and head right to the beach! There is also a removable neck strap for windy days.

    hat

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 21. Hangover Relief

    A major appeal of paradise is that you can be 100% carefree and live without abandon! But while you’re ordering bottomless Mai Tais and Piña Coladas on that all-inclusive drink package – keep some hangover relief within reach. This herbal supplement will detox the alcohol from your body more quickly, sparing you from fatigue, nausea, and headaches. Time in paradise is limited, and you don’t want to spend it hanging over the toilet. Plan ahead, you won’t regret it.

    Hangover Relief

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 22. Mosquito-Repellant Wristbands

    The Bahamas hosts several mosquito-borne illnesses, including Dengue Fever, Zika, etc. Not to mention the less dangerous (but pesky) sandflies. Use mosquito-repellant wristbands as a way to wear your protection all day. It’s easier than spraying and respraying harsh chemicals all day, and these are safe for children over the age of 3.

    Mosquito-Repellant Wristbands

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 23. Beach Bag

    When packing for a day at the beach, it seems like the pile keeps growing – sunglasses, towels, snacks, water bottles, Kindle, sunscreen…! A beach bag like this makes bringing all the supplies a breeze. It’s washable, waterproof, and the built-in cooler will keep all your drinks and treats chilled for long afternoons in the sun. Insider secret: Once you travel with a cooler beach bag, you never go back to a regular beach bag.

    Beach bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 24. Cleansing Wipes

    This is one of my favorite things to pack while traveling. I don’t know about you, but it feels so good to clean my face after a long plane ride. These wipes revitalize your skin, leave it feeling soft and clean, and smell great. These have literally saved me after a much longer-than-expected trip to the airport during a heat wave.

    wipes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 25. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    Although the water in the Bahamas is generally safe to drink, we still recommend a filtered water bottle to help improve the taste. You’ll want to stay hydrated in the Bahamian sunshine, and resorts and hotels often over-chlorinate their water. Carry a filtered bottle like this one and you’ll have autonomy over your water supply for your entire trip, along with better-tasting water.

    Brita water bottle teal

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 26. Swimsuit Cover-up

    A beach cover-up is quintessential islandwear. It’s the ideal look for hopping from the beach, to the market, to lunch, to the hotel. You can quickly throw it on to take a stroll, do a little shopping, or grab a drink. This adorable option is lightweight and neutral and available in many different colors. It works for different body types and comes in small sizes – XX-Large.

    Swimsuit Coverup

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 27. Kid’s Snorkel & Lifevest

    The thing about experiencing world-class diving and snorkeling is being able to do so comfortably with fitted equipment. While it’s easy for adults to find a plethora of rental options, the sizes for children can be much more limited. We recommend that families bring along their own set to ensure their little tots have full confidence in the water. This mask keeps the mouthpiece out of the visual field. Add a unisex life vest, and you’re all set!

    Kid’s Snorkel & Lifevest

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 28. Motion Sickness Patches

    If you are prone to any kind of motion or sea sickness, bring these patches just in case. You may be chartering intra-island flights, moving around the archipelago by boat, and speeding down the winding roads of Queen’s Highway. Even those that are not usually prone to motion sickness can get a bit green in the face after long days rocking around a sailboat or cruiser. Hope for the best, plan for the worst!

    Motion Sickness Patches

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 29. Activated Charcoal

    While you indulge in fresh seafood and spicy creole cuisine, there is always a risk of food poisoning. Being that illness can be spread by anything from gourmet dining to street food (including water!), you have to be careful no matter where you eat. Pack along activated charcoal – a fast-acting remedy for traveler’s diarrhea. It will absorb the toxins quickly, saving you serious time and distress. Thank us later!

    Activated Charcoal

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 30. Hanging Toiletries Bag

    Many people visit the Bahamas by cruise ship or stay in quaint beach bungalows. The views will be impeccable, but the countertop space and storage options can leave a lot to be desired… Instead of trying to make-do, use this hanging toiletries bag. It’s an absolute game-changer and creates a shelf-like system that hangs off any door, hook, branch, etc.

    Hanging Toiletries Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 31. Water Hammock

    The ocean water in the Bahamas is almost bath-like. It’s not uncommon to see folks chilling on floaties like this that they bring from home. A water hammock is the best way to become one with the water and let all your worries wash away! With a headrest and footrest, it’s the perfect vacation companion and you can float off into the sunset comfortably.

    Water Hammock

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 32. Rash Guard

    Never underestimate the UV rays in locations that are centrally located – proximity to the equator can drastically strengthen the sun’s impact and make the heat feel much more aggressive. If you’re fair-skinned or prone to burning, a rash guard will be your best friend. This one has UPF 50+ and will protect you in and out of the water.

    Rash Guard

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 33. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    We recommend avoiding tourist-trap souvenirs like those found on Bay Street. Instead of buying tacky things, support local artisan businesses and bring back gifts that you and your loved ones will truly cherish!

    This “just in case” bag counts as your personal item for the flight and is perfect for those unpredictable purchases. Check out authentic goods like jerk seasoning, Caribbean rum, guava jam, hand-rolled cigars, conch shell jewelry, and more.

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

What to wear in the Bahamas?

The weather in the Bahamas is sunny and warm almost all year round, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when packing clothing. Your packing list may vary depending if you are staying at a more upscale resort, but in general, beach attire is fine for the daytime, with dressier options for night. Make sure you choose lightweight and versatile pieces that you can layer when chilly, and pack away easily when warm.
What women should wear - (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list.(All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

You’ll definitely want to pack a few swimsuits, as your trip will hopefully involve a lot of time at the beach and pool. However, you’ll want at least a coverup if venturing anywhere else, and a sundress if you are going for lunch or shopping. Choose lightweight pieces and natural fabrics that allow your skin to breathe in the warm climate. A big sun hat and tote bag will be the perfect accessories for your daytime adventures. A neutral crossbody bag is appropriate for the Bahamas nightlife.

Sandals are appropriate everywhere – choose dressier for dinner and flip flops for more casual activities. Beachside restaurants will be fine with casual wear like shorts and sundresses. If your trip includes dinner in nice restaurants, you’ll want to bring some more elegant dresses and jewelry or nice sandals to dress them up.

What men should wear - (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

The weather in the Bahamas is warm. Be sure to bring multiple pairs of shorts – for swimming, hiking, and everything else. Choose either moisture-wicking athletic fabrics (for outdoor adventures and active excursions), or natural, breathable fabrics (for dining, lounging, and relaxing). Don’t forget a hat – the sun in the Bahamas can get intense.

Shorts will be acceptable almost anywhere for the daytime and at casual restaurants. While you don’t need to pack a suit, be sure to throw in a lightweight blazer and pants for dinner or when visiting casinos.

Packing for the Seasons in Bahamas

Winter – December, January, February, March, April

Winter is the warm, dry season, and is the best time to visit the sunny Bahamas – with beautiful weather and sunny skies. You’ll want comfortable lightweight clothing, with a few light layers for cooler nights. Think a long sleeve linen shirt or pashmina wrap to throw on over your beachwear. Average highs range from 77°F-82°F, or 25°C-28°C). The lows in this season average around 63°F or 17°C.

Summer – May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Summer is considered the hot, wet (rainy) season in the Bahamas, which means hotter temps. June through November is also hurricane season, which may dissuade some travelers from going then. Most hotels in the Bahamas have a Hurricane Cancellation Policy, but getting travel insurance is a good idea if your trip is during these months. You’ll want to dress for the warm weather in summer – just shorts, skirts, light dresses, and swimwear. You should not need any heavier clothing during the summer months. Averages highs during the Summer range from 82°F-90°F (30°C-32°C), with average lows around 74° F or 23°C.

Dressing appropriately for the activity - (Click to expand)

Beach/Pool – Ideally, most of your vacation in the Bahamas will include beaches, pools, and relaxing in the sunshine. You’ll definitely appreciate a sun hat, and high SPF sunscreen is a must. You should bring a coverup or light layers with you each day to throw on when you venture away from the pool.

Fun on the water – If your trip includes snorkeling, sailing, or diving, you’ll want some specific items. A rash guard will help protect you from the sun and elements, and sunscreen is a must. Bring a water bottle and quick-dry towel, and pack everything in a lightweight daypack.

Dinner/Casinos – While much of the Bahamas is relaxed beach attire-appropriate, you’ll want to bring a nice outfit or two for finer dining or special nights. The Bahamas feature upscale restaurants, resorts, and casinos, and many of them require a jacket for men and appropriate clothing for women. This doesn’t have to be too formal – women can pair a nice sundress or maxi dress with heeled sandals and accessories, and men can throw a lightweight jacket on with their shirt and slacks

What NOT to bring to the Bahamas

  • 1.DON’T BRING Expensive jewelry

    Although you’ll want to look your best for the nightlife of the Bahamas, don’t bring your most expensive or valued jewelry. You don’t want to risk losing anything, and if you throw on some less-expensive blingy accessories, you’ll still look great.

  • 2.DON’T TAKE Beach chairs

    Believe it or not, some people try to travel with beach chairs….don’t! Whether you are staying at an Airbnb, affordable hotel, or luxury resort, it’s likely there are chairs for you to use. If not, there are usually places to rent them nearby.

  • 3.DON’T PACK Full size towels

    Towels take up way too much valuable space in your luggage. If your resort doesn’t provide towels (most do), it may be a better plan to pick up some cheap ones at a local shop instead of sacrificing your luggage space. You can always toss in a quick-dry towel such as the one linked above.

  • 4.DON’T BRING a Hairdryer

    Almost all hotels will have a hairdryer available for guests. And, you may want to forego the hairdryer altogether – sun-dried beach waves are always a good look when visiting tropical locations!

  • 5.DON’T TAKE Books

    Rather than packing heavy, bulky books in your luggage, bring a Kindle and have as many books on hand as you want.

  • 6.DON’T PACK Heavy shoes

    Heavy shoes weigh down your luggage and take up far too much room. Although you can go on some beautiful hikes in the Bahamas, you’ll likely want to wear your lightest shoes or sandals all the time. Better yet – plan on going barefoot as much as possible!

What NOT to wear – (Click to expand)
When visiting the Bahamas, you definitely don’t want to wear bulky or heavy clothes. Even if you are chilly and want to layer up, you’ll want lightweight sweaters or scarves, and linen pants. Bulky clothes will take up too much space in your luggage, won’t fit the island vibe, and will simply be too hot to wear most of the time.

FAQ about traveling to the Bahamas

  • 1. What language is spoken in the Bahamas?

    English is the official language of the Bahamas, although you’ll hear some island dialects when speaking with locals.

  • 2. What islands should I visit?

    There are actually dozens of islands in the Bahamas, but most people choose to visit New Providence (which includes Nassau, the capital city), Paradise Island, and Grand Bahama. If you are feeling more adventurous, the smaller islands of Eleuthera, Bimini, and Harbor Island offer a less-crowded escape with the same breathtaking views.

  • 3. Is the drinking water safe?

    Yes, the drinking water is safe in the Bahamas, and many resorts filter and chlorinate their own water. We always recommend bringing your own water bottle, and if you pick up one with a filter, you’ll be sure to have access to clean, fresh water no matter where you are.

  • 4. What should I do in the Bahamas?

    If you like the ocean, you’ll never run out of things to do on a vacation to the Bahamas! Snorkeling, diving, sailing, fishing, windsurfing….you name it, you can do it on the water in the Bahamas. Resorts such as Atlantis feature incredible water parks, which you can visit even if you aren’t staying there. Make sure to find time to relax in the sun on the beach or at the pool.

  • 5. What is the best time of year to visit?

    If you are trying to save money, the summer is much less expensive than the winter. However, winter in the Bahamas is like nowhere else – warm, dry, sunny, and tropical. Because it’s such beautiful weather in the winter, many more tourists choose then to travel, and prices will be much higher than in the summer months.

  • 6. What currency do they use in the Bahamas?

    The Bahamian dollar is the official currency of the Bahamas. You’ll often see it written as “B$” to distinguish it from the US dollar. The US dollar is widely accepted on the islands, and the two currencies are considered equivalent in most places, meaning many businesses will accept either.

  • 7. Do I need to worry about hurricanes?

    Depending on when you visit the Bahamas, you may want to watch the weather forecasts. While the Bahamas are within some hurricane paths, they are only the direct target of storms occasionally. Many hotels offer a Hurricane Cancellation Policy, which may make you feel better about traveling during these months. We always recommend travel insurance such as Faye to protect your trip.