17 Top Belize Packing List Items + What NOT to Bring (2018 Update)

What should I bring on my Belize trip?

With crystal blue waters, a short flight from the U.S. and English as its official language, Belize is the best of both worlds — Central American culture and beaches paired with relative traveling ease.

I chose Belize as a travel destination with relaxation and an escape from a hectic city schedule in mind. That’s exactly what I got: endless hours spent in hammocks or reading on a dock mixed with day trips snorkeling, tubing, ziplining, and exploring ruins. “UnBelizeable” — the silly pun I saw over and over again, but what started as a joke became the theme of the trip. Relaxation, fun, and beauty, together in one place.

I’ve put together a list of the top items I needed on my trip – some of them may surprise you! I’ve also included guidance on what NOT to bring, and some FAQs to help you on your travels. Above all, be sure you bring your smile, your sense of adventure, and your appreciation for local cultures and cuisines, and enjoy your trip!
 


1) Universal Waterproof Phone Case and Flotation Strap – Our phones are our links to the world, and if you’re anything like me, you carry your phone with you almost everywhere, especially when traveling. Mobile devices allow us to stay connected, navigate, and capture moments in picture and video, but they can’t do their jobs if they’re not well protected. This case protects your phone from dust and dirt, scratches, and water damage,
all for a price tag under $10. The case also still allows for photo and video use plus full use of the touchscreen while your phone is sealed inside it – it’s incredibly impressive, and saves a lot of hassle and worry. I also highly recommend bringing at least one flotation strap per camera/phone to help keep your devices safe and avoid them sinking should they fall into the water.
View Phone Case on Amazon.com ➜

2) Activated Charcoal – With travel often comes stomach upset, whether it’s caused by the traveling itself or by eating something that doesn’t agree with you. Either way, activated charcoal is an absolute must-have. The charcoal absorbs toxins in your system and helps you move on to the many fun parts of traveling.
View on Amazon.com ➜

3) Travel Insurance – We’d all like to think that we have control over every detail of our travel, but the reality is that sometimes things happen. If something bad happens on your trip – theft, accident, medical emergency – you’ll need a plan, and travel insurance is the answer. Travel experts swear by it, and it’s an easy way to relieve the worry of potential problems so that you can enjoy your trip.
Check out World Nomads Insurance Plans ➜

4) Sarong – I will never travel without a sarong. I have found so many uses for mine – pillow case, privacy screen, beach wrap, travel blanket – that it’s one of the first things I recommend that any traveler bring with them to almost any destination. It’s small and lightweight so it adds almost no bulk, and it will come in very handy.
View on Amazon.com ➜

5) Reef Safe Sunscreen – Belize is known for its reefs, and once you see them you’ll know why – they’re gorgeous! Reefs are delicate ecosystems, though, and it’s very important to remember that when you’re selecting sunscreen and other lotions/oils. This reef-safe sunscreen allows you to protect yourself from the harsher Belizean sun while still respecting and protecting the aquatic environment and its inhabitants – no toxic chemicals to harm the coral and fish means a healthier reef.
View on Amazon.com ➜

6) Packing cubes – When you’re traveling you want your belongings to be organized, easily accessible, and compact. These fantastic packing cubes really do save a lot of trouble by accomplishing all of those goal. They’re easy to move from one bag to another, they are a set of multiple sizes for different uses, and they’re easily washable. Anything that makes your travel-life easier is worth having, and these certainly do.
View on Amazon.com ➜
packing-cubes

7) Affordable Underwater Camera – Belize is all about the water, and even when you’re not in the water you’ll want to be sure your camera isn’t susceptible to water damage. Capturing those unBelizeable memories is easy when you have a handy little camera like this one. It’s waterproof, sturdy, and light-weight, which means it’ll go wherever you do so that you don’t have to miss a moment. It’s also a more accessible and less expensive option for those who don’t want to sped more on a GoPro or a DSLR camera.
View on Amazon.com ➜

8) Women’s and Men’s hiking shoes – So many of the activities in Belize involve walking or hiking, and it’s important to wear shoes that won’t hurt your feet or leave you sore at the end of the day. Decent hiking shoes provide support, and these ones are even water-resistant in case your jungle hike is a little muddy or rainy.

9) Water bottle with built-in filter – In many towns and areas of Belize, the tap water is considered questionable or unsafe to drink. It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated in such a warm climate and while engaging in activities in the sun, so having a water bottle with a built-in filter is a great idea. It allows you to keep fresh, safe water with you at all times, and it will save you from having to buy bottle after bottle of water from vendors.
View on Amazon.com ➜

10) Passport pouch – It’s not the best idea to leave valuables in your room, and you may end up needing to keep your passport and small amounts of cash on you while you explore Belize. It can be hard to keep your wallet completely safe when you’re doing so many activities, so it’s better to use something like this to protect your valuables, and to keep them out of sight.
View on Amazon.com ➜

11) Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger – This portable, lipstick-sized charger is one of my new favorite travel must-haves because it makes keeping my camera and phone charged so much simpler. It can hold multiple charges and uses simple USB output to connect to your devices. You can even continue your activities while you’re recharging you devices, because this charger can continue charging while safely inside a backpack or bag.
View on Amazon.com ➜

12) Leave-In Hair Conditioner – Sun and swimming are rough on your hair, and you don’t want to let an otherwise amazing trip ruin your hair for when you get back. Leave-in conditioner is an easy answer, and it really works wonders, not only protecting your hair but also repairing existing damage! As an added bonus, you’ll smell lovely all day.
View on Amazon.com ➜

13) Rain jacket Women’s and Men’s – Rains are common in Belize, and they can soak you to the core if you’re not protected from them. Being chilly and soggy is not an enjoyable feeling, so bringing a packable and lightweight jacket is always a good idea. This one will fit inside your daybag so you can take it with you everywhere and you’ll never be caught unprepared.
View on Amazon.com ➜

14) Virtual Private Network (VPN) – Until recently, I thought VPNs were just a way to increase or unrestrict one’s own personal access to the internet. They certainly are, but it turns out they do a lot more than that, especially where security is concerned. VPNs provide an additional level of security that could mean the difference between safely using the internet wherever you are and having your private information hacked or stolen. It’s a scary prospect, but this inexpensive and easy-to-use service can keep you safe with one touch of a button!
View NordVPN.com Options ➜

15) Backpack or daybag – Since most of your belongings will stay back at the caye while you’re out during the day, you’ll want to bring a small to mid-sized daypack with which to hold your gear and water. Something durable and comfortable, but not heavy is key – this one is highly rated for its comfort and ease of use!
View on Amazon.com ➜

16) Hanging toiletry bag – Toiletries are a necessity and not as easy to come by locally in Belize, so you’ll want to be sure you’re well-supplied for your trip. This hanging organizer makes packing and unpacking a breeze, plus it allows you to easily access all of your items without having to take them all out and put them back in each time.
View on Amazon.com ➜

17) Female Urination Device – Believe it or not, toilets are not quite as modern or even as easy to find in many parts of Belize. With this in mind, I recommend bringing this female urination device to help ensure that when you have to go, you can. It is an extremely handy item to have with you in so many world regions, and it’s highly-rated and very easy to use.
View on Amazon.com ➜
 

Other packing list items to bring


 

What to wear in Belize


Belizean style is the epitome of “island casual”, and locals dress and behave accordngly.

You’ll see flip flops, beach cover-ups worn all day, casual dresses and linen pants. You’ll also see great sunglasses and ats to protect wearers from the sun, so make sure you bring yours.

You won’t see many heavy fabrics – leather, denim… anything that won’t “breathe” well is avoided, since the hot and humid climate is fairly steady all year round, and cold is rare.

Plan to bring easy, casual outfits that you feel comfortable in and which can transition from daywear during activities and beach time to evening wear for dinner and lounging. Avoid jewelry and items you wouldn’t want to get wet or dirty, and of course bring at least one (if not several) swim suits!
 

What NOT to bring:


1) 🚫 DON’T BRING valuables: While generally safe, there are pockets of higher crime areas — particularly in cities — in Belize. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so pack only the essentials and keep valuables at home. This includes jewelry, electronics, and any keepsakes that you wouldn’t want to lose or have stolen.
2) 🚫 DON’T PACK cold weather clothing: It stays warm year-around in Belize, so you’ll likely never need more than a light long-sleeve — and that’s only if you’re there during the winter. Most of the time it’s warm and humid, even at night. Leave these extra items at home and save space in your suitcase for things you’ll really need.
 
3) 🚫 DON’T TAKE your computer: Unless it’s completely vital, keep that screen at home. If you do feel the need to bring your computer, a lightweight one is best, but I still don’t recommend it because it’s an incredibly valuable piece of equipment. Enjoy the time to “unplug” and escape the daily grind.
4) 🚫 DON’T PACK denim or other heavy fabrics: Honestly, a hot and humid climate like that in Belize is not the place for thick materials like denim – especially white denim. It looks great, but you’ll regret wearing it. Opt for lighter, fast-drying materials like linen or moisture-wicking athletic and active fabrics.
 
5) 🚫 DON’T BRING nice jewelry or fancy clothes: The dress code is casual, regardless of the activity. Unless you’re staying at a higher-end resort or feel the need to splurge, you’ll often find yourself eating outdoors or at an open-air restaurant with your feet in the sand, soaking in the relaxed atmosphere. At most, pack one nicer outfit if you plan on having a fancy date night or something, but keep it fun and light.
6) 🚫 DON’T TAKE heavy books: You may find time to read in this gorgeous locale, but you certainly won’t want to bring actual books. They’re heavy, they’re bulky, and they run the risk of being ruined in the humid atmosphere or on the beach. Bring a Kindle instead, and load all of your desired reads onto it. Seal it into a protective, waterproof cover if you’re worried about it around water.
 

FAQs


Is it safe to drink the water in Belize?

Drinking water varies in the country, with mixed information on its safety. To err on the side of caution, most accommodations provide drinking water, either via bottle or large filtered gallon jugs. It’s best to pack a water bottle with built-in filter if you want to be absolutely sure you always have a supply of drinkable water.

When should I visit Belize?

Typical high season is from December to April, with cooler temperatures and less chance of rain. The rainy season is June through November. Belize is in the path known for hurricanes – hurricane seasons are in August and October. The low season, while a higher chance of rain, can still be a great time to visit, since it boasts fewer tourists and lower prices. I traveled there in June and rain was never a problem.

Where to go and what to do?

The first decision to make is which “caye” – Belizean island – you’ll want to call home while in Belize. No matter which you choose, you’ll almost certainly love it, so don’t stress too much about your options.

Ambergris Caye is one of the most popular, with many shops and restaurants, but it’s also one of the most crowded. This may dissuade you if you’re looking more for a peaceful escape without a lot of other tourists.

My choice was Caye Caulker because it was laid back with a handful of delicious restaurants — but nice and quiet. As for how to spend your time, you have a variety of choices based on your interests and location, including:

  • Visit Mayan Temples
  • SCUBA dive
  • Snorkeling
  • Jungle trekking
  • Cave tubing
  • Fishing
  • Boat trip and beach BBQ
  • Nightlife — restaurants and beach bars

Are any vaccinations recommended?

The CDC typically recommends Hepatitis A and Typhoid, alongside routine shots like MMR, chickenpox and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis. Additional vaccinations may be recommended depending on location and long term travel itinerary. Travel recommendations can certainly change – make sure you check the CDC Belize recommendations page for updated information.

What is medical care like?

While healthcare is not as high-quality as other countries in the region, most minor issues should be able to be taken care of at clinics in more populated areas. However, for serious issues, make sure that you have an insurance policy that will cover you — or look into getting additional Travel Insurance to cover the gap in coverage.

What’s the best way to get around Belize?

As mentioned, many of the cayes — or islands — require a ferry to get to. Upon landing in Belize City, you’ll head to the port and take off from there. Also several cayes don’t allow cars, so once you reach your island, a golf cart will carry you the final stretch. Check with your accommodation, which can help coordinate. Otherwise, walking is a pleasurable and easy way to venture around. On my trip, one of the best parts of walking back from dinner was scoping out the street food vendors for dessert. My favorite: the cake lady (yes, that is what she called herself).

Do I need a plug adaptor?

Electrical outlets in Belize take the same voltage as the U.S., 110 volt, 60 cycle. However, it would be wise to bring an adapter if you plan to visit or pass through any other countries on your trip.

Do I need a visa to visit Belize?

No visas are required for U.S. citizens for up to 30 days, but you must have a valid passport for
the duration of your stay and proof of departure. Visas are required for those wishing to stay longer than 30 days.

What’s the Belizean food like?

With an eclectic mix of the flavors of the region, seafood is the highlight here. If you wish, you can catch your own dinner if you’re taking a fishing trip, and ask a local restaurant to fry it up for you for dinner. Not into the DIY seafood? Many restaurants will simply line the day’s catch on ice trays out front. You can point to exactly what you want. Otherwise, a dish of rice and beans is a mainstay. Additionally, expat-owned spots cater to western palates with pizza joints and bars. Belize is also known for its cashews, and if you take a day trip away from the coast you’ll likely spot stalls selling cashew
wine along the side of the road. Be sure to sample some — it can be great to sip as you’re floating down a river while cave tubing. Otherwise, Belikin Beer is the drink of choice for many.
 

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