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

haiti packing list
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Planning a summer trip to Haiti? Whether you’re doing humanitarian work or relaxing along the crystal clear Caribbean coast, I’ve put together a list of all the things you’ll want to make sure to not forget, what to wear during dry and rainy seasons, as well as a list of what NOT to bring.

Make sure to allow time to ensure you’re up to date on vaccinations. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Haiti for tourist or business purposes.

What to Pack for Haiti - 17 Essentials

  • 1. Mosquito Repellent Balm

    First things first, when traveling to Haiti, you’ll need to prepare for mosquitos. It’s best to have a few layers of protection, such as literal clothing layers, a repellent balm, and outdoor insect repellent torches. Murphy’s is a great option because it’s both all-natural and a balm rather than a liquid.

  • 2. Packing Cubes

    When traveling, organization is key. Ever gotten to your destination with your favorite outfit wrinkled, or left your suitcase in disarray looking for that one shirt you know you packed but can’t find? Packing cubes help save space, keep everything organized, and in the same condition they left the house in. The smaller cubes are helpful for keeping your backpack organized, too.

  • 3. Quick-Dry Pants

    Haiti is hot and humid year-round. Even if it’s the heat of summer, you might still want to consider opting for pants instead of shorts—consider the mosquitos. I would avoid bringing jeans. They are heavy, hot, and largely unnecessary. The only time I would consider bringing jeans is if my host recommended them and I wanted to be sure to blend in.

  • 4. Universal Travel Adapter

    A universal travel adapter is a must when traveling. You’ll also want a travel adapter that has surge protection, as the power goes out in Haiti fairly often, especially in rural areas. Make sure to keep a few on hand for all of your electronics in both your backpack and suitcase.

  • 5. Cooling Towel

    Little things make all the difference when you’re out in the heat all day. A cooling towel provides instant relief on a hot and humid day. Haiti hack: instead of using water, pre-soak your cooling towel in insect repellent before your trip. This way, you can stay cool and keep the mosquitos away!

  • 6. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    When traveling, again, organization is key. A lightweight, compact toiletry bag is helpful for keeping everything you need all in one place. This also helps keep a possible spill contained: your sunscreen has oozed out of a small container with other similar items, not all over your clothes or snacks.

  • 7. Neck Wallet

    If you’re out and about, you’ll want to have your credit cards, cash, passport, and phone with you—which leaves you vulnerable to pick pocketers. A neck wallet keeps your valuables safe and hidden under your clothing and gives you one less thing to worry about in the midst of busy travel days.

  • 8. VPN

    VPNs provide an extra layer of encryption when you’re browsing on an unsecure wi-fi network, either at a hostel or a coffee shop. Whether you’re needing to log in to your bank account or wanting to access a different country’s streaming services, VPNs are one of those things that are worth budgeting for when traveling internationally.

  • 9. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    A lightweight, compact umbrella is an essential during Haiti’s rainy seasons. Not only does it help keep you dry, but it’s handy to have if someone close by forgot their rain jacket. A travel umbrella protects the gear in your backpack, keeps you dry, and keeps you going on all of your adventures.

  • 10. Packable Rain Jacket

    Rainy seasons in Haiti make up the majority of the year. Even during the dry season, it’s a good idea to keep a packable rain jacket on hand. Rain jackets are lightweight, easy for travel, and create a great buffer or cover if you’ve got camera gear in your backpack.

  • 11. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    While a regular-sized towel is something you’ll want to avoid taking with you while traveling, a quick-dry travel towel is multi-purpose and essential. This all-purpose microfiber towel is compact, great for the beach, dries 10x faster than cotton, and is also perfect for that rooftop yoga session you decided to enjoy during sunset.

  • 12. Travel Insurance

    Even if you haven’t had a personal experience of getting sick while traveling abroad (raises hand), you can imagine that travel insurance is an important thing to have. Some travel agencies and/or nonprofits require it. Especially if you’re going to be traveling to more remote areas, and even if you’re just staying in Port-au-Prince, travel insurance is a must.

  • 13. Portable Charger

    The last thing you want is to be out for the day and realize your phone is low battery. This compact, portable charger is an essential for long days where an outlet may not be nearby. Given that the national electricity grid is unreliable and electricity goes in and out in different areas, it’s a good idea to keep your charger fully powered at every opportunity.

  • 14. First Aid Kit

    Whether you’re going on a hike or traveling to a foreign country, you’ve likely learned the importance of having a first aid kit handy. A compact first aid kit like this one not only has the essentials (band-aids, alcohol prep pads) but also a CPR mask and emergency blanket. Odds are, you’ll probably just need the band-aids, but having emergency supplies with you is important, for both your safety and for the people around you.

  • 15. Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle

    Access to clean water in Haiti is limited. All water needs to be filtered, and you may need to use chlorine tablets first, depending on what the water supply in your area is like. But a filtered water bottle will help get out some of the chlorine taste, and be sufficient in some areas. Trust me, you don’t want to get sick because you forgot to filter your water properly. Multiple filtration systems are best.

  • 16. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    Not only is a waterproof phone case great for days at the beach, but it also protects your gear up to 100 feet and includes a clear window that allows you to take photos and videos underwater. Whether you’re out on the water or just get caught in a thunderstorm (this happens often in Haiti), a quick way to keep your phone dry is a must.

  • 17. Protein Bars

    Not only are protein bars great for on the road, but if you’re going to be traveling for awhile, it’s a good idea to pack your favorite snacks. I’ve seen people fill half their suitcase with snacks, and this is not advisable. However, whether you have dietary restrictions, get homesick, or have a stretch of long days with little time to eat, it’s helpful to have a couple of on-the-go options.

What to Wear in Haiti


Haiti is a tropical island, so expect hot and humid weather. As such, it’s a good idea to bring casual, lightweight clothes. Activewear or quick-dry material is always a plus, and you’ll want to consider long-sleeves and long pants even in the summer if you’ll be out in the sun a lot or around mosquitos. There were days I wore tank tops and was fine, and there were other days where I was glad I had a light-weight long sleeve shirt. Bringing layers with you (including a packable rain jacket) is always a good idea.

Additionally, sturdy and comfortable shoes are a must, preferably close-toed shoes. Flip flops are fine by the beach or as shower shoes, but if you’re working at a medical site or out hiking, you’re going to want your feet covered and protected.


What Women Should Wear in Haiti? – (Click to expand)

Women traveling to Haiti should pack like they would for any outdoorsy trip. Think lightweight, breathable, comfortable clothes. Bring one or two outfits that can easily be dressed up or down, such as a long, flowy dress or a nice top and quick-dry pants. Don’t forget a sports bra and hair ties. Athletic shorts are great for days at the beach in lieu of a cover-up or for lounge days wherever you’re staying.

What Men Should Wear in Haiti? – (Click to expand)

Men planning a trip to Haiti should pack like they would for any outdoorsy trip. Wear comfortable, lightweight clothes and pack for lots of sun. Athletic clothes are great. It’s a good idea to have a couple of outfits that can be dressed up or down, like a lightweight button down and lightweight travel chino pants.

Dressing for the Seasons in Haiti

The weather in Haiti is warm and humid year round—it is the tropical Caribbean. Keep in mind there will be more mosquitoes during rainy seasons, although it’s a good idea to plan for mosquitoes year round.

Rainy Season – April, May, June, July, August, September, October


While weather will change some depending on which part of Haiti you’re in, overall, temperatures will be in the 80s or 90s for much of the rainy season. You’ll want to bring long pants (mosquitoes!), wear lightweight clothing, and make sure you have your rain jacket and umbrella with you.

Dry Season – November, December, January, February, March


While you’ll get less rain during the winter and early spring in Haiti, you’ll still want to pack lightweight clothing and close-toed shoes. The temperature in Haiti is rarely below 70 degrees fahrenheit, so you won’t need more than a lightweight jacket. Even when it’s not the rainy season, the climate is still tropical so be sure to bring shorts, tank-tops, and sandals.

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity – (Click to expand)

Humanitarian Work: Whether you’re working in a children’s home or in a medical clinic, you’ll want to make sure you have a lightweight, casual top, quick-dry pants, tennis shoes, and a hat if you’ll be out in the sun. Scrubs are always welcomed if you’re part of a medical team. It’s always a good idea to ask ahead of time what appropriate workwear looks like depending on where you’ll be.

Beach Day: A beach day in the Caribbean is much like any other beach day: you’ll want a swimsuit, cover-up, beach sandals or water shoes, anSightseeing in the city:d a quick-dry travel towel. Don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen, and your waterproof camera!

If you’re sightseeing or even just getting groceries from the local vendors, this is a time when a lightweight, casual dress is nice to have. Try to avoid super short dresses as a lot of Haitian women keep their dresses on the longer side.

Hiking: If you’re planning to hike in Haiti, make sure to check local guidelines and how muddy the area is. You’ll want to be sure and pack layers, hiking boots, quick-dry pants and a breathable, quick-dry shirt. Even if you’re “not a hat person”, you’ll wish you had a hat after a couple of hours out on the trail.

What NOT to Bring to Haiti

  • 1.DON’T BRING A Lot of Cash

    The last thing you want is to be in a situation where you go to pull out a small bill and show how much cash you have on you. There are ATMs in Haiti, so check bank and ATM fees ahead of time and limit the amount of cash you bring with you.

  • 2.DON’T PACK Anything That Melts (like chocolate)

    While you might crave your favorite chocolate bar, it will inevitably melt in your suitcase or backpack and leave a mess. Chocolate is pretty easy to find at any gas station or supermarket in Haiti, and it’s always fun trying new snacks. Also, be mindful of protein bars or trail mix that contains chocolate, and avoid bringing those flavors if possible.

  • 3.DON’T BRING Irreplaceable Items

    There’s always the risk of things getting lost or stolen while traveling; that’s part of life. Anything that’s irreplaceable can be left at home.

  • 4.DON’T PACK Winter Clothes

    It’s warm in Haiti, so you can leave your winter clothes at home. It can be cool at night, so check the weather for the area you’ll be traveling to, and consider a lightweight jacket.

  • 5.DON’T BRING A Lot of Books

    Even if you have a good amount of time in the evenings to read, books are heavy and there’s always the chance they can get damaged in the midst of travel. If you have a book of poetry you really enjoy or a book that you’ll re-read, it might be worth it to take a book or two. Beyond that, that’s the benefit of lightweight Kindle readers.

  • 6.DON’T PACK Full-size Toiletries

    Even if you’re in Haiti all summer, you likely won’t need full-size toiletries. Travel-sized items or travel-sized refillable containers are your friend. Just don’t forget to label the latter if your shampoo and body wash look similar.

What NOT to Wear – (Click to expand)

Unless you’re attending a wedding, funeral, or a church service, there’s no need to bring formal attire. If you are attending a more formal occasion, try to bring an outfit that works for other occasions, such as a lightweight, long dress or a button down and pants. It’s also not a good idea to bring delicate clothes that might be damaged by the insect repellant you’re constantly re-applying (yes, there are a lot of mosquitos). Additionally, try to avoid fabrics that may fade in the sun while being air dried, as this is the primary way of drying clothes in Haiti.

FAQs about Traveling to Haiti

  • 1. When is the best time of year to travel to Haiti?

    The best time of year to travel to Haiti if you’ll be out in the heat is early December to mid April. You’ll avoid much of the rainy season which also means it will be a little less muggy. However, I traveled to Haiti during the summer, and while hot, it was perfectly manageable. It just depends on your itinerary and how everything factors in.

    When is the best time of year to travel to Haiti?
  • 2. What languages are spoken in Haiti?

    There are two official languages in Haiti—Haitian Creole and French. Creole is the most commonly spoken language in Haiti, while French is spoken more by the small upper class. I would recommend picking up a pocket language guide to Creole and learning as much as you can, especially if you’re traveling to Haiti for more than a week.

  • 3. What’s the food like?

    Meals in Haiti include a lot of rice and beans: this is one of the main staple meals. Plantains are also often served, and taste similar to bananas. They are most often served fried. If you’re in a coastal area, you’ll probably be eating a good amount of fish. Haiti is also known for its mangos: in my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than Haitian mangoes. Coconuts are also plentiful, and are excellent for rehydration if you get sick.

    What’s the food like?
  • 4. Can I drink tap water in Haiti?

    It’s not safe to drink tap water in Haiti. While water-borne cholera is less of a risk, you’ll want to filter your water with your Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle or another filtration system.

  • 5. What’s transportation like?

    If you’re taking public transportation, you’ll travel on what’s called Tap Taps. Make sure you carry change if you’re traveling this way. If you’re traveling with a driver, four-wheel vehicles are very popular due to the muddy and uneven terrain. While you can rent your own car, I wouldn’t recommend it: protests, tire burnings, and road blocks are frequent, and you’ll want to have a professional that can get you out of a less than ideal situation quickly. Like with most foreign travel, pay attention to local advice and take it seriously: locals know best.

    What’s transportation like?
  • 6. How do I know if it’s safe to travel to Haiti?

    I would advise checking the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory at travel.state.gov before traveling to Haiti. Like anywhere, there are travel risks, and you’ll want to keep these in mind before planning a trip to Haiti.

  • 7. What vaccinations do I need?

    It’s a good idea to check the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date information on vaccinations and safety precautions. The CDC recommends taking prescription medication to prevent Malaria when traveling to Haiti. Most of the other vaccinations are pretty standard, but be sure to check the requirements and recommendations far in advance of your trip.