Wherever you’re heading in the Caribbean, it’s likely you’re going to find sun, sand and sea. But that can mean many things for many people — whether you’re looking to lounge with some music on the beach, head for a snorkel or take your favorite read on the sand. But there are certain things that make a Caribbean trip better, from gadgets to gear, and we’re here to help. Here are some of the things we recommend you get for the best kind of trip to the Caribbean.
Particularly if you’re heading on a multi-island trip or traveling to a destination that requires more than one flight, you’ll need some durable (but stylish) luggage. We like Tumi, whose style and enduring quality are always worth the price. Find Tumi luggage here.
If you’re a techie traveler, you may want to go for the Bluesmart One Smart Luggage (above), a carry-on that includes GPS, remote locking and even a battery charger. And yes, it’s the first luggage to connect wirelessly to your smart phone. Find your Bluesmart One here.
If you’re going to the Caribbean, you want style, but you also want something you’re not afraid to take into the water or on a boat. We strongly endorse Prada’s Linea Rossa sport line.
“I’ve been wearing these exclusively for years,” says CJ Editor in Chief Alexander Britell. “They’re ultra-light, durable and they’ll survive just about anything.” Find your Linea Rossa glasses here.
We tend to bring several cameras on any Caribbean trip, but most CJ travelers will need two: one for land and one for the water. On land, you’ll need something mobile and lightweight, without compromising quality. We heartily recommend any variation of the Sony Cybershot RX100. Yes, it’s effectively a point-and-shoot, but the photo quality is superb and the camera will fit in your pocket. You’ll get SLR-quality photos in a very small package. Find yours on Amazon.
For a waterproof camera, we still recommend the GoPro, although there are some very good dive cameras out there (like the Sealife Micro 2.0). But the GoPro is eminently easy to use, tough and offers a unique wide-angle perspective that will make your shots and footage memorable. Right now, the GoPro Hero 5 is the way to go.
When we first recommended the Tribord Easybreath snorkeling mask, we didn’t quite expect the overwhelming response we got from CJ readers — you loved it! And it’s increasingly becoming one of the more popular snorkeling masks out there, thanks to its unique construction that allows you to breathe underwater as you do on land — without the cumbersome tube. Find your Tribord Easybreath here.
If you’re planning on snorkeling, it helps to have an easy-to-pack, lightweight set of fins to bring with you. U.S. Divers is the most recognizable consumer snorkeling brand out there, and their Trek Travel Fin will more than do the job.
This has always been necessary on a Caribbean trip, both pre and post-Zika. And whether you’re on a beach in Curacao or a rainforest hike in Tobago, you’ll still want to keep mosquitos away.
We’ve always had the most success with Off! Deep Woods, particularly the company’s small, travel-friendly bottles.
The Caribbean Sea is a treasure, and protecting it is paramount. That means that while some sunscreens are easier to put on, or may rub in a bit better, they aren’t good for coral reefs. Happily, the Environmental Working Group has a very helpful guide to environmentally-safe sunscreens from a range of manufacturers. We like Tropical Sands Sunscreen, in large part due to its biodegradability. More importantly, for certain eco-parks and areas of the Caribbean (particularly in Mexico), it’s an approved brand. You can find it here.
Here’s a scenario: you’ve gotten all the way to Loblolly Bay in Anegada, nothing but you, the white sand and the waves. But you have this pressing need to hear Toots and the Maytals. That’s why a waterproof, portable speaker will always come in handy on a Caribbean trip. We’re big fans of the JBL Charge 3 Waterproof speaker. It’s a bluetooth speaker, so just fire up the song on your iPhone and then put it away in safety.