At the beach, you can comfortably wear your favorite styles of swimwear such as a bikini or cute one-piece swimsuit, but make sure to bring a kaftan, sarong, or cover-up when you stroll away from the sand and surf. The overall vibe for your wardrobe can celebrate fun colors and a relaxed style as Jamaica has a vacation feel, especially at the beach!
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When you visit Jamaica, plan to wear clothes in a casual style like sundresses, t-shirts and shorts, or swimwear and a coverup. The only time you need to dress up a bit is for an evening out in one of Jamaica’s cities like Kingston. The rest of the time, you will notice a casual and comfortable style worn by residents and fellow tourists alike.
Casual wear includes items like jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, polos, shorts, skirts, sundresses, and sandals. It does not mean athletic or athleisure wear such as sweatpants or hoodies, though–save your hoodie for a chilly morning jog down to the beach, and wear a nicer shirt during the day!
If you want to meet someone special during your trip to Jamaica, you may want to check out 15 simple tips for how to look hot in casual clothes.
Jamaica stays quite warm year-round, with January temperatures commonly staying near 80℉! This means that wearing clothes made out of lightweight, breathable fabrics will help you feel comfortable during your trip to Jamaica. Great lightweight fabrics include organic cotton or linen.
You can find out how linen keeps you cool and comfortable in hot and humid weather by checking out this list of the advantages of linen for clothing. You may also want to explore sustainably made moisture-wicking synthetic fabric to keep you from feeling sticky and hot on your trip.
Go bold as you pick colors and patterns for your clothing, though! This is a time to celebrate color and fun styles. If you have a choice between a navy blue maxi dress or a hot pink polka dot maxi dress, go with the polka dots!
Long Sleeves for Mosquitos
In the evening, you may encounter swarms of mosquitos or sand flies, especially if you go for a moonlit stroll down the beach. To avoid getting bitten, you should wear long sleeves and long, lightweight pants for evening excursions.
Easy solutions to this problem include carrying a long-sleeve button-up shirt with you to toss over your shoulders when the bugs come out. You could also bring a light jacket or a long-sleeved T-shirt if you don’t mind looking super casual. Check out the 15 best ethical button-up shirts here!
T-Shirts and Shorts
You will notice many tourists and locals wearing casual t-shirts and shorts combos during your trip to Jamaica. This practical outfit helps you stay cool in the hot weather! Plus, you want to prioritize comfort while on vacation, and what feels more comfortable than your favorite tees?
While you can wear almost any fun t-shirt design, do not pack anything with a camo or military-looking print. It is actually illegal for anyone outside of the official military to wear camouflage in Jamaica! (As a pro tip, keep this in mind as you select backpacks and duffel bags, too. This is not the time to haul out the camo shoulder bag you scored at a Military Surplus store).
If you need some casual shorts to add to your vacation wardrobe, take a look at the 20 best affordable and cute lounge shorts here.
Another low-key staple for your Jamaican vacation wardrobe is a selection of cute tank tops. You can match a tank top with shorts, a skirt, or light pants. For a dressier look, pair a tank top with a maxi skirt and nice sandals.
Try statement earrings, a longer tank, and a stylish purse for a day out shopping. Or go low-key with comfy drawstring shorts and a fitted tank for a day lounging in your hotel. You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable tank tops to consider for your trip here.
While you certainly can wear jeans during your trip to Jamaica, you may find that light linen pants or shorts feel more comfortable. The denim in jeans is made out of thick twill-weave cotton that can feel damp and clingy in humid weather.
Linen will feel lighter and more breathable on your skin, whether you plan to visit the beach or take a hike during your vacation. You can find out if linen or cotton is better for clothing here.
What to Wear in Jamaica: Shoes
What to Wear in Jamaica: Accessories
Don’t forget to take a few stylish accessories such as cute sunglasses, fun beach tote, and sun hat – that’s for sure a must!
If you plan on snorkeling, bring your own mask, especially if it’s your first time. It will make the experience much more enjoyable than using an old rental. We recommend this one!
These are snorkel tips for beginners!
NOTE: Don’t pack expensive or valuable jewelry. It’s not uncommon for hotel guests to report theft even when staying at an upscale resort. Stick to costume jewelry. You can find Bali-style accessories, coconut-shells, and bangles are sold beside beaches or at tourist sites.
What to Bring to Jamaica: Toiletries
Good quality sunscreens with high SPF should be brought to Jamaica, even though cheaper versions are sold at gift shops.
Estee Lauder’s pocket-sized Double Wear waterproof concealer with mirror will cover small imperfections and dark circles under the eye—even under sunscreen—without smudging or fading. L’Oreal’s Intense Liner is also water resistant for morning-to-night cat eyes (both in and out of the pool).
Avon’s Skin-So-Soft might protect exposed shoulders during an evening on the Tiki-lit patio, but also bring packets or swabs of Off! Or Repel bug repellant to avoid mosquito bites.
For more insect repellant, shop our recommendations!
- U.S. dollars in small denominations for tipping is recommended—even at all-inclusive resorts
- For an affordable calling option, use “Just Talk” phone cards that can be bought with cash and are sold at kiosks, newsstands and pharmacies.
- ATMs can be inadequate, so be prepared with travelers’ checks if necessary, and beware of hidden credit card fees while traveling.
- Know the exchange rate before you go. Inform yourself of the Jamaican dollar value in advance by checking currency exchange rates on xe.com in advance or download the XE app to access during your trip.
Jamaica Travel Tips
- Jamaica is balmy year-round. Spring can be warm and breezy during late high season and very hot and humid in summer with temperatures ranging from 22C – 31C or 71 F- 88F. March or early spring is a good time to travel — before storms and then hurricane season, which lasts from June to late November.
- Once you’ve researched the weather, you can focus on creating a capsule travel wardrobe, which should easily fit in a carryon suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing.
- Negril’s beaches are the absolute best, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios have the finest resorts on the island, and places like Runaway Bay are quieter.
- Booking hotel transfers in advance is suggested to ensure a safe and convenient journey to your hotel.
- You can expect that your baggage will be checked when exiting the country.
- Don’t forget to bring an anti-theft device such as our Secret Bra Wallet along with luggage with lockable zippers and keep it locked even when staying at a high end resort.
What are your tips on what to wear in Jamaica? Please comment!
For more Caribbean packing tips, please read:
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