Your Bermuda vacation actually begins way before you step foot on the plane. As you plan for your trip, you are participating in an important part of the vacation process, particularly as you pack your luggage.
Unfortunately, for many people, packing is the most stressful part of it all. If you are one of those people, the expert packing tips that follow should help to ease a bit of your stress.
Travelers that hope to vacation on Bermuda must be prepared to present a valid and up-to-date passport to a customs official upon arrival. Your passport should be kept on your person at all times as you travel between your home and Bermuda—just to be safe. But on top of that, you should make copies of your passport and your legal identification card and keep them in a separate location. This will be a great help to you, should your documents become lost or stolen.
Money is another important thing to keep on you. The Bermuda Dollar is the official form of currency on Bermuda, though the United States Dollar is widely accepted. You can exchange your money when you arrive at banks, hotels, and automatic teller machines.
If you are traveling with medication, make sure you bring a prescription slip, or a note from your physician, in case you are questioned by customs officials. It would also be wise to keep a list of emergency contacts, plus printed confirmation information about your hotel, rental car, and any activities you may have prearranged.
Find a list of important documents to pack by clicking here.
Bermuda is very conservative with respect to attire. If you want to avoid insulting the local sensibilities, you should plan on dressing modestly whenever you step away from the beach. We look more deeply into this issue here, in our guide to Clothing Styles on Bermuda.
Full dress (top, bottoms, shoes) is required everywhere except for right on the beach and when lounging pool side, despite the heat. You can stay cool and comfortable by making sure to pack shirts, shorts, and pants that are light in color, as well as light-weight and natural fabrics (silks, linens, and cottons). These fabrics are more breathable than many others, which is a must on hot days. Bring comfortable athletic shoes for days when you are out exploring. You'll also want to make sure you pack enough socks, undergarments, and pajamas for your trip. Make sure you have what you need by viewing our Clothing Checklist.
Unlike in the Caribbean, where you can choose whether or not you would like to pack formal attire, there are many locations on Bermuda that have dress codes. Hence, it would be wise to pack something a little fancier, to ensure you have maximum flexibility in planning your meals. For men, this means a jacket and a tie, and women will need a dress, or slacks and a nice top. Don't forget to pack the appropriately matching shoes. Golfers be warned that most golf courses have dress codes as well, so if you want to hit the links, bring appropriate golfing attire.
Swim wear is likely the packing category you are most looking forward to – what is a trip to Bermuda without some time spent on the beaches? Our tip for you here is to pack not one, but at least two bathing suits, and a rash guard to protect you from the sun when you're snorkeling. Having more than one option allows you the ability to leave one suit in your hotel drying while you wear the other, plus it give you the option of choosing which style suit you feel comfortable wearing that day.
As you travel from your hotel room to the beach or pool, it would be inappropriate for you to do so in only your swimsuit. For this reason you should bring some sort of cover up; be it a sarong, pareo, breezy sun dress, or a t-shirt and pair of shorts. A few other items you won't want to forget include sandals or flip flops, a sun hat, and sun glasses.
You can enhance your beach-going experience by packing a few extras including your own snorkeling equipment, a dry bag to protect your valuables from getting wet, and a parachute beach blanket that is mildew resistant, keeps cool in the sun, and dries quickly.
Though you can purchases toiletries upon your arrival, you may also want to bring your own to ensure you have the products you like and are familiar with. These include hair care products, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, and shaving supplies. You can get all of these items in travel sizes before you leave your home town, and pack them in a toiletries bag to save space. Don't forget sunscreen, a lip balm with SPF, aloe vera, bug spray, hydrocortisone cream, and a first aid kit. Make sure you do not forget any of these items by clicking here.
Bermuda is known for being a cooler island than islands in the Caribbean. For this reason, you will want to pack a sweater or throw for cool nights, and perhaps more than one if you are visiting during the winter. The amount of rain that falls on Bermuda is unpredictable, but it would be wise to pack a rain jacket, poncho, or umbrella for days when you are going to be out and about and rain is threatening to fall. Air-conditioned restaurants also should be considered.
Packing some entertainment for travel time and down time would be wise. Consider a book or your e-reader, an mp3 player, laptop, hand-held video game, or DVD player, and perhaps your personal journal, or a deck of cards. These will be particularly important if you run into any flight delays.
Of utmost importance for many people is their camera. Not only will you need to pack a camera so that you can capture your vacation on film, but you'll want to bring everything to keep the camera up and running. Your charger, batteries, and an extra memory card are important. If you have a waterproof camera, this is a great time to break it out.
Read our checklist on Gadgets and Electronics to make sure you stay entertained.
A few more things to remember to pack include zip-lock bags, a bottle opener, a small package of laundry detergent, a collapsible cooler, and an extra bag if you'll be doing some shopping. Click here for a checklist on some other miscellaneous items.
If you are worried about over-packing, here is a tip for you: you don't have to pack a whole new outfit for every day of your trip. Look through your wardrobe, and select a group of like-colored clothing that are all interchangeable. A pair of linen shorts can be worn over several days with different shirts, and solid colored t-shirts and tanks can be layered in different ways to provide a fresh look every day of your trip. This may be a great way to save money as well, since many airlines now charge hefty fees for luggage. Since every airline has different policies, make sure to check with yours to find out if they charge and how much.
Many people also worry about the airline losing their luggage. This is not as common as movies would have you believe, but you can alleviate some of your worries by being a proactive packer. Pack one full outfit and a bathing suit, along with all of your important documents and toiletries in your carry-on bag. This way, if the airline does lose your checked bag, you will have a fresh outfit to change into while the airline locates your belongings, or until you have time to go out and buy new things. Keep the latest TSA guidelines in mind, which note that all liquid toiletries to be carried on must be contained in a clear, gallon zip-lock bag and in bottles that measure three ounces or less.
Pack up, and don't look back. Your Bermuda vacation is waiting, and is meant to allow you to de-stress. If you forget something, don't worry – just look at it as an excuse to purchase a souvenir!
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.