Whether you have an extended stay planned, or you are just heading to Curacao for a few days, packing your suit case is an important part of planning your trip.
Packing can be stressful for some people, but when you follow a few tips laid out by travel experts, you'll find that you have everything you need for a successful trip packed quickly and without worry.
Curacao's visitors must present not only a valid passport, but either a voters registration card or a birth certificate to customs officials in order to enter the country. Not only should you keep these documents on your person as you travel into the country, but you should make copies and keep them in a separate location just in case they are lost or stolen.
Another important item to keep with you is money. Sure, credit cards are the preferred method of payment for traveler's but there are instances (such as if they credit card machine is down) where cash will be necessary. In Curacao, the official form of currency is the Netherland Antilles guilder (also known as the Flourin), and you can exchange your money in the airport, or at any bank on the island.
A few other documents to keep on hand include your prescription slip for your medications, a list of emergency contacts, your airline tickets, confirmation or your hotel and rental car, and any paperwork you need regarding your pre-arranged activities.
View a checklist of all the important documents you will need by clicking here.
Casual but clean is the mantra for clothing on Curacao. You'll also want to choose items that are comfortable and airy. As you tour the island, you'll want to wear clothing that is light colored, to detract from the sun's rays, and light-weight so that you are not overheated and uncomfortable. Natural fabrics tend to be the most breathable, such as cottons and silks. T-shirts and tank tops paired with linen shorts are the most commonly chosen items by vacationers, with comfortable athletic shoes, of course. A few other items of clothes you won't want to forget include undergarments and socks. View our Clothing Checklist to make sure you have everything you need.
For a night out at a fancy restaurant, a business meeting, or an event that you plan to attend, you may want to pack an outfit that leans more towards the formal side. For men, this could be a collared shirt and slacks with some nice dress shoes, or perhaps collared shirt and tie. Women will find that party dresses, nice sun dresses, or slacks and an embellished top with the appropriate shoes and accessories will fit the bill.
Swim wear is one of the most important things you'll pack in your luggage. We suggest that you not only pack on swimsuit, but two, and more if you can, plus a rash guard if you'll be participating in watersports. This will give you options, and allow you to leave one hanging to dry in your hotel room while you wear the other.
Be aware that on Curacao, it is not acceptable to walk around outside of the beach or pool area in your swim wear. For this reason, you should pack a cover-up of some sort, such as a sarong, pareo or a large t-shirt. Don't forget sandals to protect your feet from the hot sand, and sunglasses and a hat to protect your head and eyes from the hot sun.
If you're a beach-lover rather than someone who will spend all of their time by the pool, packing your own snorkeling equipment, a parachute beach blanket, and a dry bag will make your experience even better. A dry bag is air tight and keeps water from getting to the valuables within, plus is floats on water; while a parachute blanket is made of nylon material that dries quickly, remains cool in the hot sun, and is resistant to mildew.
Toiletry items that you use on a daily basis are items that you will probably want to bring with you to Curacao plus a first air kit filled with bandages, antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-diarrhea, tweezers, a thermometer, and basic medications. Most hotels will offer basic toiletries, but if you want what you are familiar with, consider purchasing them in travel sizes and packing them in your toiletries back. These may include hair and dental hygiene care products, as well as deodorant. You also have the option of purchasing them yourself when you arrive on Curacao. If you choose to pack them ahead of time, click here for a checklist.
Medications should also be packed along with your toiletries, next to a slip from your doctor. You may also want to protect yourself from mosquitoes and a few other bugs that bites with a daily application of bug spray. Bring bug repellent along with hydrocortisone cream or Benadryl to relieve you of the itchiness that comes if a bug does end up biting you. Don't forget to bring a lot of sunblock and plan to apply it throughout the day. A lip balm with SPF and aloe vera lotion are good to have on hand as well. Find a checklist for Medication and Health Items by following the link.
Curacao is one of the driest country's in the Caribbean. What does this mean for your packing? It means that you may be able to get away with not packing a rain jacket, poncho, or umbrella, unless you want to be extra cautious. What you should pack is a sweater or wrap to throw on in the evening when temperatures drop a few degrees.
Most people like to bring a few entertainment items along to keep then occupied during their downtime. A mp3 player, a book or e-reader, a portable DVD player, hand-held game system, laptop, and deck of cards are all options. You will also want to make sure you have the necessary amount of batteries to keep your electronics up and running, as well as the appropriate adapters for your chargers. Click here for a list of electronic items you may want to bring.
Your camera and its accessories (including an extra memory card) is something you definitely won't want to forget to pack and if you have a waterproof camera that you save for special occasions, you'll want to bring that along a well. Finally, a few extras to make things easier include a bottle opener, a small package of laundry detergent, a collapsible cooler, and zip-lock bags. Don't forget to bring an extra bag if you'll be doing a lot of shopping.
Find a list of other items you might want to have handy here.
With airlines charging for suitcases that are over a certain weight limit, you want to make sure you pack luggage that has everything you need, but is not overly stuffed. There is a simple packing trick you can use to ensure you have enough clothing to get you through your Curacao trip, but will keep your packing to a minimum. Try only packing items that are interchangeable. For example, several t-shirts that complement each other and can be layered in different ways provide a new look for each day of the week, and a pair of linen shorts might last you a few days with a few different tops if kept reasonably clean.
You may also worry about the airline losing your luggage. While this is talked about more than it actually happens, you can be proactive in making sure you are protected in case this happened. Pack a carry-on bag with one full outfit, a swim suit, and any important documents, plus and medications and toiletries you immediately need (liquid toiletries must be kept at under three ounces and contained within a gallon-sized sealed bag). This will make sure you're covered while the airline looks for your luggage, or until you have time to go shopping for a few new things.
The cost of your luggage may have an effect on how much you choose to pack as well. Some airlines charge for both checked and carry-on bags while others don't charge anything at all. It is best to review this policy ahead of time and plan around it.
With these items properly packed, you will have everything you need to comfortably get through your vacation on Curacao.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.