Packing and most vacationers have a love/hate relationship. For some, packing is the first step in a great vacation, for others it is the thing that gives them the most concerns.
Whichever kind of packer you are, it never hurts to have a little help. Here, we walk you through, step-by-step, everything you will need to bring along on your trip – and we even provide you with a checklist to use when you get down to the physical work of filling up your luggage.
Guadeloupe's visitors will need to provide customs officials with a valid passport as well as proof of a return or onward ticket. It is smart to keep these documents on your person, but also to make copies and keep them in a separate location such as your checked luggage. In the event these items are lost or stolen, your back up copies will prove to be invaluable.
Keeping cash on hand is advisable as well. Guadeloupe's official form of currency is the Euro, and many American travelers choose to pay for much of their purchases with a credit card. While this is convenient, there are times when a credit card is simply not an option, and you do not want to be caught in a situation where you cannot pay.
If you have prescription medication that you plan to bring with you in your carry on bag, place the prescription slip in your bag right along with it. This will allow you to show proof to customs officials that you need the medication and are carrying it legally.
Finally, copies of your hotel and car rental reservations, as well as confirmation of reserved activities will be a good idea to carry with you as well. Follow this link for a checklist of important documents to remember.
Eco-tourism is popular in Guadeloupe, so chances are, you will be out and about, exploring the island during your vacation. For these activities, comfortable clothing that will defend against the heat are important. Bring along light-weight, light-colored clothing, in natural (read: breathable) fabrics. Linen shorts or khakis and cotton t-shirts or tank tops are your best option, along with athletic shoes or hiking boots.
Also, remember to pack your undergarments, socks, and pajamas. Make sure you have all the clothing items you need by viewing our Clothing Checklist.
When you go out to eat, your sense of style should be slightly more formal than when you are out exploring the island. Collared shirts and slacks for men, and sun dresses for women will do the trick. For something a little more upscale, pack a sports coat and possibly a tie for men, and a cocktail dress for women.
The beaches are a huge draw to the island, so chances are you'll be spending at least one of your days in Guadeloupe by the ocean. If not the beach, your hotel pool will certainly be calling. Bring along two bathing suits, more if you can. This will provide you with choices, plus allow you to wear a dry suit while your suit from the previous day dries in your hotel room.
Along with your suit, bring a wrap or sarong of some sort to cover you up when you leave the beach or pool area. Walking around in only your bathing suit is considered to be poor manners.
Also, protect yourself from the sun and heat with sandals or flip flops, a sun hat, and sun glasses. Remember your sunscreen, too!
Most hotels and resorts in Guadeloupe provide their guests with the typical toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap. If you prefer your own favorite brand, feel free to purchase travel sizes and pack them in your toiletries bag. Dental hygiene products, other hair and skin care products, and personal items such as deodorant should be packed as well. Click here to see a checklist.
Again, if you are packing medications, slip in that prescription note just to be on the safe side. Out Medication and Health Items checklist can help remind you of what you need.
Mosquitoes and sand fleas do inhabit the island of Guadeloupe, so it would be wise to pack a bug repellent to protect yourself from them. In the event that you do receive a bite or two, having packed a hydrocortisone cream of Benadryl will be a lifesaver.
Depending on where you stay in Guadeloupe, you may experience nights that are sweater-worthy. For this reason, it would be wise for you pack a sweater or wrap to throw on when the sun sets.
The months of July through November can get pretty wet, so if you are visiting the island during this time, pack a rain jacket, poncho, or umbrella. This will prevent you from having to cancel a lot of the plans you may have made for tours outdoors.
You may want to consider bringing along a book or e-reader, a personal journal, a deck of cards, your lap top, a hand-held video game system, a DVD player,or an mp3 player. These can be great forms of entertainment when you have down time, or as you travel from your home to the island. If you are bringing electronics along, be warned that the plugs you are used to may not work in Guadeloupe. Instead, you will need the three-prong plugs that are common in Europe. Some hotels have adapters available, but you should contact your place of lodging before you leave your home to ensure this is the case for you.
And you definitely do not want to forget your camera, which will allow you capture all of your vacation memories on film. Consider bringing along an extra memory card as well, in case you get a little overzealous with the picture snapping. Read our Gadgets and Electronics to make sure you stay entertained.
Also, you may want to click here for a list of some other items to pack.
Due to the number of times it happens in movies and on television, many vacationers worry about their luggage being lost by the airline. This is actually pretty rare, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare for that possibility. Pack one full outfit and a bathing suit in your carry on bag. This way you have a change of clothes to use while you wait for the airline to locate your luggage, or until you have time to go shopping for some back up options.
Another concern is over- or under-packing. You can avoid either by packing interchangeable clothing. These would be items that you can wear more than once in two or more ways to make fresh looking outfits. Try linen shorts with a few different shirts, or a collection of colored shirts or tank tops that can be layered to provide you with a new look each day.
You can make packing for Guadeloupe fun. Just take the time to imagine every activity you will be participating in as you pack the articles of clothing you will need to wear for each. Whether you picture yourself in your bathing suit on the beach, or your hiking boots while touring some of the island's attractions, allow these images to guide you through your packing job, rather than making it a task you dread.
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