As you plan for your trip to Martinique, make a mental note of all the activities you plan to participate in, and take a moment to look up the predicted weather during that time frame. These two things will help you to determine which items of clothing you will need to pack.
Many travelers find the act of packing a suitcase a bit overwhelming. What if you over-pack, and you have to pay the airline because the suitcase is overweight? What if you under-pack, and run out of clothes, or toiletries? Luckily, there are ways to avoid each of these nightmares. It all comes down to properly planning.
In order to enter into Martinique, vacationers must present a valid passport to customs officials, as well as a return or onward airline ticket. Residents of France need only present their French residence permit, and guests who plan to stay longer than three months must have a visa. Not only should you carry these important documents on your person as you travel from your home to Martinique, but it is wise to make a copy of each (as well as your government-issued identification card), and keep it in a separate location, such as your checked luggage. If any of these papers are lost or stolen, the copies can me taken to the local consulate for help.
It is also important that you keep the appropriate amount of cash on you. The official currency of Martinique is the Euro, and unlike many other locations in the Caribbean, local establishments rarely accept the United States Dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted, and they become the preferred method of payment for most American travelers. You never know when a credit card machine will be out of order, however, or if an establishment will only accept cash.
There are a few other important documents you will want to keep with you. These include your airline tickets, rental car and hotel confirmation, prescription medication slip, and documentation of your pre-planned excursions and activities.
For more information, you might want to view our checklist on Important Documents and Money.
In Martinique, the typical style of dress is casual, but still tidy. To protect from the heat, vacationers should pack light-weight, light-colored clothing, in natural fabrics such as cotton, because they are more breathable and comfortable to walk around in. Women who want to wear cute dresses and skirts should save those outfits for the less strenuous activities, such as touring a museum, or a casual lunch. The type of shoes you pack is important, because you don't want aching soles to ruin your trip. Pack comfortable athletic shoes, or hiking boots.
And don't forget to pack enough undergarments, socks, and pajamas! Click here for a checklist of what kinds of clothing you should pack.
It is rare that you should have to dress up on your Martinique vacation, unless you are attending an event, or planning on dinner at a high-end restaurant. In this case, men should pack a collared shirt and slacks with closed-toe leather shoes or deck shoes, and women should wear a nice sun dress, cocktail dress, or pants suit with the appropriate shoes and accessories.
Based upon the length of your vacation, you can decide exactly how many swimsuits you would like to bring with you. The typical recommendation is two or more. This will give you options, as well as allow you to leave one hanging in your room to dry while you wear the other out.
It is also essential that you bring some sort of cover up along with you. A sarong or over-sized t-shirt will allow you to move quickly from the sand to the streets without offending local sensibilities. Sandals or flip flops to protect from the hot sand, as well as a hat and sun glasses to protect from the sun are important, too.
When it comes to toiletries, if you want to use it on a daily basis, you should consider bringing it along. Most hotels will provide you with the essentials, but folks who prefer a particular brand of hair care, dental hygiene, or body care product may do better to pack travel-sized bottles in their checked-bag. You also have the option of shopping for them when you arrive on Martinique, but there is no guarantee that the stores will carry your preferred item, or that it will be within your price range. Find our more by reading our checklist on Toiletries and Personal Items.
Again, if you plan to carry medication onto the island, pack a doctors note, or the prescription slip along with the bottles. This is just a precaution, in the event you are questioned by customs officials.
Travelers should plan to protect themselves from mosquito and sand flea bites. Bring along insect repellent to apply to your body each day before you leave your hotel room, and carry it with you in case you will need it several hours later. If you are bit, treat the area with hydrocortisone cream or Benadryl to relieve you of the itchiness and swelling. Click here for a checklist of some medical items that can come in handy.
Temperatures rarely dip below 75 degrees Fahrenheit on Martinique, but evening breezes can cause some vacationers to shiver. Packing at least one sweater or wrap would be a wise decision. Additionally, avoid allowing rain to ruin your outdoor plans by packing a rain jacket, poncho, or umbrella.
Along with these weather-conscious items, you may also want to consider bringing along a few things to bring you comfort, and keep you occupied when you aren't out exploring the island. A good book or your e-reader, an mp3 player, a portable DVD player, a personal journal, a laptop, and a hand held video game system, are all items that fall into this category. Don't forget to pack enough batteries to get you through your trip. You should also know that the electrical outlets on Martinique are different than those in the United States, so you will need to bring along electrical converters. Call your hotel to find out which type they use.
Finally, don't forget to bring your camera and all equipment needed to keep it up and running, plus an extra memory card to store the hundreds of pictures you are likely to take as you try to capture all of your Martinique memories on film. Find out more about what electronics to pack by clicking here.
Also, do not forget to check out our Other Miscellaneous Items checklist.
As previously mentioned, many vacationers worry about over- or under-packing their suit case. You can avoid this by packing items that are interchangeable. These are pieces of clothing that can be worn a number of ways while still looking fresh. A pair of cloth shorts, for example, will go nicely with a variety of shirts, and a selection of colored shirts can be layered differently each day for a new look.
Another concern is the possibility of the airline losing your luggage. If this worries you, pack one full outfit and your bathing suit in your carry on bag. This will allow you wiggle room for the airline to find your belongings, or until you can get out and buy new ones.
After you have filled your suitcase with all of the essential items for your Martinique vacation, you are ready to go and enjoy the beauty that the island has to offer.
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