Suggestions for Packing for a Vacation on Saba

Saba is a small island that calls for a small amount of luggage to be packed

Photo credit: © tsallam

Packing for Saba

When you pack for your trip to Saba, consider the amount of time you will be spending outdoors exploring the island, and pack accordingly.

Saba is an eco-tourists paradise, and just small enough that you can walk pretty much everywhere you want to go. Packing comfortable clothing, and the appropriate hiking gear is essential.

First and Foremost

Visitors wishing to enter Saba on vacation for less than 90 days should be able to present customs officials with not only a passport, but a return or ongoing ticket as well. On top of carrying these documents with you, you should make copies and keep them in a separate location, like your checked bag. This will ensure that you are covered if your identification is lost or stolen.

Though most vacationers prefer to use credit cards to fun their international trip (it saves them from the hassle of exchanging currency), it is important that you keep cash on hand in case you are in a situation where cash is required. Luckily, for American travelers, the official currency of Saba is the United States Dollar.

There are a few other documents you may want to keep on you as you travel. These include confirmation of your hotel and rental car reservation, proof of any pre-purchased excursions and activities, and prescription slips for any medication you are carrying in your carry-on bag.

A checklist of important documents to pack can be found here.


When packing for your Saba vacation, pack clothing that is up for an adventure. You'll likely spend your days hiking, biking, horseback riding, or participating in water sports, and you want to bring clothes that are up for the challenge. Comfort is key.

To obtain the level of comfort you need as you traverse the island, stick to light-weight, light-colored clothing in natural fabrics. Linen shorts or khakis, and t-shirts and tank tops are top choices. Proper shoes are very important, as well, so stick to athletic shoes. A few other essentials include undergarments, socks, and pajamas.

A more in-depth discussion regarding what is considered to be acceptable clothing for those visiting Saba can be read here. Also, a checklist can be found when you click here.

Formal Wear

It is rare that vacationers will find an occasion in which formal wear is necessary, but you may choose to bring along something nice for when you dine on an expensive dinner. In this case, a collared shirt and slacks for men, and a party dress or sun dress from women will be appropriate.

Swim Wear

Officially, there are no beaches in Saba, but that does not mean you shouldn't pack at least one swimsuit. Your hotel may include a pool as one of the amenities, or, you might want to take a day trip over to St. Maarten, where there are beaches. If you plan to find multiple excuses to wear a swimsuit, consider the possibility of packing more than one and a rash guard for watersports. This way you can leave one in your hotel room to dry, while you wear the other. On the same token, make sure to pack a cover-up, such as a sarong or pareo. Wearing your swim wear away from the pool is considered to be taboo on Saba.

If the thought of heading over to St. Maarten for some beach time is appealing to you, packing a parachute beach blanket (nylon material that keeps cool, cleans easy, and dries fast), and your own snorkeling equipment is a good idea. Even if you won't be doing this, a dry bag to keep your goods safe in case they fall in water will be helpful as well. A sun hat, sun glasses, and sandals are essentials as well.

Toiletries and Health Care

Packing a lot of toiletries for your trip to Saba is not really necessary. You will need your toothbrush and toothpaste, and deodorant for sure, but most of your either hygiene necessities will be provided by the hotel you stay in. If you only feel comfortable using your personal products, get them in travel sizes to save space. Click here for a checklist of some personal items you should remember. It can also be helpful to bring a first aid kit packed with band aids, disinfectant spray, aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea, antiseptic, tweezers, and a thermometer. Don't forget any medication you may need as well.

Saba's lizards tend to keep the mosquito population at bay, but if you want to avoid bites at all cost, you can protect yourself by bringing along insect repellent to spray on your body before you head out to explore, and hydrocortisone cream or Benadryl to relieve you of the itchiness and swelling if you are in fact bit. Sun block is a must, and a lip balm with SPF is a great addition to your daily skin protection ritual. If the unthinkable occurs and you suffer a burn, having some aloe vera lotion on hand will make you feel worlds better.

Find out more by reading our Medication and Health Items checklist.

What Else To Pack

Warm days on Saba can quickly turn into cool nights. Bring along a sweater or wrap to protect you from the chill. Because you don't want to dampen your spirits, bring along a rain jacket, poncho, or umbrella as well. Miscellaneous items you don't want to forget include a bottle opener, zip lock bags, a collapsible cooler, and a small package of laundry detergent. Shoppers don't forget to slip an extra duffle bag to store those items in.

While traveling between your home and Saba, you can prevent boredom by bringing along a few items to keep you entertained. These items might include 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, or a deck of cards, to name a few. Don't forget to pack enough batteries or power cords to get you through your trip.

A camera is another item you won't want to forget, along with any equipment you need to keep it up an running. Bringing along a second memory card is advisable, as well. See our checklist by clicking here, and take a look at some other items you might want on our Other Miscellaneous Items checklist.

Packing Concerns

Perhaps the most common packing concern is over-packing or under-packing. You can avoid both of these by packing a small collection of clothing that is in the same style and color family. This will allow you to wear a few items interchangeably. For example, several solid colored t-shirts or tanks can be layered to give you a new look every day, and a neutrally colored pair of shorts will go well with nearly everything. Packing light may help your pocket as well. Some airlines now charge for both checked and carry-on bags, so it you over pack you may have to overpay. Check with your airline for their specific policies.

Another worry that many people have is that the airline will lose their luggage. You can guard against being stuck in an unfamiliar local with next to nothing by packing one day's worth of supplies in your carry-on bag. This way you will be able to change clothes while you are waiting on the airline to find your belongings. If you plan to bring your own toiletries, note that liquids must measure three ounces or less and be contained in a clear gallon-sized zip-top bag.

When you think of packing for your Saba vacation, do not allow yourself to become distressed. It is easier than you think. Review our checklist to ensure you have everything you need, and fill that suitcase up!


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