Belize is a little different than other places in that when most of us think of an exotic vacation, we may picture luxurious resorts and hotels, expensive restaurants, trendy bars, etc. I created this article to get some information out there on what to pack for a Belize trip.
Belize also has some interesting (awesome) cultural differences that make a trip here a bit unique. There appears to me to be a huge difference in the materialism between the US and Belize. In the US I think most would agree that we are judged on what we have, drive, are wearing, are carrying, etc, and others decide if we are worthwhile to get to know based on these factors. I do not see a lot of mixing of socioeconomic statuses in the US. Not the case here! In fact I have gotten the impression that if I were to walk down the street decked out in luxury brands, I would stick out like a sore thumb; it is NOT considered impressive or that you are a worthy person to know if you do this, and in fact I would look like a douche bag very out of place.
One of the nicest restaurants on the peninsula is the Maya Beach Bistro, and on our first trip here, after being told about this restarurant, I turned to Dave and said, “well let’s go up there for lunch, but I have to change.” I had been on a bike ride and had on what I would normally wear to the gym. The local guy who told us about it said, “Don’t be silly. In that outfit you will be the most dressed up one in there.” This sums up the fashion here. It is so true. If I wear a dressy sundress to the beach bars here, I am not comfortable and feel out of place. the more casual you pack, the better! I can’t stress that enough.
Also, you will want more casual, comfortable, clothes like you would wear to the gym or to do yard work (seriously!) and more bathing suits than you ever thought you would need. Only flip flops or whatever sandal you wear, and some running shoes if you are planning on doing hiking. I live in a bathing suit, cotton tank top and shorts almost every day. Bring twice the amount of bathing suits you think you needs, and half the amount of nice dressy clothes you think you need! No need for any long sleeves from March-Oct at least.
Here is an easy list on what to pack for a Belize vacation
-Every bathing suit you own. And buy a couple extra.
-Several–at least one for each day you are here, unless you do laundry-pairs of comfortable shorts (you will sweat A LOT and will not want to re-wear).
-The same number of tank tops or tee shirts.
-A sturdy pair of flip flops or Tevas, or whatever really comfortable walking sandal you have. I would bring a back up pair, and also a pair of running shoes you can hike in. I also brought a pair of water shoes and I recommend this. If you are interested in some no shit deep jungle hikes, maybe even a pair of galoshes.
-Bring a travel umbrella and a poncho–everyone looks like a tourist in a poncho but sometimes, who cares–it really can save a day from being ruined into being salvageable if you can be outside.
-Sunglasses, sunscreen (like 4 bottles), deep woods off (3 bottles), Avon Skin So soft or baby oil (the only repellent for sand fleas–DON’T leave this one out!), benedryl (in case of jellyfish sting).
-Bring one long sleeved shirt if you are here in the winter months–don’t bother from March-Oct–I have not needed or worn long sleeves since we have been coming here at the end of January. Sometimes people like to snorkel in these too.
-Bring all your scuba diving needs if this is your thing. Bring snorkel gear in case your hotel doesn’t have it (we do!!)
-A surge protector is recommended–we have had no problems here, but during a storm the electricity can be erratic, and it can fry your electronics.
-Bring lots and lots of ziploc bags. We provide these for guests—but in case of rain you will want to put your cell phone in one, if you go kayaking this serves as a waterproof bag, in your room–you will want to put any food in this as the bugs have food radar that is not of this world.
-For females–seriously, coming from a former high maintenance hair and makeup person—do not bother bringing a hair dryer, curler, straightener–I have not used one in 6 months and I am seriously high need in this area. you will not do anything but let your hair air dry once you are here, and if you try doing anything fancy with your hair, it will look like crap in 5 minutes. The more natural the better. A little mousse or gel if you have curly hair and let it air dry looks the best. Straight hair people–not sure what to tell you as this is really foreign to me. But hair doesn’t stay straight down here unless it is natural that way. For makeup, some lip gloss with SPF and some waterproof mascara really will be enough. Don’t bother with a manicure or pedicure as it will last 2-3 days down here!
Me before Belize: (note straightened hair, makeup still on face/not greasy, relatively together looking)
Me after living here 4 months: (Note wet hair in a bun, sweatiness, sea water coming through my shirt because I have a bikini on, an outfit I used to wear to work out in, and harder to see but no makeup-this is pretty normal)
Back to this list — What to Pack before coming to Belize
-Bring a small backpack/athletic bag/tie string bag for your adventures. Always carry a ziploc bag, bathing suit, and towel, along with the SPF, baby oil, and bug spray wherever you go on your trip. Read more on the essential things to bring down to Belize.
In Belize you just get used to feeling kind of sticky and dirty, but it is in a fun way!! You do need to keep up on the SPF and the bug spray, and because you are on the coast pretty often, you are frequently on the sand. You just become a dirty mess with all of this. It becomes the new normal and hopefully by the end of the trip it doesn’t bother you at all 🙂 I was on the fence of being a prissy person when I got here. This place has thoroughly shaken me of that. My nails and feet are always dirty, I am always sweaty and sticky, but I love it now 🙂 Being cold is WAYYYYYYYYY worse! I just take a shower every night before I go to bed and this is always the best shower in the world.
It was a heat index of 106 yesterday….and this is the only place I have been where somehow you can tolerate it without air conditioning! You get to close so close to the sea here, and the breeze is so constant, that it really is bearable.