10 Essential Men’s Packing Items For Barbados

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If you’re making your first visit to Barbados and have never been to the Caribbean before, you may be unsure about the kinds of clothing and other items you need to take. It is often the case that we take too much of what we don’t need and leave at home what we do. So, to ensure you pack the right things, here is a list of holiday essentials that ought to be in every man’s suitcase when he visits Barbados.

High factor sunscreen

Being only 900 miles north of the equator, Barbados is hot all year round. You’ll notice this the moment you step off the plane. On most days, there is intense sunshine for over 8 hours and you’ll still get the sun’s rays and heat during the rest of the daylight hours. To protect you from sunburn and the other harmful effects of UV rays, the wearing of sunscreen is absolutely vital. Make sure to choose high factor SP50+, broad-spectrum sunscreen. If you burn easily, consider using sunblock. For comfort, we also recommend plenty of cooling after-sun lotion for soothing away any unwanted sunburn and to keep your skin hydrated.

Brimmed sun hat

In strong sunshine, your head is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body and covering it up reduces the risk of both sunburn and sunstroke. Even men with a full head of hair can get a burned scalp but those of us who are a little more exposed on top need a hat.

Sun hats come in all varieties so you are sure to find something that makes you look good on the beach. Ideally, one with a brim can keep your face and your neck in the shade too and these can make it far more comfortable during the hottest parts of the day.

UV protection shades

Ultraviolet light can also damage your eyes and when you’re sitting at the beach or by the pool these rays not only come directly from the sun but are also reflected off the water and other bright surfaces.

While, understandably, you may want to wear the coolest pair of shades to match your style, your priority has to be to protect your vision. Ideally, choose a pair that blocks out 100% of UV rays.


With pools galore, miles and miles of sandy white beaches and clear blue seas, you’ll need to take at least two sets of swimwear with you. Whether you’re into shorts, trunks or thongs, you’re guaranteed to be spending plenty of time in and around the water. Before packing, have a think about the types of activity you may want to do, such as windsurfing or snorkelling, and take the appropriate swimwear for the occasion.

Loose beach shirt

If you’re out by the beach or pool for much of the day, there are times when you’ll just want to take the heat of your skin by covering up. While a fitted t-shirt might make you look good, it won’t help cool you down as much as a loose-fitting shirt that’ll let the breeze in. Over recent years, there has been a growth in the numbers of outlets selling fashionable UV protection clothing for adults. These are specially designed for hot places like Barbados. You’ll need to put a shirt on when you go to a beach bar or restaurant to buy refreshments, so make sure to pack one.

Snorkelling gear

Snorkelling is a very popular activity in Barbados due to the abundant sea life that lives off the coastline. Some types of tropical fish swim right up to the beach while a boat trip slightly further out will take you to shipwrecks and reefs where you can see an abundance of wonderful creatures and their fantastical habitats. You can even snorkel with turtles. So, if you have a snorkel and mask at home, take it and don’t miss this amazing experience.


There are three types of footwear you may want to take with you to Barbados. Firstly, you’ll need sandals or flip-flops when you’re by the pool or on the beach. A good pair of trainers or walking shoes are also advisable for exploring the island and its attractions. There is a vast range of activities to do and both these types of footwear are versatile and comfortable. Finally, consider taking a pair of shoes that are suitable for dining out. Barbados has some exceptional fine dining and upmarket bars where you may feel more appropriately dressed in shoes instead of trainers.


When you’re visiting places away from the beach or poolside, you’ll need something besides beachwear to wear on your bottom half. While long trousers are an option that can keep the sun off your legs during the day and stop mosquitos from biting at night, there are times when a pair of shorts is the perfect solution. To mix and match with other items, take a couple of different coloured pairs to keep your fashion options open.

Dining outfit

A smart pair of trousers and a collared shirt is usually all that you need when dining out at one of the island’s many great restaurants or fashionable bars. A jacket is not essential, though you may prefer to wear one if you’re eating alfresco and there’s a cool evening breeze after the sun goes down.


Barbados has plenty of sporting activities on offer including tennis, golf and polo. While sports equipment can be hired, it’s advisable to take any specialist sportswear with you to save you having to buy new ones on the island. So, if you intend to play, pack your kit.  

Summing up

Hopefully, this post will have given you a better idea of the types of clothing and other items you should consider bringing to Barbados and helped you decide what things you can safely leave back home – like your overcoat!

If you are looking for luxury accommodation when visiting Barbados, take a look at the superb villas and apartments here at Royal Westmoreland.