Packing for Roatan is easy.
What to Pack
The only clothes that is really needed for a week on the island is a couple of bathing suits. Roatan is very casual, leave the fancy clothes at home. From the time we got up in the morning until evening, we were in a swim suit.
This year I checked one bag going to Roatan for my 2 bottles of sunscreen, aloe after sun and bug spray. I knew that it would be cheaper to pay the $25 bag fee, then pay for these items on the island. I still took a carry on that allowed me to pack snacks to eat in the room or on the beach. I also used this bag for my clothes (see pink bag below). When we returned, I was able to put this bag in my suitcase and carry on my luggage like we usually do. Saving me from checking a bag when I left the islands.
The water bottle in the picture gives a reference of how small the bags fold up.
The black bag in the above picture expands to a nice size backpack as illustrated by the picture below, which is great to have to carry water bottles, cameras, cell phones, etc.
On Js wrists in the picture above are mosquito repellent bracelets that we wore when we were not in the water. We wore the bracelets along with using bug spray, and never got a bite. Mosquitos love me and I am usually covered when I return from vacation. I read about these bracelets on line and ordered them before my trip. As soon as the plane landed we put them on and had no issues. We saw others wearing them during our week on the island.
Our packing comprised of the following:
J’s clothes: 2 bathing suites, 4 rash guard shirts, 3 Northface tee shirts, 1 long sleeve Columbia shirt, pair of shorts, 2 pairs of underwear, flip flops and water shoes.
K’s clothes: 3 bathing suites, 4 rash guard shirts, 1 cover-up, 2 skirts, one maxi dress, 1 long sleeve shirt for plane, sports bra, 2 pairs of underwear, night shirt, 3 Northface tee shirts, flip flops, sandals, and Keene sandals.
Other items we packed included a passport which must be valid for six months past the date of travel. Check your expiration date in advance in case you have to renew it. Insulated mugs, flashlight for power outages or walking on the beach, raft to float in the pool or take to the beach, sun glasses, hat, zip lock bags, lap top, camera, kindle, ipad, iphones, belkin power strip, mixed nuts, granola bars, pretzels, crystal light and tea bags to make ice tea, (2) pitchers to make drink in. They usually don’t have pitchers in the condos we rent.
The official currency in Honduras is the Lempira, but US $’s are accepted everywhere, just make sure you have plenty of small bills ($1’s and $5’s). If your money is torn or there is writing on the bills, they will not be accepted on the island.
TIP: Go to your local bank and try to get clean bills. Bring at least $50 ones, for tipping, water taxi, etc.
There are ATMs throughout the island, but sometimes they have no money to disperse. In the smaller villages, around Roatan, they only accept cash. Not all places accept credit cards.
TIP: Make sure to let your credit card company know you’ll be traveling so that they don’t block the card.
If you have your own snorkeling equipment, bring it. If you don’t have any gear, it is available to rent on the beach. I prefer to use my own, as I do not like using a snorkel that has been in other people’s mouth. Before we purchased our equipment we found that sometimes the masks leaked, making it hard to snorkel. Now that we own our own equipment, we take it with us when we go. We have our own snorkel, mask, anti-fog spray for mask, fins, dive socks (so your feet don’t get blisters from the fins), life vests, hat and underwater camera. All of this fits in a dive backpack that I use as one of my carry on.
By checking a bag going to the islands I paid $25 fee, which was cheaper than buying sunscreen and bug spray on the islands. Going back I did not check luggage, saving us from having to retrieve the bag after going through customs and giving it back to them to recheck to the final destination. This will free up your time allowing you to get to your gate quicker. It will also allow you to to bypass picking up luggage at midnight on your return home, when it takes even longer to retrieve a bag.
Having Global Entry saves us from standing in the long custom lines. With Global Entry we usually are through customs in five minutes. If you value your time and if you have ever stood in line wondering if you will make your connection, it is worth paying for Global Entry. You will thank me when you can waltz by the long lines on your return out of the country. A side benefit of Global Entry is having TSA precheck, but only when the line is open.
What do you pack when traveling to the islands?