What to Pack for Puerto Rico: Tips + Downloadable Check List

So you’re planning your trip and wondering what to pack for Puerto Rico. After four visits to the island, I’ve crafted the perfect Puerto Rico packing list. We’ll cover what you need for different types of activities to create a comprehensive packing list for your trip and I’ll share a few tips along the way too! 

Packing for Puerto Rico depends a lot on what activities you have planned and the time of year you’re visiting. Puerto Rico is one of my favorite destinations in the Caribbean. It has such an amazing variety of things to do and places to explore. 

If you want to download this, I have it for free in my subscriber only resources! It’s an editable PDF perfect for helping you plan your trip.

Table of Contents

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Packing Tips for Puerto Rico

  1. Pack Lightweight Clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for warm weather. Puerto Rico gets hot no matter what time of year, and breathable clothing makes spending time outside more enjoyable! Columbia has many good, breathable fabrics.
  2. Insect Repellent: Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, especially in certain areas such as El Yunque National Forest. Bring a good insect repellent to keep them at bay; I always recommend 100% deet.
  3. Rain Gear: Puerto Rico can experience sudden tropical downpours, so it’s a good idea to pack a small umbrella or a lightweight rain jacket.
  4. Travel Adapters: Puerto Rico uses the same electrical outlets as the United States, so if you’re coming from there, you won’t need an adapter. If not, make sure to pack one.
  5. Travel Documents: US citizens do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. Don’t forget your passport (if traveling from outside the US), driver’s license or other ID, travel insurance documents, and any reservations or itineraries.
  6. Cash and Cards: While credit cards are widely accepted, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases or in case of emergencies. I found that smaller towns especially were easier to use cash.
  7. Snorkeling Gear: If you plan to snorkel, consider bringing your own gear. While it can be rented at many beaches, having your own ensures a better fit and quality. Beaches are all public in Puerto Rico, and it’s fun to just have the gear with you!
  8. Spanish Translator App: While many people in Puerto Rico speak English, knowing some basic Spanish phrases can enhance your experience and interactions with locals.
  9. Keep yourself comfortable on your long flight with a small bag of essentials that fits under your seat. I recommend bringing compression socks, a neck pillow/blanket, noise-canceling headphones, and wearing comfortable clothes. Plus, any electronics, a portable charger, and your wallet so they are always in your sight and on your person.

Packing Items and Bags

Organization Packing Items

    • Hanging Toiletries Bag: Many parts of the world (including cruise ships on the high seas) will not come with tons of storage space or large countertops.
    • TSA Approved Travel bottles: perfect so you don’t have to throw out your favorite self-care products at the security check.
    • Toiletry Bag: Easy to pack and water-resistant, this is a great toiletry bag. Comes in several colors.
    • Packing CubesPacking cubes are a great way to organize your bag and make the most of the space in a larger bag.
    • Travel Compression BagsUse these bags to save space in your bag when traveling.
    • Pill organizer: Great option for a travel first aid kit if you don’t want to buy the travel size of each medicine you’d like to bring or have prescriptions you take.
    • Jewelry organizer: Great for keeping all your little pieces easy to get to and organized on a trip. This is something I held off on buying for a long time but now love having on trips!

Carry On Options


    • North Face BackpackPlenty of pockets and room as an under-the-seat carry-on.
    • Black Hole® Duffel Bag 55L: My personal favorite and current carry-on bag. This is a great option if you want to bring just one carry-on.
    • Travel Vest: If you bring the duffle, a great alternative to a second bag is this travel vest.
    • Small Duffle BagThis bag will fit under the seat while you’re traveling and hold your essentials. You can easily put it on top of the hard case luggage linked above for easy carrying.
    • Hard case roller bagDurable and easy to clean, hard case luggage is another great option.
Consider packing carry on only for your Puerto Rico trip! It’s a great way to save some extra money and will save you time at the airport.

Checked Bags

  • Hard case luggage set: consider getting a set with a carry-on and checked bags. Durable, easy to clean, and organization built in.

Activities to Pack For

San Juan

  • 3 pairs of shorts/skirts
  • 3 t-shirts/tops
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • 2-3 nice outfits for evenings
  • 2 comfortable outfits
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Especially if you plan to explore on foot.

El Yunque National Forest

  • Hiking outfit (will get wet in El Yunque )
  • Water shoes (they should have a strong back for climbing on rocks)
  • Swimsuit

Beaches

  • 2-3 Swimsuit cover-ups
  • 3 swimsuits
  • Flip flops
  • Beach bag

Other Essential Items to Pack

Electronics

Toiletries and Personal Care

Miscellaneous

Don't know what to pack for Puerto Rico? Get the ultimate packing list for your trip to this amazing Caribbean destination!
Don't know what to pack for Puerto Rico? Get the ultimate packing list for your trip to this amazing Caribbean destination!

Remember to tailor your packing list to your specific needs and planned activities, and always check the weather forecast closer to your travel dates for any last-minute adjustments. Enjoy your trip to Puerto Rico!

Meghan

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