It's now under two weeks until I jet off to the Dominican Republic, so it's time to start thinking about what to pack. I'm finding it impossible to contain my excitement, I just can't wait to get stuck into the activities and enjoy awesome new travel experiences. I have got so much to pack!
I need to go on a big shopping trip for both essential supplies, and non-essential supplies (such as a few new outfits for the evenings). Although I can honestly say that I found the majority of my current holiday outfits in charity shops, pretty impressive eh?
Usually I leave my packing to the last minute, and casually throw everything in. However, this is a trip I need to be prepared for, so I'm going to try and be organised and start my packing early.
As the Dominican Republic is a Caribbean destination, there are a few specifics you need to consider when packing. I want to share some handy tips on what to pack, so that you don't forget anything important on your next trip. I'm not writing an all-inclusive list of things to pack, just highlighting some of the key things you will need.
If you are just planning on enjoying a low-key, relaxing beach holiday, then you may not need all of the items below. However, I have got an itinerary packed full of adventures and amazing experiences, so I need to make sure I pack accordingly. If you are interested in what I will be getting up to, and want to get some inspiration for your trip, read all about my itinerary here.
Obviously some of the main things you need to consider when packing for a trip to the Dominican Republic include mosquitos, the heat and sunshine, and the terrain. Make sure you check what vaccinations you need well in advance of your trip, to ensure you are fully protected.
Travel insurance is also a must have, so shop around and find a reasonable quote that covers you for all eventualities. Remember if you are planning on doing certain sports and activities, such as going on a zip wire or doing watersports, you will need to check with your insurance company as to what they do and don't cover.
When it comes to packing, I always leave a few essentials in my hand luggage such as a bikini, day clothes and a trusty pair of shoes (as well as all my valuables) in case my suitcase gets lost. The last thing I want is to be on a holiday of a lifetime without any of the important stuff I need!
So lets get onto the nitty gritty. If you are going to the Dominican Republic, and plan on going on some adventures, what sort of things do you need to include in your suitcase?
Here's my top tips for Dom Rep
So I plan on going on an outback safari, and trekking and exploring an eco park with some rocky terrain. I'm clearly going to need some comfortable shoes with decent grip. I'm probably going to throw in my Asics Gel trainers, which offer plenty of support for my feet. If I had specialist hiking shoes, I would choose them instead (they are on my list of travel gear to buy this year).
Comfortable, cool active clothing
It's going to be pretty darn hot, with temperatures sitting at around 30 degrees at the moment (June is one of the hottest months). I will need some lightweight, comfortable clothing to go out exploring in. It's also important to try and cover up to protect yourself from mosquitos when outside of your hotel, so I might bring some baggy, loose trousers. I will be packing vest tops, baggy tees (preferably cotton) and a comfy pair of shorts.
When I went to get my injections, the nurse recommended an industrial strength insect repellent. I invested in the one she suggested, because I know it will give me the best protection possible, it's called Lifesystems Expedition Plus Insect Repellent. FYI it's a lot cheaper online.
If you can't get hold of this, make sure you buy an insect repellent with DEET in it, as this should help prevent the peskiest of insects from coming near you. Mosquitos are a bit of a problem in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic, but you shouldn't have too much trouble if you cover up and cover yourself from head to toe in insect repellent. If you are going out for a long period of time, you might want to stock up on a few bottles before you go.
Sunglasses and sun hat
As I will be out and about a lot, I will need to wear a hat and sunglasses to help shelter my eyes and head from the sun. It's easy to get sunstroke when you don't cover your head and stay out in the heat for too long, and a hat can help to make excursions much more comfortable. I might also need my sun hat for lounging around the pool bar and looking sophisticated.
Unfortunately I don't own a posh pair of sunglasses and will have to make do with my £12 Accessorize shades (a decent pair of sunglasses is also on my travel supplies list).
No matter where you are travelling, there are some basic medical supplies that you should always have. The most obvious things are pain killers, antihistamines and good old rehydration sachets in case you get a bad tum.
For the Dominican, you might also want to pack a tube of hydrocortisone cream, so that you can get some relief if you do get a super itchy insect bite. You might also want to pack a basic first aid kit if you are going really far off the beaten track, and also some trusty hand sanitiser.
Camera and GoPro
I was lucky enough to get a GoPro for my birthday this year, and it's perfect for taking on adrenaline fuelled travel adventures. I took it to Tuscany and filmed some of the most beautiful scenery whilst on our road trip.
I have got all the attachments, so no matter what I'm doing I should be able to take my GoPro with me. It would be great to have it whilst zooming down the zip wire in Puerto Plata.
I will also be taking my camera. I wish I had a flashy camera, but they are pretty darn expensive, so I'm saving up. Besides, you can still take decent pictures on SmartPhones these days. Mine's waterproof which is an added bonus so I can take it on the Reef Explorer tour and hopefully get some selfies with sting rays.
High factor sun cream and soothing aftersun
I will be bringing some high factor sun cream to protect my skin from sun damage. Growing up I have been far too relaxed about sun cream because I tan easily, but not anymore. I want to look after my skin, so it will be at least factor 30 all the way, and factor 50 on my face.
The Dominican Republic has year round sunshine, so you will need adequate protection no matter what time of year you go. Plus, don't forget you can still burn on cloudy days so don't skip the sunscreen just because the sun has gone in.
If I'm going to have a go at surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking, then I'm going to need reliable swimwear. A sporty surfer type bikini will do the trick. I will also be hiking and then going for a swim in cave pools so I need swimwear that I will be comfortable trekking in.
Don't forget your vaccinations
Make sure you get your vaccinations well in advance of your trip. You will need to be vaccinated for thing such as Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Malaria. You can find a full list of vaccinations needed for the Dominican Republic here. Speak to a vaccination clinic or your doctor to find out which vaccinations you need, and what you have already have.
You might experience the odd shower or downpour in the Dominican, but these short bursts of rain usually pass pretty quickly. However, you don't want to get caught out in a rain storm. I'm going to pack a waterproof jacket and an umbrella just in case, but I really hope I don't need it! Fingers crossed for lots of sunshine!
I always seem to forget to pack adapters and then end up buying them every time at the airport. Make sure you pack the right adapters so you don't end up not being able to charge your phone or use any of your electrical appliances.
All packed and ready!
So that's all the main things I need to pack. However, as mentioned above it's not an exhaustive list. I want to make sure I'm fully prepared for this trip and I have everything I need, so that I can make the most of this opportunity. Keep an eye out for the write up of my trip in a few weeks where you can find out all about my adventures. I hope you found this list useful. Happy travels!