Below you’ll find a list of the toiletries and other essential items that you’ll want to bring with you on your trip to Puerto Rico. I recommend buying some reusable TSA approved bottles to pack your favorite items. I honestly never knew the benefits of a cooling towel until I used mine, and let me tell you, it’s great.
However, if you’re only carrying your phone and small items, these fanny packs are perfect. The best time to visit Puerto Rico is from mid-April to June, right after the busy winter and just before the rainy summer. You’ll find the weather more tolerable, and the lines far shorter than during the tourist high-season. Strong sun means a much higher chance of damage to your hair. I use this leave-in conditioner spray to protect and replenish my hair to keep it from becoming unhealthy and fried from too much UV and saltwater exposure. It’s lightweight and effective, and doesn’t leave a heavy or greasy residue.
I use an Away Bigger Carry-On (use this link for $20 off any Away item) and a backpack on every trip and it hasn’t done me wrong yet. Everything I mention on this Puerto Rico packing list I fit into my carryon items, so this shouldn’t be too crazy for you by any means. For my October 2021 trip I brought a packable sun hat and it was perfect for exploring El Morro in San Juan and a day trip to Ponce in the southern part of the island. When you’re planning what to pack for Puerto Rico, keep in mind that flip flops and beach apparel are the norm along the coasts. Practically across the highway from El Yunque National Park, which boasts a rainforest vista that hikers relish, Fajardo has a quiet stretch of marinas and seaside parks.
The best time to visit Puerto Rico is between March and early July when the weather is the best and hurricane season hasn’t started yet. Traveling between April and July also means you’ll avoid the high season when flights and accommodations are more expensive. Remember that Puerto Rico, like many other Caribbean islands, sits in the regular path of hurricanes. A lightweight backpack is perfect to carry your essentials when going out. Don’t forget to pack a pair of sandals; not only for the beach, but for casual walking around town.
ID / Passport / Documents – If you’re an American citizen, you don’t need a passport to go to Puerto Rico; just a photo ID will suffice. Beach bag and beach towel – You know, to put all these things I’ve mentioned before and to look very cool, casual, and even sexy while laying on the sand. William is the Chief of Awesome at Going Awesome Places which is focused on off-the-beaten-path, outdoor adventure, and experiential travel. He is based in Toronto, Canada but you’ll find him on the road more often than not. Make sure to learn more about William to find out his story and how Going Awesome Places started.
However, you should also bring some resort casual-style pieces if you’ve booked dinner at an upscale restaurant or plan to enjoy Puerto Rico’s lively nightlife scene. Here are other ideas on what to pack for your Puerto Rico trip. Puerto Rico is an absolutely stunning island destination in the Caribbean with truly so much to offer.
Beach bag and accessoriesYou can, in fairness, use any bag you want to but a beach bag is always easiest. I recommend a waterproof bag later in this post for the bioluminescent bay anyway, so that would work just as well. When you’re planning what to sleep in hotel parking lot, keep in mind that flip flops and beach apparel are the norm along the coast. Puerto Ricans tend to dress up a little bit even to go to the market. The only people you see dressed completely down are tourists and are also starred at by locals.
There’s no way to cover all of those possible moments but bringing along a small first aid kit is a good way to cover your bases. When packing your backpack for Puerto Rico, remember that the weather is tropical and beach-able 365 days of the year. But be prepared for chilly evenings, rainy interludes, and the possibility of hurricanes during the season. Your packing list will, of course, feature the obvious such as a camera, sunscreen, a bathing suit, and a toothbrush but we’ve broken it down for you.