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The Best Roatan Packing List With 25 Essential Items

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Roatan packing list: three words that can increase the stress levels of even the most seasoned travelers. Everyone loves the trip…but no one loves filling the suitcase.

Trust me, I’ve been there – stuffing random items into a suitcase with no real plan of action. I also tend to be an extreme overpacker, which is another problem entirely.

Avoid the chaos and skip right to the essentials with my Roatan packing list from a seasoned Roatan traveler. With my comprehensive and easy-to-follow packing list, you’ll have everything you need during your Roatan trip without lugging around a bunch of crap you won’t use. Not to mention, you won’t fall victim to those pesky luggage fees.

Keep reading for 25 items that need to be on your Roatan packing list!

My Beis suitcase filled with items from my Roatan packing list

Tech for Your Roatan Packing List

1. A Honduran ESim

With Airalo’s eSIMs to destinations all over the world, it’s never been easier to stay connected with friends and loved ones back home (or clients, if you’re living the digital nomad life 🥳). Before your Roatan trip, be sure to add one of their convenient eSIMs to your Roatan packing list for instant connectivity in Honduras. The data options are below:

All you have to do is download the app and activate your eSIM for instant connectivity anywhere in the world! Not only does reliable data make your trip a lot easier, but it also make every trip a lot safer – especially for solo female travelers.

2. A GoPro for Underwater Photography

Roatan is known worldwide for its vibrant marine life, flourishing coral reefs and turquoise waters – making it a prime destination for scuba divers and snorkelers. Adding a GoPro action camera to your Roatan packing list will allow you to capture stunning visuals of your underwater adventures on the island and preserve those memories to last a lifetime.

To really level up your underwater photography game, consider packing a GoPro dome to capture photos half in and half out of the water.

3. AirTags for Your Luggage

Adding AirTags to your luggage before a trip is a smart move since it provides an extra layer of security for your belongings. AirTags are especially important to add to your Roatan packing list, since the island doesn’t have addresses. With AirTags, you can easily track your luggage and other important items in real-time, ensuring that you never lose track of them during your trip.

When I was forced to check my carry-on when flying to Roatan in 2021, the airline lost it and getting it back was a real nightmare. If I hadn’t had an AirTag in it, it would have been even more difficult to get it back.

4. Travel Adapter (If you’re not coming from the United States)

Wall sockets in Roatan use the North American standard layout 110 volts AC, which means you won’t need a travel adapter if you’re coming from the U.S. or Canada. If you’re coming from another part of the world, I recommend doing your research ahead of time and adding a travel adapter to your Roatan packing list. Specific tech items like this are borderline impossible to find and purchase on the island once you arrive. 

🔌 Pro Tip:

Power outages are very common on Roatan. When power goes out, it comes back on with a huge surge of electricity. For this reason, I don’t recommend plugging in electronics like iPhones or laptops overnight. This surge of power can damage your devices if you’re not careful, and electronics are expensive. Not to mention impossible to replace on the island.

Toiletries to Pack

5. Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Reef-safe sunscreen is an essential item to pack for your Roatan vacation to protect both your skin and the delicate marine ecosystem. Traditional sunscreens often contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have been proven to be harmful to coral reefs. These chemicals can cause coral bleaching, hinder their growth and even kill marine life. As a responsible traveler, it’s crucial to consider the impact of your actions on the environment you’re exploring. Invest in reef-friendly brands like Sun Bum or Kokuna Sun Care (a family-owned brand made in Hawaii).

From experience, I can tell you it’s difficult to find reef-safe sunscreen once you’re on the island. Not only are the brands limited, but the sunscreen is also almost twice as expensive as it is anywhere else. It’s better to buy it at home and bring it with you.

6. Biodegradable and Non-Toxic Insect Repellent

Roatan’s tropical climate provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos and other pesky insects. Although it’s very rare, mosquitoes on Roatan can carry both malaria and dengue fever. To keep yourself safe during your Honduras vacation, make sure to add bug spray to your Roatan packing list.

Moreover, selecting a non-toxic and biodegradable insect repellent demonstrates your commitment to protecting the local environment. Try using eco-friendly brands like Sawyer Picaridin Repellent or Badger Bug Spray DEET-free. Depending on the beach, Roatan can also have a bit of a sand flea problem. Although they don’t spread disease, they are pesky little buggers that can cause some seriously annoying itching. This eco-friendly Sawyer lotion is great for keeping sand fleas away and relaxing during your Roatan beach day. 

7. Makeup Setting Spray

Makeup setting spray is another essential toiletry that deserves a spot on your Roatan packing list. Take it from me, Roatan’s humidity is not kind to makeup. When you’re sweating your ass off trying to experience all the best things to do in Roatan, your makeup is bound to smudge or wear off during the day.

Thankfully, Urban Decay is here to rescue our sweaty faces. Grab one of their travel-size makeup setting sprays to keep your makeup looking perfect even during a sticky dance floor sesh at Frank’s.

8. WOW Anti-Frizz Spray

Some people are blessed with hair that thrives in humidity – others are not. If you’re part of the later, you might find your hair frizzy and unmanageable in Roatan.

If you don’t want to look like Monica in Barbados (Friends, anyone?) then I highly recommend adding the WOW Anti-Frizz spray to your Roatan packing list. It became the top anti-frizz spray on the market by creating a protective barrier to prevent your hair from absorbing excess moisture. Keep in mind that the WOW spray is activated by heat, so if you tend to let your hair air dry in the tropics, you might be better off with the Living Proof Instant De-Frizzer Dry Conditioning Spray.

9. Multi-Colored Claw Clips

If you’re planning a trip to Roatan Honduras soon, be sure to add plenty of multi-colored claw clips to your Roatan packing list.

Claw clips are not only the perfect accessory to any beach outfit, but they also serve a practical purpose when vacationing in Roatan. With heat and humidity of the Caribbean, it’s essential to have a quick and easy way to keep your hair off your neck and face. Claw clips are compact, lightweight, affordable and can be used to create various chill-girl hairstyles that are perfect for a beach vacay.

10. Jase Case

An often overlooked, but essential item to include in your Roatan packing list is an emergency antibiotic kit, like Jase Case. While traveling, you’re at risk of being exposed to bacteria and potential infections that your body may not be accustomed to. The Jase Case is a travel-friendly medical kit that’s stocked with five life-saving medications that you may need in the event of a medical emergency on your trip. You’ll start with an online consultation from a board-certified physician. Afterwards, your medication will be sent straight to your home from their pharmacy network.

Including a Jase Case in your Roatan packing list can provide peace of mind and ensure that you’re prepared for any unexpected health issues during your trip. You may also want to consider packing a travel first aid kit stocked with essentials like band aids, over-the-counter pain meds and disinfectant for any bumps and bruises.

The Jase Case is the perfect addition to your Roatan packing list in case of medical emergencies

11. Anti-Chafing Stick

An anti-chafing stick is an essential item to add to your Roatan packing list, especially if you plan on engaging in physical activities such as hiking or walking around West Bay or West End.

Intense humidity does not pair well with sweat, sand and saltwater and can often result in skin irritation and chafing. I recently ordered this anti-chafing stick on Amazon and it’s quickly become a must-pack item on all of my international trips! It’s allowed me to wear all of my cute sundresses with none of the discomfort.

Clothing and Accessories

12. Polarized Sunglasses…Plus a Spare

$8 sunglasses used to be my Kryptonite. I would always end up losing them or breaking them anyway, so I figured there was no point in shelling out a lot of money on a high-quality pair.

I recently purchased my first pair of polarized sunglasses from Quay and have completely changed my tune!

Polarized sunglasses are a must-have for your trip to Roatan due to their numerous benefits over regular sunglasses. Polarized lenses are designed to reduce glare by filtering out the intense, horizontally-reflected light that can cause eye strain, discomfort and even impaired vision. When you’re spending hours at the beach and out of the water, it’s important to fully protect your eyes from the harsh Caribbean sun.

13. More Bathing Suits Than You Think You’ll Need

#1 on my list of Roatan travel tips is to pack more swimsuits than you think you’ll need. Whether you’re snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming or just lounging at one of Roatan’s many beach bars, you’ll likely be spending a significant time in the water. Having a suitcase full of swimsuits ensures that you’ll always have a dry one to wear for your next boat day or beach excursion. Say bye bye to chafing and irritation from damp swimwear!

I love ordering cute and affordable swimwear from Cupshe, as well as other trendy swimwear brands like Selfie Leslie and PacSun.

Me wearing a blue swimsuit that's perfect for your Roatan packing list
A red swimsuit that's perfect for your Roatan packing list

14. Both Indoor and Outdoor Flip Flops

Trust me…

When you live in Roatan, you go through a lot of pairs of rubber flip flops. And I mean A LOT. Even when your plane ticket doesn’t say Roatan, flip flops are always a must when wondering what to take on vacation. 

I used to swear by cheap, rubber Old Navy flip flops – until I was introduced to Reefs flop flops on a recent Roatan trip. They are so much more comfortable and durable, I can never go back! 

One of my best packing tips when traveling to Roatan is to bring two pairs of flip flops – one for outdoor use and one for indoor use. Regardless of where you’re staying in Roatan, sand is going to get tracked inside. Unless you love walking around indoors with sand stuck to the bottom of your feet, I recommend adding a pair of indoor shoes to your Roatan packing list.

15. Comfortable Walking Shoes

If you’re planning to explore the scenic West Bay and West End areas, hike to any viewpoints or just enjoy the awesome Roatan foodie scene – you’re going to need to add comfortable walking shoes to your Roatan packing list.

Exploring this beautiful island can include quite a bit of walking, so it’s crucial to keep your feet happy and pain-free. Choose shoes with good arch support, cushioning and breathability to ensure comfort during your adventures.

16. Light and Comfortable Clothing

If you’re wondering what to wear in Roatan Honduras, the answer is light, cute and comfortable clothing. Roatan’s climate, with its warm temperatures and high humidity, can make heavy or restrictive clothing very uncomfortable during outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Instead, opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to help you stay cool. Bonus points for loose-fitting clothing!

Shorts and skirts are going to be your best friend in Roatan. And, when it comes to skirts, the shorter the better. I moved to Roatan for the first time with a suitcase full of maxi dresses…which was a huge mistake. They’re hotter than they look.

Lightweight clothing, like the dress I'm wearing here, needs to be on your Roatan packing list

17. Travel Umbrella or a Light Rain Coat

Although Roatan is known for its beautiful sunny weather, it’s also prone to sudden tropical showers – especially during the rainy season. It’s wise to include a travel umbrella or light raincoat on your Roatan packing list to ensure you stay dry and comfortable during any unexpected downpours.

18. A Comfortable Rash guard

A comfortable rash guard is a must-have item on your Roatan packing list, not only for its protection against the Roatan sun, but also for its versatility in water-based activities.

A rash guard is perfect for keeping the sun off your arms and shoulders during a breezy boat day. Additionally, many scuba divers actually nix the wetsuit and dive in only a rash guard in Roatan, since the turquoise waters are so shallow and warm.

19. Dry Bag

If you’re asking what to pack for Honduras, then make sure a durable dry bag makes its way into your suitcase.

A dry bag is an essential item for your Roatan adventure. It provides an effective way to protect your valuable belongings from water, sand and dirt. They’re perfect for protecting your wallet and electronics from the salty sea spray on a boat charter or keeping the sand off your iPhone and sunglasses during a West Bay Beach day.

It’s also the perfect accessory for scuba divers who want to keep a few belongings on the boat during your surface interval.

Miscellaneous Items

20. World Nomads Travel Insurance

**I receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. I do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

Whenever I plan a trip, I always make sure to protect myself and my wallet with trip insurance. In the past, I’ve had very good experiences with World Nomads. During my trip to Chiang Mai in 2019, I had an unfortunate ankle-spraining incident that turned into a hospital visit with X-Rays, crutches and physical therapy. When I submitted my claim to World Nomads, I was reimbursed within weeks.

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world! Click below to get a quote for your next trip.

👉🏼 Get your quote for trip insurance here!

21. An Insulated Tumbler

If you’re ready to drink all the Salva Vidas at Roatan’s best beach bars and nightlife spots, then an insulated tumbler needs to make your Roatan packing list.

I brought my YETI tumbler with me every time I went out in Roatan. I’d fill it with beer before I left, drink it by the time I got to the bar (no open container laws in Honduras, woohoo! 🥳) and then the bartender would fill it with a fresh beer when I arrived (for only around 70 Honduran Lempiras I might add).

It’s the perfect way to make sure your drink doesn’t succumb to the Roatan heat and stays frosty until you’ve finished your last sip. For the same reason (and eco-friendly reasons), be sure to pack an insulated water bottle for your Roatan trip. I prefer Hydroflask, but there are plenty of great options out there.

22. Beach Reading Material

Do you plan to enjoy any of Roatan’s beautiful beaches during your trip? If yes, then beach reading material is a must-have for your Roatan packing list. There’s nothing better than losing yourself in a captivating read to sounds of the ocean. Especially while soaking up those Caribbean rays.

My taste in novels is a little…spookier than average, so my beach reads almost always involve some Stephen King. Most people prefer something a little lighter for a vacation read (although if you don’t, try The Institute). The New York Times rated their best beach reads for 2023 – listed below!

23. Inflatable Rafts with Cupholders

There’s nothing better than heading down to Sundowners Beach Bar, ordering an ice cold Salva Vida in your YETI, sliding your sunburned behind into an inflatable raft and floating in the Caribbean Sea at sunset.

Trust me, it’s the best.

Amazon has tons of great floatie options, like pizza shaped rafts and the avocado with a removable pit pictured below. Although these cutesy rafts are great for pics, I prefer a raft with cupholders for added functionality.

24. Portable Clothesline

When you’re constantly in the ocean, drying your swimsuits quickly and conveniently is a must. This easily-packed, portable clothesline from Amazon is the answer to the hassle of draping wet clothes over every chair and railing in the Airbnb.

Especially during Roatan rainy season, this clothesline might just save you from the horrible feeling of putting on wet swimsuit bottoms 🤮

25. Snorkeling equipment

Although there are literally hundreds of places that rent out snorkel gear on Roatan, it’s a bit offputting thinking about how many other tourists used the same mouthpiece before you (especially during COVID). If you’re a bit of a germaphobe, or just like to invest in nice snorkel gear, consider bringing your own for your Roatan vacation. 

You can get a nice set, complete with fins, a mask and a snorkel, for less than $50 on Amazon. Check out their top-rated items below!

26. Your Dive Log

If you plan to do any scuba diving in Honduras, this is your reminder to remember to add your dive log to your Roatan packing list. If you haven’t earned your PADI Open Water Certification yet and you plan on taking the course in Roatan, most dive shops will give you a dive log upon signing up. You can find plenty of dive log journals on Amazon, but I personally think it’s more fun to use one with your dive shop’s logo on it. It makes for awesome memories down the line!

Roatan Packing List FAQs:

What do people wear in Roatan?

In Roatan, the dress code is generally casual and laid-back, with an emphasis on comfort and practicality. As a tropical destination, lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen are popular choices. During the day, beachgoers typically wear swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, rash guards and t-shirts. It’s also common to see sun hats, sunglasses and flip flops as accessories for sun protection and beach activities.

How do you pack for Roatan?

If you’re wondering how to pack for Roatan, the answer is pack lightly. Don’t weigh yourself down with heavy fabrics and clunky shoes. Instead, prioritize lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen in the form of shorts, tank tops, sundresses and skirts. Be sure to pack plenty of swimsuits, as well as some comfortable cover ups. In addition to clothing, make sure to pack sun protection essentials like a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a high-SPF, reef-safe sunscreen to keep yourself safe from the Caribbean sun. A reusable water bottle will help you stay hydrated, and a good pair of water shoes or sandals will make beach exploration more comfortable during your trip. 

What is prohibited in Roatan?

In Roatan, certain activities and items are prohibited to protect the local environment and maintain the island’s natural beauty. These include touching or standing on coral reefs, littering, fishing without a license and removing seashells or other marine life from the ocean. Visitors should respect local customs, laws and regulations to ensure an enjoyable experience on the island.

Do I need malaria pills for Roatan Honduras?

While malaria is present in some parts of Honduras, Roatan is considered to be a low-risk area for the disease. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor or a travel health specialist before your trip to determine whether or not you should take malaria pills before and during your trip. Taking precautions against mosquito bites, such as using DEET-free insect repellent, can help further reduce your risk of contracting malaria during your stay in Roatan.
I took malaria pills for my first six weeks in Roatan and thoroughly regretted it. They made me sick for the entire time I was on them, and I only ever met one person on the island who had contracted malaria. However, I am not a doctor and it’s best to seek advice from a specialist when deciding to take malaria pills or not in Roatan.

Final Thoughts

Well there you have it – the ultimate Roatan packing list. From bathing suits to bug spray, I’ve got you covered for all your beachy Honduras needs.

As you prepare for your trip to this tropical paradise, remember to check the weather forecast and adjust accordingly. Don’t forget to leave some extra space in your suitcase for souvenirs, because trust me, you’re going to want to bring a piece of Roatan home with you (hot sauce and coffee anyone?). And most importantly, don’t stress too much about packing. My list has got everything you need to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable vacation. Have a great vacation in Roatan and, if you enjoyed this Roatan packing list, you might enjoy my related posts linked below.

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