When you visit us in Belize, you will pack via our Belize packing list which you can request from us anytime. Our list includes numerous specific items in several categories: documents, clothes, and gear. Some of the items on the list may seem obvious, but we also recommend a number of items many would fail to think of. For example, you will need river booties, sun protective clothing (see photo above), and fleece underwear and a sweater for cold (“What” you say? “It’s the tropics!” Yes, but storms can blow through any time and the temperatures can fall as low as the low 60s). If you would like a complete copy of our packing list, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-390-5715. We’ll happily mail one to you.
One thing you may not anticipate, is that Belize is much closer to the equator than you are at your home in the US or Canada. For example, Moab, Utah, where I live, lies at 38.5 degrees N, and our island lies at 16.7 degrees N. So Belize is over halfway to the equator from Moab. We all know how sensitive to the sun we are, and we take our usual precautions, but when you get to Belize, your instincts and habits will likely not be correct. Sunscreen is great, but it washes off. The best thing you can do is to bring sun protective clothing, and wear it!
The island has plenty of shade, but when on the water (and we are always on the water) you need protection. Slickrock Adventures has partnered with Coolibar to offer a number of items at a special discount when purchased with our promo code for 15% off on our recommended gear on their site. Visit the Slickrock page on their site to see the products we feel fit best with our active program: http://www.coolibar.com/slickrock.
Coolibar’s swimwear line is ideal fast-drying clothing and is UPF 50+. Use coupon code “slick14″ when checking out; you’ll get 15% off your order!
When you sign up for one of our Belize trips, you will receive a “What to Bring” list in the mail. You might think all you need is a couple of t-shirts, your swimsuit, and a toothbrush, but there are a few other things you will need to fully take advantage of our adventure sport program. You can request the full Belize packing list from us by email, but in a nutshell the other items include a dive skin, booties, mask, fins, snorkel, and flashlight. In addition to this, you still need your t-shirts, shorts, raingear, and toothbrush, plus a few other items.
So it IS possible to do it using only carry-on luggage, but in my opinion it is not worth it.
The Belize airport is small, you get your luggage quickly, and at best you will get to your initial Belize destination about 15 minutes faster by doing carry-on only.
And what do you sacrifice? If have seen people leave their fins at home, or buy these horrible tiny fins just to avoid checking luggage. I don’t get it. You go to one of the top snorkeling destinations in the entire world, and you don’t bring your fins, just to save 15 minutes?
Marilyn Craig of Theodore, Alabama joined us in January of 2009. One of our guests this year asked to correspond with someone who had joined us before. Marilyn wrote this informative reply to her, and sent us a copy.
“I bought a full body wet suit and Dick bought a skin for snorkeling. I am pretty cold-natured and was very comfortable snorkeling for a couple of hours. TAKE THEIR ADVICE on the fins and booties. We both had fins that fit like a shoe over thin snorkel socks. Mine are short – Dick’s are longer. We had no problem in the water but the problem was getting to deep enough water to snorkel when you walk from the shore. We bought booties – they were a life saver but we realize that we should have bought the ones suggested by Slickrock. Ours were OK but a thicker sole would have been better – you can not use your Tevas. Believe me we thought it was wasteful to spend the money on the booties but were glad we got them and wished we had bought the suggested ones. We also wished that we had bought new fins that could go over the booties. We would walk out in our booties – then balance to take them off and in the water put on our fins and either tow our booties or get someone to take booties back to beach and go through the process when we got back. SPEND THE EXTRA AND GET NEW FINS WITH STRAP AND SUGGESTED BOOTIES. You will wear them everywhere. You will not regret it. Once the staff was comfortable with our snorkeling we were able to go out on our own. We loved going to the end of the island – it was like being in an aquarium.
We brought all light quick drying clothes – Magellan shirts, zip off pants/shorts. Everything gets damp if it rains. Do bring a rain jacket and if you have waterproof pants if you have them. A fleece is a good idea also. Plan on cool temps with rain – layering clothes- and if you have sun and light winds the whole time Great!! Bring a headlamp with batteries. Bring a couple of paperbacks. You will also want a robe or something to go to the bathroom if needed in the night as it is a little walk to the facilities from your cabin.
We enjoy air conditioning and comforts of home but knew that being on a private island would be a change. It was like going to camp when you were a kid. If you want 4 star resort style vacation you will be disappointed. If you like a change, beautiful scenery, away from tourist crowds then Long key is the place for you. You will have lots of stories to tell. I agree that the only way to travel is light but we were not able to fit everything for 2 weeks into carry on luggage. We did bring a gear bag for our snorkel stuff.