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Top Essentials to Pack While Going to Puerto Rico

A fascinating heritage and vibrant culture, mouthwatering cuisine, beautiful beaches, towering mountains, opportunities for relaxation and exploration are packed into one tropical paradise in the Caribbean. People in Puerto Rico are known for being kind, courteous, and accommodating to visitors. You won't feel like a stranger or an outsider here; rather, you'll feel the warmth and welcome of a family member here. You will find a celebration of life around every corner, as well as a rich cultural experience, food that will nourish your spirit, and music that will captivate you.

The name Puerto Rico literally translates to “rich port” in Spanish. Borinquén is a common name for the island among Puerto Ricans. This name is derived from Borikén, the indigenous Taino name for the island, which means “Land of the Valiant Lord.” 

The phrases “boricua” and “borincano,” which are used interchangeably to refer to people of Puerto Rican descent, originate in Borikén and Borinquen, respectively. Boricua is the more prevalent of the two terms.

Large Flag of Puerto Rico on the Street of the San Juan

In Spanish, the island is often commonly referred to as “la isla del encanto,” which literally translates to “the island of enchantment.” Columbus honored Saint John the Baptist by naming the island after him by giving it the name San Juan Bautista. The capital city of Puerto Rico was given the name Ciudad de Puerto Rico (“Rich Port City”).

Eventually, merchants and other people who frequented the sea began to refer to the entire island as Puerto Rico. At the same time, San Juan became the name given to the city that serves as the primary port for trading and shipping as well as the capital of the country.

Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, the United States officially changed the name of the island to Puerto Rico. The anglicized form of the name was utilized by both the government of the United States and commercial businesses.

In 1931, with the introduction of a joint resolution in Congress by Félix Córdova Dávila, the territory’s name was once again changed to Puerto Rico. The entity’s official name in Spanish is Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, which literally translates to “Free Associated State of Puerto Rico.”

In contrast, the entity’s official name in English is the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The months of March through early July offer the most pleasant temperatures on the island, and hurricane season has not yet begun at this point. This makes it the ideal time to travel there.

Sunset at Old Morro Castle in San Juan Puerto Rico

If you travel between April and July, you will not only skip the peak travel season, but you will also avoid the higher prices associated with that season. Keep in mind that Puerto Rico, like many other Caribbean islands, is situated directly in the path that storms often take.

When you are preparing your suitcase for your trip to Puerto Rico, keep in mind that the climate there is consistently warm and tropical all 365 days of the year. However, you should be prepared for brisk evenings, periods of precipitation, and the danger of hurricanes during this time of year.

The truth is that you’ll need a little bit more than just swimwear, sandals, and t-shirts on your checklist of what to pack for Puerto Rico. While many people who visit the island only pack their bags with these items, the reality is that you won’t be able to get by without them.

A Brief Insight into Puerto Rico

Table of Contents

Resort Town and Beach at Gran Canaria Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean that is considered an unorganized territory of the United States. Its official name is the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It is situated in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, almost 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) southeast of Miami, Florida, in the United States.

The Commonwealth is an archipelago that is part of the Greater Antilles and can be found between the Dominican Republic and the United States Virgin Islands. It comprises the eponymous main island as well as a number of other smaller islands, such as Mona, Culebra, and Vieques.

San Juan, the nation’s capital and also its most populous city, is home to the island’s approximate 3.2 million inhabitants. Both Spanish and English are considered to be official languages in the executive branch of the United States government, yet, Spanish is spoken more frequently.

Beginning between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago, a number of native peoples, including the Ortoiroid, Saladoid, and Tango, migrated to Puerto Rico and established the first permanent settlements there. After Christopher Columbus’s arrival in 1493, Spain began the process of colonizing the area that he had discovered.

Colorful Apartment on Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was a Spanish territory for the next 400 years despite being disputed by a number of other European powers throughout that time period. The arrival of enslaved Africans and settlers, particularly from the Canary Islands and Andalusia, had a profound impact on the island’s cultural and demographic landscape.

When compared to other, more prosperous Spanish colonies such as Peru and New Spain, Puerto Rico’s significance within the Spanish Empire was secondary yet strategic. By the end of the 19th century, a distinct Puerto Rican identity had started to take shape.

This identity was based on a synthesis of components that were indigenous, African, and European. Following the conclusion of the Spanish–American War in 1898, the United States of America gained ownership of Puerto Rico.

List of Essentials to Pack While Traveling to Puerto Rico

Water Filtration Bottle

If you are concerned about the safety of drinking tap water in Puerto Rico, you can save money by packing a water bottle with a filtration system in your bag instead of purchasing bottled water there.

Grayl GeoPress is the ideal reusable water bottle since this water purifier bottle can clean up to 24 ounces of water without requiring a complicated installation process or other special preparations.


Do not bring a big and uncomfortable suitcase with you to Puerto Rico because you will have to carry it through Old San Juan. 

This will be a burden for you. Choose instead a bag that not only satisfies the requirements set forth by airlines for a carry-on but also has enough space for all of the items on your packing list.

Waterproof Cell Phone Case

Because there is a lot of water both on and around the island of Puerto Rico, it is not hard to assume that your phone could become damaged while you are there. 

There are a lot of things you may do that will put your electrical devices in jeopardy. You shouldn’t put your gadgets at risk by taking any chances.

You will still be able to use your phone’s touchscreen and camera even when it is protected by a mobile case or cover that is waterproof, dustproof, and dirtproof. Additional benefits include some degree of shock resistance.

Travel First Aid Kit

When we are making plans for a trip, “what if” scenarios frequently run through our heads. We get travel insurance for the “just in case” situations that may arise, but we don’t want to rush to the hospital for minor injuries such as a cut, scrape, or twisted ankle. 

There is no way to prepare for each and every one of those potential scenarios, but taking a compact first aid kit with you is an excellent approach to cover all of your bases. It is important for people who suffer from allergies to keep a record of the foods, medications, and other substances to which they are allergic.

Learn the generic names of the medications you take in case you ever need to have a prescription refilled. This is especially important for people who have very particular medical requirements. Keep a copy of the prescription on your person at all times.

In the event that you forget anything, you may always pick up any necessary first aid supplies from a nearby pharmacy. You should take into consideration the following items when putting together your first aid kit: pain relief (Tylenol, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen), allergy medications (Benadryl, Claritin, Loratadine, other antihistamine), creams like cortisone and benadryl that relieve itching, after-sun gel.

If necessary, you should bring an EpiPen, Imodium/Loperamide, Neosporin, or another antiseptic cream. Bandages, athletic tape, and gauze, tablets like Tums, Pepto-Bismol, or other antacids, tweezers, and safety pins are also included. Ace bandage is essential to bring on vacation, particularly if you plan to do a lot of walking or trekking.

Electronic Devices to Pack

Travel Power Bank Charger

In Puerto Rico, the electrical outlets and voltage are the same as those found in the United States. WiFi is easily accessible to users. 

You won’t have any problems if you are traveling from the United States or if you have electronic devices that are compatible with a US converter. If you are traveling from another country, make sure to take a travel adaptor.

A phone and its charger, charger for AHD laptops, adapters (if necessary), and tablets, as well as portable chargers and power packs, should be among the items you consider bringing along.

Day Backpack/ Daypack

Travelling Backpack on Sand

You are going to want to make sure that you bring a daypack with you to Puerto Rico. Your daypack would also serve as your personal item while you were traveling. 

Your daypack will enable you to travel light while increasing the amount of adventure you have, making it ideal for the beach, hiking, or shopping in the city.

Be sure to include the following: sunscreen and insect repellent, after-sun or aloe gel, a hat and sunglasses, a bottle of water, a sarong or another garment for when the sun is too intense, a packable rain jacket or mini umbrella, a clean set of clothes to change into, swimsuit, additional trash bag with a zip-top for any waste you produce on your trip and a towel folding for travel.

Cooling Towel

Face Towel for Hot Weather

The many advantages of using a cooling towel speak for themselves. Because of Puerto Rico’s tropical environment, you can take advantage of the extra daylight hours and stay cool by using a cooling towel. 

If you bring this in your backpack, you won’t have to worry about getting sweaty, hot, or uncomfortable. This towel can be used as a headband, a facemask, and in many other ways to provide rapid respite from the heat, allowing you to enjoy being outside without being hindered by discomfort. Just soak your towel in some water, and you’re good to go.

Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes

They are comfortable enough to be worn for an entire day of trekking, and you won’t have to worry about anything if you decide to go swimming in the waterfalls or walk straight into the water while wearing them. 

Women Water Shoes Slip On

Their construction makes it possible for sand and water to escape, preventing them from becoming stuck inside and causing you to experience annoyance or pain.

Additionally, you can wear them when beach strolling, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and generally doing any activity that calls for shoes that can withstand water and have a good grip.

Quick-Dry Travel Size Towel

When visiting Puerto Rico, you should bring a travel towel with you everywhere you go, from the breathtaking waterfalls to the beaches with crystal blue water. 

Not only can you dry your hands in record time with this towel, but it also includes a washcloth (very handy). This ultra-compact, incredibly plush, and ultra-lightweight towel can easily accompany you on all of your travels, putting an end to the days when you had to tote around a large, heavy towel.

To keep your towel secure until your next adventure, roll it up and store it in the mesh container it came with.

Mosquito Repellent Wrist Bands or Spray

Mosquitoes are a concern in every tropical or subtropical environment. Puerto Rico is not an exception, and it is important to make preparations properly. 

These mosquito wristbands are the kind of insect repellent that I like to use the most because they are highly long-lasting both in and out of the water, they contain fewer and safer chemicals than other repellents, and they are safe for use around children. 

It is also highly recommended that you have an insect repellent spray with you on walks, as well as for times when you need to spray your luggage or clothes.

Swimsuit Cover-Up

A cover-up for your swimwear is an absolute necessity if you plan on sunbathing by the pool or hanging out at the beach. 

You can simply throw it on over your swimsuit, then go for a walk or out to lunch without having to entirely change into something else or wander around in a wet towel.

RFID Neck Wallet

RFID Neck Wallet Parts

It’s likely that you’ll spend much of your time in Puerto Rico appreciating the island’s historical landmarks and active outdoor pursuits. 

You will be able to relax and take in the scenery without having to worry about your possessions, thanks to this neck wallet. Adjust the length of the strap to suit your needs, and trust the Neck Wallet to keep your valuables secure.

This accessory is the ideal size and can be worn around the neck without causing discomfort. From the moment you get off the airport, everything from your passports to your cellphones to your cash will be put to use.

Beach Bag with Cooler

When planning a trip to the beach, it’s a good idea to have a dependable beach bag to make your day less stressful and more enjoyable. 

Couple Walking with Cooler and Beach Bag

Additionally, these are lightweight and can be folded into a compact size for the purpose of packing. When unfolded, however, it expands to a size that is large enough to carry towels and other stuff that you will require at the beach.

Apart from this, the lower compartment features a cooler where you can store your beverages and snacks.

Rash Guard

Even during the colder months of the year, the sun in Puerto Rico is very intense. Because of this, protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is extremely important, and wearing a rash guard is one of the most effective ways to do so. 

When it comes to the accessories used for water sports, you should look for one that offers protection against rashes and burns caused by friction.

Hand Sanitizer

Traveling Hand Sanitizer

Your journey to Puerto Rico will provide you with plenty of opportunities to go outside and take in as much of the island’s natural beauty as you can. Having said that, health and hygiene are priorities. Invest in a hand sanitizer that is effective against 99.9 percent of bacteria. 

Not only should you use this on your hands, but also on surfaces both inside and outside the house. In unfamiliar places, you can’t always depend on the cleanliness elements.

Still, this hand sanitizer is ideal to carry on the move because it readily fits in compact luggage and is convenient to have with you at all times. Hand sanitizer is your ally in the fight against germs.

Wind-Proof Travel Umbrella

It’s likely that an umbrella will become your greatest buddy over the course of your vacation, depending on the time of year. 

Wind and Rain Umbrella

Due to its tropical environment, Puerto Rico experiences warm weather throughout the entire year; nonetheless, it is important to keep an umbrella handy during the wetter months. Choose an umbrella that is not only robust and large but also comes with a robust carrying case to safeguard it.

This is exactly what you need in your backpack in the event that an unexpected rain shower occurs. This umbrella is not only going to come in handy when you are in Puerto Rico, but it is also going to become an indispensable part of your regular life.

Leave-In Hair Conditioner

The sun’s intensity significantly increases the risk that your hair will become damaged. Using a leave-in conditioner spray helps to protect and nourish your hair.

Preventing it from becoming unhealthy and fried as a result of excessive exposure to UV rays and seawater. It is not only effective but also quite lightweight, and it does not leave behind a greasy or oily residue.

Travel Insurance

travel insurance

Purchasing insurance for your vacation to Puerto Rico should be a priority while you are making preparations for the trip. 

In addition to the myriad of mishaps that could occur while you are on an adventure in Puerto Rico, such as hiking in El Yunque, the island is also in the midst of hurricane season, which could result in a sudden alteration of your vacation plans.

Not to mention the fact that we are still in the midst of a worldwide health crisis, which could throw a wrench in your plans at any given moment!

Packing Cubes

You’ll want to make sure that your pack is as well arranged as it can be for your vacation to Puerto Rico. A pair of packing cubes can help you organize and divide your belongings, with different compartments for things like your shoes, underwear, and clothing.

It even comes with a bag for your toiletries and a string bag that is ideal for carrying your dirty laundry.

Portable Camera

Portable Camera on Hand

You are going to want to make sure that you bring a camera with you to Puerto Rico that is capable of capturing all of your memorable moments, no matter what the setting may be. 

Because it can record video at a resolution of 5 kilobytes per second and shoot photographs at a resolution of 20 megabytes per second, the GoPro HERO9 has quickly become one of the most popular action cameras.

Waterproof Bag

If you plan on going to any beaches, rivers, or waterfalls while in Puerto Rico, be sure to put a waterproof bag on your list of things to take. 

Even if you are in the water, you will be able to have your spare clothes and electronic devices with you at all times if you have a dry bag. In order to prevent water from penetrating, a waterproof bag is constructed from a durable material that utilizes seamless construction techniques.

Motion Sickness Medicine

Be sure to bring motion sickness medication with you if you plan on traveling to Icacos or Vieques and Culebra via boat. If you do so, you won’t have to worry about getting unwell. 

The best feature of the anti-nausea medication Dramamine is that it does not cause drowsiness in its users.

Snorkeling Gear

If you are an experienced snorkeler and plan to explore the island on your own, you should not forget to take your own snorkeling equipment. There are certain locations where you can rent snorkeling equipment; however, the cost will be higher.

Ready, Get Set & Off You Go!!! ...🛪

Let this list of essentials serve as a checklist for you while you pack for your vacation to Puerto Rico, and you will have nothing to worry about! Simply pack, sit back and get ready to enjoy your trip.

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