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Planning a Vacation in the Caribbean – How to Prepare for Tropical Weather

The Caribbean is a beautiful part of the world, but it can also be very hot and humid. When you’re planning your trip, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for what to wear while there. In this article, we’ll discuss the best options for clothing in different situations on your vacation so that you can pack light without sacrificing comfort or practicality.

The Caribbean Dream

Taking a vacation to the Caribbean is a dream for many people. If you’re not used to this type of climate, make sure to pack some clothes that can deal with heavy rain at any moment. The weather is warm and tropical, but it can also be humid and rainy. 

If you have been to northeastern Kansas, you may already be familiar with this kind of weather. The Koppen Climate Classification subtype for the area is “Cfa,” i.e., humid subtropical climate. This climate is distinguished by relatively high temperatures and uniform precipitation throughout the year. Take a look at data from the weather radar in Overland Park, and you will see maximum temperatures close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with an average rainfall of 886 mm. 

You Need to Be Ready for the Climate

The temperature in the Caribbean can be quite warm during the day, so you’ll want to pack clothing that will keep you cool. You also want to bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses so that you don’t get sunburned or have a bad headache from squinting in the bright sun all day.

A bathing suit is essential because there are many beautiful beaches where you can swim in crystal clear waters. If possible, try wearing your bathing suit under your clothes for at least part of the time during your trip because this will save room in your suitcase.

Comfortable sandals should be worn at all times, especially because they’re much easier than wearing sneakers when walking on sandy beaches.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Water makes up 55% to 78% of your body. A newborn infant is approximately 78% water, a year-old baby is approximately 65% water, adult males are approximately 60% water, and adult women are around 55% water. Your brain and heart are both composed of 73% water. Your lungs are made up of 83% water. Even a small amount of water loss, as little as 1.5% of your body’s total water, might create symptoms of dehydration.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of water and sports drinks if you are exercising or out in the sun for an extended period of time. If you get dehydrated, you can get heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

To avoid getting dehydrated:

  • Drink water before going outside. Your body will retain it better than if you aren’t already thirsty and sweating.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine before going out as they both cause dehydration as well as making it harder for your body to cool down when necessary, which can lead to overheating faster than normal.
  • Don’t forget that drinking hot drinks can also cause dehydration, so keep them cold or consume them sparingly if possible.

Don’t Wear Tight Clothing

One of the first things you will notice when you arrive in the Caribbean is that it’s hot. Very hot. And humid. And even after a few days, if you’re not used to this climate, it can still feel very uncomfortable to wear tight clothing.

Wearing clothing that is too tight or restrictive can cause chafing and rashes on sensitive areas like your armpits and inner thighs. It’s also harder for your body to cool off when there’s limited airflow between the fabric and your skin.

Wearing loose-fitting clothes will allow air circulation throughout your body so that heat loss can happen more easily. You won’t be as sweaty and sticky when traveling in such warm climates.

It allows air to circulate around your body, and it will absorb sweat, which acts as a cooling agent while keeping you comfortable. Light cotton or linen clothes are perfect if you’re in a tropical climate. You should avoid tight-fitting clothing like leggings or tights, spandex, or jeans since these fabrics don’t allow for much ventilation and can make you feel hotter than necessary.

Wear Sunscreen

Every day, about 9,500 people in the United States are afflicted with skin cancer. Every hour, over two people are killed by the disease. Skin cancer kills more individuals in the United States each year compared to all other cancers put together. The number of fresh invasive melanoma cases detected each year has grown by 31% between 2012 and 2022.

The sun is the best way to get your vitamin D. However, too much of it can also give you skin cancer, so it’s important that you wear sunscreen. The general rule of thumb is that if you are going outside for more than 20 minutes, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Sunscreen should be applied before going out in the sun and should be reapplied every 2 hours, or more often if you are sweating or swimming. Be sure to cover all exposed areas. These include:

  • Ears, nose, face, and neck.
  • Hands and feet.
  • Underarms.
  • Scalp,
  • Lower legs, even behind knees. 

Stick to Light and Neutral Colors

Stick to light and neutral colors. This will help keep you cool and comfortable as the weather heats up.

Light colors reflect heat, while dark ones absorb it. The best bet is to stick with light and neutral tones. White, cream, beige, or khaki don’t absorb heat so much.

Don’t Wear Sneakers or Leather Shoes

Wear shoes that will dry quickly. Some shoes are designed to keep your feet cool by allowing them to breathe, but this can cause problems when you’re in the Caribbean. The main problem is that these shoes tend not to dry quickly and can get smelly very easily.

Avoid tight shoes. If you are going on a vacation where you will be walking a lot, then you should wear comfortable shoes which fit properly and do not restrict your movement at all. Also, remember not to wear any footwear made from leather because they won’t be able to dry out if they get wet.

Wear a Hat That Covers Your Neck and Face

To avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion, you should wear a hat that covers your neck and face. The hat should also have a brim so that it protects your face from the sun’s rays. Make sure to choose a lightweight material for this hat so that it does not become too hot in the tropical climate.

In case of a heat stroke, check your body temperature every 5 minutes. A rectal probe is recommended for measuring the patient’s core temperature. The objective is to cool down to 102.2° F in 30 to 60 minutes.

There you have it. Our list of clothing and accessory suggestions for traveling to the Caribbean. We hope these tips will help you enjoy your visit and make sure that you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you.