The 10 Key Items to Pack for the Dominican Republic
If you like piña coladas and all-inclusive hotels... then the Dominican Republic is perfect for you. This Caribbean nation has some of the most beautiful beaches on earth, not to mention some of the best resorts, too. While you’ll find many guests here enjoying some serious R&R on the pool or beach loungers, others will be hitting up the watersports for a more action-packed trip. Whatever your vacation style, we’ve got a number of suggestions for what to pack for your next Dominican Republic adventure so it all goes hassle-free.
Flirty One-Piece Swimsuit
Allow us to remind you of the super obvious: You’ll need a bathing suit when you’re in the Caribbean. This fun and flirty one-piece suit from Asos delivers serious poolside glamor with fluttery wrap style, but it’s also got a practical cut that’ll stay put if you want to jump on a boogie board or spike a beach volleyball. The solid black color gives a good base that you can dress up with armfuls of funky accessories, like a colorful sarong or bold beach bag.
Pretty Beach Cover-Up
For some, a trip to the Dominican Republic means living in your swimsuit. But even if you’re just trekking from your hotel room to the lounger on the sand—or from the sand to the bar!—you’ll want a little bit of cover. We love this colorful sarong from H&M, which could double as a shawl in case it gets breezy at night. You can also use it to bundle up if it gets chilly on the plane! (See our full list of sarong picks here.)
Casual Floral-Print Day Dress
If you can bear to break away from the beach to go exploring, you’ll need proper clothes. But there’s no need to involve buttons and zippers. Our pick? A casual day dress—something that can be tossed on like this simple, swingy dress from Old Navy. The jersey-knit material means it’ll be super comfy, making it ideal to wear on an all-day excursion. This dress can do double duty as a beach cover-up, or you can elevate it for dinner with a pair of heels and bold jewelry.
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Feminine Evening Dress
Most resorts in the Dominican Republic don’t have fancy dress codes in their restaurants, but it’s still nice to change into a dress for dinner. Consider a fun maxi dress, like this striped number from Anthropologie, which you can dress up or down with accessories and shoes. We love the feminine wrap silhouette and the touch of metallic threads to add a hint of bling.
Forget your sunglasses, and you’re in for days of squinting. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, taking a quick dip in the pool, or strolling around town, you’ll want to protect your eyes from the piercing Caribbean sun. Ray-Bans are a timeless choice that’ll never go out of style, but why go with a mundane traditional pair when you can opt for a festive pink-and-gold number?
Floppy Beach Hat
Now that you’ve squared away your sunglasses, double up on your sun protection with a broad-rimmed hat. Bonus: You’ll look like a Hollywood starlet lounging by the resort pool. This Nine West pick from Macy’s is the ultimate beach companion. Not only is it packable—which is key—but it also has a UPF 50+ rating and a cool-touch sweatband on the inside.
Waterproof Phone Case
It might not be the chicest beach accessory around, but a waterproof phone case is a must if you plan on bringing your phone anywhere near the seashore, especially if you’re out on a boat, a stand-up paddleboard, or any other water activities. Our top pick is this pouch by YOSH, which fits all phones with screens up to six inches and has a little room to spare for extras like a room key or an ID. The clear paneling means you can take photos right through the case.
No-Nonsense Bug Spray
Pesky, itchy bug bites are a downside to the Dominican Republic, to say nothing of Zika (a minor risk, but one you don’t want to take!). Protect yourself with seriously legit bug spray. We love Off!’s Family Care Smooth & Dry product, which, as the name suggests, goes on quite smooth and dry. Even better—the product comes in a 2.5-ounce aerosol can for easy application, and it’s small enough to abide by the TSA’s carry-on liquid rules.
Sunglasses, check. Sun hat, check. The final step in your sun protection? Lightweight, clear sunscreen. We suggest purchasing Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen. It comes in a variety of SPF strengths, but all have broad spectrum UVA and UVB coverage. And since it’s sized in a three-ounce container, you can go ahead and put it in your carry-on liquids bag.
Sturdy Beach Bag
Now that you’re loaded up with beach gear, you’ll need something to cart it all to the shore! We love the classic, sturdy L.L. Bean Boat and Tote. This canvas bag features trim and handles that come in a variety of playful colors, and it can be monogrammed for a personal touch (or a silly one, if you want to add an LOL or an OMG). We’re also suggesting you get the zip-top version, since it might prevent some sand from getting in your bag.