Headed to the Dominican Republic, but not sure what to pack? I can help! Here is my best Santo Domingo Packing List for What to Wear in the Dominican Republic.
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Ahhh, the beautiful Dominican Republic! After several years of travelling mostly around the Middle East and Asia, I finally returned to the Western Hemishphere and embraced the island life for a bit. And I have to tell you, it did not disappoint. From the beautiful beaches to the historical cities to the friendly and vibrant culture- you will not regret a visit to the Dominican Republic.
On this trip I stayed on the southern half of the island, exploring Santo Domingo, Juan Dolio and Saona Island. However, I can confidently say that this Santo Domingo packing list will provide you with what to wear for anywhere in the Dominican Republic. It was more than enough for exploring the Colonial Zone ruins, the local hangouts in Juan Dolio, and the tropical paradise of Saona Island. You can read my Santo Domingo beach reviews and recommendations here if you are still in the planning phase your trip!
So where to start? First, let me recommend to pack enough clothing for one week. If you stay longer, you can always do laundry, and if you stay for less time, you may actually want a few “extras” in case anything is dirty or wet from sweat or seawater.
This is a good general rule for ALL travels, actually, as I like to travel carry-on only a good 99% of the time. Typically, even for a month-long trip, I will pack a full 7 or 8 days worth of clothes in my carry-on, and in addition wear a full outfit on the plane comprised of items I can use throughout the trip. Then I launder my clothes by hand at any hotel stop that is two nights or more. (A one-night stop often doesn’t allow time for clothes to hang-dry in time).
So, back to the Dominica Republic. Exactly what items should you wear in the country? Below I will list everything I recommend for your Santo Domingo and Dominican Republic packing list.
What to Wear in the Dominican Republic: A Santo Domingo Packing List
clothing & accessories:
Nomatter what time of year you visit the Dominican Republic, your packing list should focus primarily on light and breezy articles of clothing, for both the beach and cities. The Caribbean can be quite hot and humid, and heavy clothing items are not typically necessary. To cover up in air-conditioned rooms, I recommend lightweight but long-sleeved or full leg items. Read on for specifics.
- Two “beachy” tank tops – two tank tops for beach use that you don’t mind getting sandy or sweaty. Also good for any vacation workouts you might do. Some basics I recommend can be found here.
- Three “nicer” tank tops – Go as casual or as dressy as you like. These are for walking around the Colonial Zone or any other city or rural area you may be exploring. Also good for going out for dinners, etc.
- Two T-shirts – You should always bring short sleeve shirts, even for a hot beach destination that you plan to wear tanks and swimsuits a lot. This is a cute knotted option more interesting than a basic tee. Your shoulders will get the brunt of the sun, so sometimes you may need to cover up and give them a break. Also good if you’ve gotten too much sun already!
- One lightweight hoodie – Pack one very lightweight hooded sweatshirt or sweater. This is great to cover up if you are in air-conditioned restaurants or hotel rooms.
- One pair of shorts for the beach – Try to make this pair of shorts be double-duty. Pack a pair that is both appropriate for the beach and for working out. Non-denim is ideal.
- One pair of shorts for exploring – This should be your denim pair of shorts, or a pair that you would prefer to wear off the beach. I packed denim for around town and cave explorations.
- Long flowy palazzo style pants – I love this style of long, loose flowy palazzo pants. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen that I wear these types of pants all the time – but they are particularly excellent for beachy and hot, humid destinations.
- Two bathing suits – If you plan to spend multiple days at the beach, I highly recommend bringing two swimsuits. That way you can alternate every other day, letting the wet pair have a full day to dry out.
- Two pairs of leggings – The most comfortable, versatile bottom for any destination. You probably already own these but Several pairs of basic leggings. if not, Amazon has a nice option. These can also double as workout wear.
- One romper or playsuit – so easy to throw on over bathing suits for beach days. This romper has the closest cut to the one I am wearing in the photo below, and I was so happy to have this for my Saona Island trip. A MUST for the beach.
- Sleepwear – don’t forget to pack whatever your preferred sleepwear outfit might be.
- Underwear – This will obviously depend on the length of your trip, but I typically would recommend packing around seven or eight pairs and count on doing laundry. For bras, I would recommend a mix of “normal” bras, bandeau, and sports bras.
- Flip Flops – one basic pair of flip flops for the beach and/or showers
- Trekking sandals – I talk a lot about my favorite Keen trekking sandals, but I swear these have never let me down. They’ve been to most continents with me over the years and they did not disappoint in the Dominican Republic. I wore them around town as well as for exploring caves and hiking.
- Hat – My much-loved and several years old panama-style hat, which I’m wearing in several photos here, is amazing. But, since it’s listing as a product is long gone, I have an alternate recommendation that can be found here and is a #1 best seller. As a bonus it claims to be crushable, which mine definitely is not. You’re welcome.
- One Kimono – for covering up on the beach or in the city.
- Scarf / Sarong – Go lightweight! I have the dark green option shown here, and I love it. Great for the flight or as a beach cover up, or even for an air-conditioned room.
- Jewelry – optional.
- Small cross-body bag – As I’ve recommended in other posts, I have absolutely loved this bag from Pacsafe. Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic in general has a bit of a reputation as not being the safest destination. While I had no trouble traveling as a solo female, this bag gives me peace of mind with a theft-proof strap, locking zippers, and RFID protection. I have had great luck with this brand and consider it to be an excellent investment.
When you pack carry-on only, you need to make sure that the size of your liquids is 3.4 oz (100ml), which is the maximum acceptable by the TSA, or less – as well as will all fit inside of one 1-quart bag. Think about what is actually necessary and what will be provided onsite. For example, my hair is picky about conditioner, but couldn’t care less what shampoo I use. So cross off anything below that you don’t specifically need for your Santo Domingo packing list or that you can make do with hotel or guesthouse provides.
- Toothpaste & Toothbrush
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Sunscreen – Consider purchasing an all-natural or reef-friendly sunscreen brand as we want to protect the beautiful Caribbean ocean wildlife.
- Brush or Comb
- Face wash
- Hand Sanitizer
- Shaving supplies
- Feminine hygiene items
- Lip Balm (with SPF)
- Face Wipes or Makeup Remover – Click here for my all time fave!
- Travel First Aid Kit – This one is so tiny and packable! I also recommend this one at home, for hiking safety, or any any trip that you may be solo or in remote areas.
- Medications & Perscriptions – Don’t forget these as they can be tough to find abroad!
- Hair Styling Tools if needed
Gear for your santo domingo packing list:
Gear is slightly dependent on the person. If you need to work while you travel, you are likely to need your laptop. If not, don’t weigh yourself down. Plus, if you’re alone, you may need more reading materials whereas if you’re in a group, bluetooth beach speakers might be more important. So again, modify items as you like, but here is a good place to start.
- Dry Bag – super useful on the beach, on the boat, and in the rain. I have this exact bag in two different sizes and I bring it on many trips abroad. It is not the cheapest option you will see, but it is more sturdy than most.
- Optional: one microfiber towel – I often pack this thin, foldable but absorbent towel for beaches, camping, and more. It has served me well on multiple continents and is still going strong.
- Cameras & Chargers
- Books or e-books
- Phone & Charger
- Earbuds or headphones (great for the flight)
- Credit Cards / Wallet / Cash – see my in depth post on how to keep money safe while you travel for tons of helpful suggestions that I swear by!
- Laptop & Charger if needed
- Any other beach items to make your trip better, personally. Example: bluetooth speakers, small cooler, etc.
As you can probably tell from my photos, my return to the Caribbean was amazing. I hope to head back again later this year, and I’ll definitely share where I go and what I do. But this list identifies everything I packed for my own trip.
Now that you know what to wear in the Dominican Republic, you are well on your way to a successful trip to the Caribbean. As I mentioned before, this packing list will work for any area of the Dominican Republic, not just Santo Domingo – and frankly, is what I use for any trip to the Caribbean as a whole.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that I stayed in AirBnb’s during my entire recent trip. Click here! New Airbnb members: you can save up to $55 USD on your first booking. Not bad!
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Have a wonderful vacation and please let me know in the comments below if this helps you out!