St Martin, French Caribbean

The essentials for traveling in St. Maarten / St Martin

The Caribbean region has certainly a different climate than the one you are living in. Thus, you may wonder what to pack for St. Maarten / St Martin. The first items you should think of are the most important, and include valid passports, airline tickets, reservation numbers, car rental documents, vouchers, cash, credit cards, driver’s licenses, prescription drugs…

We recommend that you e-mail yourself copies of your passports and other important documents like your driver’s license. It may be very useful if lost. Also, even if there is not a great deal of crime in St. Maarten / St. Martin, we recommend that you keep your valuables in a safe place.

To avoid forgetting anything, making a mental note of all activities you are planning to participate in during your trip is a good idea. You may also want to check the predicted weather before your trip. This will help you determine if any other items than the one we mentioned before will be necessary.

Like for any trip, experienced travelers recommend that you keep your most important items with you in your carry-on bag. Sometimes, your checked luggage gets damaged or delayed and you will avoid bad surprise by doing so.

What to wear 

Except if you have a special event that requires a proper attire, dress is generally informal in St. Maarten/ St Martin. Boat shoes, polo shirts, shorts and sneakers are perfect for the island. However, if swimwear is perfect for the beach, it is not considered a proper outfit in town. Also, most of travelers who pack for St. Maarten/ St Martin take jeans or sweaters they probably won’t use. However, nightlife in St. Maarten/ St Martin can be dressy, so make sure you take the clothes you need if you are planning on going to bars.

Special items for St. Maarten/ St Martin

Here is a short list of items that are necessary to pack for St. Maarten/ St Martin. If you are coming from the US, the UK or Canada, a 110-220 voltage converter and a plug adapter (to French plugs) is necessary.

  • Buying candles in case of power failures, which tend to occur often in St. Maarten/ St Martin.
  • A French mini-phrase book/dictionnary is advised if you or anybody in the group you are traveling with speak french.
  • If you plan on hiking during rain or in case of rain, you will want to put a rain poncho and traction-sole shoes.
  • Mosquito repellent containing one of the followings : DEET, picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel and icaridin), oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE or PMD) or IR3535.
  • Lots of sunscreen and lip block
  • Sandals and sneakers, adapted for the beach, hiking, boating, or just walking in town. Pack at least one pair of comfortable athletic shoes or hiking boots.
  • Sports gear (snorkel, mask,..)
  • Binoculars
  • Spare batteries for cameras
  • Cash : the currency in St. Maarten/ St Martin is Euro. Credit and debit card are widely accepted. If you are coming from a country that is not in the Euro zone, you may ask your bank about temporary options to avoid paying fees when using your payment card.