View Full Version : What to Bring?? Our first trip.

05-28-2012, 06:03 PM
Greetings to Everyone!

My husband and I will be making our first trip to Bonaire in October 2012. We are no strangers to dive travel, but I have learned to bring certain things to the different places we go. We have an apartment at Belmar and hopefully it has all the kitchen tools we need :)

My question for the seasoned Bonaire travelers is... What do you suggest we bring (other than our dive gear)?

Thanks Everyone :cool:

Nick F
05-28-2012, 10:03 PM
Wash cloths, insect repellent, plenty of sunscreen. Bring sturdy shoes to explore the park a bit on your non-diving day before departure. Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy - order in advance to help select the sites you want to dive http://www.infobonaire.com/bsdme/
Enjoy your trip

05-28-2012, 11:37 PM
A few things to add to the previous thread. Paper plates, napkins, water bottle's to fill with Bonaire's good water, small
soft sided cooler , a few garbage bags , coffee filter's, coffee, snack's - almonds, granola bars, etc.

05-29-2012, 01:13 AM
First, we are not divers, snorkelers only. it is evident that everyone has their MUST haves when traveling. If you simply cannot live without it for a few weeks, then certainly make some packing space! YES, I take my own washcloths cause I like 'em!!!! We usually stay a month on this haven of underwater beauty and awesome folks above the water. Most everything is available on island now, yep, sometimes pricier---but, the airlines charge too! A little plug----support the local economy! If you find you don't use what you have purchased, take it to Michael at Chat 'n Browse and it WILL get to those in need. Or, get to know your housekeeper and ask if they could use the leftovers! Because of my skin, I always take my own sunscreen from my dermatologist---you WILL need lots! And, yep, you'll need bug stuff too---even when you first land on those early am flights. This can be purchased on Bonaire, but again, I like to take my own and have it with me ALWAYS! You won't feel the bites, they just pop out the next day! Beauty comes with a price. Most of the restaurants have "bug spray" available if you ask---I like the wipes/packaged individually/easy to put a couple in your pocket. For your apt, take quart and gallon zip lock bags---out of the cardboard packaging for travel. This IS the tropics, protect your food! REALLY good coffee IS available for purchase in the stores----we like the coffee from the D. R. that is sold. Filters prove to be a hassle because you have to know what kind of filter is needed! They sell them in the stores and it isn't going to break the bank to buy them and leave the leftovers for those folks that follow. Paper products? Well, we REALLY try to use the supplied dishes and hand wash them. Bonaire water IS the best! Use it carefully for showers, dishes, and DRINK LOTS of it! Keep your ice trays filled! I like to take the frozen cubes, put into a zip, and keep the cubes coming! Buy a couple/like four of bottles of water in a store, then just refill from the tap/freeze. You are good to go! Since we travel quite a bit now and for longer stays, I like to take my own spices in a little travel kit. Honestly, I've NEVER been stopped or searched for my dried spices!!! No, in the '60's, it would have NOT have been the same! But, at 64, I'm invisible---except for "pat downs" when I can fill the quota! You WILL NOT need that many clothes! Clothes are easily washed in your apt and dry quickly outdoors. (Buy some white vinegar to rinse your gear and suits. Cheap on island and gets rid of the sea smell!) And, the Alpha/Omega Laundry is the BEST!!! Oh! YES, you will need good solid soled water shoes!!! There's a reason why the shore diving and snorkeling is so wonderful!!! You've got to make it into the water over sometimes rough entrys/entries. Even where there are stairs/steps, they get slippery! I know! I'm "wordy"! But, slippery steps into a snorkeling or diving entry is quite the understatement! Get some GOOD water shoes!

Pack a good sense of humor, a willingness to vacation on "island time", and an open and friendly smile. OMG! I wish I was going for the first time! It's a rush! peace. mellen

J Brown
05-29-2012, 08:55 AM
The kitchens have everything you need.

05-29-2012, 09:05 AM
I agree with "the kitchens will have everything you need". Bring hard soled dive booties, insect repellant(not that its a big issue), sunscreen of course, and yer clothes. thats just about it. Its laid back and you will love it. Dont take anything on a shore dive that you need to leave in the truck. Although I have never had a problem, theft from a vehicle while diving occurs sometimes. Just be smart, dont take anything that anyone could want, leave your truck unlocked. Take your DL with you in an otter box or BC pocket. I'll be there in 31 days. cant wait!!!!

05-29-2012, 03:31 PM
The apartment will have all the kitchen stuff you'll need. Maybe even a cooler too. Bring an extra mask. I always have a backup. Small zipties. Get a tan before you go. We usually go for a month before. The sun is brutal if you're not prepared. Bring 50+ sunscreen too. And 100% deet for your arms and legs at dinner. You can get it at WalMart in the camping section. We bring a microfiber cloth to apply it and throw it away at the end of the trip. Neosporin, just in case. Benadryl.

05-29-2012, 06:15 PM
blueeyze IMHO you made a great choice at Belmar..our favorite...don't try to take too much as you can find most things on island that you will need and I'm sure it helps the local economy when purchased there

05-29-2012, 08:00 PM
blueeyz, the best thing you can take with you is an open mind and willingness to not sweat the small stuff. :cool: I have been visiting Bonaire since 1986 and have experienced a lot of different things, my best times were when I ignored the trivial things and focused on the beauty surrounding me. Over the years my packing list gets smaller and smaller, the only true material things I bring are: clothes, but not a lot, I do laundry while there, bug spray and it IS important, although not extremely common dengue fever does occur, sun screen is a must even if you are dark skinned or tan. I am Sicilian and myself and family are all dark skin and still will burn initially if not careful. Skin cancer does not discriminate. Have fun!

05-29-2012, 08:42 PM
Some things we always take and often use: waterproof bandages, a few spices, my favorite coffee, a leatherman tool kit, clothes line, small round of duct tape, little bottle of rubbing alcohol to dry out ears after diving, ibuprofen (don't know if they have it on island), as mentioned above, bug spray and sun protection--several bottles to use around the condo and in the truck. We also take 'truck' towels, old, thin ones that we won't miss too much if they are taken. Sometimes, I take an extra pitcher to mix powdered drinks in case there's only one available. Although it's available (somewhere) on island, we bring a small tube of mayo, mustard, and cinnamon suger to use on the exceptional breads....

05-30-2012, 07:47 AM
I'm into what Hopper and RosAnne said. Go light on the gear, heavy on cash, and just roll with this wonderful place. The local emporiums have pretty much whatever you might need (or think you need) for a wonderful stay...

Have breakfast at the apartment. Enjoy lunch and dinner at the dozens of nifty places around the island. That's half the fun.

About the only thing other than clothes and personal toiletries that we bring is LOTS of sunscreen. Unless you're under roof or under water, there is almost no place you can go to be out of the sun!

Oh, yeah -- if you are readers, bring a couple of books. You just can't buy them there. At the end of our trips, we've always left our books for the next folks.

And start saving for your next trips. You'll be back many more times. :cheers:

J Brown
05-30-2012, 10:37 AM
No coolers in the Belmar Apartments/kitchens....meaning they are not supplied. Yes you can have a cooler.:cheers:

05-30-2012, 01:19 PM
We have developed a check list so packing is a breeze. We take fewer and fewer clothes each year. Once the T-shirt is on, it's going to be dirty. If you are snorkelling you will probably want to wear a shirt into the water-make that one your "water shirt" for the trip.
We take a few pairs of shorts, multiple T-shirts, bug spray (not aerosol) and sunscreen.
Evening dinners are very casual. This island is not a dressy resort kind of place. We take a casual sundress or capris. Don't pack a separate outfit for each night. Wear the same thing. Nobody cares. (Nobody keeps track.)
We take what we have dubbed "sand-shoes" for walking into the water. The terrain is rough so you want tough-soled sandals you can wear into the water.
We also take large and small Zip-lock bags to store bread, crackers, cheese and to seal in cereal from the humidity.
(They have the best Gouda cheese-but mostly in big hunks so we put in a large ziplock.)
I found a water-proof pouch in a travel store. It is designed for a cell phone, but I wear it around my neck when in the water. I keep ID, a little money, and the truck key dry.
Have fun and good luck.