THINGS TO BRING ALONG
Here's a list of various things you should definitely bring along. You probably packed them already. Have a look anyway, maybe you missed out on something.
Shoes and clothes
Towels and towlies
A cap or hat
Laundry detergent (powder)
Since you are going to Jamaica to find out where the party's at we do suggest you bring along a radio, even if it's a very small one. A radio works better in Jamaica than anywhere else because it plays reggae music on nearly all the frequencies all the time. In between the music you will hear events and parties being promoted so you'll know where you have to be.
A good travel guide can be quite useful. Reggaetourist has been using two guides in particular: The Rough Guide to Jamaica and The Lonely Planet Jamaica. Both have great maps of the island and some of its cities and good information on budget accomodation which comes in handy when you're not online. An added benifit is that they're full of information on places to visit and fun or interesting things to do in between parties and stage shows.
A an extra word on clothes for those who like to blend in and not look like your typical tourist. A standard outfit for males is a plain shirt, straight jeans, shoes and socks. Jamaicans hardly wear short trousers. This may surprise you because of the hot climate but that's just the way it is. An added benefit of long sleeves is that they protect you against mosquito bites. So don't act like a resort tourist and don’t wear shorts. You might as well wear sandals with white sock and an 'Irie Mon' shirt. Look for a thin summer jeans, a regular Levi's is going to be too hot. Or buy jeans on the island. Women can of course wear what they want and look pretty. Early evenings from about 5pm is mosquito time, wearing trousers will result in less bites. The same goes for sandals versus closed shoes. For males and females alike: bring a cap or hat and protect your head from the sun. A standard part of any outfit is the infamous towlie. That’s a small towl. To be worn by men protruding from the back jeans pocket and useful in so many ways.
If you hail from a cold country you might be tempted to bring along lots of sweaters 'in case it gets cold'. Guess what, that hardly happens in Jamaica. Just bring along one vest or sweater. It can cool down at night somewhat, especially in the countryside. In the more mountainous regions it does get outright chilly at night. A more acceptable reason why you would bring along lots of clothes is to go clubbing. Jamaicans love to dress up to party and the air-conditioning in clubs is often cranked up so you would feel cold only wearing a shirt. What you definitely do not need to bring along is a raincoat. It looks stupid and you'll be the only person wearing one when it does rain. Bouts of rain in Jamaica are called ‘showers of blessing’. Sure it’ll rain now and then but it’ll cool you down. Or you run for the closest bar. Relax.
A word on shoes. Sandals obviously do not protect you from mosquito bites. We advise regular, closed shoes for men and women alike. The road is (literally) rough and you easily hurt your feet in sandals, bumbing into a rock or what have you. Our favorite kind of shoes are plain leather shoes. Ideal for a warm climate. Clarks are very popular in Jamaican dancehall culture and there's a reason why. They are surprisingly comfortable on Jamaica’s rocky roads. Bring an extra pair of old shoes for the beach and beach parties.
Bring a backpack, not a suitcase. As a reggae tourist, you will be travelling a lot and there’s nothing like a backpack to walk around with. Pack lightly.