Like for every destinations in the world there are things that you “must bring” with you, things that “you better bring”, and some other things that “can be useful to bring” with you. Of course you can be adventurous and leave without anything. Nevertheless there are some things you must not forget to bring such as a passport if you will take the plane or even the boat to go to St Maarten. If you like to be a minimum organized and to help you have peace of mind during your stay here below is a list of 11 things you must not forget before you leave for St Maarten.
Travelers are required to present customs officials with a valid and up-to-date passport, this is obvious but you might also need your passport to travel on the other Islands around such as St Barth or Anguilla. We also advise you to make copies of it (and other important documents you might have with you) just in case you loose it or if it is stolen. It is very rare, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
#2 DRIVER’S LICENSE
St Maarten has a few buses going to and from the main cities, but there are so many place to explore and we definitely advise you to rent a car (or an other vehicle such as a quad, bike… But a car is the best way to go places if you don’t know the island well and if you have other people traveling with you).
You will want to get souvenirs from this amazing and beautiful island, and the best souvenirs are photos. If you have a cellphone that takes nice pictures, you might not need a camera. But it really worth having a good camera on you and even a Gopro to take amazing movies like these guys did: Mateus and Ramon. Don’t have the time to go shopping before you leave for St Maarten? You can receive a Go pro in from amazon.com 2 days. Here is the newest and best performing one:
It is very sunny on St Maarten and whatever is your skin type or complexion you want to have a sunscreen on you to protect your skin, especially if you are to use to be exposed to the sun. It is also good to have some lip blam with SPF, a hat and a good pair of sunglasses.
#5 BUG REPELLENT
Compared to some other Caribbean islands the mosquitoes are not too bothering on SXM but it also depends of the period of the year you’ll go in SXM. It’s always good to have some in your suitcase.
#6 SUMMER CLOTHES
You might not want to shop on the first day of your stay in St Maarten, so it’s always good to have a few summer clothes in your suitcase. Take some confortable summer clothes (short, shirts, flip flops, sandals…) and at least one formal outfit in case you might want to go out at night. You don’t have to be too fancy but there are many great restaurants, bars, casinos and clubs you might want to go at night.
#7 CONFORTABLE HIKING SHOES OR SNIKERS
You might have already seen from our Ebook that one of the Top 10 things to do in St Maarten is to go at the top of the Pic Paradis (Ebook- Top 10 things to do in St Maarten). You can go there hiking from the bottom of the pic or you can take a car to go until a certain point, but even with a car you will need to hike a little to arrive to the top and get an amazing view of the island. Moreover if you have time, you might want to go on the other Islands around such as Saba and Statia that worth hiking.
#8 A GOOD & SECURE SWIMSUIT
It might sound funny but you probably gonna want to check out Maho Beach and maybe go on the beach behind a plane about to take off, so it’s more a advice for the ladies… Bring a swimsuit that will not fly away! The plane power engines are very strong and even if your swimsuit doens’t fly away, you might end up in the water 😉 If you like to go nude, you can go on Orient Bay beach not Maho beach 😉 Plus there are 37 beaches on the island so you want a swimsuit that lasts, and we like to say that more than one swimsuit is even better so while one in drying up you can use an other one. Nevertheless there are many great shop on the island where you can buy a nice swimsuit such as “Brazilian bikini store“.
#9 CHANGING WEATHER ITEMS
Even if it is sunny most of the time in St Maarten, the weather can change in an instant. It is always good to bring an umbrella and a sweater just in case it becomes ruiny and a little chilly.
#10 ELECTRICAL ITEMS
Depending on where you will stay on the island and where you come from you might need an adapter for your electrical devices. We advice you to contact the place of your stay or check out their website to know what you should bring. Also don’t forget to bring with you the necessary chargers and baterries.
#11 A FRENCH, ENGLISH OR EVEN DUTCH PHRASEBOOK
St Maarten is cosmopolite and while most people speak English on the island, some only speak French or Dutch. It can be useful and even funny to learn some words in a foreign language. Going in St Maarten is a great way to practice your French, English or Ducth. These books from Lonely planet are very nice and helpful:
Everyone has its own way to pack their suitcase but here is a last tip that will help you avoid making a mess and loose time once your arrive in your room. Pack what you plan to wear on your arrival at the top of your suitcase or even in your checked luggage (for exemple: a swimsuit, sunglasses, hat, sandals…). But most of all don’t forget the most important: your airline ticket, passport, reservation number, cash and credit card!
Let us know what you think about this article and about our website St Maarten Map, in a comment below! And don’t hesitate to tell us if we have forgotten something 😉
Enjoy “The Friendly Island”!
PS: If not already done yet, take a few seconds to file the form below and you will receive our guide of the Top 10 things to do in St Maarten. It might be an other good thing to have with you before you leave for St Maarten 😉