Are you looking for the perfect BVI Packing List? In this guide to what to wear in the British Virgin Islands we look to what to wear for men, women and families, in resorts, in towns and for doing activities.
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How do People Dress in the BVI?
People in the BVI (British Virgin Islands) tend to dress on the casual side due to the hot weather, beach lifestyle and humidity.
During the day most people in BVI will stick to wearing shorts and tops and you will not feel out of place doing so yourself. However in the evening the dress code will be a bit smarter.
Higher end restaurants in the BVI will usually expect a smart casual dress code which usually translates to sun dresses for women and chinos and shirts for men but more on that later.
Note about this BVI Packing list
This BVI packing list is intended for use by a general visitor going to the BVI or someone looking for what to wear at a resort in BVI. However many people go to the BVI for other reasons such as to go on a catamaran or a BVI sailing trip.
We have special guides on these so click on the below for more information
- BVI sailing packing list
- BVI Catamaran Packing List
And does your trip itinerary stop at other Caribbean islands? Be sure to check out our other Caribbean packing lists including:
- What to wear to the Virgin Islands
- St Johns Packing List
The weather in the BVI shouldn’t provide you much trouble whenever you are traveling because the weather in the BVI is relatively consistent year round. In summer the average temperature is around 32C but in winter the temperature only drops to around 29C.
Therefore you are really packing for hot weather all year round.
When is the rainy season in BVI
Having said that BVI does have a rainy season. The rainy season in BVI is in July, August, September, October and through into November.
The rainy season in BVI doesn’t mean you will always have rain all day however. You are more likely, though not exclusively, likely to experience showers.
Therefore if you are visiting during the rainy season it might be worth adding a light breathable rain jacket as well as an umbrella.
ULTIMATE BVI Packing List for women
It is likely that you will spend almost all of your day time hours in the BVI in swimwear. The BVI resorts have great pools, lovely beaches and it has some unrivalled water based activities such as snorkelling and catamaran tours to name but a few.
Therefore you will definitely need swimwear with you and plenty of it in my opinion. As swimwear is so light and easy to pack I would recommend packing at least 3 – 4 pieces of swimwear for a week in the BVI.
Although there is no problem wearing bikinis in the British Virgin Islands I would also recommend adding at least one one piece into your BVI packing list as this may be more comfortable for doing some water sports in.
However, swimwear really is only acceptable at the beach, by the pool and on boats. It is not worn in towns and villages in BVI.
Although as I have said you will be spending most of your time in swimwear, you will also need to pack a couple of beach covers.
BVI is a very casual place and swimwear is fine for resorts, pools and beaches however when you are in towns and villages or even in resort restaurants and bars you will be expected to cover up.
The best way to do this is with having a few beach covers handy.
If you are short on space in your case I would recommend adding a sarong in place of one of the beach covers. Sarongs can double up as a beach cover but can be styled in a few different ways for a few different looks.
As the sun is so strong in the Caribbean we recommend taking a wide brimmed hat with you to offer maximum sun protection.
However if this isn’t your style any hat is better than no hat and as the BVI is so casual a baseball cap would be acceptable for on the beach and in the pool.
Flip flops, while not great for walking are perfect for days on the beach and around the pool, of which there will be plenty when in the BVI. We recommend taking one pair of flip flops with you for those days.
As I mentioned the evenings especially at some higher end establishments there will be a more formal dress code. A pair of smart casual sandals are perfect for those wondering to what to wear in the BVI at night.
Click here to shop smart sandals
The BVI is full of absolutely amazing outdoor experiences, and not everything you do will be strenuous hiking. There are also beautiful towns to wander around.
For those that aren’t going on big hikes a pair of sneakers are the better addition to the BVI packing list.
Sun Dresses / Maxi Dresses
Maxi dresses and sun dresses are the perfect day to night transition. They can be easily styled with sneakers for a casual day time look or dressed up with sandals and a pashmina as the perfect thing to wear for dinner in BVI.
There are lots of activities that can be done in BVI including hiking. And if you are staying at a resort in BVI there is likely to be a gym and even yoga classes.
If you enjoy exercising on holiday be sure to pack your active wear.
Shorts are perfect attire for when you are out hiking in BVI or exploring one of the local towns and villages.
Our favorite shorts for island vacations are quick dry ones. These are perfect for activities where you might get wet but don’t leave you walk ing around in damp clothes all day.
However if you prefer denim shorts or shorts in another style then these will be perfectly acceptable too.
T Shirts are perfect for exploring, shopping or just chilling at your BVI hotel. I would pack at least a couple.
The Pashmina is the perfect accessory for BVi as it will help transition outfits from day to night. We recommend packing a plain one that coordinates with most of your outfits.
You also might want to have the pashmina as some restaurants have very strong air conditioning.
For each day of your trip.
Although hotels and luxury resorts will have air conditioning we recommend packing a pair of lightweight PJs.
What to pack for BVI for men
If you are a man looking for what to pack for BVI, I have to say the list I shouldn’t look too different. It should contain plenty of pieces of swimwear and more casual rather than smart or smart casual looks.
For a mans BVI packing list we recommend
As with the women’s list, I would recommend taking a least 2-3 pairs of trunks for a week in the BVI.
T shirts are the perfect thing for men to use as Beach covers for men and can double up as activewear and a smart polo would be perfect for a dinner in the BVI.
Shorts (Tailored and casual)
Shorts are perfect for men in BVI for both day and nightwear. In the day you can wear a more casual fitting pair, but if you want to wear a pair of shorts at dinner I recommend a more tailored pair.
Linen trousers or smart chinos
For evenings where a short isn’t suitable (which is only really at the very high end establishments) we recommend men wearing either a pair of linen trousers which are very breathable and cool for the hot weather.
However smart chinos are another great alternative.
For around the pool, flip flops are a great choice for men but I recommend these not being the only type of shoes you bring to BVI.
Smarter sandals are a great choice for what to wear at night in BVI for men. My husband recommends Sanuks as his favorite day to night sandals for the Caribbean.
Sneakers are an essential for those planning to do lots of walking in BVI.
If you are going on hikes or just using the gym be sure to pack your activewear
Baseball Cap or headwear
TO be sun safe be sure to have a cap or hat to add extra sun protection.
If you wear PJs, then you will want to pack your most lightweight pair.
A pair for every day of your trip.
What to Bring to BVI (non clothing)
The sun in the BVI is very strong and as you are most likely to spend most of your time in BVI on the beach, around the pool and in the water there are plenty of chances for you to get sunburnt.
Don’t get caught out and be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen.
Click here to shop reef safe sun screen.
While I hope you don’t get burnt while in the BVI if you do aloe vera will be a great relief.
The sun is strong and bright in the Caribbean be sure to pack sunglasses.
Mosquitoes are unfortunately a part of life in the Caribbean, If you are traveling to the British Virgin Islands we recommend bringing bug spray with you.
Click here to buy bug spray / insect repellant for BVI
And if you are very concerned or are prone to getting bitten a lot I would add some long sleeve tops into your suitcase to further help prevent insect bites.
Travel First Aid Kit
We always travel with a travel first aid kit wherever we go He. If you are bring your hiking gear with it. However given restrictions on weight you may want to wear these on the plane.
Click here to shop travel first aid kits.
Things to Bring to BVI in the Wet Season
For the rainy season a umbrella that can fit into your day bag is an essential
Light weight rain jacket
Again only required if you are traveling to the BVI in the rainy season.
Have you been to the BVI? What would you add or remove from this BVI packing list – leave us a comment.
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