The sun is very intense in Jamaica. You will literally feel yourself burning after just a few minutes in the afternoon full sun. A good, high spf sunscreen is necessary.
If you have never traveled to a tropical location or experienced intense sun like in Jamaica, then you should read about sun protection.
I have seen many guests forget this warning and after two or three days they are really starting to burn and look miserable.
As this article shows – just a short time in the sun without sunscreen can cause horrific burns.
They do sell sunscreen at the resort gift shop but it will cost you – about $25 for an 8oz. bottle. This is an option if you’re out or not spending many days in Jamaica. It’s much better to spend the money and be safe than to take a chance. You can also use resort credit to pay for it.
I don’t want to check a bag for sunscreen!
If you’re traveling for just a few days, you might be able to get away with a few small (3.5oz) bottles of lotion – this way you will not need to pay to check a bag and can put them in your carry on – but small bottles cost a lot too so you won’t save much.
If you’re traveling for more than a few days and you don’t want to buy a lot at the resort, then you’ll want to buy sunscreen ahead of time in larger bottles but this means you’ll need to check your bag.
Ok, So How Much do I need?
If you only use lotion, we have found that we will go through 2-3oz. per day, per person.
If you only use spray sunscreen then you need quite a bit more – 6-8oz per day, per person (or one can).
However, we have found that by bringing both lotion and spray sunscreen we will go through a lot less and also will not burn as much.
It puts the lotion on… in your room…
We all know how to put on sunscreen, so this next section might seem a bit silly, but we’ve sat on the beach in Jamaica for 100+ days and there are some tips that will make the process a bit smoother.
First, in the morning, we put on a nice layer of lotion in our room and let it dry completely.
Once outside, you start to sweat or get wet so it can be hard to re-apply lotion and you end up using more, missing spots and wasting it so that’s where the spray sunscreen comes in handy as it will still stick to you even when you’re wet or sweaty.
The spray sunscreen is great after any water activities or if we just feel like we’re burning in certain areas – we’ll spray ourselves off quickly on the areas that need it.
After lunch, we might return to our room to cool off quickly and re-apply a layer of the lotion.
If you follow our advice and bring both, you need 1-2oz of lotion and 2-4oz. of spray sunscreen per person, per day.
The Sunscreen Formula!
That makes the sunscreen formula as follows:
Oz. of Lotion = # of nights * 2
Oz. of Spray = # of nights * 4
Thus, for a 10 night trip – we will bring a minimum of 20oz. of lotion and 40oz. of Spray Sunscreen.
That means 3 bottle of lotion – and 6 cans of spray!
I should point out though that we spend ALL day on the beach, and we do not want to tan or burn AT ALL so this formula is for those who want to guarantee they have plenty of sunscreen to insure they do not burn.
We also throw in one extra can and face sunscreen for my wife.
OMG, have you seen the prices! Where to buy…
Where we live the prices for sunscreen can really vary a lot and Amazon isn’t much better.
The very best place to buy sunscreen is Costco Wholesale. But wait for them to go on sale!
On sale, I can buy two 7oz. cans and a 9oz. bottle of lotion (SPF 50) all for $12! That’s total as they come in a single package!
At drug stores and places like Target you will find the same sunscreen for $9+ for just one can or bottle.
Believe it or not I start looking for sunscreen sales several months in advance of our trip and there’s a very simple reason why – sunscreen accounts for the single, biggest toiletry expense we have for traveling to Jamaica!
By shopping early at Costco – I have saved 50-60% off the price of sunscreen.
Buy Reef Safe Formulas!
The coral reefs in Jamaica have been devastated in past years primarily due to hurricanes and other factors but sunscreen is also destroying the coral reefs.
It’s important to spend the extra money buying sunscreens that are considered “reef safe”.
In the past these formulas were much more expensive but that has changed and you should be able to find reef safe formulas for around the same price.