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Wondering what to pack for an all-inclusive resort? Or if there is anything you haven’t thought of yet? This complete list of what to pack for an all-inclusive resort has you covered!
If you are like me, you want to be prepared for a great vacation. These are all of your resort essentials, carefully cultivated from my own travels to all-inclusive resorts.
Everything you will want and need for your all-inclusive resort is listed in detail below, plus there is a free, printable all-inclusive resort packing list for your convenience!
This post is all about what to pack for an all-inclusive resort.
What To Pack For An All-Inclusive Resort
FREE, PRINTABLE ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT PACKING LIST BELOW!
This will likely be your staple wardrobe for the week, so bring your favorites! Chances are most of your days will be spent in or by the water. 3-4 swimsuits is ideal, especially if you are going to a humid location and your swim suits need time to dry.
Cupshe is my favorite place to buy swim suits. The prices are crazy affordable, so you can buy a couple fun, vacation worthy swim suits without paying a small fortune. Even better, Cupshe swim suits are great quality (they rival my Ralph Lauren ones) and the selection is huge, so there is something for everyone. You can find Cupshe swimwear on Amazon and at Target.com, too.
If you are looking for jaw dropping, sexy swim suits, Revolve is your best bet.
Cover ups protect you from too much sun and can get you from your room to the beach. Even better, wear your cover up for the day and into your breakfast and lunch restaurant. So easy! This was the perfect outfit for our day on Isla Mujeres.
1-2 Casual Outfits
Honestly, you may not ever wear your casual outfits. A button up shirt cover up can be tied up at the waist and paired with shorts to save space and overpacking. Two casual outfits is plenty, keeping off-property or excursions in mind when choosing them. You really will live in your swim suit!
Dresses that are light and breezy are best for warm, or down right hot, evenings. Think cotton if it’s humid. I highly recommend bringing at least one dress that is roomy and bloated tummy friendly. Chances are you are eating and drinking much more than you do in your day to day life, and after several days, your body will feel it.
Check with your resort about a dinner dress code. Most upscale resorts require dressing up.
A restaurant may be cool or maybe your partner likes to keep the hotel room colder than you. A light sweater is a smart addition to your packing list. Also, if you are sunburned, something light on your skin will help.
1-2 Pairs Sandal/Heels
Avoid bringing shoes for every outfit and instead opt for a sandal or comfortable heel or two that can mix and match with your dresses or off-property adventures. You will likely do a decent amount of walking in the heel and even some dancing, so choose wisely! Having a second pair for a week long trip is ideal so you can give the pressure points on your feet a break.
I made the mistake of packing tennis shoes in July so my husband and I could play tennis. The heat and humidity was so high, that I melted at the very thought of running around on the courts. They were never worn and took up a decent amount of packing space.
Cushiony and water resistant flip flops are ideal at an all inclusive resort, especially if you have sore feet from your evening attire. Water resistant flip flops are perfect for going from the sandy beach to the foot shower, or from the pool to your room. These Sanuk yoga mat flip flops have lasted me for years! I also love my Oofos flip flops; they are like walking on clouds!
A great sun hat will not only shield you from the sun, but it’s also perfect to cover messy hair. Keep in mind, that some resort restaurants may require you to remove your hat, though that is not usually the case when dining al fresco.
You may also want to consider a baseball cap. It fits snuggly to your head if doing anything active, like strolling along the beach on a breezy day or going in and out of the ocean.
Just in case you forget to pack them. I’ve done it before! Since you will be in your swim suit most of the time, a pair a day, plus a few extra, should be enough.
Convertible Bra or Pasties
One convertible bra can take you through all of your outfits seamlessly. It can be worn like a regular bra, crossed in the back, one shoulder or strapless. This is a solid investment piece for your wardrobe. I used to manage one of the busiest Victoria’s Secret stores in the US. I am an expert bra fitter, and trust me when I tell you that every woman needs an amazing convertible bra!
Lingerie or Pajamas
Assuming you are at an all inclusive with your significant other, pack the fun lingerie! Otherwise, don’t forget your jammies.
AT THE RESORT
A tip that has always stuck with me is to bring costume jewelry when traveling and leave your expensive jewelry at home. I love these moissanite stud earrings. They are my go-to for in the pool, and even the ocean. It’s fun to buy a few inexpensive pieces to compliment your resort outfits.
Protect your eyes from the intense sun with a pair of polarized sunglasses. Tip: if you have mirrored sunglasses, I recommend leaving them home since they spot so easily and are a pain to keep clean around water.
A wristlet is a fabulous evening accessory at an all inclusive resort. One that can be worn crossbody as an option is even better. You only need room for a few necessities, and a wristlet is extra easy to hold on to wherever the night takes you.
Cash for Tipping
Even if your all-inclusive includes tips, it is still nice to tip good service face to face. It’s not necessary, but it has become the norm. At some all-inclusives, this generosity can mean the difference between being served first at the bar or getting premium liquor. Spa tips are usually added to your bill, but you can tip the spa assistant who may not be included in the larger tip.
**TIP** If you choose to tip, bring small bills. Usually USD is fine or preferred. The general rule of thumb is $1-2 per round of drinks, $5-10 for restaurant meals and $5 for housekeeping and mini bar restock.
Being on vacation is the perfect time to read a great book or a magazine you have been excited to indulge in. Pack only what you think you will read, or load up a reader with all of your favorites.
Sometimes you just want to take in the world in your own silence or music. You will want AirPods for the plane for sure.
A portable speaker is a great addition to your hotel room. You can also enjoy it poolside or on the beach, but remember to consider the people and vibe around you. Just like you may not enjoy someone else’s nonstop techno, they may not appreciate your love of Bon Jovi.
Although a travel adaptor is not necessary when traveling from the US to Mexico, it will be for other destinations. Find out what you will need for your all-inclusive resort and pack it!
This is an all-inclusive tip you will read about anywhere you search for what to bring to an all-inclusive resort. The only insulated cup I use when flying somewhere is a wine tumbler.
Bring both glasses and contacts if you use them so your eyes can have a break from being irritated by sunscreen and chlorine.
Thank You Notes
Thank you notes are not necessary, but are on this list in case you find that you would like to personally thank a staff member that you truly enjoyed or want to leave a note with the housekeeping tip. At most resorts (unless you have a butler or personal concierge), tips are pooled between all of the employees. Check with resort management if you would like to tip a specific person. You can usually do so in a thank you card.
What to pack for an all-inclusive resort: BEACH/POOL
Your all-inclusive resort should provide pool and beach towels. You really only need to tote a few things to the pool and beach each day, so a small, packable beach bag is ideal. If you want to fit other goodies such as your snorkel gear as well, then opt for a larger beach bag.
If you are into photography, bring your good camera. We like to have a camera that we can take underwater and on adventures. A GoPro is perfect for this! If you are new to the GoPro world, you will need to purchase certain accessories for your needs separately.
We like to bring our own snorkel gear, not just for sanitary reasons, but also for comfort.
Some all-inclusive resorts allow you to bring your own inflatable lounger, others do not. Check your resort’s policy. Even if it is not allowed in the pool, you can still use it in the ocean. This is a personal preference kind of thing and you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the packing space or not.
What to pack for an all-inclusive resort: OFF-PROPERTY
There are some things that you don’t need at your resort, but may want for excursions or time spent off-property. Consider these items based on your itinerary.
A dry bag is ideal for those who plan spend some time scuba diving or snorkeling on their own somewhere other than the resort. Only pack this if you know you will need it for your outings.
Some excursions or day trips need water shoes. Think about places like Xcaret in Mexico, Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica or cave-tubing in Belize. If it’s wet, rocky or slippery, or you will be in and out of water (ziplining and cenotes in one outing), a pair of water shoes is a good thing to pack.
Waterproof Phone Pouch
I always pack these, but we end up not really using them. Still, some people love them, so they are on the list. Take them or leave them.
You will likely not need a travel lock at your all-inclusive resort, but you may feel more comfortable with one if you go to another beach. I ran into this when planning a pre-trip before our all-inclusive and realized that if my husband and I both wanted to be in the ocean together, no one would be watching our belongings on the beach. Consider a lock and cables if you have other traveling to do.
Most beach destinations will prefer, if not require, reef-safe sunscreens. Pack enough to last your party the entire trip, or you may end up paying triple the price in the resort’s gift shop.
The Caribbean and Mexico have intense sun, likely far more than your delicate skin is used to being exposed to. Aloe relieves sunburned skin, and it’s worth the packing space to throw a travel size in.
Keep your skin happy!
You don’t need a lot of makeup on a beach vacation. Light and airy is just right. Plus, you are likely to sweat it off in hot, humid weather. A tinted cc cream over a face sunscreen is perfect for daytime. I love a color corrector to camouflage uneven skin tone or redness from too much sun, too.
Wash away sweat, sunscreen, sand, chlorine and makeup after a fun day and treat your skin to a great moisturizer after all that sun.
When the weather is warm, a light fragrance is perfect. Strong smelling perfumes can feel heavy in the heat. Not to mention that mosquitos and unwanted bugs can be attracted to intense fragrances.
Note: Mosquito repellent isn’t on this list because I have yet to use it at a resort. If you are concerned, bring a small travel size with you or throw in some of these mosquito repellent wipes.
Does hotel shampoo and conditioner ever live up to your go-to favorites? Even when the hotel offers upgraded, name brand amenities, it’s just not the same. Pack your own into travel sized containers or pick up travel sized versions of your faves. Don’t forget the dry shampoo, too!
You want a brush that is gentle on your hair for when you eventually brush through that beach hair. All that great texture comes with its fair share of knots!
Think beyond your regulars, like dry shampoo and hairspray, and pack anti-frizz cream and leave in conditioner too.
I know some people like to travel with their Dyson Airwrap. If this is you, be sure to clarify with your resort that the electrical in your room can handle such a powerful hair tool. This is a common question on Facebook threads for specific resorts. Whatever you use to style your hair, pack it. I prefer a straightener that I can also use to curl my hair, so it’s only one tool that I take.
Oral Care, Razor, Etc.
Even if you are waxed or sugared, it never hurts to pack a razor. This is your friendly reminder to also pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc.
For something so small, it’s worth packing just in case.
What to pack for an all-inclusive resort: WELLNESS
Chances are between the sun, fun and cocktails, you will be dehydrated at some point during your all-inclusive vacation. Pack enough hydration packets to have one for every person each night. If you know you will be extra indulgent, pack two per day.
I review what should be in your all inclusive medicine kit in 15 All-Inclusive Resort Tips You Want to Know Before You Go!. As a quick overview, pack antacids, pain relievers, allergy medicine and sleep aids.
I don’t know why it’s so easy to forget prescription medication; make sure you have it on your packing list. Don’t forget about medication you take occasionally, such as migraine medication. Always pack prescription medication in your personal item bag and never in your checked luggage.
Remember when I mentioned bringing comfortable shoes? Blisters are a real thing, even at the beach.
What to pack for an all-inclusive resort: TRAVEL
Travel items are included to round out what to pack for an all-inclusive resort and make this a complete, one-stop list.
A printed pass or one from the airline, your plane tickets, whatever you have, pack it! If it’s on your phone, screenshot your boarding pass and save it to your photos or wallet. That way it’s handy when the internet is glitchy.
You will need current passport that is less than 6 months away from expiring. Bring any other travel documents as well.
Wallet with ID and Insurance Cards
I use my passport holder until we arrive at the resort, where I then lock my passport in the hotel safe and move my id and cash into my wristlet. My favorite wristlet for traveling is the Beis travel wallet because it can be a crossbody, a wristlet or just a regular wallet.
Phone & Charger
Just a reminder to pack it.
Contact Info for Resort & Transportation Company
You never know when your phone won’t load or your flight is delayed. There are several scenarios that may come up and you want to be able to contact your hotel, give a driver the address for the resort or text the transportation company. I recommend having this information on a piece of paper and in the notes section of your phone.
If your all-inclusive resort is outside of your home country, you will have to fill out immigration and customs forms. Have your pen handy.
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This post is all about what to pack for an all-inclusive resort.