What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Vacation
Booking an all-inclusive resort can be a convenient and easy to plan option for your next family vacation. Plus, I find that when all of our food and activities are already paid for, it’s so much easier to enjoy myself! While most everything is included in the price, I have yet to find a resort that does the packing for me too! (Packing might be my least favorite part of traveling!) Since packing for an all-inclusive resort may be a little different than how you normally pack for vacation, I have compiled an all-inclusive resort packing list of must have items for your next vacation. Knowing what to pack and what to leave behind can make preparing for your trip less stressful. It can also save you money by making sure that you don’t have to buy items at the resort, where they can be exorbitantly priced! So keep reading to see everything we include on our all-inclusive resort packing list!
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1. Casual Attire
When I go to an all-inclusive resort at the beach, I typically wear my swimsuit every day. So you’ll probably need less casual clothes then you think. My boys love having sun-shirts because it keeps them protected from the sun and it makes it handy to not have to get dressed every time they leave the pool. You will want things to wear at meals, for excursions, and for times you are doing other activities. Resort casual apparel is usually the best option. This is one of my favorite casual dresses that I wore on our vacation!
2. Evening Attire
Before packing (or buying) anything, be sure to look over the resort’s dress code. While you can expect daytime clothing and pool apparel to be pretty lax, some hotels have rules about what you can (and can’t) wear in their restaurants at night. For instance, men might need to wear collared shirts or long pants in certain areas, and women may need to swap in a blouse for a casual tank in the evenings. This dress is a great dress to dress up or down. This is also another beautiful resort evening dress!
I would also recommend bringing a cover-up. You may be leaving the pool and walking through the hotel lobby or grabbing lunch and eating in your swimsuit. Having a cute cover-up like this one is very helpful and I like that it doubles as an outfit when I wear it over a tank top and shorts.
4. Bathing Suit
Most all-inclusive resorts offer pools and beaches, so you are likely to spend much of your time in a bathing suit. I recommend bringing more than one, because it’s never fun to get back into a damp swimsuit. This bathing suit from Amazon is my go-to every trip.
For shoes I like to have a pair of pool sandals that can get wet but may also double as footwear with a dress at night. I’ve had my eye on these reef sandals because I love the way they look with shorts and dresses but you can also wear them on the beach and just rinse them off when you’re done. But I usually throw in a pair of dressier sandals as well.
Depending on your excursions and your motivation to hit the gym while on vacation, you may also need comfortable walking/running shoes.
6. Beach Bag
You’ll want to bring a tote or beach bag for carrying essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a book down to the beach or pool. This waterproof bag is always a great idea. I also like to bring a bag that folds down small and doesn’t take up much room in my suitcase. Or, you can use your beach bag as a carryon so it doesn’t take up space in your luggage!
7. Fanny Pack
Having a small fanny pack like this one is great for if you leave the resort for excursions and want something to hold your essentials close to your body, like personal documents, credit cards and cash.
8. Sun Hat
Packing sun hats for your whole family is essential. The sun is just so much stronger in many all-inclusive locations and we have learned our lesson the hard way by not protecting our faces! This hat has been my go to for years and then I recently started bringing this one as well because of the wider brim.
9. Water-proof Phone Pouch
If you plan on swimming in the ocean or spending lots of time in the pool or waterpark, consider bringing a waterproof phone pouch. These lanyard pouches are really convenient and lightweight. Great for the whole family.
Sunscreen is a must-pack item on any getaway and while all-inclusive resorts typically sell sun-care products, the price isn’t included in your stay and will most likely cost a lot more than picking it up at home. We’ve stayed at a few resorts that have sunscreen available to club level guests but even still, I recommend bringing your own.
11. Insulated Water bottle/ Cup
This next one is must! You’ll most likely be sipping drinks by the pool on repeat most days, but like I mentioned… that sun is brutal! The ice will be gone in your drink in no time if you use the cups provided by the hotel. So I’ve started packing an insulated water bottle or stainless steel cup for resorts. There’s nothing worse than a warm watered down drink on a hot day! This cup is great and will keep your drinks cold for hours! And if you bring one with a sealed lid you can use it on the plane too!
12. Pool Floats
Resorts often have some pool floats and toys but typically not enough for all guests. You may think about bringing your own. Look for a packable design like this one here that can fold up into your suitcase.
13. Portable Power Bank
Bringing a portable power bank is always a smart choice when traveling, no matter where you’re headed. My phone battery tends to die off faster in the hot sun, so I like to keep a battery in my pool bag just in case. This is a nice compact one that is also lightning fast!
The Kindle Paperwhite is not only travel-friendly but also ideal for resort vacations. The glare-free screen makes it easy to see all the text of your current read, even in direct sunlight, while the waterproof design protects your device if it gets splashed or accidentally dropped in the pool.
Generally speaking, you won’t need to bring shampoos, conditioners, and soaps with you to a resort unless you’re very particular about your brands. Most resorts provide these things. If you do pack your own, this little toiletry set is very handy.
16. Personal Hygiene Products
If you use it at home, you’ll need it here. Deodorant, dental hygiene products, razor, perfume/cologne, and a good face cleanser are all necessary items.
17. Makeup Remover Wipes
If you’re visiting a resort in a location where the water isn’t the safest to drink, I would recommend also avoiding putting the water on your face as much as possible! I became extremely ill after traveling to a very high end resort in Mexico, and now my motto is “better safe than sorry.” Using makeup remover wipes just removes one more opportunity for me to accidentally ingest the tap water.
18. Towel Clips
While the resort will likely provide towels, you may want to bring towel clips. These can keep your towels securely attached to your beach chair and will help reserve your chairs while you are swimming.
It’s always a good idea to throw a couple travel games and a deck of cards in your bag. Whether you’re hanging in your room or by the pool, or lounging on the beach, cards and games are always fun!
20. First-aid Kit
You definitely want to have a few essential first-aid supplies on hand. Bring bandages for scrapes or blisters, ibuprofen/Tylenol, eye drops, cold and allergy meds, and any prescriptions you have. Other countries don’t always have the medications we can get at home, and it’s not always easy to get to a store to get what you need, so definitely bring the basics with you.
Can’t forget this sunglasses! I recommend even bringing a spare in case you break or lose the first one. I like to buy a couple of cheap pairs from Amazon so that I won’t be sad if I accidentally leave them behind or one of my kids sits on them. I have used this pair for years and love them!
If you want to use your phone or tablet to watch movies or listen to an audiobook on the plane you are probably going to want to include some headphones in your bag. This pair is great because it is so compact!
Maybe it’s just me, but I find that I eat much richer foods while on vacation and in greater quantities! Which means I often find myself with a bit of a stomach ache at the end of the day. Tums have saved me on more than one occasion at an all-inclusive resort!
All-Inclusive resorts were not the norm for us a few years ago! But now we go at least once a year in addition to several other family trips, all because of credit card points! If you want to learn more about how our family travels for next to nothing, I would love for you to check out my Quick Start Guide to Traveling with Points and Miles. It is a hobby that has forever changed our lives and given us the opportunity to see the world!
More on our families free travels!
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- Best Things To Do in Cape May, NJ
- Points and Miles for Beginners: How to Take Your Family on Vacation for Free
- A Complete Universal Studios Packing List for Families
- How to Survive Airport Security With Kids
- Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana Review
- How to Stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve in Puerto Rico for free!
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