What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Resort

When I honeymooned at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic a few years ago, I was completely unsure of what to pack. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to go on another resort vacation and have finally learned how to avoid overpacking. If you’re trying to do the same, here is what to pack for an all-inclusive resort vacation!

all-inclusive vacation necessities: are you getting ready for a resort vacation? This vacation packing list will have you prepped for you all-inclusive vacation in no time! | www.bylaurenm.com

Now, this is my standard packing list for a 7 day stay. So if you’re going a bit longer or shorter, you’ll have to make some adjustments!

necessities for an all-inclusive vacation

Three bathing suits – You might be able to get away with two if you only wear one a day, but if you’re planning on hitting the pool/beach more than once, having an extra dry back up will come in handy! For me, three is a must. On that note, pack 2-3 cover-ups.

A hat – I love sun as much as the next girl, but when I’m trying to read or nap poolside, a little shade on my face is key. Now whether you choose a floppy hat (I love these “I wish you were here sunhats!!), a fedora (this is a great option under $10!), or a baseball cap is purely up to you! And don’t forget a pair of sunglasses!

A pair of pool/beach flip-flops. These are not your everyday sandals. I’m talking about your classic, basic flip-flops. The only time you’ll have them on is for walking to and from the beach or pool. No need to have several pairs! (I prefer these because they last, but if you want a less expensive option, this price can’t be beat!!)

Two pairs of dressier sandals or shoes. These should be nicer than flip-flops and acceptable to wear into the nicer resort restaurants. (Think leather sandals or a great pair of wedges!)

Dresses. In the evenings, I live in sundresses because it can still be pretty warm in tropical climates! A couple sundresses or maxi dresses will take you from a beach side stroll to dinner. I pack four, but again, I live in them. (You can see an example of my resort vacation style here!)

2-3 pairs of shorts. Since I more of a dress person, I lean towards two. Rather have a skirt? Swap one for a pair of shorts.

4-5 tops. The lighter the better, but again make sure you check those restaurant dress codes if you’re wearing them in the evening!

A Tervis Tumbler or something similar. Most all-inclusives serve drinks in tiny plastic cups. Wanna keep that frozen drink actually frozen? Looking to lounge as much as possible? Bring your own cup! (This is what I use! And here is a 2-pack version!)

Bug repellent. Do some research on your beach, but from my experience, bugs can be killer at night time! The bug bracelets worked great for me in the Dominican Republic, but I also love these bug repellent wipes. They’re easy to throw in your bag and you never have to worry about spills!

Just in case, pack a first aid kit with band-aids, antacid, anti-diarrheal, and pain-relievers. Trying unfamiliar foods or indulging in extra cocktails might do a number on your tummy!

Thinking about a sporty excursion like a treetop adventure or riding RV’s on the beach? Make sure you have a tank, shorts, and footwear (you may need a pair of sneakers!) that work!

No need to mention all of your underthings, PJs, and toiletries, right? Good. Then, don’t forget sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen. And books if you’re into that sort of thing. I sure am.

Leave it at home: jewelry, your full-face makeup kit (keep it light!), and anything irreplaceable.

What did I miss?

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60 thoughts on “What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Resort

    1. Becky Simmons

      Bring my own insulated cup, what a GREAT idea!!!!! I spend half the day running back and forth to the bar. I can fit 3-4 drinks in my own cup AND keep it cold longer!!! Thanks for pointing out the obvious!

      Reply
  1. AJ

    I never would have thought to bring my own cup to an all-inclusive resort, but that is a great idea! Thanks for the tip (even though I’m not getting a real vacation until God knows when!!)

    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.com

    Reply
  2. Rachel

    YES to the first-aid kit! I was at an all-inclusive resort for spring break and was so glad I brought Pepto (for the food/water in another country), band-aids (for blisters) and aloe (for my terribly sun-burnt friend!) ha

    Reply
  3. Agi

    Great list. I would have never thought about packing a cup but i could totally see how it would keep your drinks much cooler.

    Don’t forget to stop by and link up tomorrow on my Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday Link Up and enter my stella & dot giveaway.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

    Reply
    1. Zu

      My husband and I went to Mexico a few years ago and got SUPER sick…. He was the one that realized the ” solution” they used for cleaning the glasses we drank from and it was a ridiculous percentage of bleach water. This was after 3 days of already being there. It made 100 % sense. A year later we went to Punta Cana for our engagement and had our own Tervis cups. I also brought a small bottle of dawn and used Bottled water for cleaning the cups each time. We had NO issues. Going to Mexico this year and I already have the new Tervis Cups and the small bottle of Dawn ready to go. Something you don’t think about until you go through it. Please please bring your own Cups. It was worth it!

      Reply
      1. TCR

        Thanks for the heads up on bringing the dawn to wash the insulated cup…going to Cancun, Mexico in May…don’t want any ailments…!¡!

        Reply
        1. Rory

          Yup..me too heading to Mexico for an all-inclusive trip with my husband..itsnour First time to visit mexico and this tips will surely help us…dawn dishing soap ryt…would they allow it on the flight thou.but over all its a good tips for first timers.thanks so mucho

          Reply
  4. Andi

    This is a great list! I took a floppy hat to St. Croix last year and it was more trouble than it was worth! It got smashed in my suitcase, and then kept blowing away in the wind. I’d recommend a smaller hat!

    Reply
  5. Jen

    Great tips Lauren! I’m the worst at packing, I always over pack and can’t seem to kick the habit! I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many bathing suits and dresses I packed lol!

    xo jen

    Reply
  6. Judy

    Don’t bother with the floppy hat – bring baseball caps instead! They keep the sun off your face, your hair out of you eyes & hanging like a ponytail, and don’t pop off when you lean back in a lounge chair or find yourself in a gust of wind. Bring an old one to wear in the water to keep your scalp from getting sunburned. Bring a dressy one to wear to dinners on the beach; hair in your mouth for dinner is no fun.

    Reply
  7. Sarah

    OMG! this is the best pack list I’ve seen!! I never would have thought about bringing my own cup! I just finished my pack list for my honeymoon and I felt like i was missing something!
    can’t wait to share this with my friends!!!

    Reply
  8. Kim

    As a man? Just packed 25 t-shirts, 5 shirts, 4 shorts, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, 2 shors for the pool, two mugs for drinks, sandals, flip flop and sneakers. By the way, we are leaving tomorrow for two weeks in Punta Cana 🙂

    Reply
  9. Heather

    We just got back from Cabo and because it is a low humidity location, the evenings got quite cold. I would recommend bringing one pair of pants and a sweater just in case…I know I wish I had 🙂

    Reply
  10. Katy

    How did you clean your cup out? I’m heading to Vallarta, and loving the idea, but also I’m worried about germs and washing in the sink of my room isn’t a real option.

    Reply
  11. Marnie

    Visine!!! We vacationed in Jamaica and I had an allergic reaction, woke up after our first night there with blood red eyes. $17 CDN at the tuck shop on resort. I will always bring my own from now one!

    Reply
  12. Dee

    Great tips, thanks! But what about a jacket for the restaurants? I know I myself always freeze in every one here in the US, is it the same everywhere? Does every one even at a tropical resort always use the AC so much too? I’d want to go to the tropics to enjoy the weather… not freeze some more.

    Reply
  13. Peg

    I also take a small waterproof bag to take to the beach
    to hold my book, chapstick, sunscreen, etc. and a bunch
    of $1 bills for tipping.

    Reply
  14. Shae Fisher

    Leaving for Jamaica on Sunday for my honeymoon and this helped a lot! Helped add to my excitement 🙂 Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Anne

    If your going to a beach with calm water, be sure to pack a inflatable float. I’ve seen $1.00 floats go for $30.00 at the beach.

    Reply
    1. Allyson

      Yes! We also bring a water frisbee and inflatable beer pong game with us. Always a hit in the pools and easy to pack.

      Reply
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  17. Allyson

    Great list! We’ve been to several all inclusives and I’d say this is spot on. Definitely take bug repellent if you are prone! Ladies, leave those expensive purses and wedding rings at home. We are also always prepared with lots of $1 for tipping (and a water proof pouch with neck strap to keep spf chapstick and $1s dry).

    Reply
  18. Nicki

    My husband and I went to our 1st all inclusive a year ago and are heading back and were told that chocolates and hard candies like j. Ranchers work for daily room tipping, true? It’s what we did b/c we were told by others now I’m questioning, we went to Cancun heading back to Cabo….true? Something about it not being the same cocoa bean and hard candies not available….

    Reply
    1. mel

      I went to the dollar store and got a bunch of things there, especially toys for kiddies and the staff loved it (we went to punta cana)

      Reply
      1. Diane

        Yes! Dollar store stuff for tipping room staff. Some places don’t allow money tips but gifts if you leave a note saying they are a gift. In poorer countries even tampons and pads are appreciated because they are so expensive. Toothbrushes too!

        Reply
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  20. Chelsea white

    Just wondering, I know everyone is saying leaving the exspesive jewelry at home but we are planning on getting married on our resort trip. Any words of advice for that

    Reply
    1. Megan

      Check with the place you are staying to find out if there is a safe in your room. I got married at an all inclusive and used the safe and had no issues. I packed the good jewelry in a carry-on so it was always with me during travel. Also, put your passport and such things in the safe. Have fun!

      Reply
  21. Watergirl

    Helpful tip for anyone planning on doing any snorkeling. Bring your own snorkel. You can use their masks, but don’t share snorkels. Had a pediatrician friend tell me of a patient that came home from a family vacation with “a raging case of oral herpes ” from using snorkel gear provided by an excursion company.

    Reply
  22. Mar

    I love bringing little toys (dollar store, old McDonald’s toys ect.) if you go into the city (leaving the resort). We hand them out to kids that we see.— they for so excited!!

    Reply
  23. Mary Lou Rusco

    Going on our first all-inclusive for our 50th wedding anniversary! Thanks for the cup idea, my husband has cancer and his immune system is compromised. This list would be good for a casual cruise, I’ve overpacked big time for those!

    Reply
  24. McKenna

    I’ve heard it’s good to bring an old rewards card/credit card for the a.c. system in your room, as some of them only run with the key card in. So if you leave your room with your key card it will heat up while you’re gone!

    Reply
  25. Brandi Marie

    Roomie and I are heading to Playa Mujeres next month! These are GREAT tips! Thank you!

    QUESTION: I love photography but am nervous to bring my camera, it’s a small DSLR, thoughts on to bring or to leave at home and stick with phone camera?

    Reply
  26. Susie

    This may be a silly question but how do you wash your tumblers while away? Not sure I feel comfortable using the tap water to wash a cup… Do you use bottled water? Thanks!

    Reply
  27. Angie

    Question. This is my first all inclusive resort.. do you just had the bartender your cup to fill up or do you just order like 3 drinks and fill it yourself. Thanks

    Reply
  28. Hector Uba

    Thanks for the tips on packing for an all-inclusive resort vacation. It’s great that you mentioned bringing bug repellent because that is definitely something that is easy to forget. My sister wants to start buying things for their vacation next year; I will be sure to share these tips with her.

    Reply
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  30. Happy Traveler

    The list is perfect. All the suggestions /ideas are great. I always take an inflatable float for the pool or beach. Wouldn’t leave home without it. It even has a cup holder, for the cup I bring.

    Reply
  31. Lesley

    Pack a couple of large ziplock bags. Great to put damp swimsuits in when you are packing to go home. Also pack your toiletries in ziplock bags just in case something leaks , I go to the Dollar Store and buy a small mesh pop up Landry container. They are lightweight and fold completely flat at the bottom of the suitcase. That way dirty clothes are in one spot and have a chance to dry. Saves your luggage getting smelly and keeps your room neat.

    Reply

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