Regarding packing for an all-inclusive holiday, I have it down to a science.
As I have traveled to many countries and resorts over the years, I have slowly learned what is essential and unnecessary. My week-long beach vacations are now week-long, and I only have one backpack or carry-on.
It’s exciting to pack for an all-inclusive holiday. This can reduce stress and give you something to look forward too. Sometimes we need to pay more attention to the number of things we need or remember to include some essential extras that could cost us at the resort.
All-inclusive resorts offer great value and are a lot of fun. You can go with all-inclusive resorts that include drinks, food, entertainment, flights, and transfers. You only have to decide where and when you will eat and whether you want to spend the day at the pool or beach.
This all-inclusive packing checklist is excellent no matter where you are going! It works for Mexico, Aruba, and Cuba as well as Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. These are my top-rated items. You can add any other items you might need. Grab your all-inclusive printable packing list at the end of this post!
I love packing for vacations to the beach. I plan weeks (sometimes even months), so I can look forward to my beach vacations. I take out any items I might like and put them in a bag in my spare bedroom. This helps me visualize my outfits. ).
What should you pack in your bag?
- Passport (the most important document you can bring)
- E-doc/plane ticket (since most of our flight information can now be scanned with a barcode or QR scanner).
- Information about booking a resort
- Tipping cash (more later!)
- Document holder: If you are like me, you need to have all your items organized so that I don’t have to stand at security or wait for the check-in desk looking through them. Include your emergency contacts. One credit card is also recommended for emergencies or when we go on an excursion. If transportation is not included, your transfer information, driver’s license if renting a car, and any insurance information.
- Reusable water bottles
- Neck pillow
- Power bank
- Travel adapter (depending on where you are going). You don’t need one if you come from Canada or the USA.
- Either noise-canceling headphones (fabulous for flights) or Bluetooth earbuds for the pool and beach.
- Be careful with valuables.
- Travel jewelry case: I travel with a fake wedding ring. This is more for my security.
- Once you get to the resort, you will need a tote bag such as this pineapple one for your luggage and belongings. ).
- Swimsuit wet bag: For the return trip home. A plastic bag is just as good, I’ll admit it!
- Keep your medication in a cute, handy pill organizer!
- Hand sanitizers and hand sanitizing wipes
- Charging cables: I love to keep my cables organized in a case. It makes life so much simpler!
- If you have to fly with them, or if they are your choice to be worn, masks
My secret for carrying-on travel: Use cubes to pack. These cubes are incredible, and you’d be surprised how much you can pack into such a small space. Eagle Creek is my favorite brand of packing cubes. You can choose from various sizes and buy garment boards that will fit in a carry-on, complete with a folding board.
If you are still deciding which size to buy, the Eagle Creek starter set is a good choice. It has enough room to store a whole week’s worth of clothes for a vacation to the beach!
Towels to take to an all-inclusive resort
Most often, toiletries will be provided. I usually don’t have to bring shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, or shower gel, as it is all provided.
However, I will be carrying an anti-frizz spray for my hair. My hair is always prone to frizz in humid conditions. Everybody will have their favorite brand, but I love Redken Frizz Dismiss.
Be aware that liquids can be at most 100ml each if you only have a carry-on. These are the bottles I use.
A Wet Brush is a must-have. You can also get the Wet Brush Mini if you don’t need the full-size version (perhaps you are only bringing a small bag). It’s easy to detangle my hair after swimming, even though I don’t know the secret. You can get both the home and travel versions, and I love them! This is a great gift idea!
- You can choose to use natural Aloe vera instead of dyed ones (I never understood why it had to be green). ).
- Insect repellant: I have only needed to spray bug spray once on any of my trips to the Islands.
- Hair ties and hairpins
- Products and contraceptives for women – Feminine hygiene
- Razor and shaving lotion
- Remover for makeup
- Tide stick
- These travel toothbrush cases are great for toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes. This set is perfect for you and your travel companion! It makes it easy to organize everything!
For an all-inclusive resort, pack the following items:
- Sun hat
- At least two! Because they are small, I bring three of them so that if one gets wet, I have another to put on. These are great to put on for lunch since many resorts require that guests be dressed for dining at the table.
- You should have at least two swimsuits always to have one dry. Cupshe is a great brand! I have several swimsuits from them. Many of their styles are flattering and comfortable, as well as affordable.
- Sunglasses: I bring two pairs and keep them in complex cases. These are available in a 3-pack!
- Beach bag: This is a great way to transport your belongings to the pool or beach.
- You should bring sunscreen to protect the fragile ecosystems of the reef. You may have to buy sunscreen if you don’t have your own. This can be costly, and you may regret it. ).
- Lip sunscreen: We often forget about our lips!
- Books (or Kindle: Depending on your preference (I prefer physical books), the Kindle Paperwhite is a great option. It has an anti-glare display and takes up very little space. You can also load tons of books onto it.
- Tumbler: Although not necessary, it can be a fun and eco-friendly option if you travel with a group (like for weddings). At the same time, you can order personalized tumblers from Etsy. Any tumbler will work. Wrap them in clothes and place them in your suitcase. The Bubba stainless-steel bottles are my favorite.
For an all-inclusive vacation, pack the proper clothing.
- T-shirts/t-shirts in tank tops
- Day dresses
- Evening wear dressy sandals
- Evening wear: Make sure you check the dress code of your resort. Some resorts require more formal evening wear. Men should be aware that there are no open-toed shoes and must wear long pants and collared tops. For a 7-night stay, I usually bring four dresses and two pairs of shoes.
- Activewear: If you are going on any outdoor activities or exercising.
- A lightweight sweater. One is always a good choice.
- Wearing undergarments (including socks) for plane travel is a must. I also wear sneakers to the airport.
- Sticky bras for women: I love sticky bras and petals.
Mini-steamers can be used depending on your clothing and if you are there for an event such as a wedding. Please check with your resort to confirm their availability in your room.
What should I bring to an all-inclusive resort?
Knowing how many pieces or outfits you will need can be challenging. This is what I pack for a week.
- 2 bathing suits minimum
- Flip-flops and 2 pairs of evening sandals
- 2-3 cover-ups
- T-shirt/tank shirt and pair of shorts
- 4 evening dresses
- You will need enough underwear to last a day, plus a few more!
- I need a cute purse to hold my phone, tips, and room card for dinner.
- Wear a t-shirt, a light sweater, and long pants for the return flight.
- Laundry bag
It’s true; I swear it. 90% of my day, I am covered up and in a bathing suit. When I know I will be relaxing by the pool, it doesn’t make sense to wear t-shirts and shorts. Tank tops and shorts are great for excursions, so I’ll bring them anyway if we head off-resort.
This is how it fits in a carry-on.
Tip for Travel
My emergency medical kit is always with me. You don’t need extensive equipment, but you can include some critical and essential items. You can make it yours!
Make sure you have a luggage tag that locks properly! Check your luggage and add a tag. I cannot see my personal information unless it is facing me. Check out these other valuable items for travel (under $20). I recommend and use these items daily (especially #20!). It will be an excellent investment that you will remember later. ).
Is it common to tip an all-inclusive resort?
Although all-inclusive resorts claim gratuities are included in the price, it is customary to tip for excellent service. It’s worth the extra money every time I travel. We can show our appreciation to the staff who work so hard for us to have a memorable and relaxing holiday.
Tipping is possible if you have the means to travel. You don’t need to tip a lot, but it can make a big difference, considering the average Mexican daily wage is $5 USD.
What is the average tip at an all-inclusive resort?
This is how we tip, and it is entirely discretionary.
- Drinks: $1-$2/drink
- Breakfast: $2-$5/couple
- Lunch: $5/couple
- Dinner: $5-$15/couple
- Housekeeping: $3-$5/day
- Turndown service available: $3-$5/day
- Mini fridge attendant: $2-$3/day
- 20% off spa services
What to NOT bring for an all-inclusive vacation
Things I don’t bring for a beach vacation.
- Towels: You’ll be given a towel card or have unlimited access to towels at the pool and beach.
- Pillows – Some resorts like Excellence Playa Mujeres or Excellence Riviera Cancun even have pillow menus
- A hair dryer. They are in your bedroom!
- Shampoo, lotion, and body wash are all available. – that’s provided!
Make sure you weigh your luggage.
Make sure you weigh all your baggage, including your carry-on. Exceeding baggage fees can be costly, so weigh your luggage. This digital luggage scale is my favorite and assures me that I won’t be charged additional baggage fees at the airport.
Before you leave for the airport, check the luggage allowances of your airline. If necessary, adjust your packing to distribute the weight.