Packing Tips For Your All-Inclusive Vacation

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Headed South?

You don’t need to bring much when you’re hitting the beach. In fact, you could pull off traveling with just your carry-on bag if you pack smart. We share some of our packing tips for your next all-inclusive vacation.

Whether or not you are checking a bag, always pack a carry-on luggage in case your checked baggage gets lost or delayed. Keep the airline’s carry-on restrictions in mind to ensure it’s not overweight and to avoid more checked baggage fees. Remember, liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on bag must be in 100 ml containers or less and must fit into a 1L clear, resealable bag per passenger. When you go through security, have your bag of liquids ready to place into the bin for screening.

Remember to also take advantage of the personal items you can take onboard in addition to your carry on. Safely store your important items here: your passport and travel documents, medications, and electronics to make room in your carry-on for clothes.

Your carry-on should be filled with the essentials: a swimsuit, cover up, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, underwear, and a change of clothes (including a dinner appropriate outfit: long pants and a collared shirt for men).

Planes tend to be cool, so pack a warm sweater, socks, and long pants for the flight. If you need it, you may also want to bring an eye mask, books, or entertainment to enjoy onboard and during your stay.

Wear your bulkiest items on the plane rather than packing them. For example, wear your running shoes since flip flops take up less space in your luggage.

When packing your suitcase, also take note of the checked baggage allowance from your airline. Roll of fold your clothing, depending on what you prefer. Folding is best for structured clothing like trousers whereas rolling is good for lighter wares, and better to save space in unstructured bags. Organize your suitcase with the heavier and harder items at the bottom and then fill in the gaps, like fitting socks into shoes. Store toiletries in ziplock bags in between clothing for padding.

You’ll just need some light clothing for the warm weather (you’ll be living in swim suits and sporting beach waves) but you may also want to bring a light sweater or pair of pants during the wintertime for the evenings.  Closed toe shoes, long pants, and collared shirts are typically required for men dining at the a la carte restaurants.

Leave excessive makeup, accessories, and valuables at home. Most family friendly resorts have a kids club with lots of fun activities, so you don’t need to bring too much to keep the kids entertained.

TIP: Cross packing your belongings with your travel partner is a way to lessen the impact if your luggage gets lost or delayed. When you divide your clothes between two suitcases, if one goes missing, you each have some clothes to work with.

TIP: Put a unique identifier on your bag like a bright scarf so you can easily spot it on the luggage belt and ensure others don’t pick up your luggage by mistake. You may also want to consider a luggage color other than black or other neutral shades.

Check list

  • Travel documents, passport, travel insurance, spending money for excursions and small bills for tipping
  • Book/Kindle, iPad/headphones/iPod, entertainment for kids like coloring books
  • First aid kit: topical antibiotic cream like Polysporin, bandages, bug spray with DEET, after bite, ibuprofen, and aloe vera for burns
  • Sunscreen, tide-to-go, hand sanitizer
  • Toiletries like toothbrush/toothpaste, soap, shampoo/conditioner, moisturizer, hair brush, razor, deodorant, body spray, mascara, lip gloss, hair ties and bobby pins
  • Swimsuits and cover-ups
  • Comfortable flip flops, dressier sandals, walking/running shoes (if you plan on taking an excursion, using the resort’s fitness center, or exploring the town).
  • Backpack or waterproof beach bag with zippers to protect your belongings from sand
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Light sweater for cooler evenings
  • Pajamas
  • Dresses/skirts, shorts, and tanks for day and night


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