seating area on a sandy beach
In addition to general travel packing tips, you need to know what essential items you'll need for your trip that the resort isn't going to supply for you free of charge.

Don't Forget These Essential Things to Bring to All-Inclusive Resorts

A Stress-Free Vacation Starts with What You Pack

More and more all-inclusive resorts have been popping up these days, especially in the Caribbean. Their popularity is no doubt the result of an increase in demand for a convenient and worry-free vacation.

Much like a cruise comes packaged with prepaid essentials, all-inclusive resorts cater to feeding the desire for a luxury experience; a place where all your needs are taken care of. While all-inclusive seems pretty self-explanatory, it may not be as straight-forward as you might think.

What exactly does “all-inclusive” mean? Typically, an all-inclusive resort includes meals at any of their onsite restaurants, alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic drinks, access to a gym or exercise equipment, water sports and equipment, towels, portable entertainment like board or video games, and some form of childcare.

But what about everything else? In addition to general travel packing tips, you need to know what travel must-haves you’ll need for your trip that the resort isn’t going to supply for you free of charge.

Instead of paying two or three times the cost for something you may want for your trip on site, plan ahead and only pack what you absolutely can’t live without. Here is a breakdown of things to bring to all-inclusive resorts.


Most resorts offer a variety of activities during your stay, free of charge. After a few hours in the sun, however, you’ll look like a lobster without applying some sunscreen.

Bring your own from home and apply it in the morning before you head out and again after any water activities. Sunscreen is not cheap anywhere, but this is especially the case when buying from a hotel, airport or in a foreign country where it’s often imported from the United States anyway.

Bug Spray

Any place that’s hot, humid and near water will attract bugs like mosquitoes and mites. Resorts do not provide bug spray free of charge, although it may be available for purchase from an onsite convenience store.

Like with sunscreen, you’ll most likely experience price gouging if you try and buy it on location. Invest in some bug spray and keep it in your checked bag.

It’s especially helpful if you plan on venturing outside the resort a bit.

Waterproof Container

When it comes to what to pack for an all-inclusive resort, everyone can benefit from bringing along a waterproof container. With so many water sports at your fingertips along with multiple beaches and pools around you, anything waterproof is a godsend.

For the Instagram and Snapchat obsessed, waterproof cellphone cases allow you to take selfies underwater or while you float in the pool. There are also waterproof dry bags for storing essentials and valuables so you can take them with you out on the water.


Hopefully this one is quite obvious, but don’t forget your sunglasses! Seeing as most all-inclusive resorts are in sunny, tropical areas, you’ll need to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Don’t rely on whatever is available for purchase at the airport or one of the resort’s gift shops; not only will the styles be limited, the prices will likely run sky high, even for non-branded sunglasses.

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Especially important if your resort is near the equator, make sure to bring a hat. Aside from further shielding your eyes from the intensity of the sun, a hat will provide your face with shade, even on the open water.

Ladies, don’t be afraid of those big floppy straw hats; some of the most glamorous celebrities have worn them. After all, anything that can be done to prevent wrinkles is worth bringing.


This one goes for what to pack for an all-inclusive resort and just about anywhere! If you take any type of medication, vitamin, or need medical equipment on a daily basis, absolutely bring it with you. Don’t assume that a local nurse or first aid station at the resort will have something you need.

Some countries require a prescription for medication you can get over the counter in the United States. Better to bring something with you that you know works, than risk a serious medical emergency at the worst or an uncomfortable trip at the very least.


Hopefully, you won’t need to touch any of your electronics during your stay at a resort. You’re on vacation, right?

However, in the case that you need access to your cell phone at some point during the trip, be sure to bring the charger with you. Some countries may also require an adapter to use the wall plugs, particularly if you’re staying in Southeast Asia or Europe.

Always try and check a resort’s website for a list of the amenities included in your stay. Even if you don’t see something listed, the hotel’s concierge or a front desk attendant will be able to tell you if it’s available free of charge or not.

Usually, toiletries and feminine hygiene products are available if you just ask. Some resorts also provide flip flops, robes, baby supplies and toys for children as part of their amenities.

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