15 Things You Should Pack for an All-Inclusive Vacation
The list below states the 15 must-haves that you need to pack in your luggage for an all-inclusive vacation. This is the ultimate packing list that you have to have in order to feel like you're prepared for your vacation. This list not only includes necessities like sunscreen, shampoo, socks, and lip balm with SPF protection, but it also considers the stylish bathing suits and clothing you need to feel like you're really ready for your vacation. There are obviously more essentials that you might need, but this is the place to start!
#1 Your Phone (And a Charger)
Not that you have to even have this reminder, but your phone is the number one thing that you should bring in your carry-on bag on any vacation.
Your phone is great for capturing photos with its built-in camera, connecting with friends, looking up hotels, reviewing restaurants, and always choosing the best beaches to head to.
Without your phone, it's difficult to really make plans when you're on vacation and you want to always make sure that you can contact your family or friends if you're ever split up.
Your phone is also really handy for posting cute photos and even keeping a notes tab open to write down your favorite spots that you've traveled to so far.
Without your phone, it's hard to navigate on your vacation as well, and you want to make sure that you're heading to all the spots that you want to see before you get back on the plane or back on your cruise and head home.
#2 Bathing Suits
If you're heading on a beach vacation or a cruise getaway and you don't have the right bathing suits, you're definitely not going to enjoy your stay. When choosing the right bathing suits for your vacation, consider grabbing as many as you can and putting some in your suitcase and some in your carry-on. You never want to run out of bathing suits and the great thing about bringing bikinis is that you can mix and match tops and bottoms and feel like you're wearing a new look on the beach, even if you're not. If you're going away for a week, the rule usually is that you bring a bathing suit for every other day. This way you can mix and match and you can also clean your bathing suits intermittently.
#3 Your Wallet & Passport
This is a friendly reminder before you head to the TSA checkpoint, but you have to make sure that you have your wallet and passport when you go on your vacation.
You're definitely not going to get past customs without a wallet or a passport and you want to make sure that you're prepared with these items before you even step out of your house.
Something that's really cool and new to traveling is a Real ID. These IDs are going to be required in 2023. Real IDs are used to make identity documents more consistent and they give you a mark on your ID that is a federally accepted form of identification, like a passport.
Real IDs are great for international travel, so if you're heading on a vacation or cruise that is international, consider getting a real ID because they're going to be required anyway by next year.
#4 A Beach Bag
Making sure you have the proper beach bag is always important for a successful beach day. You want to keep in mind that compartments are important in a beach bag that will keep away sand and keep your items dry.
You also want to make sure that your beach bag has a zipper that closes and secures your toiletries, accessories, and other essential items inside. This is important because you don't want your valuables easily stolen or your bag to be sitting wide open as you are walking along the ocean.
Follow this packing checklist for a fully-stocked beach bag or travel backpack:
- Reusable water bottles
- Insect repellent
- Sandals or flip-flops
- A first aid kit
- Any prescription medication you take daily
- A sweater for unexpected cold weather
- Hair ties
- Caps or sun hats
- Spare towels
- Extra makeup
- Feminine hygiene products (if you need them)
The right sunscreen is probably the most important item to bring on your vacation.
You need to make sure that when you're packing or purchasing sunscreen it is above 40 SPF. There is no point in buying a 15 or 20 SPF sunscreen for your body or your face because the amount of protection that it provides you is enough to last less than an hour in the sun.
If you're heading out on vacation and you're going to be out in the sun for most of it, you have to have a significantly high SPF number to protect you from extreme UV radiation.
It's really not a joke when it comes to purchasing the correct SPF, so you need to make sure that you choose waterproof sunscreen that is also safe for your skin and non-irritating.
If your skin is highly sensitive, make sure that none of the sunscreens you purchase has fragrances in it or harsh chemicals that can dry out your skin. You also want to make sure when choosing a sunscreen that it is safe for reefs. There are SPF sunscreens that are made to dissolve in water in a very natural way and these are the sunscreens that you want to look out for because they also help protect coral reefs.
If you're heading on a tropical vacation you're definitely going to be around reefs and fish that need their water to be kept clean!
#6 Clothing for All Occasions
When you're heading on vacation you want to make sure that you have proper going out clothing, comfortable clothing, everyday beach clothing, and activewear.
If you're heading out to a fancy dinner or to dance you want to make sure that you have an array of options so that you're not standing in your hotel room wondering why you didn't pack something nice to wear.
You also want to make sure that you have comfortable clothing for travel as well as clothing that you can wear lounging about a hotel.
Everyday beach clothing is also important and you need to make sure that you have enough clothes that you can wear in the sun that will keep you from overheating.
Activewear is probably the most important kind of clothing to wear during vacation because there tends to be a lot of opportunities for exercise and exploration. Even if you're staying on a cruise ship, there are daily excursions off the boat and opportunities for exercise on the ship.
#7 Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are extremely important for any travel right now. You never know who is on a plane before you or who is staying in your room before you, and you just want to make sure that you have hand sanitizer for extra safety. Bringing wipes is also a great way to keep germs off your hands and your health intact. Wipes are also great for the beach!
Obviously, before and after dinner you're going to be washing your hands, but sometimes having hand wipes or hand sanitizer is helpful when you're at the beach and you don't have access to a sink with running water. With any travel right now you want to take extra precautions so that you stay safe and enjoy your vacation worry-free.
#8 Deodorant & Perfume
For obvious reasons, deodorant and perfume are extremely important for any travel experience. When you get off a plane you want to make sure that you are refreshed with a touch-up on your deodorant and a spritz of perfume. If you're on the beach all day and you find yourself sweating you want to make sure that you touch up with deodorant before you head back into an indoor public space.
#9 Beach Coverups
Make sure to always pack the correct beach cover-ups when you're heading on an all-inclusive vacation. You want to make sure that you can easily head from the pool deck to your hotel room without feeling like you're walking around overexposed. Having the correct beach cover-up or pool cover-up is really comforting in many situations where you're transitioning from indoors to outdoors.
#10 The Right Hat
On your all-inclusive vacation making sure that you have the right hat is almost as important as having the right sunscreen. Sunscreen can never protect your skin fully. Hats and clothing are actually the best way that you can keep your skin from burning. Wearing a hat at the beach is important in keeping the skin protected from the sun.
Whether you're by the pool or even walking around on an excursion, you want to make sure that you have a hat with a brim that protects your face from UV radiation.
Sometimes it's easy to forget to apply sunscreen on the tops of your ears, so you want to make sure that you always accompany your sunscreen application with a hat. A wide brim hat or a sun hat is always the best option for keeping you entirely covered when you're in the sun.
#11 Wet Bag for Your Swimsuit
Always include a wet bag for your swimsuit and wet clothes so that you can easily transition out of your bathing suit when you get out of the pool or are heading home from the beach.
Along with a wet bag you want to make sure that you have a change of clothing in your beach bag so that you can easily slip into something that's not wet and that is comfortable.
What's great about the wet bag is that it'll keep your wet items separate from your dry clothing, and then you can easily pop it into a washer and dryer when you get back to your hotel room or room on your cruise ship.
#12 Something To Hide Your Valuables In
This might seem a little silly or over-the-top but you need to make sure that you have something to hide your valuables in when you’re heading to and from the beach.
The beach is actually a really easy place for individuals to get robbed because there are a lot of distractions at the beach that can get you away from your beach bag.
Maybe you fall asleep on the beach while tanning or maybe you're deeply involved in a novel you're reading? Maybe you even step away from your bag and head to the ocean for a minute? If any of these sounds like you, it's really easy for someone to come and search through your belongings to try to find your valuables.
There are many ways to hide your possessions if you need to. There are specific objects made for you to place your valuables inside that are unsuspecting. For example, there are fake deodorant sticks and water bottles that actually have compartments in them where you can hide your keys and wallet.
#13 Advil, Aloe, and Lotion
Make sure to always bring Advil and aloe vera on any vacation. You want to make sure that you are prepared in case you get a headache or you're in pain from the sun. Aloe vera is great at healing sunburns and also healing dry skin and Advil is great at healing hangovers or getting rid of any headache you might have.
It's also important to bring lotion on your all-inclusive vacation. There is never a time when you're in the sun and your skin is not drying out, so you want to make sure that you bring extra lotion and cream when you're packing. Usually, there are creams available in hotel rooms or on cruise ships, but you want to make sure that you have the proper creams and lotions for your skin. For example, if your skin is sensitive you don't want to use a generic cream or lotion brand that the hotel provides- it could have fragrances in it.
#14 Bring Cash and Card
When you're heading on an all-inclusive vacation you want to make sure that you pack a credit card as well as cash. Sometimes there are vendors on the beach or you want to buy a drink or fresh fruit from a street stand and they only accept cash.
Other times, cash is not accepted at cafes or restaurants and that's when a credit card will come in handy. Depending on where you're going in the world you want to make sure that you have the correct currency for that location. And you also want to make sure that your bank knows that you're traveling so they won't think the credit card transactions you are placing are fraud.
If you don't alert your bank of the fact that you're traveling, they will actually shut down your card and that can mess up a lot of your plans. So, do your research before and make sure you alert your bank.
#15 Travel Jewelry Case
Always bring a travel jewelry case when you’re heading on an all-inclusive vacation. You want to make sure that the jewelry you're bringing isn’t tossed around in your suitcase and mixed up or even lost in your travels.
It's really easy for earring backs to fall off or necklaces to get tangled if they're not placed in a travel jewelry case that is specifically made for travel.
What's also great about a travel jewelry case is that it lays your jewelry out in a way that you can see what you’ve brought for every outfit.
It's also helpful in keeping your jewelry organized so you know exactly what you brought on your trip with you. You don't want to be worried that any of your jewelry was lost or stolen, and that's why a jewelry case is helpful in keeping everything in one place.
For a Relaxed Vacation
What's most important when heading on an all-inclusive vacation is that you bring your best self. Sometimes travel can be exhausting, hard with the family, and stressful with friends.
You want to make sure that you have a way that you can relax, not worry about planning too much, and really take in your vacation.
Make sure that when you're traveling you don't pack your days too full of activities and you allow yourself time to tan and even head to the spa. If you're traveling with your family and make sure that there's a lot of planning beforehand that happens so that you don't have to be checking your phone and planning a bunch of activities. When you're trying to relax at the beach it's hard to stare at your phone when you're basking in the sun anyway, so make sure that you start out prepared long before you even head to your tropical destination.