In April, a group of friends and I embarked on a trip to Mexico to celebrate the 30th birthday of one of my college roommates and closest friends. As we organized our trip via group message, one of the questions that seemed to arise continuously were the packing necessities that would need to be brought along for our getaway. Unlike many vacation destinations, all-inclusive resort trips are usually the easiest trips of which to pack. Your day wear often becomes your night wear as you enjoy the many amenities the resort has to offer and the drinks that flow at the snap of a finger. While I am usually very fashion conscious and prefer cocktail dresses to sundresses, I’ve learned my lesson about over packing when visiting the Carribean. They say you can never be overdressed or overeducated, and while I agree with the latter, no one wants to be the girl at the resort club with the achy feet watching the other vacationers dance drunkenly in flip flops still coated in sand. Below are helpful tips to help you pack for your next all-inclusive vacation.
Travel Documents: Depending on your destination, make sure you have proper identification (passport, visa, etc) and travel documents required for boarding your plane, hotel check-in, excursions, etc. Your internet access might be spotty, even if your resort says otherwise, so it’s best to have everything printed and readily available.
Clothing: Before you leave for an all-inclusive vacation, be sure and check the resort’s dining restrictions, as most of the finer resorts may have a dress code for their fine dining establishments. Pack clothing items that fit these restrictions, and when possible, try to pack articles of clothing that will work for day and night. Since most of your day will be spent soaking up the sun in swimwear, that maxi dress you packed to wear around the beach as a cover up that didn’t leave your beach bag can instead be carried over to dinner attire. Pack light, pack right (unless you are a career fashionista or fashion blogger). Since I’m someone that doesn’t like to be seen in the same swimsuit twice, below is my ideal clothing list for a 5 day, 4 night all-inclusive trip:
- 4 Swimsuits
- 2-4 Cover-Ups
- 3 Dresses (These can be substituted for non-shear cover-ups)
- Sandals (Not Flip-Flops)
- Sneakers (for workouts and/or excursions)
- Excursion Outfit(s)
- Workout Attire
- Small Clutch or Swing Bag
- Travel Outfit
Toiletries and Grooming: Let’s be honest. Most of your all-inclusive trip will be spent in or near water, and unless you plan on styling your hair everyday just to jump in the pool or swim on the beach, grooming supplies can be kept to a minimum. Besides the daily toiletry items, like my dental hygiene products, soap, deodorant, lotion, perfume, etc, I try to keep my toiletry case light, especially when it comes to hair care and makeup products. I wear minimal makeup on most days, so when I’m on vacation triggering my inner mermaid, I keep my products to the basics: Foundation, Blush, Mascara. And I usually only break them out for dinner. Now, I realize that everyone’s haircare regimen is different, but only bring the products that you absolutely need and leave the rest at home. And don’t forget your sunscreen and mosquito repellant and any medications that you may need while away from home.
Misc: Since the weather will probably be somewhere between hot and scorching, be sure to include your sunglasses and a beach hat. Also, verify that you have all of your chargers and additional batteries to sustain your electronic devices while on vacation. I can almost promise you that you don’t want to pay the up-charge for either at your resort. While I am not one to wash clothes on vacation, if your resort offers that amenity and you’re a stickler for returning home with clean clothes, be sure to include your travel sized, leak-proof detergent. And if you plan to shop, it may be wise to pack an empty bag to bring home your loot and/or use as your daily beach bag. Last but not least, check the weather and see if you need to throw your umbrella in your bag, swag.
- When I headed to Europe for 18 days last summer, one of my friends recommended handy travel compression bags. These bags are an inexpensive way to compress multiple items to make for easier packing. Available at Amazon
- Be mindful of airline baggage costs, and keep your bags and fees to a minimum.
- Don’t check your fancy luggage and expect it to come back in tip top shape. Let’s face it, if you’ve ever watched the airlines unload/toss your luggage off the plane in transit to baggage claim, then you are more than aware of the scuffs and tears that come along with checked luggage. And unless your bag is severly damaged, meaning the type of damage that prevents it from being re-used, you will not be reimbursed for their callousness. If you’re rich forever and plan on taking your Louis, make sure its carry-on size.
With Love and Sparkles,