We are heading down to Turks and Caicos to a social media conference in just a few weeks. Can’t even wait. It’s getting so close and we have so many, many things to do, like packing, making sure things at the house are squared away with the house sitter, stopping newspapers, checking itineraries, etc. Mostly, though, the packing. Packing for a week in paradise is a pretty “fun” task, but when it comes down to it, packing can almost be daunting for many of us. There’s a lot to remember to pack for an all inclusive vacation!
What to pack for an all inclusive vacation
Bathing suits –
Bring 2, maybe 3. We’ve all had the experience of putting an already wet bathing suit on. A warm, wet bathing suit? No thanks. Look to more coverage, not less- if your all inclusive is someplace tropical and sunny, it’s going to likely be a stronger sun than where you live, and you want to protect your skin from those harmful rays. No tan lines are worth what comes with burns in the long run. A rash guard and cover-ups are a good idea to pack- and like with the suits, I’d be sure to pack 2 per person.
Hat and Sunglasses-
A wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are a must. A breathable hat is a great idea so you don’t get all hot and sweaty under the brim! Pack a hat that’s not going to be damaged if it gets wet- you’ll need that protection on and off the water!
Nice sandals make for suitable ‘formal’ dining footwear, and paired with some sturdy hiking sandals (my whole family wears Keens) and a pair of basic flip flops, may just keep you from needing any other shoes in your suitcase. My favorite *dressy* sandals were under $10 and I can easily dress them up or down based on my outfit and accessories- and since they are so minimal, they take up little space in my luggage.
I do not, repeat NOT, like to pay top dollar for things that I can get at home for minimal cost. Plus, you just don’t know what you will find when traveling, and some things may not be readily available (or in a store that’s open when you need to purchase). Bring things like: band aids, hydrocortisone cream for bites, headache relief, and ABSOLUTELY bring some #PinkRelief- with an all inclusive, it’s really easy to have a little more food at a meal than you normally might, or maybe you’re trying some local flavors…you don’t want to find out later that your stomach isn’t happy with you and not be prepared. We always pack some Pepto-Bismol in our carry on and in our luggage just in case. Having belly issues away from home is never fun! Pepto-Bismol is available in multiple forms (regular strength liquid, maximum strength liquid, chewables, caplets and To-Go Cherry Chewables) and flavors (Peppermint with InstaCool, Cherry, and Original wintergreen).
Think mix and match, reversible, and not a lot. Seriously. No one is going to notice if you wear a sundress two times in a week to a restaurant on property! Pack lightly, and for comfort. A few basic shorts (or skirts), a few tops to mix and match. The one thing I always overpack on is underpants and bras. Always. I won’t even apologize for it. You’re probably going to spend most of your time in a bathing suit anyway, so pack lightly!
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Put it in a ziploc bag just in case and pack extra. I ran out and the cost to replace it was just not something I ever want to talk about again! Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deoderant- it’s going to be hot. You don’t want to be stinky! Bring minimal makeup and the least scented products you have- unscented lotion, deoderant, etc. I bring mascara and lip gloss, maybe some powder. Scented products can attract bugs…which leads me to…bring a bug replellant of sorts. The wearable ones have worked well for us and travel well. You may want them on excursions inland or in the evenings. Make sure you have a brush and a few things to style your hair with, and you’re good to go! I have stopped packing shampoo, conditioner and body washes- every time we’ve been at an all-inclusive resort, the products available in our bathroom have been wonderful and I really just wasted space including my own in my luggage.
In your carry on:
Passport, copy of your itinerary, health insurance card, credit card (you may want souvenirs, or something en route to the destination), cash, something to read or do on the plane ride, any prescription medication you or your loved ones take, some gum, breath mints (I hate airplane breath), some Pepto-Bismol (I like to be prepared!) and a portable charger and power cord. Oh! And a pen, blue or black ink, for customs. It’s a pain in the neck when you arrive and have to fill those forms out because you didn’t have a pen on the plane, and you really just want to get to your destination (learned this one the hard way…). If you simply cannot leave home without it, this is where your tablet or laptop will also go, don’t forget your charging cord!
Keep a record of your itineraries, and important phone numbers tucked away someplace safe. If you’re bringing the kids and not your spouse, make sure you have notorized letters of consent for this. Wear comfy clothes (think yoga pants, sandals, tee shirt and a zip up hoodie) on the plane ride to and from. Bring a camera if you don’t have a phone with a camera on it so you can capture some of the memories and beautiful vistas at your resort. Toss an extra memory card in your luggage just in case. If your carry one won’t double as a tote for the beach, toss an extra bag into your suitcase for that purpose.
When you head to an all-inclusive resort, almost everything is included-live simply for a week! What else would you suggest packing for an all-inclusive vacation?
Thanks to Pepto-Bismol for sponsoring today’s packing post.