While the entire point of an all-inclusive vacation in the Caribbean is that you don’t have to think about much, you will have to carefully consider what you’re packing. Yes, an all-inclusive resort takes out the stress of worrying about food, drinks, and activities, there are a range of things to consider, from what bathing suit to wear to the best outfit to match your all-inclusive dress code for dinner (if it has one). With our fool-proof all-inclusive packing list for a Caribbean all-inclusive vacation, you’ll be prepared whether you want to line up at the seemingly endless buffet, sip fruity cocktails by the infinity pool, or sunbathe on the beach. Read on for the necessities that should definitely have a place in your suitcase.
Don’t forget your bathing suit for your all-inclusive vacation!
Depending on exactly your style, show a little or a little more skin. We love this vintage inspired CUPSHE number with its peekaboo side panels. It works particularly well if you’re rolling up to one of our favorite adults-only resorts in Jamaica, The Caves Negril.
This high-neck one-piece suit features a lower cut along the hips, allowing you to sunbathe and swim without worrying about any wardrobe malfunctions. What’s more? It’s one of the most best-rated women’s bathing suits on Amazon right now.
The days of board shorts are long gone — or at least they should be. Guys should opt for a mid-thigh trunk that’s made from a quick-drying fabric, like this simple but sharp Speedo. It comes in an array of colors that make it a fit for anyone.
Make sure to pack other beach and poolside gear for your all-inclusive vacation.
While you’ll be spending most of your waking minutes in your swimsuit, you’ll still want to give yourself some sun relief (and look stylish at the same time). This crocheted coverup pairs well with almost any poolside or beachy look, and will keep you looking put together as you make your way from your room to the pool, bar, beach, and back again.
If you’re sensing a theme, you’re right: While a Caribbean all-inclusive vacation is all about fun in the sun, every now and then you’ll need a break. This wide-brimmed hat keeps the sun off of your face, while perfectly complementing our favorite cover-up above. Best of all? It’s collapsable and easy to pack!
While some luxury all-inclusives will provide bags for toting your pool and beach necessities, many do not. Opt for this cute, patterned beach bag and save yourself multiple trips back to your room throughout the day. Even better? This bag can double as your personal item when boarding your flight, so there’s no need to take up valuable luggage space with it.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of Ray-Bans. Whether you’re after the always-classic Wayfarer, or something a bit more vintage, like these versatile aviators, Ray-Ban’s sunglasses work with almost any vacation look. Added bonus: These styles happen to look equally awesome on men or women.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll want to pack a pair of easy-on, easy-off slides to get yourself from your room to your pool. It’s hard to go wrong with this must-have pair of Adidas Adilette Slide Sandals. Our Oyster staff happens to love them for summer and airplane travel — they’re sturdy, but incredibly comfortable as well.
While you’ll likely have a nicer open-toe option for dinner, you’ll also want to pack a simple and sporty pair to get you back and forth to the beach and pool (or maybe even to a beachside yoga class). Oyster senior photo editor Laura Hinely swears by this pair of Keds, which are practical, comfy, and cute.
Always pack the right outfits for your all-inclusive resort dress code.
For the most part, women have more flexibility with how they dress from day to night. These two classic maxi dresses by Grecerelle work for any daytime needs as well as being a breezy, simple, and cute way to comply with women’s evening dress codes.
You won’t want to don your sporty slides to any dress-up dinners at your all-inclusive resort. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego the comfort of a casual open-toe option. We like this pair by Fitory, which comes in a basic set of neutral shades and is just dressy enough for those romantic dinners after a day at the beach.
Unfortunately, it’s a rare all-inclusive that allows men to swing the same outfit at lunch and dinner, especially if there are resort semi-formal dress codes. For the most part, you’ll need a shirt with sleeves and a collar, plus chinos and close-toed shoes. This holds true for any dining venues, theaters, or bars at more upmarket all-inclusives like the Excellence Oyster Bay outside of Montego Bay, Jamaica. If you’re searching for chinos to complement the outfit, check out these Goodthreads options, which come in a ton of fun vacation-ready colors.
You’ll still need to bring a few toiletries with you to your all-inclusive resort.
While you should be applying sunscreen in excess when you’re in the Caribbean, even the most diligent screener can still fall victim to burns. This Organic Aloe Vera Gel has no fillers and won’t leave your skin feeling sticky — a problem that often makes having a sunburn feel even worse.
Endless days in the sun, coupled with salty ocean water and chlorinated pools, can wreak havoc on your hair. And while all-inclusive resorts generally provide basic shampoo and conditioner options, you’d be wise to take a little extra care with your locks so you look fresh in all of your pics. Check out this Sun Bum Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner.
You have no limit to the kinds of sunscreen you can take with you, but we love this Neutrogena option. Not only does it go on dry and won’t clog pores (key to staying cute for all of your vacation pics), but it’s also just the right size to squeeze into your TSA-approved liquid carry-on bag.
If you’ve got room in your luggage, these extras can come in handy.
It’s no secret that unlimited adult beverages are a huge draw of an all-inclusive vacation. But the tropical sun can quickly turn an ice-cold beer into a tepid disaster that you have to force yourself to finish. Beat the heat with a set of neoprene insulated beer bottle covers in an array of fun patterns. They’re easy to fold down for packing and also come can-shaped.
There are few non-life-threatening things more irritating than chapped lips. And the vacation combination of hot sun, salt water, and perhaps not drinking enough water is a recipe for a sore, dry pout. Throw a tube or two of Banana Boat’s sunscreen lip balm (SPF 50) into your beach bag to keep lips moisturized and protected from the sun.
Many resorts provide bug spray, either in the hotel room or at the front desk, but with Zika warnings in some countries and the misery of itchy mosquito or sand fly bites, it’s smart to pack your own bottle.
There’s only one true way to prevent a hangover and that’s to avoid alcohol completely. You’re probably not going to do that on an all-inclusive vacation. Apart from drinking moderately (which you should do for safety and health) or waiting for hangover symptoms like a headache or stomach pains to simply pass, you could try popping a pill. Blowfish is approved by the FDA and includes aspirin and caffeine. Simply dissolve two lemon-flavored tablets in water and drink. Supposedly, you’ll feel like your regular self in 15 minutes — just enough time to change into a swimsuit and get back on the beach or to the bar.
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