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Jetting off on an all-inclusive holiday? This kind of break can be just what you need sometimes, where everything is covered and you don’t need to worry about extra costs. It’s also ideal for families, where a full range of drinks, snacks and meals for kids are included.

With food, drink and sometimes even activities sorted, you can simply lie back on your sun lounger, pick up a good book and relax.

But before you get there, there’s just one job you’ll need to tackle – packing your suitcase. What exactly do you need to pack for an all-inclusive resort?

Read on for a handy packing checklist, plus tips for making the most of your suitcase space. Whether you’re planning on a blissful week in the Caribbean, Mexico or closer to home in Europe, we’ll help you pack like a pro.

All-inclusive resort packing checklist

Let’s start with that all-important packing checklist. It might seem like packing for an all-inclusive holiday will be a breeze as you’ll mainly be staying in-resort. But what about excursions and activities? You might need sturdy footwear or sportswear. And if there’s a more formal themed night in the resort? You’ll need to have a smarter outfit ready to wear.

It’s also important to factor in the weather for your destination. You can take a look at the forecast in advance, but it’s also good to be prepared for a sudden change in the weather.

This is particularly important if you’re heading somewhere with a rainy season or tropical storms. For example, Indian Ocean destinations have gorgeously sunny weather most of the time, but there are occasional monsoons and showers at certain times of the year.

Here’s a rundown of all the essentials – and a few extras – you’ll need for your all-inclusive getaway:

  • Travel documents

This includes passports, boarding passes and travel insurance information.

  • Swimwear

You might want to pack a couple of different options, so you’ll have an extra swimsuit while one is drying. And don’t forget to pack loose, easy to wear cover-up layers for popping to the bar or for a snack.

  • Microfibre travel towel

Your hotel should provide you with towels for the pool and beach, but it never hurts to have an additional lightweight towel to hand. 

  • Sandals or sliders

These are essential for around the pool and beach, and also for slipping on as you move around the resort. 

  • Pharmacy essentials

It’s always smart to pack a mini travel-sized first aid kit, which will contain things like bandages, plasters and dressings. It’s also a good idea to pack insect repellent, antihistamine tablets and hydrocortisone cream (or another treatment for bites and stings). Plus, any specialist medicine you require for your trip. 

  • Sun care

This includes sun cream or spray of an appropriate SPF level for each family member, plus aftersun. 

  • Toiletries

Most all-inclusive resorts provide you with some toiletries, which usually includes shampoo and shower gel. But you’ll also want to pack things like hair conditioner, face wipes, cosmetics and fragrances, skincare and of course, a toothbrush and toothpaste. 

  • Day bag

Whether you’re hitting the pool, the beach or going on an excursion, you’ll need a lightweight yet roomy bag to carry all your essentials. Choose something big enough to hold a water bottle (and don’t forget to pack that too) plus your sunscreen, book, beach towel and anything else you need for the day. 

  • Daytime clothing

What you love to wear on holiday is up to you, but we have a few tips on what to pack for the daytime. Layers are always good, just in case the weather changes.

Aim for T-shirts, shorts, shirts, loose summer dresses, lightweight trousers and similar items. These items are small, so you can afford to take extra. Remember that it’s likely that many items will end up covered in sunscreen so can’t be worn again.

And then of course, there’s underwear and socks (if you wear them on holiday) to think about.

  • Evening clothing 

For dinners and drinks in the evenings, you may want to pack some slightly dressier items. You should also consider that temperatures may be cooler in the evenings, so heavier shirts, lightweight smart jackets and long trousers may be a good idea. 

  • Footwear

Shoes can take up the most space in your luggage, so choose your holiday footwear carefully. It’s always wise to have a comfortable pair of shoes (i.e. trainers) to travel in, and for activities in the resort and excursions outside of it. Otherwise, you can pack laid-back options like sandals for the daytime, and at least one dressier pair of shoes for evenings. 

  • Weather-specific items

Even if the weather does exactly what you expect it to on holiday, it’s always good to be prepared. So just in case, consider packing a waterproof jacket or handbag-size umbrella in case of rain, a warmer cardigan in case it’s cold, and a sun hat in case it’s scorching (this last one’s a good idea anyway).

  • Everything else

Now for those miscellaneous yet essential items you mustn’t miss off your packing list. These include travel chargers and adapters, books and magazines and sunglasses. 

All-inclusive packing top tips

Now, how are you going to fit all of that in your suitcase? To save you from extra luggage charges, here are some handy space-saving packing tips:

  • Roll clothes – this tried-and-tested technique will save you space compared to folding, and can even prevent creases if you do it carefully. 
  • Use packing cubes – these clever cubes organise everything in your suitcase, so you can just take everything out when you arrive. It’s ideal for smaller items which could otherwise get lost in a larger bag.
  • Make everything travel-sized – you don’t need many toiletries for a holiday, and there’ll also be plenty of essentials available in the resort. So to save space, aim for travel-sized toothpastes, hair and skin care products. You can even find mini first aid kits.

      How much money should you bring to an all-inclusive resort?

      Lastly, there’s the question of whether or not you need cash for an all-inclusive holiday. It’s a tricky one, because the whole point is that most expenses (like food and drink) are already covered.

      However, it’s a good idea to have some local currency on you. You might need this for souvenirs, excursions, tips, topping up on toiletries or buying presents for loved ones. You may also want to splurge on the premium drinks at the bar, which aren’t always included in all-inclusive packages.

      If you’re carrying cash with you, always use the safe provided by the hotel. And when out and about, consider keeping your cash in a money belt to keep it safe. Otherwise, you can use a travel-friendly credit card and avoid the need for cash altogether (although this won’t work for tips, of course).

      Book with confidence!

      Dependable, Reliable and Trusted name in Travel

      Visit www.gov.uk/foriegn-travel-advice for latest destination travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) including Covid19 travel advice, security and local laws, and passport and visa information.

      Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected.

      If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. If you have booked a flight only where the ticket is not issued immediately, your flight will be protected under our ATOL. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to www.caa.co.uk/ATOLCertificate

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