What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Honeymoon or Vacation

Today we welcome Sam Johnson of Sandals Resorts for a guest post.  Sam is sharing his thoughts on key items to pack and bring on an all-inclusive honeymoon or vacation.  Take it away, Sam!

What Do You Actually Need to Bring to an All-Inclusive?

The thought of your upcoming vacation at an all-inclusive resort is exciting! It’s such a nice type of place to relax and unwind. With all your basic needs covered, all you need to pack for the trip are a few essentials.

What are the essentials, though? When it’s time to start packing your suitcase, it can be difficult to know what you actually need to bring. An all-inclusive sounds as though you barely need anything, which is true to some extent, but there are some things you’ll wish you had packed if you don’t bring them along.

These are the key items you should check off your packing list before flying to your tropical paradise. After all, a honeymoon or vacation is much more fun when you arrive well-prepared.

Lounging in an overwater villa, like those at the Sandals Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is the epitome of relaxation! Photo courtesy of Sandals

Bring the Outdoor Essentials

Two things you definitely don’t want to forget are the sunscreen and bug spray.  It’s easy to assume that an all-inclusive will have all the different lotions and sprays you’ll need, but think again. While they likely will have bug spray and sunscreen available for purchase, it’ll probably cost 3 times as much as it would from your grocery store back at home.

It’s wise to pack your own sunscreen and bug spray that you already know you like. If you’re coming with several other people, you may even want to bring several different kinds of each to meet everyone’s needs.

It’s also good to bring at least one bottle of sunscreen that’s waterproof. If you plan to be in the water a lot or have family members who love to swim, you may even want several tubes of it just to be on the safe side. You definitely don’t want to run out of sunscreen while you’re there.

You shouldn’t have to pack any food for your all-inclusive as it’s provided in spades! This was my satiating breakfast at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. Photo © The Honeymoon Guy

First Aid Supplies and Medicine

While your resort should have basic first aid supplies, such as band-aids, it isn’t guaranteed to have things to help you in other situations. Again, it’s also possible that it does have other supplies, but they’ll likely charge more for them than they would typically cost back home.

All the free food you get to eat at all-inclusive resorts can mess up your digestive system if you’re not accustomed to the type of food. It’s good to arrive prepared with things such as anti-diarrhea medicine just in case. You don’t want to spend the week sick in your room when you could have helped yourself just by bringing along a bit of medicine.

It’s also a good idea to pack aspirin, sore throat drops, nighttime flu medicine, and all your regular vitamins and prescription medications. Hopefully, you won’t need any of the meds, but it’s much better to arrive well prepared than to end up needing everything you didn’t bring.

Bring the Right Clothes

Have you checked the weather for when you’ll be at the resort? Clothes are one of those things all-inclusives don’t include. Checking the weather before you go will help you arrive ready for the week. Even if the weather report doesn’t show rain or chilly weather, it’s always good to arrive prepared with an extra jacket and a travel umbrella just in case.

Be sure to pack clothes for all the different activities you’ll be doing. If you plan to swim much, it can be helpful to bring along several bathing suits. Only bringing one suit will likely mean you’ll have to put on a damp suit a time or two. No one likes doing that.



It’s also good to have a few nicer outfits for eating out or partying. Arriving at your resort with a variety of different outfits will give you options for anything you run into. Most all-inclusives have some type of dress code that you can find on their websites. It’s worth a look. You could be missing something essential.

Bring Entertainment

Bringing things to entertain yourself might sound strange since you’re headed toward a resort with all sorts of activities, but it can be helpful to have a backup plan. If you enjoy reading, slip a new book or two into your suitcase or onto your reading tablet. If you love watching a certain TV show, downloading a few episodes can be helpful for while you’re on your flight, traveling toward the all-inclusive.

Having children adds even more of a need for entertainment. On The Mommy Happiness Project, Jessica Lynn has some great ideas for traveling with children. She suggests you bring Duplo or lego blocks in your carry-on. Those types of toys are not only quiet, which is great for flights, but they’re like many toys in one since your child can build different types of things with them.

Also be sure to bring along your headphones. Whether you’re wanting to watch movies on the plane or listen to your own music, you’ll need to have a pair. Sometimes flights will hand out headphones, but often theirs are lower quality and won’t work as well as your own.

A Travel Mug

Bringing along your own travel mug might sound odd at first when going to an all-inclusive, but you’ll regret it if you don’t. Many times the cups resorts give people are small and flimsy. Whether you want a cocktail, coffee, or coke, your mug will come in handy. Trust me.

The mugs not only let you have a larger cup than the resort offers, but they also allow you to keep your drinks just the way you like them, either cold or hot.

Keep in mind that as far as toxins go, it’s better to keep away from plastic and choose some type of stainless steel travel mug.

Avoid Overpacking

With all-inclusives, the good news is you don’t need to pack any of the normal essentials such as bedding, towels, or food. As long as you have your clothes, entertainment, and other essentials we mentioned covered, you’ll be good to go. If you do end up forgetting something, just think of it as a memory maker and stick it on the list for next time. Enjoy your vacation.


Note from THG: If you’re heading to a Sandals Resort, you’re headed to the Caribbean.  Consider flying Southwest Airlines.  Though many folks think of Southwest as a domestic airline, the company has really improved their route map, adding many Caribbean destinations.  You can most likely get a free roundtrip Caribbean flight, or perhaps even two, via a single card signup bonus.


Featured image of Sandals Halcyon Beach in St. Lucia, courtesy of Sandals Resorts.






Do you have other packing tips for an all-inclusive honeymoon or vacation?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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