Updated: Jun 30, 2021
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Headed to an all-inclusive resort? Most of what you'll need will be provided, but there are a few must-have items I recommend to make your trip that much better! (Besides the usual suspects like a couple cute swimsuits, trendy shades, and a floppy beach hat, that is!) These are all products I pack for my own vacations. Bonus: they're great at home, too!
It isn't necessary, but it'll keep your drinks cold in the pool or on the beach! The bartenders will make your drinks in them and wash them out for you in between. The lid keeps water and sand out, and can even be closed to prevent spilling. And, since most all-inclusive resorts have done away with straws, you'll always be prepared! I'm partial to the Imperial Pint from Brumate. It's 20 ounces - the perfect size for any kind of beverage. My current favorite is the onyx leopard, but you can't go wrong whatever color you choose. Use my link and save 15% on your order!
Tropical destinations are starting to ban chemical sunscreens because they kill coral and damage ecosystems. Reef-safe sunscreens are made with zinc oxide, which can make them difficult to rub in. I've tried half a dozen, and hands down, Thinksport is my favorite. It's non-greasy, doesn't leave a white sheen, and has a perfect score from the Environmental Working Group. Buy it on Amazon for around $12.
Trust me on this one. Even the most studious sunscreen appliers will appreciate having a rash guard. Some call them fishing shirts, some call them swim shirts, some call them rash guards. Whatever you call them, they protect you from the sun and keep you cool. If you're planning on swimming, buy a size down so it doesn't move around, and put it on IN the water. Mine is an NRS from REI, but Amazon has some great choices too. Tip: avoid a white one, as it'll likely get stained by sunscreen, pool chemicals, or ocean salt.
Packable Pool Float
All-inclusive resorts don't always have floats available, so we like to bring our own! I've taken a giant unicorn (super fun, but super annoying), a cheap pool noodle (hard to pack, but does the trick), and those cheap loungers from the Target Dollar Spot (do not recommend). Eventually, we found these Swimline chairs, and have never looked back. They blow up in about 5 minutes, are easy to pack, and are comfortable enough to sit in all day. The cupholder is a nice bonus!
Sand Cloud Wrap
I take one of these everywhere. It works as a coverup, airplane blanket, pillow, and beach blanket. It packs small, dries quick, and the fun color makes me happy. Plus, Sand Cloud donates to marine conservation, making it a win for everyone. Here's $15 off your purchase.
Honorable Mention: Your own snorkel mask
Sure, your all-inclusive resort will have masks (most resorts include snorkeling free of charge). If you do a snorkeling tour, they will too. It'll be cheap plastic, and you won't have any guarantees it's been cleaned properly. If you're going to snorkel, invest in a good mask. Jimmie likes the full-face masks; I prefer the traditional. The important thing is to get one with a dry top - it keeps water from entering the snorkel tube. Mine is a Cressi, and it was worth every penny. I haven't been on a single snorkeling tour where someone hasn't asked where I got mine.
There you have it: our must-have items for your next all-inclusive resort vacation! What did we leave off the list?
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