Staying in a resort while on vacation is one of the best ways to maximize relaxation. All of your amenities are provided, especially if at an all-inclusive resort. You can spend your time lounding by the pool or relaxing at the spa in between sightseeing.
While packing for a resort, many of the things you will bring along are basics. However, there are a few things that you may not realize are important.
This resort packing list will prepare you for your vacation and allow you to focus on the important things like resting. We’ve also included sections on what to wear at a resort, what NOT to bring, and helpful FAQs. Let’s dive in!
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What to Pack for a Resort – 23 Essentials
1. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are the ultimate lifesaver when it comes to packing. They not only save room in your suitcase but they also compartmentalize your belongings so you know exactly where everything is. This 5-piece set comes with multiple different sizes, separate laundry bags, and even notecards where you can jot down exactly what is in each cube.
No matter where you’re vacationing, having a waterproof case is wise. Especially if you’re visiting somewhere tropical or you know you’re going to be spending most of your time by the resort’s pool. Not only will your phone remain in one working piece, but you’ll also be able to take some pretty cool photos.
While you can’t technically pack a VPN, aka a virtual private network, having one is extremely important when you travel if you’re going to be spending your time on public Wi-Fi networks at hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, and airports. We had our credit card information stolen at an Airbnb in Paris, so you may not realize that even the safest of places can put you at risk to potential hackers. A VPN will give you a safe connection and also mitigate any censorship that your host country may permit. It’s a small cost to protect your identity and surf the web just as you would at home.
If you’re traveling internationally, you’re going to need an adapter for your electronics. This one has universal adaptability meaning that you will be covered in over 100 destinations all over the world. From Greece to New Zealand to China, you’ll be able to charge your phone, laptop, cameras, etc. This one also happens to come with a lifetime replacement guarantee so you’ll never get stuck without one!
Whether you’re out sightseeing or you’re becoming one with nature, getting sweaty and smelly is inevitable. There’s nothing worse than worrying about your body odor while spending time with loved ones. Instead of stressing about it too much, throw these wipes in your bag and use them whenever you feel yourself getting a little sweaty. I love these because they are individually packed and help your skin stay hydrated.
Many destinations will require travel insurance which reflects its importance. Even if it is not mandated, we highly recommend traveling with coverage since your domestic provider typically only covers you domestically. It covers common travel issues saving you from the headache of an airline losing your luggage or if your international medical bills are adding up extremely quickly. Instead of paying out-of-pocket, protect yourself with this small investment on your trip.
We recommend Faye because they are the easiest provider we’ve ever worked with. They make the claims process super approachable through their mobile app and we were reimbursed the same day as our incident when we needed it most.
While I don’t suggest bringing a big towel to your resort stay, if you plan on spending time outside and doing outdoorsy activities such as hiking, kayaking, backpacking, etc., then I highly recommend bringing a fast-drying microfiber travel towel like this one that you can use for any sweat or water you may come across.
Those all-inclusive resort drink packages can really get the best of you! If you plan to drink or indulge a bit, these hangover relief supplements can seriously enhance your resilience. Keep the party going rather than being glued to a toilet or stuck in bed the whole next day – this is the preventative treatment you need. By detoxing the alcohol from your body more quickly, you can get back to enjoying yourself on vacation!
I’m a big fan of using a neck wallet. Many people choose to use them solely for international travel, but I think they make traveling much easier no matter the destination. Carry your credit cards, cash, hotel room keys, and other important documents on your body at all times without having to carry a large purse or backpack. If you’re sitting on the beach, it’s wise to have this buried in your beach bag to consolidate all essentials. It even has RFID-blocking material to stop modern thieves from scanning your financial data.
A swimsuit cover-up is a daily staple when living the resort lifestyle! You can use this to throw on over your bikini and hop over to the beachside cafes, coffee shops, grocery stores, or your hotel. It’s a bit more modest, but especially in coastal towns, almost everyone will be wearing a cover-up anyway. Note that many restaurants will not allow you to dine without a cover-up over your swimsuit.
Sandals and tennis shoes are smart to pack for nearly any destination, but water shoes are an addition to your packing artillery for when you’ll be near water. I use water shoes to protect my feet from sharp underwater rocks, coral reefs, or shells. If you’re hiking waterfalls or moving on- and off-land, these will dry quickly and give you the proper traction for moving between different terrains.
Hand sanitizer is a must when you travel. You’re exposed to other people and germs daily while on vacation. Bringing a portable hand sanitizer spray will help ensure that you stay clean no matter what you get up to for the day.
I use my phone constantly when I’m traveling and I’m sure you do too. Whether I’m looking up new restaurants to try, calling an Uber, or trying to find directions, my battery dies quickly. Because of this, I like to have a phone charger on me at all times. The lipstick-sized charger packs a punch and will get your device fully charged in only 3-4 hours. And it won’t take up any space in your backpack or purse!
There’s nothing that will ruin your vacation more than being unprepared for rain showers. I’ve had this happen too many times to count. Bringing this portable windproof travel umbrella will ensure that you’ll stay dry and still be able to enjoy your vacation. It’s better to be prepared than sorry, trust me.
Many resorts have beautiful luxurious restaurants and bars which are the perfect excuse to get dressed up and enjoy a night out on the town. Whether it be date night or you’re just looking to grab a drink and mingle with the locals, having a dress similar to this one will help dress you up.
Jet lag can quickly ruin the first few days of vacation. Rather than exploring, you’ll likely end up asleep in your hotel room, wasting the time that you have. This homeopathic jet lag relief helps relieve those symptoms and will have you walking off the plane feeling refreshed and ready to go. The best part? Because it has natural ingredients, there are no side effects.
Go out for a night on the town and drink one too many drinks? Or maybe you went hiking and didn’t bring enough water on your voyage. Regardless of the situation, there’s no such thing as too many electrolytes. These electrolyte packets are added to your water for rapid hydration. And the best part is that they have less than half of the sugar and calories.
Luggage locks are especially important for resorts because you may have your bags out-of-sight for long durations. Between checking your luggage, layovers, and often passing your bags off at check-in to be delivered at your suite – it will offer you peace of mind to secure your belongings. We bring a couple of sets per trip for crowded attractions to secure our backpacks, all suitcases, public lockers, and more.
Most resort bathrooms have some countertop space, but you may only have a sink to work with, and it can get chaotic throwing your toiletry items all over the place. Use this hanging toiletries bag to keep your liquid product organized by creating a built-in shelf. With 4 giant pockets, it can hold all of your makeup, brushes, skincare, haircare, and personal hygiene products. I never travel without it because it can hang on any door or hook.
I don’t know about you, but bugs seem to gravitate toward me the minute I step outside. Being covered in bug bites is not only uncomfortable but it can also be dangerous. Having wearable insect repellent will keep those pesky mosquitos away so that you can spend more time focusing on your vacation and less time scratching those bites! These are deet-free and non-toxic which means they are safe for the whole family.
Many resort destinations can get HOT! Use these cooling towels to stay cool even on the warmest of summer days. These magical babies drop to 20-30 degrees colder than the outside air temperature – simply by adding water! Want more frosty relief? Just add more water and voila. It will make the humid months much more tolerable and allow you to enjoy your vacation’s outdoor activities even more.
In places like Hawaii, Aruba, the Caribbean, and more – reef-safe sunscreen is actually mandated by the government. We use it regardless of the local requirements because it’s simply safer and more ethical. By using natural ingredients rather than harsh chemicals, this small change in your purchasing power will help protect marine life like fish, endangered species, and coral reef ecosystems.
We’ve all experienced that situation where your luggage is way tighter on the flight home than it was as you first packed it! This is why you should bring that extra “just in case” bag – for all the last-minute souvenirs and gift shopping you will inevitably do. We love this one in particular because it’s super lightweight, made of a duffle material that compacts down nicely, and it counts as your personal item to avoid carry-on fees!
When packing for resorts, the most important thing is that you pack a wide variety of options. For the days, you’ll want casual wear. This includes shorts, jeans, t-shirts. For the evenings, you might want to consider bringing more formal attire for drinks out on the town or a date night. These items include blouses, button-ups, heels, and loafers. If your hotel also has a pool or you’re looking to spend some time at the beach, don’t forget the swimwear!
What WOMEN Should Wear at Resort – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).
Women are going to want to pack versatile pieces that you can mix and match and dress up and down throughout your trip. Ideally, you’ll keep things mostly casual while bringing a few formal options if you choose to go out for dinner and drinks. Layering pieces such as tank tops and cardigans are great if the weather is going to be unpredictable during your trip.
You’ll want to consider your destination and the season in which you are visiting. If you’re traveling somewhere tropical you’ll probably want to avoid bringing too many long-sleeved tops and jeans. If you’re visiting somewhere that’s chilly, make one of your biggest focuses a heavy winter coat.
What MEN Should Wear at Resort – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).
Much like what women should wear, men should focus on bringing basics and being comfortable while also bringing layers in case the weather is cold. T-shirts, pants that you can dress up or dress down, button-ups, and both casual and formal shoes are key.
If you’re traveling during the summer months, skip out on the waterproof boots and bring sandals and a nice pair of loafers for dinners and drinks. If you’re vacationing during the winter, bring long-sleeved shirts that you know are warm that you can wear under your winter coat.
When packing for any season, you’ll want to think about your destination. Often spring requires layering as it can be cold in the mornings and evenings but beautiful and sunny during the afternoons. This is the ideal time to pack things like lightweight jackets, t-shirts that can be layered, shorts, and jeans.
Many places have a lot of rainfall during the spring months as well so you might want to consider bringing a rain jacket with you along with some waterproof shoes (boots or sneakers would work best).
SUMMER (June – August)
No matter where you’re planning on visiting during the summer months, you’re going to be met with sunshine. Resorts are the perfect place to spend your summer days lounging by the pool. This means you can trade out the jeans and layering jackets for swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, dresses, and flip-flops. Whatever you decide to do during your trip, don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen, aloe, and plenty of water.
FALL (September – November)
Fall is a lot like spring in that the weather can vary drastically depending on where you’re going. On the west coast, fall can be quite warm, especially in places like California and Arizona. If this is the case, you’ll want to keep those layering items packed. If you’re going somewhere where the leaves change color and the temperatures drop, you’ll want to break out that lightweight jacket along with some boots
WINTER (December – February)
Winter means staying warm and bundling up. Bring your heavy winter coat, sweaters, thermals, beanies, and boots. The key to keeping your suitcase light is packing items that can be layered and worn more than once.
Dressing Appropriately for Activities at Resort – (Click to expand)
Pool: If you’re going to be spending most of your time working on your tan by the resort’s pool, you’re going to want to be sure to protect yourself. Aside from a swimsuit, bring a sunhat that covers your face, sunglasses, and a high SPF that will prevent you from burning. If you have extra sensitive skin, a swimsuit cover-up or a rash guard can offer additional protection. If you do burn easily, having aloe vera on hand will help save you from some serious pain.
Nightlife: Seeing another city’s nightlife scene is one of the most exciting parts of a vacation. Going out on the town means getting to dress up a bit. For women, a dress is always a great option though you can always stick to a good pair of jeans, a loose blouse, and a pair of wedges. Men should wear a nice darker pair of denim, a classic button-up shirt, and loafers.
Sightseeing: I love spending my days exploring a new city. When sightseeing, especially in big cities like Paris, Rome, or San Francisco, you’re going to spend most of your time on your feet which means the most important thing to pack is comfortable shoes. I typically prefer sneakers that I’ve already broken in that I know will keep me going for miles and miles. You’ll also want to be equipped with layers, plenty of sunscreen, and a neck wallet or purse that pickpocketers can’t get into
Snow Sports: When going skiing or snowboarding, you don’t want to have to worry about the weather which means wearing the appropriate layers is important. Start with a base layer and add on either a snow bib or ski pants, a thick winter coat, gloves, a helmet, and goggles. And while it may seem trivial, SPF is extremely important when on the slopes.
What NOT to Pack for a Resort Vacation
1.DON’T PACK Unnecessary Valuables:
While it may be tempting to bring all of your expensive valuables, specifically expensive technology, on vacation, it’s best to leave them at home and only bring what you need. While your items are typically very safe when staying in a resort, there have been instances where items are stolen or get lost in hotels and the last thing you want to be doing is worrying while you’re away.
2.DON’T PACK Full-sized Toiletries:
Another thing you can avoid bringing is full-sized toiletries. I typically bring my travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, and soap but most resorts typically provide them in case you forget or if you’re looking to save a little more room in your toiletries bag. This is a great option if you’re only gone for 1-2 days.
3.DON’T PACK Uncomfortable Shoes:
One of the best ways to see a new city is to explore on foot. I could spend hours walking around and finding small corners that many people don’t know about. Whether you plan on spending all of your time in the city or on the outskirts exploring nature, bringing shoes that are going to leave you covered in blisters isn’t a smart choice. If you buy new shoes for your vacation, do so in advance so you have time to break them in.
4.DON’T PACK Hairdryer:
Hairdryers are extremely bulky and take up a lot of space in a suitcase. Save yourself some weight and leave the hairdryer behind. Resorts typically have one on hand so you won’t have to worry about sacrificing dry hair.
5.DON’T PACK Too Many Clothes:
I’m a big fan of packing as little as possible for my trips. Because I travel so often, I’ve learned over time to pack the basics that you’ll be able to mix and match. Especially if you’re traveling during the winter months when the clothing tends to be a bit thicker and takes up more room.
6.DON’T PACK Towels:
Much like hairdryers, resorts always supply bath towels as well as pool towels. Even if you choose to go to the beach or to wander around waterfalls, you should be able to borrow one from the resort meaning you can leave your towels at home.
FAQS about Staying at a Resort
1. How do I pick a resort?
When planning a vacation, there are a few things to consider when picking a resort. Consider your destination, the location of the hotel, amenities you are interested in, and price. I typically use hotels.com or Expedia to book mine once I have an idea of what I’m looking for.
2. What amenities are typically included in a resort?
Amenities will vary depending on each resort but some basics that you will find include free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, concierge service, housekeeping, restaurants, televisions, and parking.
3. What’s the difference between all-inclusive and a regular resort?
If you choose to stay in an all-inclusive resort, you will have access to unlimited food and drink, and activities and entertainment. All for one simple cost that you will pay for when booking the resort. Regular resorts may have on-site food and entertainment, it just will not be included in your booking cost.
4. How can I save money while booking a resort?
Resorts can be pricey. Some of the best ways to save money while booking a resort include booking early, using apps such as Hopper to track prices, using a travel rewards credit card, being flexible with travel dates, and avoiding weekends.
5. Do I need to bring toiletries if I’m staying a resort?
As I mentioned earlier, most resorts offer small toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion. If you ever find yourself running out, simply ask housekeeping for more and it will be restocked.
6. What are resort fees?
Resort fees, also known as facility fees, typically cover things such as the pool, the gym, continental breakfast, and even use of the coffee maker in your room.
7. What are the best sites to use to find resorts?
There are many sites where you can find great resort options, many offering great deals. Some of my favorites include Hotels, Expedia, Booking, and Trivago.
Lyric is an accomplished poet, best-selling author, award-winning screenwriter (studied at NYU film school), amazing chef, singer/songwriter, and mommy of two amazing little kids! After growing up in Hollywood she decided to delve into a profound spiritual journey and became a yogi-monk for almost a decade. She enjoys helping Asher conduct research, writing for our blog, and loves traveling the world (Paris is her favorite city), and sharing her experiences with you!