Packing List – One Week at an All-Inclusive Caribbean Resort

This detailed packing list will break down everything you need to bring on vacation to an All-Inclusive Resort. My experience was a week in Jamaica, but any short, tropical vacation would need the same suitcase packed. Before I get to the packing list though, I’ll just tell you a little bit about my trip. 🙂

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Bye-bye, Canada!

My Vacation

This trip was exciting! I only stayed on the resort, but it was still a lot of ‘firsts’. My first time to an All-Inclusive, first time to the Caribbean and swimming in an ocean, and first time trying Scuba Diving!

I spent a week in Runaway Bay, Jamaica at Jewel Resort. The occasion was a family wedding with a group of around 30 people, including 5 kids under the age of 12, and this resort was perfect.

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Runaway Bay is a 60-90 minute drive from the Negril Airport, so there was added travel time, but no noisy airplanes once we got to the resort.The beach was amazing; soft white sand; warm salty water with hardly any waves (perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving!), and there was tons of marine life to check out and show the kids.

The Resort itself was beautiful; super clean and well-maintained with lots of updates. The staff was amazing, and there was always something going on, if that’s what you were into. Beside the main resort, there is a Water Park with slides and a lazy river for the young and young-at-heart, and a Golf Course across the road. The 2 or 3 pools were great, our room was clean and cool, and I didn’t get bored with the food (all of it delicious – there was the usual buffet and then 4 different restaurants, so something different for every night, if you wanted).

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“I found a sea egg!”

My day usually consisted of:

  • Enjoying a buffet breakfast, grabbing extra bagels to feed to the fishies
  • Signing out a snorkel and mask  and spending the next 2 hours in the ocean
  • Heading to the Infinity Pool and having drinks with friends at the swim-up pool bar
  • Taking the kids to the Water Park and alternating between the Lazy River and the Water Slides
  • Having Dinner & a Show and then maybe check out the Disco/Club

In between all that, there is a lot of lounging and munching and drinking and chatting and wandering around – it’s great!

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Bob Marley Shots

There’s always tons to do on the resort and then lots of excursions to different locations; just remember that you’re on vacation, so don’t get overwhelmed; have a Jamaican Smile and HAVE FUN!

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“I’ll have a Jamaican Smile. And the drink too”

PACKING LIST

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Essentials

  • Passport
  • Visa- You may not need to get a Visa beforehand, or even on arrival, depending on your length of stay. I did not need one.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Boarding Passes and other Tickets

Make sure to bring copies of all of these important documents, or better yet, take a picture of them and save copies in your email, so you can access them wherever you have internet.

  • Local Money- We brought about $100 worth of Jamaican money and didn’t spend any of it. Most places only want U.S. money, and asking locals directly, they want anything BUT Jamaican Dollars.
  • US Money- Bring the US money for any purchases at Duty Free shops at the Resort, and for any other shopping. Bring lots of small bills for tipping!
  • Debit and Credit Cards

One extra thing: Snacks for the plane!- Your flight will probably be short, and most likely a budget airline. This means expensive bottles of water and mini-cans of pringles. The flight isn’t long; so you don’t need a full meal, but bring something instead of spending $15 on crap…


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Clothing

Best tip for packing – roll your clothes up, it’s much more compact. And, less is always more. In this case, the less you bring with you, the more you can bring home, or if you’re a really savvy packer- you’ll only need a carry-on. The weather should be really hot and sunny, with a few spots of rain; depending on the time of year. If you’re going on adventurous excursions, make sure to pack accordingly!

Basics

Next time I go to a resort, I will bring the dresses and 1 shirt and 1 pair of shorts. I wore a bikini most of the time, and a lot of the clothes went unworn.

  • 3 Tank Tops or Crop Tops- Bring as many as you think you’ll need! Bright colours are the best 🙂
  • 1 Long-sleeved top- You might need this one night, if you’re sun burnt and the temperature drops below 25°C.
  • 3 Pairs of Shorts- Again, bring as many as you think you’ll wear, less is more! I brought a combination of denim, loose cotton, and active-wear shorts.
  • 1-2 Skirts- Maxi skirts are great for the heat, but if skirts aren’t your thing, it’s just less to pack.
  • 3-4 Dresses or Rompers- These double as bikini-cover ups, as well as a daily outfit and evening wear. Dresses are so much easier to wear in the heat too! A fancier dress is great for the nicer restaurants or when you go to the disco (or the wedding!).
  • 1 Pair of Leggings- For the chillier evenings. I wore mine on the plane, so they didn’t take up room in my bag, and I was okay in any temperature.

Outerwear

  • Hat- The sun is STRONG, and will be reflecting off the water onto your face anyways, so protect what you can!
  • Light Sweater or Jacket- Cooler nights, for the plane, or if it’s a nice blazer it can be for a fancy dinner or evening out.

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Underwear

  • 5 Pairs of Underwear- Or one pair for each day you’re there. Don’t overpack on underwear, it takes up more space than you think. If you are a really light packer, only 2 pairs might do for the wash-and-wear traveler.
  • 3 Bras- Lace Bralette, Underwire, and sports bra. One for each occasion, for everything else, there’s your bikini.
  • 1 Pair of Socks- If you need them for running shoes you’ll be wearing on an excursion.

Other

  • 3 Bathing Suits- This will be your main outfit. Bring more, if you want!
  • Bikini Cover-Up- They won’t let you into the buffet without one.
  • Hair Accessories- Bring hair-ties and head-bands. I think I blow-dried my hair once. You’re on vacation, relax!
  • Jewellery or Flash Tattoos- Add some sparkle for the fancier nights
  • Pajamas- Your room is air-conditioned; it will be chilly compared to outside! We turned our air down…
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The essential wardrobe

 

Shoes

  • Running Shoes- Only if you’re going on an excursion, otherwise, leave these at home and bring some light flats instead.
  • Flip Flops- These are the easiest to slip on and off everywhere, and they won’t be a big deal if you lose them.
  • Dressy Sandals- For the night out to dinner.

 

Toiletries

If you forget any of these, they are easily bought at your resort, but are overpriced. I did not bring Shampoo or Conditioner.

  • Toothpaste & Toothbrush
  • Deoderant
  • Razor & Shaving Cream
  • Prescriptions
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Hairbrush

 

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Extra

  • Sunglasses- maybe  a couple cheap pairs, so you won’t be sad if the ocean steals them.
  • Sunscreen 60SPF+
  • Bug Spray
  • Waterbottle/Bubba Cup- best investment. Filled up with cocktails or just ice water, they’re a must for wandering around resort.
  • Beach bag & Small Purse
  • EarPlugs- For the plane

 

Tech

  • Cellphone- There’s WiFi everywhere now, but try and unplug for a while.
  • Camera/Video Camera
  • GoPro- These are awesome for any underwater adventures!
  • Chargers
  • Power Adapters- You may need these, depending on where you’re from and where you’re headed, make sure to check this out beforehand!
  • Headphones- Your budget airline may not give you any!

 

Enjoy your Vacation!

 

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