In the past year, I have stayed at six all-inclusive resorts, so I have had some decent recent practice in the area of suitcase/carry-on packing, and I have learned that packing for an all-inclusive resort vacation is, in fact, the easiest sort of packing there is to do. For my most recent vacation, I consulted my coworker Ruth Ann - the queen of carry-ons - and decided one bag would be my new path to stress-free vacation preparations. (For my agent trip in the fall I checked a bag, and for my May vacation my husband and I shared one checked bag.) I still slightly overpacked (but only by very little) and I thought I would share with the ladies what exactly I used and needed while in paradise for four nights. Spoiler alert: not much.
In addition to my carry-on bag, I carted along my beloved tote from Bath and Body Works (circa 2008?) as my personal item. It was my first time taking it on my travels, and it proved to be an excellent item for the plane. With its many storage pockets and removable compartments, I was able to pack quite a bit in a small amount of space.
4 nights of stuff...
(what I used from my packed items...not a comprehensive list of my bag's contents!)
Tips for Making a Carry-On Only Work at an All-Inclusive:
1.) Wear your sundress to dinner in the evening and then recycle it for breakfast/lunch time/day wear the following day...then, to the laundry bag it goes. This has become my ultimate packing strategy for resort vacations. Since I am not a fan of shorts, I am quite content in sundresses and I find they pack easily when rolled.
2.) Pack one pair of sandals that work with all of your dresses.
3.) Be sure to have one pair of shoes/sandals that are okay around water.
4.) Don't skimp on the sunscreen. Mexico is hot, closer to the equator, and therefore has a stronger sun. I can't tell you how many red (miserable) bodies I see when I am visiting. We pour our larger bottle of sunscreen into a few smaller travel-sized containers so they make it through security.
5.) If you don't care to exercise on vacation or you don't plan excursions off-property, you might not need workout wear or tennis shoes...especially if you are staying at a smaller resort. On the flip side, if you plan on being active or participating in excursions, you might need to pack more of this sort of thing. Remember to consider the Mexico "sweat factor," especially if you're traveling June-August.
6.) One thing I wished I would have had was a second cover-up for the pool and beach. By day four, my simple white cover-up was a disgusting, sweaty mess that I never wanted to put on. I wish I had a second so I could have alternated them throughout our stay. On our last trip, I took a bikini and a one-piece, but I was fine with just the bikini on this trip. If you're a fan of two swimsuits, go for it! You'll always have a dry one to put on.
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