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Here are the best shoes, clothes, gear, and accessories for an all-inclusive resort vacation.
Planning a trip to an all-inclusive resort but have no idea what to bring? We have you covered. You’ll want to look your best while also being comfortable enough to enjoy yourself — and all the available amenities. The key is to strike a balance between practicality and style while making sure you have everything the resort may not provide.
We rounded up a comprehensive list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, including clothes and shoes for men and women, plus accessories, gear, and other essentials. To plan for your upcoming vacation like a pro, check out our recommendations below.
Packing Checklist for an All-inclusive Resort
From breezy resort wear and comfy sandals to restaurant-approved clothing and sun protection, here’s everything you need to bring on your all-inclusive trip.
Clothing for Women
Clothing for Men
Shoes for Women
Shoes for Men
Gear and Other Essentials
Before packing (or buying) anything, be sure to look over the resort’s dress code. While you can expect daytime clothing and pool apparel to be pretty lax, some hotels have rules about what you can (and can’t) wear in their restaurants and lounges. For instance, men might need to wear collared shirts or long pants in certain areas, and women may need to swap in a blouse for a casual tank in the evenings. Below are some clothing options that we suggest.
Clothing for Women
Best Swimsuit Cover-up: Elan Sleeveless V-Neck Maxi Dress
This flowy cover-up dress has a billowy, slightly oversized silhouette that covers you from armpit to ankle while you’re padding around the pool or hanging out on the sands. The slip-on style features adjustable spaghetti straps, allowing you to customize how low-cut it is. You can rock it long or wear it tied up on one side to show a little skin, or prevent it from getting wet when you walk along the beach.
Price at time of publish: $78
Best Casual Dress: Loveappella Maxi Dress
You should also bring a casual dress to throw on — something you could wear to breakfast, lunch, or while exploring the resort shops. This maxi is just the thing. The easy-breezy design is soft and stretchy with a rounded V-neck and a swishy A-line skirt. Just a heads up, it runs slightly large, so you might want to order a size down from what you normally wear.
Price at time of publish: $68
Best Fancy Dress: Reformation Marcie Linen Dress
Reformation’s Marcie dress is a great option for resorts when you need something a bit fancier. With a high front neckline, a flattering low back, and a flirty slit on one side, the polished yet approachable style is suitable for nice dinners but not too over the top.
Price at time of publish: $178
Best Shorts: Everlane The Easy Short
These shorts from Everlane are made primarily of organic cotton with a hint of elastane for just the right amount of stretch. With a pull-on waistband and a modest, flattering silhouette, the laid-back style can be dressed up or down and worn with flat sandals, flip-flops, wedges, or even sneakers.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best Shirt: J.Crew Relaxed-fit Short-sleeve Baird McNutt Irish Linen Shirt
You’ll be glad to have this button-down on hand during your warm-weather vacation. The boxy cut and cuffed short sleeves lend to an easy-going vibe, while the 100 percent linen weave provides endless breathability. You can wear it with shorts or a maxi skirt or throw it on over your swimsuit when you want to keep the sun off your shoulders.
Price at time of publish: $98
Related:The 15 Best Sarongs of 2023
Clothing for Men
Best Shorts: Cuts Crossover Short 7-inch
Cuts Crossover Shorts were basically made for all-inclusive resorts. Woven from a moisture-wicking ripstop fabric, the versatile design is ideal for both land and water activities so you can wear them before, during, and after a swim. We also like that they come in a range of colors, including neutrals and brighter hues.
Price at time of publish: $72
Best Tank: Vuori Strato Tech Tank
Our favorite tank for guys comes from Vuori. This comfy, practical top is made of the brand’s super-soft, moisture-wicking Strato Tech fabric, which has odor protection woven in, plus a UPF rating of 30+. (UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor, and it’s essentially the textile version of SPF.) But, as noted, you might need something with sleeves and a collar when you head to dinner at the resort restaurants.
Price at time of publish: $48
Best Collared Shirt: Billy Reid S/S Tuscumbia Shirt BD
Looking for a collared shirt to pack for your vacation? Billy Reid’s Tuscumbia button-down is an excellent choice. Made of 100 percent linen, it’s incredibly breathable with natural moisture-wicking abilities. What’s more, the subtle print and slate gray color will make a statement without sacrificing versatility.
Price at time of publish: $198
Best Pants: Tommy Bahama Beach Coast Linen-blend Elastic-waist Pants
Some restaurants and other parts of the resort might require men to wear long pants in the evening. If so, we recommend this pair from Tommy Bahama. Loomed from linen and cotton with a hint of spandex, these casual yet polished pants are comfortably airy with the perfect amount of stretch.
Price at time of publish: $128
Some resorts also have specific rules about what shoes you can wear in different areas, such as at the restaurants, lounges, and nightclubs. Here are a few versatile footwear suggestions for your stay, including closed-toe styles for men and women, and dressier sandal styles when flip-flops won’t fly.
Shoes for Women
Best Flip-flops: Vince Serene Leather Sandal
These thong sandals from Vince are perfect for resort life. The straps and footbeds are 100 percent leather, and they’re comfortably padded with gentle arch support that hugs the curves of your feet. Whether you opt for the black-brown colorway or beige, you can bet these flip-flops will go with just about any outfit.
Price at time of publish: $195
Best Sandals: Clarks Yacht Cross Sandal
You’re wise to also bring sandals with ankle straps, as some areas of the resort may not allow flip-flops — plus the strap makes them secure when walking longer distances. We like this pair from Clarks, which has soft leather straps, contoured cork footbeds, and grippy rubber outsoles that help keep you steady on your feet.
Price at time of publish: $100
Best Dressy Shoes: Vionic Marrin Heeled Sandal
For something a bit dressier, we recommend Vionic’s Marrin Sandals. They have a modern square toe and a rounded block heel, with adjustable ankle straps that offer a customized fit. Like all shoes from the brand, this pair features built-in orthotics with contoured arch support and cushioning throughout the footbeds to reduce pain and discomfort.
Price at time of publish: $140
Best Water Shoes: Sperry Water Strider
These Sperry Water Striders aren’t your mother’s water shoes. These contemporary kicks are made of an exceptionally lightweight and bouncy rubber that provides traction on both wet and dry surfaces — and the perforated holes ensure water drains out quickly. Not only that, but the insoles are cushioned to keep you light on your feet, and the closed-toe design protects your entire foot on land and in water.
Price at time of publish: $55
Shoes for Men
Best Flip-flops: Reef Cushion Lux Sandals
Perhaps not surprisingly, Reef makes outstanding flip-flops for men. This pair has contoured arch support and cushioning throughout the footbeds, plus smooth leather uppers that soften every time you wear them. And they come in several neutral colors — from black to brown to gray — to go with any casual vacation outfit.
Price at time of publish: $70
Best Sandals: Ecco Men’s Cozmo 2.0 Two Band Slide
We also like Ecco Cozmo Sandals. The simple Scandinavian-inspired style features two wide adjustable velcro straps on top, with soft suede or nubuck leather uppers and responsive footbeds that’ll be comfortable for hours on end.
Price at time of publish: $100
Best Closed-toe Shoes: OluKai Lae’ahi Lauhala Woven Leather Shoe
You might need closed-toe footwear to get into some slightly fancier restaurants at the resort — and we suggest this versatile pair from OluKai. These handwoven leather shoes are laid-back while also looking put-together enough for eating a nice meal. Beyond being extremely comfortable, they have a drop-heel design that folds down, allowing you to slip them on while standing up.
Price at time of publish: $165
Best Water Shoes: Floafers Country Club Penny Loafer
These may not look like your typical water shoes, but trust us, they’re up for the occasion. Floafers Penny Loafers are made of buoyant, waterproof EVA foam, which provides lightweight cushioning while protecting your feet from scratches, stings, and bits. The material dries quickly and, thanks to the built-in ventilation, these shoes drain fast and won’t water-log your feet.
Price at time of publish: $60
The right accessories are crucial for resort vacations. But to avoid overpacking, you should be careful about bringing more than you’ll actually need, especially if you don’t plan on leaving the hotel grounds.
Best Beach Tote: Calpak Compakt Tote Bag
You’ll want to bring a bag like Calpak’s Compakt Tote Bag for carrying essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a book down to the beach or pool. Available in several colors and prints from daisies to dots, it’s made of a water-resistant ripstop fabric and features a handy inner zippered compartment for stashing headphones, room keys, and other small items. What’s more, it collapses into itself for easy packing and storage.
Price at time of publish: $35
Best Belt Bag: Cincha Travel Belt Bag
Cincha’s Belt Bag is the perfect on-the-go carrier to replace your purse or wallet while traveling. The gender-neutral design is compact with a spacious interior, with room for your phone, cards, passport, and other essentials you want to keep on hand while out and about. The best part is the passthrough part of the belt that slips onto the handle of a wheeled suitcase so the belt bag can secure your personal item atop a carry-on while also holding your key items on travel days.
Price at time of publish: $75
Best Sun Hat for Women: Madewell Packable Braided Straw Hat
For ladies looking for a resort sun hat, we highly recommend this braided number from Madewell. The classic straw design goes with just about any vacation ensemble, and since it’s slightly floppy and unstructured, you can easily roll or fold it up when packing it in your suitcase without worrying about damage.
Price at time of publish: $40
Best Sun Hat for Men: O’Neill Sonoma Straw Hat
For men, we like the O’Neill Sonoma Hat. This wide-brimmed straw hat shades your face, neck, and shoulders from the sun’s damaging rays, and the drawcord chin strap allows you to take it off and wear it around your neck. Speaking of which, you might want to bring it on the plane (wearing it around your neck when you board, perhaps) to prevent it from crushing in a suitcase.
Price at time of publish: $22
Best Waterproof Phone Pouch: Hiearcool Universal Waterproof Phone Case
If you plan on swimming in the ocean or spending lots of time in the pool, consider bringing a waterproof phone pouch. This one boasts a universal fit that works with virtually all smartphones, with or without a case. Not only does the thermoplastic material keep your phone totally dry, but it also allows you to use the touch screen, so you can text, answer calls, or take photos in the water.
Price at time of publish: $13 for 2
Best Travel Jewelry Case: Benevolence LA Travel Jewelry Box
It’s good to have a mini jewelry box anytime you’re heading to a hotel or resort. It makes it easier to pack and organize your valuables, then when you arrive, you can place the whole thing in the hotel room’s safe. This velvet-wrapped zippered box is lightweight and compact, with designated slots and compartments for your rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
Price at time of publish: $25
Most all-inclusive resorts charge a pretty penny for toiletries and other basics, so be sure to pack these essential items. Beyond that, make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand, along with gear for various activities, tech gadgets, and something to pass the time while lounging around.
Best Snorkel Set: Greatever Dry Snorkel Set
If you sign up for a snorkeling excursion, you can usually count on the resort or activity host to provide gear. But if you’re concerned about fit or just prefer not to stick your face into a used set, we suggest bringing your own. With adjustable straps, tempered glass lenses, and a flexible breathing tube, this snorkel set promises a customized fit, a leak-free seal, and fog-free underwater views.
Price at time of publish: $60 for adults
Best Sunscreen: Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Sun Milk Body Lotion SPF 50
Sunscreen is a must-pack item on any getaway and, while all-inclusive resorts typically sell sun-care products, the price isn’t included in your stay and is likely more expensive than picking it up at home. After testing several reef-safe sunscreens, Hawaiian Tropic Sun Milk was our all-around winner. We liked that the mineral-based formula offers SPF 50 protection from the sun’s damaging rays, and the silky consistency goes on smooth, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave behind a white cast.
Price at time of publish: $15
Best Towel Clips: OkeyCosy Beach Towel Clips
All-inclusive resorts usually have plenty of towels to grab when you’re down at the pool or beach. But you might want to bring clips to secure them to your chair and claim your spot. This eight-pack provides a reliable grip, even on the windiest days. The clips can also double as clothes pins for drying wet swimsuits or sink laundry on a portable clothesline.
Price at time of publish: $15 for 8
Best Portable Pool Float: Aqua 4-in-1 Monterey Hammock Inflatable Pool Float
Resorts often have some pool floats and toys but typically not enough for all guests. Thinking about bringing your own? Look for a packable design that can fold up into your suitcase, like the Aqua Monterey Hammock. This four-in-one float can be used as a hammock, chair, drifter raft, or exercise saddle — and it’ll take up hardly any space in your luggage.
Price at time of publish: $13
Best Reusable Bottle: Iron °Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle with Straw
You might also want to bring an insulated water bottle not just for the plane but also for keeping unlimited cocktails cold while hanging out by the pool. Made of stainless steel with double-wall insulation, the Iron °Flask will keep iced beverages cold for up to 24 hours, and the carabiner straw lid makes it easy to sip your drink of choice.
Price at time of publish: $23
Best Collapsible Water Bottle: Lifestraw Peak Series Collapsible 650 ML Bottle with Filter
Contaminated water could be a concern at your destination. With this in mind, you might want to bring a water bottle with a built-in filter, like this one from LifeStraw. It has a compact filter that protects against bacteria, parasites, silt, sand, and cloudiness. This bottle is also conveniently collapsible, making it easy to pack in a tote, backpack, or suitcase.
Price at time of publish: $38
Best Playing Cards: Hoyle Waterproof Clear Playing Cards
Resorts are all about slowing down and sometimes going screen-free for a good portion of the day. To pass the time, consider packing a deck of playing cards, like this waterproof set from Hoyle. You won’t have to worry about the cards getting soggy or tearing if they get wet, and you can even rinse them off if they get sandy.
Price at time of publish: $8
Best Portable Power Bank: Nimble Champ Portable Charger
Bringing a portable power bank is always a smart choice when traveling, no matter where you’re headed. We recommend the Nimble Champ, which weighs less than half a pound and boasts ultra-fast charging that takes your phone or tablet from zero to 80 percent battery life in as little as 30 minutes. This on-the-go charger can even power up two devices at once.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best eReader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
The Kindle Paperwhite is not only travel-friendly but also ideal for resort vacations. The glare-free screen makes it easy to see all the text of your current read, even in direct sunlight, while the waterproof design protects your device if it gets splashed or accidentally dropped in the pool.
Price at time of publish: $140
Frequently Asked Questions
Is everything really included at an all-inclusive resort?
An all-inclusive resort generally means all essentials and basics are included. In addition to your hotel room, this includes on-site food at restaurants and cafes, drinks, activities, and some entertainment. However, resorts often have stores where you can buy things like clothes, sunscreen, and souvenirs, and these purchases aren’t included in your stay.
Spa services, off-site activities, and motorized watersports are usually extra as well. Many travelers also bring cash to tip for food, drinks, spa, and concierge services, as gratuity may not be included. We recommend reading over the resort’s website to see what’s included before you arrive.
Why Trust Travel + Leisure
Theresa Holland is a freelance writer specializing in travel, lifestyle, recreation, and apparel. Based on comprehensive research and personal experience, she rounded up a thorough list of essentials and nice-to-have items for all-inclusive resorts. She has personally tested products from several brands featured here, including Loveappella, Reformation, Everlane, J.Crew, Cuts, Tommy Bahama, Vince, Clarks, Ecco, Vionic, Madewell, and CalPak.
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