Deciding what to bring with you to a tropical resort sounds simple. Swimsuits? Check. Cover-up? Check. Flip-flops? Check. But when the resort is an all-inclusive one — think Sandals, Beaches and, of course, Club Med — you may want to add a few extra items to your packing list. True, not having to carry cash or credit cards while you’re there does make life easier, but you should be prepared for some quirks.
This is the gear Wirecutter’s travel team packs when heading to an all-inclusive resort:
All-inclusives often serve drinks in polystyrene cups — pouring yours into an insulated tumbler will keep it cold and help you keep track of it, too.
Resorts usually provide snorkel equipment, but if you pack your own, you’ll be sure it’s clean, decent quality and that it fits you right.
A small watertight bag lets you bring your phone (or any small valuables) with you when you are playing in or on the ocean.
Carry your beach gear in a tote big enough to include the resort-issue beach towel — though you may incur a fee if you don’t return it.
If the nonstop music playing at the pool isn’t on your personal playlist, drown it out using a set of water-resistant Bluetooth headphones.
Forgot bug spray? No problem, most resorts provide it. Sunscreen, though, they’ll charge you for. Pack a few 3-ounce (TSA-friendly) tubes of reef-safe lotion.