Essential Packing List for Beaches Turks and Caicos and Other All-Inclusive Resorts

I'm excited to be heading to Beaches Turks and Caicos resort in a few days for a blog conference called Social Media on the Sand. With the experience from last year under our belt and handfuls of trips to other all-inclusive resorts {our favorite!}, I created an essential packing list for Beaches Turks and Caicos. You're going to want to take note if you are heading to Beaches or any other all-inclusive resort destination. You can thank me later!

grace bay turks and caicos

 Essential Packing List for Beaches Turks and Caicos and Other All-Inclusive Resorts

grace bay and woman in hammock

In my many years of vacationing at all-inclusive resorts, I find that I pack far too many clothes. I typically find myself putting on a bathing suit and a cover-up in the morning before heading to the pool or beach for the day, and in the early evening, I drag myself out of the sun to shower and dress for the evening. 

A good rule of thumb, in general, is to take stock of the clothes you have packed, and leave half of them behind! You'll be living in bathing suits and flip flops so why not save the room in your suitcase for something you'll really use?

woman drawing in the sand

From the Medicine Cabinet

  • Sunscreen-you'll need at least one large bottle of rub on {you know it's better!} for every person. This stuff is my favorite, and Costco sometimes sells it in bulk. 
  • aloe vera-long days in the can thank me later. This is the best stuff.
  • bug spray-this is the same stuff I brought with me on safari in Africa.
  • chapstick with SPF-I swear by this stuff, especially after having my lips burn once. You do not want to endure that.
  • over the counter medical kit-this should always be on your packing list, but in case it's not, pack common OTC medicines you think you might need. I'd include headache medicine, cold medicine, stomach/anti-diarrheal, melatonin, Dramamine {for boat rides} and waterproof band-aids. 

From Your Closet

  • rash guard for everyone in the family! That sun is brutal, make sure you are protected! Lands End has some of my favorite rash guards for the whole family that doesn't stretch out and has UV protection. 
  • sun hat-this one is a good one for entering into vacation mode!
  • sunglasses-the resort has them, they are just expensive to buy! So make sure you pack your own and consider bringing a backup pair too. 
  • beach bag-My beach bag and carry on bag are often the same. If you have kids, and you're hauling sand toys, you might want to consider a mesh beach bag as well. 
  • bathing suits-I often bring one for each day, but if you'll be there for a week, I'd say a minimum of 3 suits will do you well.
  • bathing suit cover ups-I put on my suit in the morning and use a cover-up when I head to the restaurant for breakfast and lunch. I want my cover-up to look like a dress, so at least I look more put together than I feel sometimes. 
  • dresses-I gravitate to wearing dresses in the evening because it's easy and looks put together. I like to stear clear of the more casual shorts/t-shirt option when I go to dinner at the resort. 
  • flip flops-these are my favorites! Dressy enough to wear to dinner, comfortable enough to walk around a large resort!

From the Kitchen

  • zip lock bags-gallon size are the best for packing away kids treasures for the day, or for packing food from the restaurants if you are going to be spending time away from the restaurants. 
  • insulated drinking cup-this is my all-inclusive secret weapon! I always pack my own cup because who doesn't love a 30 oz mojito that stays cold for hours even in the hot sun. These insulated cups get high ratings too! If you like beer, it's served in the can, so bring something like this if you want to keep it cold.
  • reuseable straws-in an attempt to cut down on the use of plastic straws, Beaches now offers paper straws. Many people don't like them, so feel free to bring your own reusable straw. 
woman at grace bay in bathing suit

Don't forget!

  • pool toys/floats-often times you can ask the concierge or find left behind pool toys and floats, but if you want to guarantee you have one, bring your own. I've tried a lot of floats, but this one is my favorite!
  • waterproof phone case-it can be as simple as this {which I've found quite effective, even on snorkeling trips} or as complex as this, but you'll want to make sure your phone is waterproof.

Pack for Purpose donations!

The Sandals Foundation supports community education in areas across the Caribbean. Visitors can volunteer at one of the local schools to help with their literacy program or you can pack general supplies that are always welcomed. You can deliver your donations to the front desk and they will distribute them. Some ideas for donation:

  • General school supplies-Book Bags, Chalk, Colored Construction Paper, Colored Pencils, Crayons, Dry-Erase Markers, Erasers, Glue Sticks, Handheld Pencil Sharpeners, Markers, Pencils, Pencil Cases/Bags, Pens, Rulers, Solar Calculators, and Solar Lantern Lights
  • Age-appropriate books {English} and reference materials
  • Art supplies-Acrylic Brushes and Paints, Beads for Bead Work, Buttons, Craft Glue, Craft Scissors, Fashion Magazines, Sewing Needles, Thread, and Watercolor Brushes and Paints
  • Sports/activity supplies-Frisbees, Inflation Pumps, Netball/Basketballs, Soccer Balls, and Tennis Balls

You can read more about The Sandals Foundation here.

the sandals foundation packing for a purpose

Non-Essentials to Consider

  • water shoes/socks-some people don't like the feel of sea creatures on their feet. Also, wearing flippers if you are snorkeling often, can Chaffe, so having a water sock may help prevent that.
  • snorkel gear/goggles-Beaches Turks and Caicos and many other all-inclusive resorts do provide snorkel gear, however, if putting someone else's breathing tube in your mouth grosses you out, you might want to bring your own. It's also a good thing to have if you think you will be out often, beyond the time limits the resort has for use on their supplies. 
  • plain white T-shirt-Beaches resort offers a tie-dying session if you bring your own, you can tie-dye that on their dying days. Of course, you can also buy one there too.
  • drawstring bag/backpack for children going to kids club-kids will need to bring sunscreen and extra clothes, make sure they have a way to carry and store it when they go to the kids club.
beaches resort location

Here are more tips for your all-inclusive vacation!

Don't miss 6 ways to get the most out of your all-inclusive resort vacation!

This list should get you started. I'd love to hear if you have anything else you would add to my list that makes your stay at Beaches Turks and Caicos or other all-inclusive resorts, more enjoyable.

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