The Ultimate 9 Things to Pack for a Beach Resort
By Angie & Jeff
October 9, 2023
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Jeff using one of the long sleeve sun protection shirts and waterproof phone case in the Bahamas.
It makes ALL the difference to have the right items with you on a trip. Having the right items with you gives a greater level of assurance that the trip will be pleasant and enjoyable.
There were several items that we found necessary to fully enjoy our stay at Caribbean resorts we have visited, particularly time at water parks and beaches.
There were also items we didn’t bring along that we really wished we had. We suggest you pack these nine items on your visit to any beach resort to make certain you have a fabulous time.
1. Long Sleeve 50+ UPF Sun Protection Shirts
We purchased several long sleeve 50 UPF sun protection shirts for each of us that were very good purchases. We were very thankful to have them. The sun in tropical locations is intense and on previous trips to similar locations we were inevitably severely sunburned by the second or third day despite our waterproof sunscreen. The shirts do a great job keeping the sun off our skin and protecting our arms, backs, and shoulders from the wrath of the sun.
2. Sunscreen (Body) and Sunscreen (Face)
Sunscreen is also a must have. The sun is very intense and sunscreen is a vital part of protecting your skin. We used an entire large spray can of Banana Boat sunscreen during our week in the Bahamas and started into a second can between Atlantis and Baha Mar. We suggest at least a 2 pack of sunscreen. Sunscreen can be very expensive to purchase on tropical islands. Look for reef safe and water resistant sunscreen free from oxybenzone and octinoxate as those chemicals are really detrimental to coral reefs. We generally purchase a SPF 50+ sunscreen to get maximum protection.
Also – Use a separate sunscreen for your face that is specifically for that use. This will ensure you’re not clogging up pores on your face which can lead to breakouts. We’ve had really good luck with this Neutrogena face sunscreen which is formulated to prevent clogging of pores.
3. Portable Lock Boxes
It can give you peace of mind to not have to worry about your valuables while you are enjoying water parks and beaches. These pool chair lock boxes work great for storing your phone, money, and other items so you don’t have to constantly keep watch over your stuff. We suggest this Kensington portable lock box and this SAFEGO portable lock box which is a bit wider.
4. Snorkel Gear
Having your own snorkel gear makes a BIG difference. We have tried snorkeling on various trips with rented gear and have always ended up with water getting in the rented masks due to improper fit.
Having your own snorkel gear prevents this improper fit and also saves you time because your gear is always set up and adjusted for YOU right away.
This has added another thing to pack but having our own snorkel equipment has vastly increased the enjoyment of snorkeling for us by allowing proper fit from the beginning. And added bonus is we no longer have the expense to rent equipment.
5. Waterproof Phone Cases
We suggest waterproof phone cases for your phones so you can use them in the water. We’ve been able to capture great photos and videos using these waterproof phone cases; we don’t have to worry about a stray pool splash wrecking our phones while we have a good time. We’ve even able to take great underwater photos and videos using these cases! If you rinse off the salt water after use and pat them dry with a soft towel they can last for years. We have also used the Seawag brand and it is very good.
6. Water Shoes
Water shoes are a good idea to purchase ahead of time. Jeff has this ANLUKE brand and Angie has this VIFUUR brand. They pack nice and flat and are lightweight. Both brands have lasted for several trips and are holding up well, so we can recommend them for value. Resorts are often big and require lots of walking and the water shoes will help cushion the soles of your feet as you walk around the water parks as well as protect the soles of your feet from the burning hot sidewalks and sand.
Sunglasses are also a must in any sunny environment. Your eyes will thank you. Polarized lenses really do make a big difference for clarity and are worth the extra cost. There are a lot of different sunglass styles and shapes so find some that look good on YOU. You also don’t have to spend a fortune to get a pair of good quality polarized sunglasses. We find sunglasses, such as these ZENOTTIC Polarized Sunglasses for Men, and these Columbia sunglasses for women work really great.
8. Sunglasses Straps
You will often be required to remove your sunglasses on the water slides at water parks and hold them in your hands unless you have a strap for your sunglasses. This can also be true for lazy rivers. There are a number of simple straps for your sunglasses such as this sunglasses strap 2 pack. These types offer a more elegant design – Pilotfish cable strap and this Luxe cable strap.
9. Pool Floats and Inner Tubes
You may want to bring floaties and inner tubes with you on vacations including beaches, water parks, and pools. On our first trip to a beach resort we observed lots of people using their own air filled floats in the pools and wished we had thought to do so on our trip. We recommend the smaller styles. They require the least amount of work to blow up and they are also small enough to be packed easily.