The Ultimate 9 Things to Pack for a Beach Resort

Paradise Island, Bahamas

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.
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.

Long Sleeve 50+ UPF Sun Protection Shirts – Men’s

These shirts come to the rescue in the intense heat of the Bahamian sun! We both wear these shirts right in the water. The shirts are comfortable and in the water you hardly notice you have it on. Once out of the water, the shirts dry pretty quickly so you can continue to use them even after your swim. There are a ton of different colors to pick from!

Long Sleeve 50+ UPF Sun Protection Shirts – Women’s

The women’s version of this swim shirt has a nice cut that is flattering to a woman’s shape. There are also LOTS of colors to pick from in the women’s version. Amazon is choosing the color to show to the left. Choose the color(s) that look best on you! The shirts are made from breathable fabric and even though they are long sleeve, they feel comfortable to wear in hot weather. We highly recommend these swim shirts for men and women!

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.

Body Sunscreen – Banana Boat 50 SPF

This Banana Boat body sunscreen has been a go to product for us for years! It smells great and constantly reminds us of the beach and more importantly, it protects from the burning rays of the sun. The 2-pack is a great value!

Face Sunscreen – Neutrogena Sport Face 70+ SPF Oil Free

It really does make a big difference to use a sunscreen specifically designed for use on your face. The Neutrogena brand is oil-free so it won’t clog your pores and this helps to prevent breakouts. For most people, our faces get the most sun of any place on our bodies. Our faces rarely need even more sun exposure. Having the high SPF of 70+ is a great quality in this face sunscreen.

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 or this SAFEGO portable lock box which is nicer and made from alloy steel.

3. Portable Lock Boxes

Portable Lock Box – Option # 1

The SAFEGO lockbox secures right onto your pool lounge chair. We see these as a great alternative to the pool lockers at a resort where you have to pay each time you want to go in and out of the locker. It’s also super convenient to have your items right near the pool. No need to have to go walking all the way over to the locker area every time you want one of your items. The lockbox provides an extra level of protection for your valuables while you are enjoying the pool and waterslides. Listed dimension is: 9” x 5” x 2”. Made from alloy steel.

Portable Lock Box – Option # 2

The Kensington lockbox is a little bit wider but not as tall as the SAFEGO model. Listed dimension for the Kensington lock box is 8.25” x 5.25” x 2”. Both lock boxes secure to a pool lounge chair in a similar way. Both lock boxes have the option to open by using a key or by setting a combination code on the lock. The Kensington lock box is made from ABS plastic whereas the SAFEGO lock box is made from alloy steel so the SAFEGO lock box may be stronger.

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.

We use this Zipoute brand and this Seovediary brand and have found both to be high quality masks and snorkel sets for a very good price. Say goodbye to rented snorkel equipment!

Jeff modeling the snorkel gear in the Bahamas. It makes you look good even when your taking a break from using it.
Jeff modeling the snorkel gear in the Bahamas. It makes you look good even when you’re taking a break from using it.
Jeff using the snorkel gear in the Bahamas. These masks are high quality with tempered glass and they fit very well. We won't ever use rental equipment again.
Jeff using the snorkel gear in the Bahamas. These masks are high quality with tempered glass and they fit very well. We won’t ever use rental equipment again.

Snorkel Gear – Option # 1

Both of these snorkel sets are very similar and offer nearly identical features. We like the design of both of the snorkels which are designed to prevent water from entering the breathing tube when submerged in water. Both sets have high quality masks with anti fog coatings. We have used both sets interchangeably and love them both!

Snorkel Gear – Option # 2

Both the Zipoute and the Seovediary snorkel sets come in a variety of color choices. We’ve been very impressed by how well the masks seal on both of these brands. You will do well picking either one!

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 upgraded to the Seawag brand which has a bit nicer plastic pouch.

Angie's iPhone safe inside the SeaWag waterproof phone case in the Bahamas.
Angie’s iPhone safe inside the SeaWag waterproof phone case in the Bahamas.

Underwater Waterproof Phone Case – Seawag Brand

We’ve taken some really great underwater videos with this Seawag case! Having the waterproof case has opened up new opportunities to see what’s happening below the water’s surface and capture it in video!

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.

Water Shoes – Option # 1 – ANLUKE Brand

We are very happy with both of these brands of water shoes so pick whichever brand has the color and size that works best for you. You can’t go wrong with either one! There are lots of different colors and patterns to pick from. Jeff really likes the solid black because the color goes with everything. Angie likes a bit more color. There are also kid sizes.

Water Shoes – Option # 2 – VIFUUR Brand

The VIFUUR brand is every bit as good as the ANLUKE brand. These two brands are top performing and last a long time. We love the style of both because they pack completely flat which is important for saving space when traveling on a carry-on suitcase. Both of these brands also come in adult and kids sizes.

7. Sunglasses

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.

Polarized Sunglasses – Men’s  – ZENOTTIC Brand

Polarized lenses make a big difference in clarity. These sunglasses are at a good price point for quality lenses. There are a lot of different color combinations for lenses and frames so you are sure to find something you’ll like!

Polarized Sunglasses – Women’s – Columbia Brand

These sunglasses have a timeless, classic shape that looks good on almost everyone. If you’ve never had polarized lenses before your eyes are in for a real treat! These sunglasses are currently offered in four different color choices so you have some options to choose from.

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.

Sunglasses Strap – Option # 1 – LUXE Brand

The LUXE brand sunglasses strap is made in such a way that it is not obtrusive at all. It looks really good with many types of sunglasses. Many waterparks will require you to have a sunglasses strap on your sunglasses if you intend to wear them on the waterslides. There are more than 12 different color choices for this sunglasses strap so you are sure to find one that looks great with YOUR sunglasses.

Sunglasses Strap – Option # 2 – Pilotfish Brand

The Pilotfish sunglasses strap looks very similar to the LUXE brand. Both are quality sunglasses straps and really it just comes down to individual preference for which one you think looks better with your sunglasses. The Pilotfish brand has 16 different color choices to pick from. Either brand is a great choice!

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 quite a few people using their own air filled floats in the pools and wished we had thought to do so on our trip. We haven’t made that mistake again! We recommend the smaller styles for pool floats that have mesh to connect the air filled tubes together. They require the least amount of work to blow up and they also pack down smaller so they take up less room in the suitcase.

Jeff using one of the pool float lounge chairs in the Bahamas.
Jeff using one of the pool float lounge chairs in the Bahamas.

Pool Float Lounge Chairs – Option # 1 – MLRYH Brand

We really like the 2-pack of this inflatable lounge chair! We had a TON of fun with them floating in the Caribbean Sea on a recent cruise trip. The 2-pack gets you 1 blue/white striped chair + 1 pink/white striped chair. There are also 3-packs, 4-packs, and 6-packs too if you have a larger family and are looking for more. Or buy them individually too if you wish. The bundle prices do help to achieve better pricing. These blow up really quickly. Each of the 3 tubes in the lounge chair takes about 6 to 8 good deep breaths of air to fill. After swimming we wash them off with fresh water, towel dry, deflate and roll them up for packing. We love that they take up so little space in the suitcase!

Pool Float Lounge Chairs – Option # 2 – Jasonwell Brand

The Jasonwell floats have 2 air chambers each. If you are looking for a float which allows you to lie flat in the water this might be a better option for you. This style can also be used like a chair but it doesn’t have that 3rd air chamber like the MLRYH brand does which provides a backrest. The Jasonwell brand is offered in a 2-pack.