Beach Bum News
Beach Bum News

What to Pack for Your Beach Bum Vacation

The Beach Bums are fortunate enough to frequently visit some amazing destinations throughout the Caribbean & Mexico, staying at some of the best all inclusive resorts you’ll find anywhere. We’ve learned through our own trials & errors some things that work well to pack for vacations and other things that are better left at home. Here’s a quick look at our packing tips to keep in mind for your next Beach Bum Vacation!

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Pack It:

  1. Your Passport booklet– don’t just “consider” taking this. It is a must for most destinations in the Caribbean and anywhere in Mexico. Leave home without it and you won’t be gone long- you will not be boarding that plane without presenting your passport booklet to TSA officials. Take a look a few months ahead of time and make sure it isn’t about to expire too! Remember, passport cards are NOT valid for air travel. You must have a passport booklet.
  2. Plenty of sunscreen– The closer you are the to the Equator, the more intense the sun’s rays are. Don’t spend your vacation looking like a lobster, pack plenty of sunscreen and re-apply often. If you run out, resort gift shops will sell it, but it’s usually a little pricey.
  3. Aloe vera gel – just in case you have a few too many frozen concoctions at the swim-up bar and forget to reapply your sunscreen! If you’re staying at Sandals or Beaches Resorts, you’ll have a complimentary bottle in your bathroom right near one of those Bathroom City showers they have, so don’t worry about packing it!
  4. Pepto Bismol or another tummy remedy – nobody likes to talk about it, but many travelers experience upset stomachs, indigestion or diarrhea from overindulging, eating unfamiliar foods and drinking  alcohol. Be prepared for it!
  5. Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin or your choice of pain reliever – for that inevitable hangover-induced headache. Or just try the “hair of the dog” trick and visit the Bloody Mary & mimosa bar the next morning for breakfast!
  6. A copy of your marriage license – if you are traveling for your honeymoon or anniversary, some resorts will require you to present this in order to receive complimentary honeymoon/anniversary amenities, so make sure you take it with you! If you cannot get a copy of your license in time for your honeymoon, take something else that proves that you were just married, such as a wedding invitation, ceremony program or a newspaper clipping announcing your wedding.
  7. An insulated mug – keep those frozen drinks, cocktails & beers cold when you’re at the swim-up bar!
  8. A Beach Bum Vacation tote bag – to carry all your gear to the pool or beach!
  9. Appropriate clothing for dinner – you’ll probably live in a swimsuit, cover-up and flip flops most days, but you’ll likely need to get a little dressed up for dinner. Most resorts have restaurants that have a dinner dress code, which generally asks for men to wear long pants and collared shirts and for women to wear nice capris, skirts or dresses. Guys should take lightweight khakis or linen pants and breathable button-down or polo shirts, plus nicer-looking sandals. Flip flops are generally not acceptable for dinner. Ladies, we do suggest considering taking a lightweight jacket, sweater or wrap with you as the ocean breezes can leave you feeling a little chilly in the evening, especially if you have a sunburn!
  10. Beach Bum CARES donation items for a local school or orphanage – if you are interested in visiting children at a local school or orphanage on your next vacation, delivering school supplies, sporting goods, clothing, food, toiletries, toys and other essentials, get in touch with Beach Bum CARES a month or two before your vacation and we will get everything set up for you! Email:

Leave it at home:

  1. Ridiculous amounts of cash – take some cash with you for tipping purposes. Even if you are staying at a resort like Sandals or Beaches with a “no tipping” policy, you should have cash with you to tip the driver as he is not employed by the resort and does work for tips. And, have some cash with you if you would like to do any shopping with local vendors. US dollars are generally accepted throughout the Caribbean & Mexico, so do not worry about exchanging your money to local currency. However, we do not recommend traveling with obnoxiously large amounts of cash as you do not want to be worried about losing it!
  2. Other valuables – ladies, is it really necessary to take your gorgeous pair of 2 carat diamond earrings with you on vacation? Probably not! Traveling with costume jewelry is a smart route to go and you will not worry about it all week. If you are taking valuables with you (such as your passports & wallets), remember to lock everything up in your in-room safe! Housekeeping and maintenance staff at most resorts are honest and will not bother your belongings, but you are better to be safe rather than sorry!
  3. 10 pairs of stiletto heels – ladies, we are sure that you look super hot in them, but you’re probably not going to want to walk around many resorts in high heels. Take a pair or two of high heels, but bring some cute & comfy shoes for the evenings too! You’re going to be in lots of pain if you’re swimming with blistered feet in salt water or chlorine!


Anything you would add to either list? What do you consider to be a “must-have” for your own Beach Bum Vacations? We’d love to hear your tips! We’ll pick one person who leaves a tip before March 1 to win a Starbucks gift card!

13 thoughts on “What to Pack for Your Beach Bum Vacation

  1. Bring some bug spray to ward off pesky little bugs.

    Comment by David Burrage on February 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm
  2. I would say a must have would also be sunglasses and usually 2 pair just in case a sudden wave takes your pair away!! 🙂 ( I speak from personal experience) and carribean sun and no shades is no bueno!! 🙂

    Comment by Jordan Neigler on February 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm
  3. We brought some bug towelettes (easy to pack, won’t stop you at airport security) but didn’t need them at the resort or beach…maybe if we took a jungle tour? Hotel had tons of lotion poolside but it still wasn’t enough – tan before you go! Bring a packable hat to avoid the sunburn scalp or hair part – ouch! Bring any “sample” shampoo & conditioner too, easy to pack, no bottles at customs, better than hotel supplied ones usually. Oh, now I want to go back to Mexico!!

    Comment by Cathy on February 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm
  4. A light-weight rain jacket is helpful on those days when the weather is unpredictible. it will save you from getting soaked, or if you are sensitive to the sun, like me, you can cover up without getting blistered.

    Comment by on February 26, 2012 at 10:15 am
  5. two pairs of flip flops. if one breaks, resort prices can run up to 50 dollars for a pair.

    Comment by Jen Fall on February 26, 2012 at 10:40 am
  6. My must-have is a spray bottle of leave-in conditioner. It keeps your hair from tangling after being in the water and takes away the chlorine or salt smell. I keep a bottle in my bag along with a comb.

    Comment by Erynn Dean on February 26, 2012 at 10:46 am
  7. Don’t forget the chargers for your electronic devices like cell phones, eReaders, iPods, cameras, etc! Maybe even bring some extra batteries for cameras that work with them. I speak from personal experience when I forgot the charger for my camera once and couldn’t take all the pictures I would have liked too. 🙁

    Comment by Karen Simon on February 26, 2012 at 11:10 am
  8. Instead of folding your clothes, roll them. Takes up less room in your luggage.

    Comment by megan on February 26, 2012 at 11:24 am
  9. A good book! True, I will be spending most of my time swimming and in great conversations, but it’s always nice to have some great reading material in case there are some quiet moments on the beach.

    Comment by Tracy Robertson on February 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm
  10. I like to bring a surge protector/power strip with me, resort rooms usually don’t have that many outlets and it’s easy to plug all your electronic device chargers into 1 strip.

    I also bring a neti pot. Air travel and change of climate affects my sinuses, and you will not find a neti pot anywhere at a resort, lol. We had to make one last time using a used plastic soda container, lol.

    Comment by Denielle on February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am
  11. From Beach Bum Marcie: Ladies, I love my long maxi dress for covering up by the pool and dressing up by night. Great “multi-piece”.

    Also, don’t forget LOTS of hair ties for unruly hair 🙂

    Comment by Marcie on February 29, 2012 at 11:41 am
  12. Thank you to everyone for your tips – so many great ideas!

    Congratulations, Karen Simon! 🙂 We randomly drew a winner from everyone who commented and you’re it!! Please send your mailing address to and we’ll send you a Starbucks gift card.

    Comment by Beach Bum Carey on March 2, 2012 at 10:05 am
  13. Wooohooo, I won! This totally made my day!! Can’t wait to use my Starbucks gift card!! Thank you so much Beach Bums!! 🙂

    Comment by Karen Simon on March 2, 2012 at 10:36 am
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