What To Pack For An All Inclusive Resort

Watch over my shoulder as I show you what to pack for a 2 week all inclusive holiday to the famous Greek Isle of Crete during the summer months for 2 adults and 2 kids.

This is our second all inclusive holiday this year our first being a trip to Mexico and staying at The Moon Palace Grand. As a big fan of the all inclusive holidays I wanted to share with you what to pack along with my top packing tips and tricks.

What To Pack For An All Inclusive Resort

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What Is An All Inclusive Trip?

If you have not had an all inclusive holiday before, then an all inclusive trip, is basically a holiday or as you might call it a vacation where everything is included.

This usually includes all your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) along with snacks available throughout the day, plus drinks.

Though of course, the facilities in one all inclusive resort to another can differ greatly.

For example, we stayed at The Moon Palace resort in Mexico for Easter for two weeks. This was the top end of all inclusive facilities with 24 hour free room service and food being available 24/7. Yet, the Greek hotel we are heading to now in Crete, is 25% cheaper and only offers food and drink until just after midnight.

Other all inclusive facilities that are often included is free watersports, activities by the pool, towel service and a few other perks.

But because not that much extra is thrown in for your room compared to staying half board at a hotel we recommend that you pack like any hotel summer sun stay and follow our all inclusive packing list below. But before we dive into the all inclusive packing list let us answer a few more of your questions first.

Do You Need To Bring Shampoo To An All Inclusive Resort?

This depends on the all inclusive resort that you are staying at and the quality of the shampoo available in your room. I don’t know what you are like, but I have oily hair and it gets greasy really easily so prefer to use my own. Other times I have stayed in an all inclusive the shampoo supplies have been very small for four of us and there hasn’t been enough. I recommend bringing your own and instead using the small little bottles to store it in, then it can save room in your toiletries bag.

Should I Bring Cash To An All Inclusive?

I always bring a bit of cash to an all inclusive though you don’t need a lot. For example, all your food and drink and snacks are included so its more for spends when you are away from the hotel or if you want to buy some gifts to take home with you. I usually take about 100 Euros for a European holiday + I have my credit cards as a backup.

Or when we stayed at the Grecotel Marine Palace in Crete we found that drinks were an effort to get and spent about 100€ on drinks, yet at the Moon Palace Grand we didn’t need to buy any drinks at all.

Then if going to Mexico where tipping is more important I will take $500 as then I have some cash for Mexico tips too.

Do You Need Towels In All Inclusive?

You will have towels provided in an all inclusive resort but I always take my own. For example, when we stayed at The Moon Palace Grand, we were often waiting on towel delivery in the morning, plus when using the jacuzzi in our room the floor was slippery so we used our room towels for the floor a lot, so having extra towels for when we were sat on our sunbeds that were our own made sense.

Do You Need Towels In All Inclusive
We also find it handy to pack the towels over everything else in the suitcase because it stops them taking up a lot of room in the suitcase.

Where Are You Staying In Greece?

We are visiting Crete which is the biggest of the Greek islands. We are staying at the Grecotel Marine Palace & Aqua Park. It is situated on the north of the island and the reason we chose this resort is because the kids love a waterpark, and it has its own waterpark as part of the hotel.

All Inclusive Packing List

So now I have fun through some of your important packing questions lets pack for our holiday. As I write this the kids are on their last day at school and then tomorrow evening, we fly to Crete from Leeds Bradford Airport.

We are on the 5.30pm flight, check in opens at 2.30pm, we are 90 minutes away, so its nice to say that I am packing now and we have just over 24 hours until we go, to just be that little bit organised.

What We Pack Our Holiday Stuff In

Let’s start with the bags that you plan on packing and taking with you on holiday. Our go to is the Tripp brand which is considerably cheaper than what we see most travel bloggers recommend. We have also tried much cheaper, hated them and then got a refund on Amazon on our return home. But these tripp bags are the business and work so well for us.

What we have is the Tripp cabin bag which is travel speak for an airplane carry on luggage. So, if you ever plan to do carry on only then this cabin bag is perfect for you. We used this bag on our long haul flight to Mexico and its perfect for all your flight supplies plus a good size for laptops and for if you are just going away for a couple of days and just want to carry on.

We also have the medium Tripp bag too and the large tripp bag. When it is the two of us adults, plus two kids we find that the medium and the large are perfect for a 2 week all inclusive holiday and that limiting ourselves to these two bags, helps us easily stay within the weight limits.

medium and large tripp suitcases
This is the medium and large tripp suitcase that we took with us to Greece. You can also see in the background another old large suitcase we took as well as the carry on.

Suitcase Buying Tip

Always get an expandable suitcase. We made the mistake once of getting a cheaper suitcase that doesn’t expand and it seriously doesn’t hold a lot of items in the suitcase. We then swapped for the Tripp medium suitcase for our holiday and it made a huge difference.

Then for more carry ons for your flight I have a new best friend. This is my go to bag not just for travelling on flights with, but for family days out and I even use it as my swimming bag when I go to the gym for a swim.

What’s amazing about it, is that it has lots of compartments. Such as a front zip area that is lined like a cooler. This honesty keeps your cold drink cold all day even if you are visiting somewhere super hot.

It also has a small section that is ideal for my gym card or any other stuff you want to keep separate.

There is also a big main section, and this opens up flat just like a carry on suitcase does.

backpack for day trips
This is it ready to be packed up for a trip out on our holiday. We use it for days out, holiday carry on and even for swimming gear when at my local swimming pool.

To describe this bag fully I would say its backpack meets suitcase and because it is designed with Ryanair in mind, it is perfect for fitting in the smallest of the carry on limits.

Just check out all its features here and all the different colours that it comes in.

So that’s the carry on that the two of us have – but what about the kids? The ultimate carry on for the kids is the Trunki. The Trunki is what all us parents need in our lives for busy airports, but didn’t realise we needed until we had them recommended. It’s a ride on carry on for the kids and ideal for them sitting on when the airport is busy and you have a long wait. Stops all the moaning and the tears and a true life saver. They also have a lot of space in them so ideal for making up a nice bag for them to end airplane boredom. We love this one for boys and then this one for girls. Though when you click the link you can see the different colours and they also come with some stickers so the kids can decorate their own. We have seen many imaginative themes at the airport that other kids have been travelling with. Then for ideal age for trunkis I would recommend aged 3 to 9. Any older and the kids long legs will struggle to ride along.

kids trunki ideal carry on for kids
Here is the inside of the kids trunki at home just before we left for the airport to travel to Crete. They are just amazing, both for storing kids supplies in, but also for somewhere for them to sit when they are stuck in airport queues.

Also if you have days planned for your holiday by the pool or by the beach then this bag is my go to.

It has a zip section so this means it will put off thieves as you are walking through a tourist area. It’s also got a lot of space and ideal for adding your towels to and your suntan cream and always feels so spacious. It also wipes clean very easily and I will place it direct in the suitcase and use it for storing some items in before we get to the destination. Scroll down to our beach bag section for full details or keep reading and we will get to it soon…

Lets Talk Holiday Security

I know, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first that keeps us all safe. No matter where you go in the world there is always the risk of pick pocketing and your wallet being stolen and things like this ruining your holiday.

Here is what I recommend:

Split up the cards, and money between you and your husband/wife/travel partner. Always have a supply in the hotel safe as a backup and only take with you what you really, really need. Then for the hubby (or you it doesn’t matter who) have a bum bag or a fanny pack as they call them in the USA.

Or if you would rather have something lighter for some money and your phone then this running belt is a great plan B. I use this when I was strolling around a town on holiday and need somewhere for my phone.

I also find the bum bag very convenient for airport travel and for having around you for quick access to your passport, boarding tickets etc and always wear it for airports, and train travel.

Though what I also love about this bum bag is it comes with an expandable belt which is ideal if you don’t have a super skinny waist. As OMG I’m sure most manufacturers think bum bag owners are all a size 10!

We also recommend a bra money belt for the lady, which is perfect a little bit of money for say a day out at the beach. If you are at the beach and you worry about where to put your money, then this is ideal.

I also love my thermal water bottle which has a secret compartment. If you just leave this on your sunbed nobody will steal it as it just looks like a boring water bottle. But what it really has is a secret area that will easily hold a bit of cash and a small set of keys. Perfect for a drink from the bar or for tipping the waiter.

There is also a hair brush that you can buy that also has the same which is good for hiding something especially if you are worried about leaving it out when the cleaners are cleaning your room.

Now Let’s Get Packing


I normally open up my suitcases, get out my packing cubes and then get started and tick off the list as I go then I know what I still need to pack. Usually leaving toiletries until last as you are always waiting for the last time the hairbrush and the toothbrush are used.

Beach Bag Packing List

I’m starting with the beach bag as it all things we will not use before we go. Into the beach bag goes these amazing grown up floatables which is like a water hammock that I sat on the whole time I was in the pool in Mexico, we also had a floatables pack for the kids which was used for Mexico and are now getting recycled for Greece. Also remember floatables by the beach are very expensive compared to these prices.

water hammock for the pool days
Here is our grown up floatables also known as water hammocks. So good but I can guarantee that one of the kids will take them when I am not looking!

I also have a pack of diving toys for the kids which are brilliant for the younger kids for playing with on the beach and for the kids of our age (6 and 8)

We also recommend taking some goggles. I took my own prescription goggles and then the kids had their own too. These are the kids ones I recommend.

Plus, another for security which I keep in my beach bag is my waterproof plastic mobile phone holders. These keep your phones dry but also mean when you go swimming you can carry your phone on you, rather than having it sat in your bag by the pool.

Then because I still have some space in my beach bag I am adding my first aid kit which is a must when travelling and inside of it as well as the usual plasters and bandages I also have some Rennie’s for the hubby and his heartburn and plenty of anti sickness tablets as when you are staying at an all inclusive resort there is a big chance you will need some. Also, I recommend adding a little tub of some sudocream or something else that is good for the kids blisters and the plasters are also brilliant for the light on the TV or the air con if it is flashing and stopping you from sleeping.

Post holiday: We found that what we used most in our first aid kit was the Sudocream. Sofia had a rash from her swimming costume and I had a sweat rash from my bra rubbing because it was incredibly hot when we went. Then we also used some plasters from some blisters.

You can also use the beach bag for storing your beach hats in. We all have a mixture of old ones we have picked up from previous holidays and I think Sofia wants to upgrade as hers is from 3 years ago during our trip to Greece. I imagine her buying a I love Crete one in a pretty shade of pink!

Then the final items into the beach bag include Jorge’s favourite ball for the beach which is a smaller ball so ideal for travelling with. Plus, the fun thing about this ball is the kids can draw on it before the holiday and its great for getting them in the holiday spirit. I then squeeze in the kids fun towels and that is the beach bag packed. If you don’t have a towel for the kids yet, I highly recommend this one for your kids. It is in the style of a poncho and they do a lot of different themes. I got Sofia a Unicorn and Jorge a Sonic The Hedgehog.

I am also a big fan of water shoes and Dom doesn’t like them as much as me, but I have a pair, so does Jorge and so does Sofia. The point of water shoes is that they stop your feet hurting on the hot sand (important when you are in Greece in July) they are also good when you are in swimming pools, and they have sharp bits. You can wear water shoes in the sea, at a waterpark and even in a swimming pool. They are also very comfy!

water shoes on the beach in Crete Greece
Here I am by the shore in Crete in my super-comfy water shoes. Dom’s biggest regret about our holiday is that he didn’t buy himself any water shoes.

Then of course, on your holiday it then transforms and becomes your beach bag and is ideal for both pool days, beach days and of course days out.

packing your beach bag
Here is me planning what to add to it for a beach day with the kids. A lot of the usual stuff you would expect but something you might not is adding of a packing cube. Those packing cubes are brilliant for after a pool day for your wet items so that you don’t soak your whole bag, or for your water shoes when you have sand on them from the beach.

Toiletries Bag Packing List

After the beach bag I am next getting ready any toiletries that I can now. As there is a lot of the toiletries that I don’t use all the time and keep for holidays, especially things like the suntan cream.

I recommend some packing cubes to make the toiletries packing and clothes packing run more smoothly. We used this grey packing set and then this light blue packing cube set. You may be wondering why two sets and not just one? That is because you will want the larger ones the most and the drawstring ones and the toothbrush holder and its nice to have some extra ones.

I also bought this toiletries holder which is brilliant because you pack everything in the toiletries bag and then you can move it from your bag to being hung up at the hotel and it’s a genius. Say goodbye to a sink full of your toiletries. Then I also have both these squeezy bottles made from silicone and some little plastic bottles to be able to take small quantities of toiletries with me on holiday without it feeling like I am packing for a 6 month house move!

over hanging toiletries bag so useful
Here is our toiletries bag hanging by the towel rail in our hotel room in Crete. All the compartments have a zip meaning if there is a leak it doesn’t leak on everything. Plus, when you are in the shower you can just grab what you need.

Now that I have shown you what we use for packing everything in, this is exactly what I take for toiletries on holiday into the over the door toiletries holder:

  • Security hair brush
  • Roll on deodorant (his and her)
  • Shower gel (his and her) + kids share ours to save on space
  • Shampoo and conditioner + kids share ours
  • Nail varnish remover (for Sofia)
  • Flannel (kids eyes in the shower)
  • Mini perfume (perfect size for travelling)
  • Mini aftershave (for Dom)
  • Small mirror
  • Nail clippers
  • Hand cream
  • Small face masks (for us girls)
  • Lip balm (Jorge and Sofia)
  • Make up (lipstick etc)

Plus, into the toothbrush holder will fit the toothbrushes and the toothpaste. I love this and when in use on your holiday one end will hold your toothbrush and the other end will hold your toothpaste and it makes a great holder.

Then into one of the packing cubes as it is best to keep those likely to leak together:

  • 2 Bottles dry protection mosquito spray (we used this one)
  • 1 Large shampoo
  • 1 Medium conditioner
  • 7 Factor 50 suntan creams (1 per 2 days of holiday)
  • 1 After sun spray

I also add some sanitiser. Yes, I know that 2020 is over with now and we are now in our “normal” but I have realised that having it and getting the kids to spray each day stops them picking up all the germs they get and stops them getting sick on holiday. For example, when every kid has touched the kids buffet and then one of those kids sucks their thumb etc.

You probably want to know which suntan cream we use. Well, we are big I mean BIG fans of Avon. We have tried many and for price point and for the lack of sunburn love it. We get the SF50 option and its really thick and does the job. Though sometimes I end up with a red nose when I have forgotten to put some on my nose though!

This is then placed into the medium suitcase whilst the beach bag goes into the large suitcase to help with the weight distribution.

Also, into the same suitcase I added a large spray bottle of mosquito spray because I know there is a lot of them in Greece and in most European countries.

Okay so you have all the toiletries sorted, minus the last-minute grab of razors and favourite perfume and toothbrushes, next up is to focus on those clothes.

Ladies Clothes Packing List

Okay so I am a shorts and t-shirts holiday person. Plus, I love leggings and have a lot of one piece swimming costumes. For footwear I love flip flops as well as trainers.

You might be the same or you might be different. If say you are more into dresses, then you can pack dresses instead of shorts or do something similar.

Just think of how many days you are going to be on holiday for and how long you are going to be without your washing machine that you were so used to at home.

I have packed for me:

  • 6 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 9 tops (mix of vests and tshirts)
  • 4 swimming costumes
  • 1 pair trainers
  • 1 pair of flipflops
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of slippers
  • 6 lots of knickers
  • 2 bras
  • 3 pairs socks

I consider myself low maintenance when it comes to travelling and I always have a shorts and tshirt and a swimming costume on. I expect on days out to be doing some walking therefore, taking with me a pair of trainers, plus I am also travelling in leggings, tshirt and some sketchers.

Male Clothes Packing List

For Dom I don’t interfere and let him choose what clothes he would like to take with him on our holiday. He then normally makes a pile of clothes on the bed and then I can add it to our packing cubes and pack everything for him. Though I am always paranoid that we will forget something. Hence my love for a packing list when we go all inclusive.

Dom packed for the holiday:

He is also travelling in these skater shoes. They are his comfy shoes and are great for evening meals too as they look rather smart whilst still having a trainers feel to them.

Girls Clothes Packing List

Then for Sofia, she is 8 at the time of this holiday and loves her summer dresses and if she had her way, would just pack a suitcase with dresses in it.

I have packed for Sofia:

  • 6 summer dresses
  • 6 pair of shorts
  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 3 pairs of cycling shorts
  • 5 tops (mix of vests and tshirts)
  • 4 swimming costumes
  • 1 pair of flipflops
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 6 lots of knickers
  • 3 pairs socks

Boys Clothes Packing List

Then for Jorge, he is 6 at the time of this holiday and loves his shorts and tshirts. But like a typical boy is always getting dirty.

I have packed for Jorge:

My Carry On Bag

Okay so my carry on bag is always a work in progress with various things that I add as I pack. I also think of the carry on as being the important stuff and I always wanted to make sure I don’t forget anything important.

Laptop – If I am bringing a laptop it will go in my carry on bag. As will the charger and any other laptop accessories I need. If you do travel a lot with laptops I highly recommend the laptop my hubby Dom has or something similar because it is the perfect size and folds so can be a laptop or a tablet. On this holiday we are taking for work my laptop, doms laptop, and my tablet. Plus of course a phone each which we will be having in our pockets.

Paperwork – internet can fail, and I always like a printed copy of the important stuff. Our flight times, our hotel confirmation, our passports and anything else like visas that you would need at the airport. Plus, its so easy to transfer them with your passports into your bum bag for easy access when going through airport security.

PadlocksYou can get these airport friendly ones for your luggage that wont break if security want to go and look inside. This is really good to stop others going through your bags and gives you extra peace of mind. Mine are TSA approved and I have 2 in red and 2 in black. As I am packing I keep them in my carry on and then lock just before the airport when I know I have everything inside.

Luggage scale – This is perfect for if you are packing a lot and are worried you are over the weight limit. This is what I will be taking with me to Disney World after I have done all the shopping! I then store it in my carry on for whenever I need it.

Ear pods – I love listening to podcasts when I am on the plane and the kids are entertaining themselves. I have 2 lots of air pods plus the hubbys that I keep in the carryon.

Worldwide adaptors – I also have some worldwide adaptors that I take with me whenever I travel outside the UK. Its these ones I have and what is great is that they work anywhere. So you can use them in the US, Canada, Europe or wherever you are.

Batteries & chargers – OMG we all need something for everything don’t we? I have my external battery for my mobile phone which is brilliant for an extra battery for my phone for days out. And did you know that Sylvester Stallone has the same one? Then I also have my charger for my Fitbit, charges for phones as well as my tablet charger. The problem with all these wires though is getting through airport security and having to find everything out of your bags. I have a solution. I take a large Tupperware container and fill it with every charger I am taking. I can then carry it in my hand luggage and quickly get it out at the airport. Then I just need to get out our phones + laptop and it makes the process a lot less stressful. Then you can also use Tupperware for when you are transporting home souvenirs and are worried that they will break during travel.

storing electronics and battery chargers for travelling
Here is our Tupperware with our battery chargers in it ready for travel. Then you can keep it on a shelf in your room for easy access once at your accommodation.

Glasses – Calling anyone that wears glasses like me or contact lenses its nice to have some backups. I have lots of these glasses cleaning wipes with me (keep them in a zip loc for saving space), as well as some spare glasses. I am taking with me a spare pair of glasses, prescription sunglasses and reading glasses. Yep, I am literally as blind as a bat and need all the help I can get!

Doms ShaverDom loves this shaver and I have packed this ready for him so that he can have a shave whilst we are in Greece. It’s also in its own little black bag so perfect for transporting.

Silicone mugsI love these expandable cups. They are perfect for when you are on the plane and want a little drink, but the drink cups you usually get spill everywhere on the plane.

Spare change – I always seem to have this supply from old holidays. You can of course, go to a cash machine when you get there or get some exchanged at home before you go. Just avoid paying by card at shops because you get charged in each transaction vs getting 200€ out at the machine. I think for our holiday to Greece we have about 50€ with us.

Snacks – Yes we are going to an all inclusive resort and yes we are packing snacks. But this is mainly because where we are staying stops serving at midnight and we arrive after midnight and probably wont have any dinner or supper available to us. We have got in our carry on some biscoff biscuits, cereal bars, and some fox jam creams.

Passports – I know I am stating the obvious here, but OMG the amount of people forget their passports is crazy and I have nearly done it myself. I am so paranoid about forgetting it that I check I have it about a zillion times.

The Kids Trunki’s

So, I have mentioned that the kids take a trunki each with them when we go travelling. But its funny the girl excitement vs the boy. Sofia has everything packed a couple of days in advance – has spent great time choosing which teddy she wants to take, what little toys and her girly makeup. Yet with Jorge I have to beg him to pack some things. In the end it turns into typical boy with some cars.

You can of course plan alongside the kids what they can take and what they will like. I also like to surprise the kids with a new magazine each and usually some sweets for the journey from home to the airport.

What Else To Take To Your All Inclusive Resort

I recommend having a read to see what is included/excluded with your all inclusive resort as they are often all different.

Based on reading up on the all inclusive resort in Greece that we are staying at we are also taking:

A folder with our favourite DVDs for those evenings when you are too tired from the evening entertainment or in the afternoon to get the kids away from the heat. This is because our hotel that we upgraded to has a DVD player and I am not any good at Greece so it gives us something to watch.

Washing powder – our hotel room because its more self contained style has a washing machine. I have filled a Tupperware with some washing powder so that we can take some of this with us.

And that is what to bring to an all inclusive resort and also what we are personally bringing with us. This easily fitted between 2 medium, 1 large suitcase, 1 carry on and 2 kids trunki. So not bad for a family of four for 2 weeks holiday in the sun.

Important Note: On arrival at our hotel we found out we didn’t get the room upgrade we had paid for so there was no DVD watching and no in-room washing machine. Such a shame.

Best Shoes For An All Inclusive Resort?

I just recommend that for the best shoes for an all inclusive to bring your favourites. Comfy footwear that you wont dread wearing during your holiday.

We took with us water shoes. They are ideal for when you are walking along the beach and the hot sand is burning your feet. Or in Crete there is a lot of stones in the sea, so it stops you from stubbing your toes as much.

We took our favourite comfy shoes for day trips and for wearing with shorts and tshirts. For me it was my favourite sketchers, for Dom it was his skater shoes and the kids loved their trainers.

We also had flip flops each and the kids also had a pair of sandals each. The sandals are good because they become a nice evening footwear for when you are at a restaurant.

Where To Stay in Crete, Greece

I will be honest now and say we didn’t like our hotel at Grecotel Marine Palace + Waterpark and wouldn’t recommend it to others. It was 5 star prices with a 2 star experience. I have had much more enjoyable hotels for a fraction of the price of this one.  

Instead, we do have a few other hotels in Crete that we would recommend instead and also ones that have a better location and better facilities.

Mythos Palace Resort + SpaThis 5 star all inclusive resort in Crete is JUST 47km from Chania airport giving you the best location for exploring the island. We found ourselves having to travel an hour in this direction before we could go anywhere interesting. There is also a lot more sun beds meaning that you are not in a sun bed war every morning. Click here to explore the photos and the reviews and full hotel description.

Mythos Palace Resort + Spa

Arina Beach ResortWhat I love most about the Arina Beach Resort is its location if you want to visit the north of Crete. You are only a very short distance from its dinosaur theme park and its water park called water city. Also, with many flights being at night its nice that this has a very quick airport transfer time. I’m also loving that it has a large beach as well as some slides. Check out the photos + facilities + reviews here.

Arina Beach Resort

Atlantica Caldera PalaceThis is another 5 star all inclusive and spells out luxury the same way that The Moon Palace Grand does in Mexico. You have lots of swimming pools to choose from, mini golf, a beautiful beach, a water slide as well as all the usual benefits that come with an all inclusive resort. You can find full details here for the Atlantica Caldera Palace and also check out current prices and all the photos and reviews.

Atlantica Caldera Palace

Pin All Inclusive Packing List For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for packing for your holiday then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board on Pinterest.


About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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