When our kids were growing up (and for as long as I can remember) our summer vacations consisted of family beach vacations. You know the kind- you get a house at the beach and you schlep the kids and all of the beach equipment, through the sand and you lay around on the beach all day until everyone is tired and the sun is going down and then you schlep it all back to the house for good food and drinks and tired kiddos. Vacation looks were not required, lol. 4 and 5 star resorts are another thing altogether. Here’s what to pack for a resort vacation.

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What to pack for a resort vacation

Nothing can ruin a great vacation faster than arriving to a foreign destination and feeling like you didn’t pack what you needed. Having a few vacation looks up your sleeve is really helpful. Here is what to pack for a resort as well as some ideas for vacation looks. These will pretty much get you seamlessly through any resort or cruise. I’ve linked solid options for both quality as well as good price points.


When arriving to a warm, sunny destination there is nothing quite like stepping out of the airport to warm breezes and palm trees! If you are at a 4 or 5 star resort, the chances are great that you will be picked up at the airport by a chauffeured, luxury transport and greeted by an arrray of staff when you get there and before you get to your room. So you want to be chic and comfortable to begin soaking in every second of your vacation.

What to pack for a resort vacation

Think light (or bright) colors, linen and nice sandals. On our last trip I wore tapered, neutral trousers and a linen button down. In the airport and on the plane, I wore Golden Goose style comfortable sneakers and a cardigan. When we arrived at the destination airport I changed into sandals and stashed the cardigan and sneakers in my carry-on. For convenience, my large straw tote doubles as my carry-on for these trips.

what to pack for a resort vacation

Pool and Beach Looks

You’ll want a bunch of swimsuits and chic cover ups for these kinds of trips! You’ll be heading to beautiful, picturesque breakfasts every morning and then to the pool or the beach if you don’t have another adventure scheduled. Hair in a low chignon, sunglasses and hats will easily get you everywhere all day with no fuss. The sun is HOT- it doesn’t play around, so bring your nice sun hats, chic cover-ups and sunglasses. Palazzo pants, linen button downs, kaftans, beach pareo and sarongs are all great.

What to pack for a resort vacation

Sandals will always be preferred to flip flops at a 5 star resort unless you’re headed straight to the beach. Before our next trip I plan to get this cover-up. It’s so chic looking for walking poolside or to breakfast or even afternoon drinks at one of the outdoor bars (In fact, this is a great site to start shopping for all of your resort wear!). One thing to remember is that most 4 or 5 star resorts will have complimentary, high quality ,mineral sunscreen available to you everywhere- and they prefer that you use it in an effort to protect the beautiful reefs at these destinations.

Evening Looks

Bring all your flowy dresses and summer bags. It’s so nice to come in from the sun, relax, maybe go for a massage or a facial and then later, get ready for an evening out. Some resorts and cruises now provide a personal butler service for the entirety of your trip so your dinner reservations (and every.other.detail) have been taken care of in advance. All that is required of you is to dress nicely and saunter through the beautiful resort on your way to an exquisite meal.

I always pack this sleeveless jumper for every summer destination. I’ve had it for years and it literally is a workhorse on these trips! It can be dressed up or down and has a very forgiving silhouette. I highly recommend a solid black jumper as a staple wardrobe piece.

what to wear on a resort vacation

I also pack nice lounge wear and pajamas for lounging inside the suite or out on the terrace or balcony.

The One & Only Palmilla

If you are planning a trip to Cabo, do check out The One & Only Palmilla ,secluded on the Baja peninsula in Los Cabos. For the absolute height of luxury and relaxation you cannot do better than this. The stunning views, meticulously kept grounds and luxury accommodations aside, it is the staff at the Palmilla that pushes this experience over the top.

The Palmilla combines the absolute gold standard of professional service with truly gracious, Mexican hospitality. While many resorts say they offer personal butler service, it usually never really materializes in that way. The Palmilla provides the absolute highest level of service with an unmatched attention to detail. Your every need will be met before you even knew you needed it! If you are looking for true relaxation, I highly recommend the Palmilla. Scroll down to find a photo dump from that trip below.

I hope this gives you an idea of what to pack for a resort vacation. We still do our family beach vacations and love them! But a resort vacation is an altogether different type of rest and relaxation. Do you have a resort vacation that you loved? Pin this post for later:

what to wear on a resort vacation

You may also enjoy this post on my essential skincare over 50. If you’re on Facebook, come chat!

One & Only Palmilla