Birthday suit, check...
About halfway into carefully selecting the most beach-friendly clothes in my wardrobe—a skill, considering I live in Montana and this was during winter—it occurred to me that I may be overpacking. I usually travel light anyway, but in this case, even my single pair of shorts and two separate bathing suits felt excessive.
That’s because I was headed to Hedonism II, Jamaica’s pre-eminent clothing optional resort and so-called adult playground. Nestled on the end of Negril’s famous 7 Mile Beach, famous for its soft white sands, Hedo, as regulars call it, is a secluded resort catering to a pleasure-seeking clientele with the best full-body tans around. There are other luxurious nude resorts around the world, like Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort in Cancun or Sunland Holiday Village in South Australia, all of them in warm locations equipped to facilitate a memorable clothing-free experience.
In hindsight, my hunch that I was overpacking was spot on. Now that I’ve been to a nude resort, I know just how ubiquitous the nudity is—who knew there were so many people with so few hang-ups?—and it’s safe to say that there is a very particular way to pack that requires knowing what you’re getting into.
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Going to a nude resort may not be for everyone, but for those who are somewhere between curious and eager to try it out, here is what you should bring if a nude destination is in your travel future.
The Right Perspective
This is the easiest thing to pack, as it takes up no luggage space. Before heading to a nude-designated area, it’s important to understand where you’re going. Like any resort, the guests will be human beings and deserve to be treated with humanity: the fact that these guests happen to be naked doesn’t change anything. Treat others with respect by prioritizing consent and being communicative if the rules seem unclear. And if someone violates your sense of safety, report it to hotel management, as nude resorts cannot function without all guests feeling comfortable.
Although any time is a great time to be naked, it’s a lot more fun ditching clothes on a tropical island than, say, in the high
It’s important to protect your skin from the sun, especially skin that doesn’t get out in the open too often.
Arctic. Nude resorts are aware of this, which is why you’ll typically find them where the sun shines brightest. With so many activities geared towards the pool or beach, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun, especially skin that doesn’t get out in the open too often.
Reef-safe sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are all essential items for warding off harmful rays and can be packed in bulk with that extra room in your luggage that would normally be dedicated to pants and shirts. And don’t forget sandals or flip-flops: the sun is excellent at heating up the ground beneath naked feet, and you’ll feel the burn if you don’t protect yourself.
Outdoor and Activewear
There are plenty of occasions in which clothing is necessary when visiting a nude resort, even when they’re all-inclusive. Certainly, you will need to be dressed when heading to and from the airport, but once on-site, restaurants, gift shops, and fitness centers will require clothing to be worn. And like most resorts, nude accommodations facilitate excursions to see the surrounding sights, which absolutely need guests to be dressed.
Bring a bathing suit for snorkeling, light beachwear (think sarong or sundress) for boat trips or walking around town, and even a raincoat for those temperamental tropical rainstorms. And don’t forget any fitness gear for hitting up the gym.
Every day at a nude resort feels like a party, but it’s at night when they really come alive. I visited Hedonism II during Young Swingers Week, which threw nightly events with themes like rave, fetish, and animal, including costume contests. While body parts are still on full display, they are done so in surprisingly creative manners. Get in on the fun by dressing up in the kind of costumes you’ve only ever dreamed of wearing.
Check to see if your resort hosts parties, and if so, what the themes are. If you plan to participate, bring makeup, costumes, or even wigs. Nude resorts are all about liberation, so feel free to indulge.
Nudity is a great equalizer.
Nudity is a great equalizer. It’s remarkable to see how clothing showcases individuality, and how people interact when that’s taken away. Being nude makes standing out a harder task, but this is where accessories come in. Jewelry, tattoos, and even water bottles are a great way to express yourself and also come in handy for being recognizable. When you’re swimming in a sea of skin, everyone can start to look alike, which is why Hedonism II’s approach of having everyone wear a necklace with their name on it is really helpful. Fortunately, this can be replicated at any nude resort.
Other accessories to consider are a tote or backpack (since you won’t have pockets), and a waterproof pouch for your wallet. Lastly, and this is important, plan to leave your phone in your room. This won’t be allowed in shared areas–for obvious reasons.