Mom’s Guide to Being Chic at a Caribbean All-Inclusive

Explore Ocean Blue and Sand in Punta Cana, what a mom should wear to the Caribbean
The blue water beckons at Ocean Blue and Sand by H10 Hotels in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Once upon a time, I was a glamourous New York City-based flight attendant sporting an it bag and four-inch heels. Now I’m a Traveling Mom of three that spends my best days in the national parks hiking with the kids. But a former glamour girl occasionally peaks out, likeon my recent trip to the Dominican Republic. I want to share all my tips and finds on what a Mom should wear to the Caribbean.

Mom Still Has It or Can Buy it

Along the road of motherhood, I lost my former glamorous self.

The designer bag doesn’t hold baby gear and the two-seater doesn’t accommodate a car seat. Next thing you know, I have a collection of Target t-shirts in every color and yoga pants offer day-in, day-out comfort. Now my favorite accessory is my insulated coffee cup.

Enjoy Punta Cana. What a mom should wear to the Caribbean
With water the color of my favorite jewelry box, a Caribbean Resort offers everything needed to relax. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Occasionally I hop a jet to a glamourous destination for work. This time it was Dominican Republicall-inclusive in Punta Cana, a Caribbean mainstay.

After jumping up and down, I realized my Momkini wouldn’t work. Since my getaway requires a passport I wanted to glam it up for my holiday (European chic for vacation).

What a Mom Should Wear to the Caribbean

Stylish beach bag—Accent your beach ensemble and hold the necessities, like sunscreen, a water bottle, a book and a magazine or two, along with the phone and a battery charger with a cord.

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Inexpensive Cover-ups–I throw one on for the morning cup of coffee from the balcony overlooking the ocean. Dress up cover-ups with a pair of sandals and it passes as a sundress. T-shirt dresses, shirt dresses or even a x-large white oxford shirt will work. And don’t forget the sarong for versatile dressing.

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Rash Guard— When spending the whole day in the sun, wear a rash guard. I’ve got this in white to protect my skin from burning. It’s long sleeved and can be worn as a short dress or shirt.

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Nightie with a Matching Robe— Leave the T-shirt and pajama bottoms at home. Throw a cute little nightie in the bag and add a silk shorty robe for it. Makes sleeping an event.

Designer-looking sunglasses—Actually pack two pairs, just in case.

Sunhat–The larger the brim the more glamorous it feels. And leave the tennis visor at home unless you are playing tennis. Check out this packable sunhat, I get a new one every summer.

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I leave all t-shirts at home unless they are new and a size smaller than I normally wear. Comfy is great in the carpool line but looks sloppy in the Caribbean. I leave the Mom shorts at home too. I wear cover-ups and sundresses instead of shorts and T-shirts.

Bathing Suits for Moms

The most dreaded item of my wardrobe—the bathing suit. I had three children and things are not the same. But life goes on and a Mom can still look good. So here’s some options for what a Mom should wear to the Caribbean.

I will share a couple of secrets. My favorite words are coverage and support.

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My kids blessed my life and my bosom with an extra size that needs support. I need underwire support with adjustable straps or ties, padded cups and push-up pads. That push-up element just puts the girls back where they used to be.

I look for a top that works like a decent bra and that engineering will come at a cost. Moms can’t wear cheap bras and the same goes for cheap swimsuits. As a bonus, well-made suits last longer.

Let’s talk about the bottom. It needs to be fully covered. I find my tush looks higher when my cheeks are encased in a swimsuit bottom with lots of lifting Lycra. My before-kids bottom is a sweet memory. (I just sighed.)

Invest in a Great Suit

Invest in a swimsuit and scrimp on the cover-up. I spend over $100 on a swimsuit. Maybe less if I find one on sale at the end of the season. I typically buy them online since I can try them on at home and return it for a different size or style. This helps and so does a glass of wine.

I want to talk about color for a minute. Black is a go-to color for everything, it’s a classic and it’s slimming. Now the other end of the bathing suit spectrum is neon. Just don’t. Grab a cute little neon suit for your teen or tween skip it for yourself.

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My suggestion is a nice color that complements the Caribbean, like turquoise. The color accents the tan I’ll get at the beach. My other go-to colors are orange, red or navy blue.

Now let’s take about the cut. In the U.S., it seems that moms adopt the Momkini, or tankini, like it’s a two-for-one special. I know, I have several but in the Caribbean, everyone wears a real bikini and so did I. Now it’s not the bikini of my 20s, again I opted for more coverage, support and lots of lovely Lycra.


More destinations are requiring Reef Safe sunscreen to protect the coral reefs and wildlife. I got this one and I love the sparkles it leaves on my skin.

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What to Eat to Look Glam at the Beach

What a mom should wear to the Caribbean
Drink champagne on the beach, it’s low in carbs and very glamorous. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Now you look fabulous reclining in your cabana next to the beach, time to order some chic snacks. I’m going to pass on my biggest tip. Remember to hydrate so grab some bottled water.

I skip the frozen, fruity drinks since the sugar will add bloat. I want to enjoy the most glamourous beach holiday ever so I drink champagne. Yes, on the beach, it adds instant glamour and everyone will want be like you. Yes, an American Mom with three kids.

what a Mom should wear to the Caribbean.
Looking for a glamorous snack at the beach or the pool, then order fresh fruit, especially local tropical fruit. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Now order some glamorous snacks. If your resort offers a snack service at the beach or poolside, order fresh fruit, especially local fruit like the Dominican Republic’s pineapple or passion fruit.

That juicy, sweet juice running down my chin seems kinda sexy. Maybe because I’m not a home cleaning up a sticky mess.


After Beach Glam

Reading by the pool or at the beach works up an appetite. Leave the slacks at home and here’s what a mom should wear to the Caribbean. Grab inexpensive sundresses like this one.

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The secret is the shoes. Pack some espadrilles with a wedge heel. The wedge is surprisingly comfortable for walking. And the ties are definitely sexy.

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Another must accessory is the clutch purse. Pack a inexpensive clutch for dinner to stash lipstick, your phone and room key card.

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Now you’re all set for the beach. But don’t forget to pack the sunscreen in 3-ounce containers that you can pack into your carry-on luggage. Sunscreen is crazy expensive at a resort.

What to do and Where to Stay in Punta Cana

After two trips to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, it’s a favorite. Read this Guide to Punta Cana for an overview. And here’s a list of the top excursions and day trips in Punta Cana.

The Hilton La Romana All Inclusive

Ocean Blue and San by H10 Hotels in Playa Bavaro


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Your beach trip is booked. Now it's time to go shopping for some must haves for Moms. Look glamorous and comfortable this trip with these Mom Must Haves. #Beach #PackingList

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