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Ultimate Packing List for Mexico – What to pack for Mexico?

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Are you on your way to a tropical paradise in Mexico? And wondering what to pack and wear? Well, you are in the right place. In this ultimate packing list for Mexico guide, we will provide you with tips on what to pack for Mexico – items that you MUST carry, items that you must avoid, including what to wear at different times of the year and regions.

Mexico is not only a beautiful beach holiday destination, but it is also a country full of culture, history and adventure activities. 

Ultimate Packing List for Mexico – What to pack for Mexico?

What to pack for Mexico
What to pack for Mexico

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

SHOP ITEMS BELOW 

 SWIMWEAR(TOP) // SWIMWEAR (HIGH WAIST BOTTOMS) // SHORT DRESS // TOPS // FLATS // SUN-HAT// CLEAR CASE // GO PRO // BEACH TOWEL // RAYBAN SUNGLASSES // SUNSCREEN // BEACH BAG – STRAW // WEDGE HEALS // AWAY CARRY ON // WATER PROOF PHONE POUCH

Printable Mexico Packing List 

  

Weather & Terrain: Tips for Mexico Packing List

As you might already know, Mexico’s terrain consists of plateaus and mountains with a warm temperature mostly, while some other parts have a tropical climate. Summers are usually very hot and humid and the warm winds from the Caribbean cause rain in the Mexican coastal areas in the summer.

May to October are rainy months and in recent years, those regions have witnessed hurricanes as well. The Cancun and the Riviera Maya areas (which are popular tourist destinations) have not experienced any damages due to the hurricanes. These areas remain warm throughout the year and are dry, with little to no rains. The wettest areas are located in the lowland on the Caribbean.

Parts of central and southern parts of Mexico could get very cold in the winters as they are located at an altitude. Mexico City- the capital, can reach freezing temperatures in the winter and you might also see some snow-capped volcanoes at a higher elevation.

There are essentially 3 seasons in Mexico. 

Mexico SeasonMonthsWhat to Expect
RainyMay - OctWarm and chilly evenings
Little to no rainDec - AprDry, hot and humid
Hurricane June - NovCheck weather/news alerts (in Yucatan Peninsula)

Travel Document Checklist for traveling to Mexico 

As always first things first – pack your travel documents inside your carry-on or backpack

  • Check your passport (expiry dates)
  • Carry your secondary photo ID
  • Mexico Travel Insurance – Insure your Mexico vacation. Take travel insurance against medical emergencies, loss of damage, and trip cancellations. Click here to get travel insurance quotes for your trip
  • Check and confirm your flight and resort/hotel reservations. Take a copy of the bookings
  • Wallet – Pesos, Credit cards (credit cards were handy in Mexico rather than converting currency to Pesos). Many stores and restaurants will take USD but will return the change in Pesos. We recommend not carrying too much cash or converting money for purchases or bookings in Mexico. Try to book tours, hotels ahead of time, and online. For souvenirs and restaurants, use credit cards. Some food stalls won’t have credit card machines, but most businesses will take USD. 
  • Organize them and carry them in a passport wallet. If you are looking for a minimalist passport wallet, you might like this one, it’s my new favorite – click to check the passport cover wallet here
  • Hotels Booking: We recommend using Booking.com to find accommodation. It is our favorite hotel’s website for quickly comparing the prices of multiple hotel booking sites at once. 

If you only have a few days left for your trip, don’t worry many of these items can be purchased online and delivered the next day with Amazon Prime.

Carryon or Suitcase – Essential Items Mexico Packing Checklist

We prefer traveling light (no baggage fees on airplanes), with our carry-ons. Our preferred carry-on is a 40 L size backpack. To keep my dresses and other clothing organized, I use packing cubes. 

SUPER ESSENTIALS

Shoes or waterproof Sneakers

For exploring Mexico City or the Mayan ruins (all of the Ruins Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba, or Merida), keep in mind you will be walking a lot, especially at the ruins. Don’t wear heels or flip flops, wear comfortable walking shoes. Sure you can opt for running shoes, they will be comfortable to wear during dry or summer months. But in the rainy season, opt for water shoes.

Water shoes and waterproof walking shoes are GREAT options to carry with you so that you walk or hike the uneven Yucatan jungles or climb the top of the Coba pyramid. 

For this trip, I paired up my outfits with white sneakers, but they were not waterproof shoes and Salil wore Black Adidas shoes. They were comfortable for walking (as I use them even at home), but it is no longer sparkly white.

If you are heading to Xcaret or indulging in any water sports, highly recommend carrying water shoes.

Shoes for Mexico

Rash Guard for underwater activities 

A rash guard is useful to protect you against rashes caused by abrasion, or by sunburn. You can wear a rash guard as an additional protective layer of water wear – this is helpful for underwater activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, etc.


 

A fitted athletic garment, a rash guard is made of spandex, nylon or polyester.

Sand-free microfiber beach towel

I love fancy pretty looking towels, but they bring so much sand back to the hotel, and don’t even look at my beach bag – so gross!

If you are like me and struggle with bringing sand from the beach, try these magical sand-free beach towels. They are also fashionably cool, and with one quick shake you can say goodbye to the sand on the beach, and keep your beach totes clean. 

This microfiber beach towel from Amazon is lightweight, it dries quickly and is SANDFREE! Pack it now, it also comes in a handy little carrying pouch

Bug Spray and mosquito repellent

If visiting the Mayan ruins are on your bucket list, get ready to smear your bodies with bug spray and mosquito repellents prior to your visit. Mayan ruins are located in the forested areas of Yucatan, and regardless of the month or time of day, you must use it to protect yourself and enjoy sightseeing. 

Must Carry

Kindle eReader for the beach!

If you love reading, consider taking an e-reader with you. We LOVE our Kindles. We are currently madly in love with the newest version of Kindle, which is super lightweight and it fits into my small cross-body travel bag as well as my beach tote.

 This new Kindle paper-white is also waterproof, so you can get a lot of reading done under the sun while lazing at the resort pool or at the beach. Load all the books, PDFs, magazines, everything you want (it can fit up to 6000 books on the go, without killing any trees or weighing your bag down). I am sure you won’t be without a book or magazine on your entire trip!

We forgot, but you should pack this for Mexico – Entry-level Go-Pro & waterproof phone pouch

We want to share one item that we forgot to carry, and that is a waterproof camera like GoPro – they are a must if you wish to capture water activities or take pictures in the pool. We couldn’t take photos together at the pool for this reason. Entry-level GoPros start at $300 USD. Click to view our camera guide and the list of cameras under $300 USD

Gran Porto Resort Playa del Carmen is one of the best all inclusive hotels located near 5th avanue in PDC, Mexico. Read an honest review written by a guest.

Another IMPORTANT item is a waterproof phone pouch. We keep our cell phones close to us and share pictures via social media. If you are at the pool or lazying on a floatie, you are running the risk of wrecking your phone. My iPhone (7 plus) is not waterproof.

Without this handy pouch, don’t take your phone into the water/pool.

What clothes to bring to Mexico for everyday wear

If you are headed to Mexico for warm weather and an all-inclusive vacation, carry casual and comfortable clothing to wear at the resort, markets and even to go on sightseeing. 

If you are visiting Mexico City during colder months (and for late evenings) carry warm clothing with you. Rainy months (May to October) and for indulging in water activities waterproof shoes, rain guard/waterproof jackets are a must. 

Tops and T-shirts

Carry 2 to 3 T-shirts and flowy or cotton tops. Try to pair them with your bottoms, mix and match style. On my trip, I wore casual and flowy tops with shorts. 

Shorts, Skirts, beach or linen pants

Carry 1-2 bottoms max. Denim shorts can be paired with almost anything. Wear them at the beach or at the resort. Linen cotton/airy pants are a must when you are out and about exploring. Probably the best items if you are heading to the ruins (you can keep off mosquitoes and heat). Pants are also a good idea while traveling in the evenings or in colder cities like Mexico City.

Just for the beach or lounging around at the resort, you can wear comfortable beach pants. Click to view my favorite beach pants from Patagonia.

Flowy Dresses (for her)

Flowy dresses look great in photos. So yes carry some that are light-colored or pastel colors made with breathable fabric. Carry 1- 2 flowy long dresses and a short dress like this one or this one. 

Wedges Shoe (for her)

If you are planning for a nice dinner or a get-together or even a pool party, carry wedges heel to pair with your skirts and flowy dresses. They are comfortable to wear and they also look pretty.

Bamboo Bag

There are bamboo bags that look great in the beachy background (and pictures).

Sunglasses for sun protection

Carry sun protection for your eyes. We love our RayBans. Here we what we wore in Mexico

Sweat Licking Socks

Mexico’s coastal areas are hot and humid and these socks will help you feel and stay refreshed all day long. Click to view moisture or sweat licking socks here.

Scarf

I always like to add a scarf, as it can dress up and refresh an outfit instantly. Carry some bright colored cotton scarves.

Here is my favorite from Gucci. This is a 50% wool blend, so they are handy in-flight. But were super helpful as the A/C inside the resort and tour vans were a tiny bit cold for me!

Light sweater or Cardigan

This is a MUST have for in-flight when the AC is blowing or even inside the resort and restaurants. If you are like me, you will always be cold (wherever you go and I am Canadian, btw). You will also need woollies if visiting Mexico City in the winter months, so carry one.

Rain Jacket (for mountainous areas)

If you are visiting Mexico during the rainy months or exploring mountains, carry a waterproof (rain) light jacket. It will not only keep you dry, but you can also use this as a layering piece if the temperature drops down. Carry a packable rain jacket like this one

Underwear – Of course!

What to wear in Mexico – at the Beach and all-inclusive resort

Enjoying in the sandy beaches of Mexico - What to Wear in Mexico Beach
What to Wear in Mexico Beach

If you are traveling to Cancun or Riviera Maya, most likely you will be chilling at a beach or your resort pool. And if you are wondering what to pack for Cancun – here are your must-haves for a beach vacation. You can add 1-3 pieces for each, but if you are staying for longer, we recommend washing clothes rather then carrying tons of it.

Swimsuits

Of course! Whether you are at a resort pool or a cenote in Yucatan or chilling at Tulum beach, you need bathing suits. Carry 1-3 swimwear

Cover up

This is super essential, especially in the summertime. Cover-ups give you instant sun protection while on the beach. I had also styled it with my top and shorts while exploring the Mayan Ruins of Tulum – so versatile. You can check one out right here – this is a must-have item. TRUST ME.

Girl at Tulum Ruins Mexico (One day in Tulum Itinerary Ruinas de Tulum Playa del Carmen (Tulum Ruins Tour) 

Flip flops for the beach and all-inclusive resort

If you want to enjoy the sandy white beaches, you need to be barefoot, feel the heat, and the soft sand. Flip flops will rescue you after. You don’t want to wear wedges or heels after a stroll at the beach or a swim.  Check out these flip flops from Old Navy – very affordable

Hat

Hats make you beach ready. It gives you sun protection, style, and looks great in pictures. Check out of this Instagram-worthy “hello sunshine” straw hats

Beach Tote 

A MUST item to carry all of your belongings. Extra clothes, electronics, hat, hair ties, towel, mat, Kindle, camera, selfie stick, and more. Here is one of my favorite beach tote

Exploring Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins of Mexico - With Mexico Packing List
Exploring Chichen Itza

Packing for In-flight – Mexico Packing List

You can refer to our list of carry-on essentials for in-flights for the full listicle. But here are the ESSENTIALS

Cosmetics/Medications packing for Mexico

Here is your essential list of items, in terms of cosmetics and medications. This is a general list, feel free to add additional medications or cosmetics if you desire.

Essentials – Cosmetics/Toiletries

MUST INCLUDE: If you are exploring Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan, carry both bug spray and mosquito repellent, plus sunscreen. 

Essentials – Medications

  • Motion sickness
  • Stomach Aches
  • Other required medications
Beautiful Beach in Tulum Mexico - Enjoy your Mexico Vacation, with packing tips for Mexico
Tulum Beach

Electronics – What to pack for a trip to Mexico

Essential Apps for Mexico Vacation Checklist

Here are some mobile apps that you should consider downloading before your trip to Mexico

Mexico Vacation Ideas and Mexico Packing tips for the beach
Mexico Beaches

Other Items – Mexico Packing List

What not to carry to Mexico? Packing List for Mexico

  •  Don’t carry a LOT of cash.
  •  Avoid flashy, pretty items especially leather goods. It will be too hot and humid to even enjoy them
  •  Don’t carry jewelry or formal attires

How to dress up in Mexico? Style Inspiration for Mexican Vacation

It is hard to not look like a tourist in Mexico. Chances are you will. But it not a bad thing. If you are exploring the Yucatan Region and staying in an all-inclusive resort, you will be treated like royalty. Food and drinks, pool parties, and entertainment come with your resort stay, so enjoy the SUN and FUN.

Outfit Inspirations for Mexico - Mexico Packing Tips
Outfits for Mexico

Wear your swimwear and relax at the pool. Ensure you have your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses on.

If you are exploring the Mayan ruins and want some amazing pictures- head there early (when gates open), wear a long flowy dress (or linen pants for boys) to capture some great shots. Long dresses and long pants will keep mosquitoes at bay. Mosquitoes are common in the forested Yucatan region.

Apply mosquito repellent and sunscreen when exploring. Don’t forget your comfortable shoes and sweat licking socks while walking. Carry an umbrella or a hat if you like.

For casual evenings, pair your dress with wedges or match your skirt with a nice top.

Mexico is dry and hot. Carry your water bottle. Don’t drink tap water in Mexico, it’s not safe. If you are not used to spicy food or jalapenos – limit its consumption. Carry stomach medications. Most of all, enjoy your time and have fun. 

Regional Variations across Mexico: Packing List Hacks 

While preparing for your Mexico trip, here are regional variations to keep in mind – 

  • Yucatan Region – Most popular with tourists. This area is close to the sea and remains warm throughout the year. Expect hurricane season from June to November, so check weather alerts before departing for your trip. We traveled to Riviera Maya in September and it was hurricane season, but Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancun were fine. 
    • Carry – Sunscreen, bathing suit, water shoes, stylish beach, and resort wear
  • Southern and Central Mexico – Warm days and cooler nights. This type of weather is usually quite pleasant to stay outdoors. Expect rains from May to October and low temperatures in December – February.
    • Carry – Sunscreen, waterproof light jacket and water shoes, cardigan and scarf
  • Northern Mexico – Warm and hot summers. Winter months are from late December to January, when you can even see some snowfall on the ground.
    • Carry – Sunscreen, light jacket for summers. Warm scarf, cardigan or thick jacket for winters. 
  • Gulf Region – Close to Cuba. This area is hot and humid for most time of the year. This region is also prone to hurricanes and tropical storms.
    • Carry – Sunscreen, bathing suit, sun hat
  • Mexico’s Pacific Coast – Another area close to the beach! Popular with tourists. Expect weather similar to Riviera Maya – with rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes. 
    • Carry – Sunscreen, bathing suit, water shoes, stylish beach, and resort wear

We hope you found this list useful in preparing for your trip to Mexico. Don’t forget to book some tours to enjoy the history and cultural side of Mexico.

 

Additional Resources for Mexico

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Pin: Ultimate Packing List for Mexico – What to pack for Mexico?

Packing List for Mexico
Packing List for Mexico
Packing for Mexico Riviera Maya, Cancun and beyond - what to wear at the beaches and every day, what to pack for Mexico sightseeing and at any time of the year. What to pack for Mexico outfits and how to mix and match the wardrobe and take them in suitcases and carry on bags. Also get the travel document essentials and tips for long flights. Explore the Mexico all inclusive resorts and vacation destinations ideas and packing tips - Ultimate Packing list for Mexico. #Mexico
Mexico Packing List

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