My first trip to Mexico I packed everything that wasn’t glued down. Although you might want pack three pair of cute wedges I guarantee you they will never see the light of day! This Mexico packing list will have everything you need.
Do you really want to be lugging heavy ass luggage through the airport, bus station or taxi to your hotel? My packing list will have you looking less like a tourist but a well traveled traveler.
The only thing that matters when packing for Mexico is how many bathing suits you will need.
I have traveled to Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Oaxaca just to name a few but my packing list can be adapted to any Caribbean or Latin American destination.
I have created a list of all the things you need to bring on vacation – organized by category so you will not miss a thing.
I have traveled to Mexico both solo and with my family dozens of times and I am often asked, “What do I need to pack for Mexico”? So I decided to put together this packing list for Latin America.
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Packig for Mexico
Generally speaking, when in Mexico most of your days will be spent drinking cocktails at your resort’s swim up bar!
You will find helpful tips on packing for Mexico, examples of what to wear depending on the time of the year, day or night activities and the weather in Mexico for your travel dates.
In addition to the packing list for Mexico, I will also provide safety tips to help you feel more secure while traveling to Mexico .
Checklist for traveling to Mexico
I have broken this Mexico packing list up into the categories: Travel documents/cash, luggage, inflight essentials, clothes, shoes, toiletries, makeup, bags, gadgets, and accessories.
You need to think about these four major things when considering packing for your trip to Mexico.
- The time of year you are visiting and the weather
- How much walking you will do
- How much luggage you want to take
- Your personal style
“MUST-PACK” ESSENTIALS BEFORE YOU DEPART FOR MEXICO
These items are the ones you absolutely must pack for your trip to Mexico
Passport – Is good practice to have at least 6 months validity on your passport. Make sure you make copies of your passport and I also take a picture of my passport and store the image on my phone as well.
Visa(s) – make sure you have read and understood the visa requirements for your nationality. 3 month (90 days) visitor visas are issued on arrival to nationals of the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Insurance – do not forget to organize insurance for your trip. It’s one of those things that you probably won’t use but is essential if something goes wrong on your travels like when I got extremely sick in the Czech Republic which was the one time I didn’t purchase insurance. Lesson learned!
Money — I recommend bringing two credit cards (one to use, and one to keep as a backup), and your debit card.
Make sure you use credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. For the life of GAWD do not exchange money in the airport. I suggest withdrawing money from an ATM once you get there or you can purchase Pesos at your bank if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Best Luggage Brands
With so many choices on the market today, deciding between the best luggage brands can be a challenge. Identifying the best luggage depends on your personal taste and style.
When deciding which luggage brands best suits your needs – interior space, size, and airlines’ requirements are just a few of the things you should be looking for in a luggage.
Kenneth Cole 2 piece luggage set, Bric’s X Travel Carry-on Spinner, Laptop Backpack, Tory Burch Backpack: These items are perfect for a trip to Mexico thanks to their size and material.
You will also be able to pack a few souvenirs as well without feeling like your luggage is about to burst at the seams.
The Personal Items
If you’re wondering what to pack for Mexico for hanging out at the beach I suggest these sturdy daypacks and beach bags for going to the beach, taking day trips and hikes.
You should be able to fit everything you need in one backpack that is water-resistant and sturdy.
- Bang & Olufsen Noise-Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones and Airplane Adapter: These are a great pair of affordable, yet durable headphones for the airplane.
- Travel Pillow.
- Sleeping Mask.
- A pair of socks.
- Hand sanitizer
Comfort is paramount on vacation, but that also means avoiding disapproving stares because you are dressed inappropriately or being harassed by local men.
You can still be stylish without offending the locals. It’s extremely hot in Mexico so follow their lead and pack clothes with clean lines, neutral colors and easy-to-care-for fabrics.
I suggest wearing shorts, tank tops, long sundresses, and maybe a cute skirt:
- 3 Basic Tank Tops
- 3 Basic T-Shirts
- 2 Maxi Dress
- 3 Blouses Nice Dress up blouses for dinner
- 4 Pairs of Panties — You can wash out easily.
- 2 Yoga Pants — hiking or lounging around.
- 3 Swimsuit — Every girl needs multiple bathing suits
- 1 travel wrap — Double as a wrap for restaurants because it’s always cool
What To Pack For Mexico: Shoes
Flats, stylish sandals, cute flip flops and sneakers are a great option and can easily transition from exploring Mayan ruins to a lovely Mexican restaurant.
I also suggest leaving your heels and wedges at home because they will be brutal to your feet so please leave them at home.
- Tory Burch Napa Leather Sandal: Great for dinner or casually strolling through Mexican towns
- Women’s Gazelle sneakers: Comfortable sneakers are a must if you’re packing for a trip to Mexico. Between snorkeling and hiking you’ll need a sturdy and comfortable pair.
- Calvin Klein Ballet Flats: These casual yet stylish ballet flats will do the trick for dinner or a night out on the town.
- Tory Burch Espadrilles: Pack your favorite pair of flip-flops for the beach, of course.
- New Balance Sneaker: These breathable sneakers are great for any day excursions that might be on your itinerary and for days when you’ll be walking a lot.
- Mosquito-Repellent Bracelet: Yes, Mexico has mosquitos so you will need a repellent – Avoid chemicals and the smell of DEET bug spray by just wearing a bracelet.
- Good Vibes Only Sun Kit: Sunscreen, after-sun lotion, lip balm, and face sunscreen all in one convenient, travel-sized kit. If you travel to Mexico during the summer months please remember the sun is brutal!
- Hand Sanitizer: I am not a germaphobe but I prefer not to be sick while traveling so please use hand sanitizer as often as possible.
Makeup Essentials For Mexico
- Eye Pencil
- Makeup brushes
- Face Cleanser
- Hair styling products
- Hair brush/comb
- Hair bands
- Toothpaste / floss
- Feminine hygiene products
- Nail file / scissors
Best Purse and Crossbody
Must Pack Gadgets
- GoPro Hero 7: This camera is great to take on your travels, as it’s small, durable, and allows you to capture pictures and videos of your entire journey, both in the water and out.
- Anker Portable Phone Charger: Pack a portable charger to keep your phone charged after taking all those amazing Italy Instagramable photos.
- Selfie Stick with Tripod: For what to pack for Mexico for your phone, you should make sure you have a selfie stick with a tripod to take all of those awesome selfies.
Don’t Forget Your Medications:
- Pain Relief: you know what works best for you, bring your favorite products from home for headaches, joint, and muscle pain
- Constipation Relief: Traveler’s constipation is real and you don’t want to be uncomfortable while on vacation.
- Sea Bands & Non-Drowsy Dramamine — If you’re prone to motion sickness I strongly recommend adding Sea Bands to your Mexico packing list especially if you are taking excursions to see the Arch or taking a day trip to Tulum.
What To Leave at Home:
I am not one of those people who can pack for two weeks in a carry on but after years of traveling, I have learned to leave somethings behind.
Leave items you will probably not use will be extra heavy or can be found easily at your destination.
- Valuables: Leave anything that’s flashy at home to avoid being a target for pickpockets.
- Full-sized shampoo and conditioner – too heavy and take up too much room and will weigh your luggage down.
- Guidebooks – You don’t need to walk around with a guide book in your hand. Read them before you go or download the Lonely Planet Mexico Travel Guide ebook
- Hairdryer – most hotels provide hair dryers
- Books– I am on the fence on books because I am old school and I love to hold books or magazines in my hand but some are extremely heavy so you can invest in a Kindle or download the books to your iPad or phone.
Best Travel Apps
If you are like every other person in the world your phone will be in your hand at all time so here are a few must have travel apps while you are exploring Mexico:
- Uber (iOS | – Yes, Ubers are safe in Mexico.
- Duolingo (iOS | – I suggest learning a a few key phrases but if you still need help the Duolingo will help you learn spanish phrases, vocabulary and grammar.
- Google translate (iOS | – Use Google Translate to help you understand signs, menus, and conversations you can’t quite understand.
The Weather In Mexico
Always, always check the weather forecast a week before your trip to see what is in store when planning what to wear in Mexico.
Nothing will ruin your trip quicker than not being prepared for rain or the blistering heat of Mexico.
After you have researched the weather then you begin to focus on creating an Instagram worthy travel wardrobe which will fit easily in your suitcase and I suggest using packing cubes to store outfits by the day of the week.
Safety Tips While Traveling To Mexico
Make sure you take extra precautions while traveling to certain parts of Mexico because pickpockets and petty crime are at an all-time high in certain regions. Professional thieves can pick tourist out in their sleep.
If you don’t want to look like a tourist I suggest packing a sturdy leather purse that hangs in the front of your body and not on the sides or back.
I wasn’t a big fan of Fanny packs initially but they are starting to grow on me so fanny packs and travel scarfs are an option to keep your money and credit cards safe.
Keep important documents like passports, visas, money and credit cards in a money belt or try an anti theft diversion kit. Keep thieves at bay with hair brushes, deodorant, hair spray or other items that look like the real deal!
In addition to all these physical items definitely make sure to also bring: an open heart & mind, patience, a balanced sense of humor and an adventurous spirit!
Conclusion of Mexico Packing List
Keep in mind that bad things can anywhere not just in Mexico but I am sure there are crimes taking place right in your very own neighborhood.
No matter where you go in Mexico, follow the common-sense rules that are listed above like drinking only in moderation, getting a cab instead of wandering around after dark, and leaving your expensive watches and rings at home.
Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!
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