Mexico is a beautiful country full of lush green jungles, cenotes, and picturesque coastlines. Its serene beauty makes it a true tropical paradise.
Mexico is a great place to go on unforgettable adventures searching for cenotes or zip-lining through the jungle. It’s also a great place to relax on a white, sandy beach under the hot Caribbean sun. Mexico is the best of both worlds because it’s relaxing and adventurous.
Congrats! You’re headed to the tropical paradise known as Mexico. Before your trip, the dreaded (or exciting) process of packing must occur. If you are asking yourself “what do I need to put on my Mexico packing list” then you came to the right place. e
It can be stressful to be sure you’re not forgetting anything important which is why this packing guide was created. It will help you to relieve those worries and be sure you’ve got everything you need for a good time.
It’s important to have the essentials as well as some fun pieces to enjoy on your trip. Because some items can be hard to find whilst you are in Mexico.
If you’re a light packer, you can ignore some of these items that won’t be necessary to you. However, this list will help remind you of all the possible things you might need or want to pack to have a truly wonderful vacation.
This Mexico packing list starts with the true essentials and moves on to less necessary items:
To get across the border, you’ll 100% need your passport. You won’t be able to leave the country without it so it’s most important that you don’t forget it!
Also, you should pack your ID as a second form of identification.
It is a given that you shouldn’t leave home without your purse or wallet. When you are traveling, however, it is always a good idea to travel with a theftproof purse or wallet. This will give you the little extra protection you might need to save you from a catastrophic event.
It is bad enough losing your wallet to theft while you are home, but when it happens abroad it is 10 times worse and more inconvenient.
Mexico has a different currency so you won’t need American dollars, although most tourist places will accept them. Be sure to pack your credit cards (and don’t forget to let your credit card company know you’ll be traveling ahead of time).
The Mexican currency is the Peso. You can exchange American dollars for pesos at your bank ahead of time or wait until you get to Mexico to exchange your cash.
You also have the option of using an ATM to take out pesos (Make sure you inform your bank if you’ll be using your debit card while traveling).
If you take regular medication, don’t forget to bring it with you or check to make sure you can buy it when you are in down there. Mexico is known for its cheap over counter prescription drugs, but they might not have exactly what you are looking for.
Be sure to bring enough for your trip, but while you are down there you might be able to stock up on some cheaper meds.
Any products that you use daily should be packed for your trip. This could include soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, makeup, feminine hygiene products, and your toothbrush.
Don’t forget that if your luggage is a carry-on size, you can only bring travel size liquids with you. However, if you have checked luggage you might want to add to your Mexico packing list full-size products. Especially if you plan on staying in Mexico for a long period of time.
If you are only heading down for a short trip, you can buy small, reusable bottles to put your larger liquids into instead of having to buy travel size products. Other cosmetic products you might need to bring include a hairbrush, contacts or glasses (if you wear them), a razor, and even a small first aid kit.
The Caribbean sun is very hot and you will need sunscreen. It’s important for the protection of your skin but you also wouldn’t want to ruin your trip by getting a severe sunburn on day one that will become bothersome the rest of your vacation.
Be sure to protect your skin!
If you plan on doing any trips to ruins, beaches or jungles while you are in Mexico you will not want to forget the bug spray. The only thing worse than ruining your vacation with a sunburn and ruining it with forgetting the bug spray.
Don’t let those pesky mosquitos ruin your vacation. If you are bad at remembering to put it on, I highly recommend buying bug bands. They are easy bracelets you wear that give you 72 hours of protection.
8. Bathing Suit
This one is probably obvious, but don’t forget to pack a bathing suit or two. There are more than enough places to go swimming so be prepared.
There’s nothing like a warm swim in the crystal clear and turquoise blue ocean.
You will not want to forget this item on your Mexico packing list. The second you leave the airport, you’ll realize how bright the sun is in Mexico and you’ll want a pair of sunglasses almost immediately. Yes, you will find loads of venders selling fake Ray Bans on the beach, but these will not protect your eyes.
Be sure to bring a good pair of polarized sunnies down from home. Your eyes will thank you.
While bringing a hat isn’t a true necessity, it will help get the sun out of your face and give you a bit of much-needed shade.
It acts as a form of shelter from the sun when you need it most. They are also great for preventing premature wrinkles. I never travel anywhere without a hat.
Even if you are staying in a hotel or resort that provides you with beach towels. I always love traveling with a light-weight travel towel. It comes in handy more than you would think and is super easy and light-weight to carry around. You can also pick them up on amazon for next to nothing if you don’t already have one.
For the beach, you’ll want a pair of sandals or flip flops. They’re easy to clean off and they will keep your feet breathable and refreshed, especially in hot temperatures.
Plus what says vacation better than a good pair of sandals.
Mexico has a diverse landscape and it’s good to have a pair of sneakers if you plan to do some exploring and walking around. It’s also a good shoe to wear when walking around the airport. If you plan to do any outdoor hiking or exploring you will want to add a good pair of sneakers to your Mexico packing list.
14. Fancy Outfit
It goes without saying that you need to bring clothes on your Mexican vacation. However, you also might want to think about bringing one outfit in case you decide to go for a fancy dinner.
Sometimes it is nice to get out of your bathing suit and casual clothing for a few hours and get dressed up.
It’s important to have something to carry your belongings to the beach or on excursions. A small lightweight backpack comes in handy more than you would think. It is easy to throw all your belongings in it and head out for the day.
I love the Osprey backpacks, they are lightweight and don’t take up too much room.
You may want to pack some reading materials to entertain yourself on the plane or when relaxing by the beach or pool. Kindles are great because you can bring as many books as you want to Mexico and it still only takes up a fraction of space and weight.
This is an essential item to add to your Mexico packing list or any packing list.
You can’t drink the water in Mexico, so unless you want to buy bottled water all the time, it would be a good idea to buy a filtered water bottle. This is a water bottle that will filter your tap water and make any water drinkable.
They are great to travel with and help to save the environment. Filtered water bottles have also saved me loads of money and hassle from having to buy bottled water while traveling.
18. Printouts of Important Information
It’s a great idea to pack copies of your important documents as a backup. For example, you should always travel with a copy of your passport and ID that you can leave in a separate bag from the originals. You’ll never know when you are going to need it and when you need it, you NEED it.
You can also bring printed copies of your hotel arrangements, itineraries, guide books, addresses to different locations, and embassy information, to name some examples.
Don’t forget a camera or your cell phone for capturing beautiful moments during your vacation. What is a trip to Mexico if you don’t have any photos to remember it by? If you plan on doing a lot of outdoor activities or water sports including surfing in Mexico, you might want to buy a GoPro.
20. Other Small Items to Bring
- Hand sanitizer – The perfect thing to throw in your bag to use at places like the airport
- Electronic chargers – Don’t forget the charger for your phone, laptop, or camera!
- Pen and paper – This is important in case you have something you quickly need to jot down to remember. It doesn’t take up much space but it’s a good precaution.
What Not To Add To Your Mexico Packing List
Now that you’ve got a list of what to pack, this is a list of what not to pack. It’s good to save space in your luggage for souvenirs or other mementos. Overpacking can be very stressful, especially at the end of your trip when you’re trying to cram everything back in.
1. Expensive Items
If you have expensive or cherished items such as jewelry it’s a good idea to leave them home unless it’s necessary. It’s better to not have to worry about them during your trip.
2. Curly Iron or Blow Dryers
If you are planning a trip to the beach, leave the curling iron and blow dryers behind. The beach is hot and humid. Let your hair go all-natural. If you try to style your hair as you do back home, you will only be disappointed when if goes flat right after leaving your hotel or Airbnb.
3. Lots of Cash
Cash is king, and it is always good to have some on hand, but it is good to not draw attention to yourself as well. It is better to get cash as you need it during your trip. Mexico is full of ATMs all over the place, so it won’t be hard to do.
Other Things to Consider when packing for Mexico
- It’s important to save room in your luggage for souvenirs or other things you may purchase during your vacation.
- Having printouts and backups of your information is important in case something were to happen to your belongings. Keep these in a separate place from original copies.
- Give yourself a few days to pack, if you’re not rushed, you’ll remember things you might’ve forgotten, and who knows, maybe you’ll even take a few things out of the luggage you truly won’t need.
- Lastly, be safe. Watch your stuff, don’t leave anything unattended, and keep your belongings guarded at all times.
Good luck with your Mexico packing list! Take your time, use this list to check off items you’ve already packed or still need to grab.
Mexico is paradise and you’ll have a great vacation no matter what you end up packing or forgetting. As long as you plan ahead, you’ll be ready for the trip of a lifetime. Get your suitcase out and go have fun!