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Mexico Packing List | 33 Things Not To Forget

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.

Its 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.

But what do you pack for such an epic vacation. After spending a lot of time in Mexico, and making several trips, I can say for certain, what you should pack and what you should leave behind.

Its important to have the essentials as well as some fun pieces to enjoy on your trip.

This list will help remind you of all the possible things you might need or want to pack to have a truly wonderful vacation.

Whether you are relaxing on the beach the whole time, trekking through the jungles, going to Oaxaca to eat tacos, or Mexico city for a culinary experience we have you covered.

The Ultimate Mexico Packing List

1. Passport 

To get across the border, youll 100% need your passport. You wont be able to leave the country without it so its most important that you dont forget it!

However, you can also get in if you have a passport card and you don’t want to take your full passport.

It is always a good idea to bring an extra id and copies of your passport incase the unthinkable happens. Always better to be prepared.

Don’t have one, but still want a tropical escape? Check out these great tropical places where no passport is needed.

2. Beach Diversion Safe

We’ve all been there. Sitting on the hot beach and wanting to jump in the water, but also not wanting to leave our valuables on the beach unattended.

Yes, it is always smarter to leave them behind in the hotel room, but that is not always an option.

This disguised sunscreen bottle is the perfect place to store your phone, money, and cards while you take that much-needed swim.

This is a must for beach destination trips to Mexico.

Mexico has some pretty cool beach towns worth checking out.

3. Mexico Travel Insurance 

Let’s face it, if covid taught us anything, it’s that the world we live is unpredictable and that anything can happen. That is why it is so important to travel with travel insurance.

You should always purchase travel insurance before you start your vacation. It can help you with lost luggage, flight cancelation, and worst-case scenario medical evacuation.

It costs next to nothing and you can modify it for how long you are going to be gone and what kind of coverage you are looking for.

4. Reef Safe Sunscreen

The sun south of the border is very hot and you will need reef-safe sunscreen. Especially if you are hitting up some of the best surf spots in Mexico.

Its important for the protection of your skin while protecting the natural environment that you are in. We travel to these beautiful places, so we should do our best to protect them.

You also wouldnt want to ruin your trip by getting a severe sunburn on day one that will become bothersome for the rest of your vacation.

Be sure to protect your skin!

5. Bug Bands

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.

These are also great if you plan on traveling with a carry-on only. Bug spray that isn’t liquid.

6. Theftproof Purse or Wallet

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 theft-proof 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 wont need American dollars, although most tourist places will accept them.

Be sure to pack your credit cards (and dont forget to let your credit card company know youll be traveling ahead of time).

Mexican Pesos

7. Mexican Pesos

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.

This is always a good idea, so you have some local currency when you land. Especially if you plan on taking a taxi from the airport.

You also have the option of using an ATM at the airport to take out pesos, just be aware of any extra fees your bank might charge.

Also, don’t forget to tell your bank if you’ll be using your debit card while traveling.

No matter where you are heading in Mexico you will want to have some pesos.

8. Cell Phone with International Plan

One item you will want to add to your Mexico travel essentials is a cell phone with an international plan. Before you leave for a trip you will want to make sure your cell phone works in Mexico. I highly recommend Google Fi as it works anywhere in the world without extra charges.

You will especially want this if you are heading to Mexico city and plan on using Uber to get around.

9. Cooling Towel

Let’s face it, Mexico can get hot. And if you plan on being out in the sun all day you are going to want an extra way to cool off.

These cooling towels are a game changer. Rest assured that you won’t overheat with one of these.


10. Bathing Suit

This one is probably obvious, but dont forget to pack yours. You will also most likely want to bring more than one. There are more than enough places to go swimming so be prepared.

Theres nothing like a warm swim in the crystal clear and turquoise blue ocean in a Mexican sea. Nothing screams vacation more than a tropical paradise.

11. Filtered Water Bottle

You can’t drink tap 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 perfect for any beach vacation.

Filtered water bottles have also saved me loads of money and hassle from having to buy bottled water while traveling.


12. Good Beach Cover-Up

Let’s face it before you pack for Mexico, you are going to want to include a good beach cover-up. Whether you are heading to the beach or just the pool at your hotel, you are going to want something easy to throw on over your swimsuit.

While we are on the topic of the beach, you will probably want to add to your packing list for Mexico a good beach bag.

13. Pair of Polarized Sunglasses

You will not want to forget this item on your packing list for Mexico. The second you leave the airport, youll realize how bright the sun is in Mexico and youll want a good pair of polarized sunglasses almost immediately.

Yes, you will find loads of vendors selling fake Ray-Bans on the beach, but these will not protect your eyes. They only make you look cool.

Be sure to bring a good pair of polarized sunnies down from home. Your eyes will thank you.

14. Liquid I.V.

I don’t know if you are like me, but I tend to drink a little more while I am on holiday. I also don’t want to let a little hangover interrupt my holiday. So these are one of those things to pack for Mexico

I always travel with some liquid I.V to help jump-start my day and get me back on track to enjoy my vacation. No one wants to waste any time on holiday hung over.

15. Sun Protective Hat

You are going to want to bring a good sun hat for your Mexico trip. 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. Click here for more stylish travel sun hats.

16. Imodium

Traveling can do some unsettling things to our stomachs, especially down in Mexico. But you are not going to let that ruin your vacation.

Be sure to be prepared with some Imodium so you can continue on with your holiday and enjoy yourself.

I always like to take one just before I arrive to Mexico, so it starts working before I need it.

17. Light-Weight Travel Towel

Even if you are staying in a hotel or resort that provides you with beach towels.

I always love traveling with a lightweight travel towel.

It comes in handy more than you would think and is super easy and lightweight to carry around.

You can also pick them up on amazon for next to nothing if you don’t already have one.

Not only are they great for when you are out and about, but they also make great hair towels. An easy small item to pack for Mexico

18. Sandals or Flipflops

For the beach, youll 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 is better than a good pair of flipflops?

19. Sneakers

Although you are probably going to be in your flip flops for most of your Mexican vacation.

Mexico still 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 packing list for Mexico.

Also, if you plan on spending some time in the water you might want to invest in some water shoes.

20. 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.

Especially if you plan on spending some time in Mexico city.

Sometimes it is nice to get out of your bathing suit and casual clothing for a few hours and get dressed up.

You will want to bring nicer clothes especially if you plan on heading to Mexico city on your vacation, as people tend to dress up more in the city. Also, be aware that the elevation of the city is quite high, so the temperature will be much cool there.

21. Compression Packing Bags

Avoid checked bag fees by being able to fit all of your items in your carry-on bag with these compression packing bags perfect for your Mexico vacation.

These are great to add to any packing list.

Not only do they help keep your suitcase organized, but they also allow you to save space in your suitcase. If you like to stay organized while you travel, you will want to add these to your list.


22. Lightweight Travel Backpack 

Its important to have something to carry your belongings to the beach or on excursions, it is an important Mexico travel essential or any travel essential really.

A small lightweight travel 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. Other great ultralight backpack recommendations.

23. Printouts of Important Information

Its 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.

Not only for your Mexico vacation, but anytime you are traveling.

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, guidebooks, addresses to different locations, and embassy information, to name some examples.

If you plan on doing a lot of outdoor activities or water sports including surfing in Mexico, you might want to buy a GoPro.

24. Under Water Camera or GoPro

Most likely if you are going on a trip to Mexico, you are going to be doing some epic activities. With some of these activities being in or around the water.

You are going to want an underwater camera to capture the moment and remember your trip for a lifetime. You are going to want an underwater camera.

These are perfect if you plan on snorkeling in Mexico.

27. Portable Charger

Going on holiday, I tend to be on my phone 10x more than I normally would.

This is mainly due to the fact that there is a lot of standing around time. Extra time in Ubers to the airport and just waiting at the airport for your flights.

A portable charger comes in so handy.

Yes, they do have power stations at the airport, but this will avoid you sitting on the floor charging your phone or fighting for a stop to plug it in.

Not only do I always end up using mine on travel days, but they come in so handy when I am out all day exploring and using my phone as a camera.

Trust me. You will use it.


28. Shout Wipes

Traveling you don’t always have access to a washing machine.

We also tend to be out and about more often and not always taking care of our clothes.

On top of that, you want to look good on vacation, so we tend to dress a little nicer.

These wipes will help you save your clothes when you happen to slip something on them. They have saved my wardrobe more than once and now I never leave home without them.


29. Reef Safe Leave-in Conditioner 

Most likely if you are heading to Mexico, you are going to be spending some time in the Ocean. As much as I love the beachy waves it gives my hair, it also dries it out and makes it impossible to brush.

A good reef-safe leave-in conditioner will help you be able to brush your hair without damaging the ocean.


30. Facial Wipes

These come in so handy when traveling, whether you are using to take your makeup off, wash your hands or wipe down the airplane tray in front of you.

They come in handy more often than you will think.

That is why I never leave home without them. Plus they are so easy to throw in any bag.

31. Blue Tooth Connector for Airplane

Most likely you are flying into Mexico. If you are you are going to want to bring a Bluetooth connector on the airplane, so you can hook your wireless headphones up to the TV and watch their movies.

Time flies on the airplane when you are entertained.

This Bluetooth connector makes it easy to use your headphones with their entertainment system, making it easier to leave yours behind.

This will depend on what airline you are flying though, as some of the cheaper airlines don’t have TV on them and they just encourage you to bring your own device.


32. Waterproof Bag

These are pretty much a must if you plan on spending any time near the water or planning on doing any boat activities.

You will want to keep your valuables dry and undamaged.

33. Money Belt

These are a must if you plan on spending any time in cities or crowded markets in Mexico.

This money belt will help keep your valuables safe and pick-pocketers away. If you only plan on spending your time at a large Mexican resort, you won’t need one.

Boat on beach in Lo De Marco, Mexico

What Not To Add To Your Mexico Packing List

Now that youve got a list of things to pack for Mexico, 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.  Plus, who wants to carry around that extra weight?

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 For Your Packing List For Mexico

  • Its important to save room in your luggage for souvenirs or other things you may purchase during your vacation. Plus, I’m not sure why this is, but even if I don’t buy anything on my beach vacation my suitcase is always more full on the way home.
  • 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 the original copies. 
  • Give yourself a few days to pack, if youre not rushed, you’ll remember things you might’ve forgotten, and who knows, maybe youll even take a few things out of the luggage you truly wont need.
  • Lay everything out before you put it in your suitcase so you can see everything.
  • Lastly, be safe. Watch your stuff, dont 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 youve already packed or still need to grab.

Mexico is paradise and youll have a great vacation no matter what you end up packing or forgetting. As long as you plan ahead, youll be ready for the trip of a lifetime. Get your suitcase out and go have fun!

What Do You Need Before Going To Mexico?

Before going to Mexico, you are going to want to ensure that you have a valid passport that does not expire within 6 months of arriving in the country. You are also going to want to have a good suitcase that is big enough for the duration of your trip.

Should I Bring A Backpack To Mexico?

Yes! You should bring a backpack to Mexico. They are great for a carry-on item that can easily fit under the seat in front of you. They are also great for day trips and tours to carry all your items.

Does Mexico Customs Check Your Bag?

Yes! Mexico customs checks your bag when entering the country. You will be required to go through security upon arrival. They will also make you push a button and if you get a red light you will be randomly searched extra.

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