Tulum Packing List: The Ultimate Guide and Packing List
After booking your dream vacation to Tulum, one of the most exciting and equally as stressful next steps is deciding on what to wear and what to pack.
Some people love the process of planning out fabulous and trendy outfits for their warm week on the beach. Others find packing to be daunting because they fear they’ll, pack too little, pack too much or forget something and the list goes on.
Whether you’re a savvy packer or a worried packer, this Tulum packing list will help you decide what to bring in order to make sure you don’t overpack or under pack and that you’re prepared for the weather and the landscape.
Get excited because Tulum is on the radar and you’ll feel so much better once the packing process is complete.
Tulum has a very laid-back and trendy atmosphere among guests and locals.
This is why it is a favorite place to visit in Mexico. It is full of amazing hotels, restaurants, and resorts that visitors love to stay at.
The beaches are powdery-soft and the views of the clear, turquoise ocean are unmatchable.
Because Tulum is so beautiful and exciting, it can be intimidating to plan for.
You’ll either be the type of visitor who doesn’t care about appearances because you’re there to relax or you totally want to fit in with the IT crowd of Tulum.
Either way, we’ll help ease your stress and worry. Other cities in Mexico have similar vibes to Tulum such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cabo so this Tulum Packing List could be useful if you’re traveling to some other cities in Mexico as well.
For the most part, the things you’ll need to bring are pretty basic which is why our list works for both the simple and extravagant packers.
We’ll let you know exactly what you’ll need and then elevate those necessities for the chic tourists.
Feel free to use what you need from this Tulum packing list and inspiration guide to help you get ready for your dream vacation.
The Tulum Essentials to Pack
Because Tulum is all about relaxing, you don’t have to plan to dress up if you don’t want to.
A few bathing suits, some coverups, a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt would suffice for each day.
You could also bring additional outfits for night dates and strolls around Tulum. People usually dress up a bit more at night and wear dresses or button-up shirts.
If you want to keep it simple, that’ll definitely work.
Enjoy bringing out your best outfits for vacations? Tulum is the perfect place you can get a little fancier with your day-to-day options.
Besides the basics mentioned above, you could pack trendy sun hats, rompers, or skirts to wear over your bathing suit instead of a t-shirt and shorts, and some cute flowy dresses for nighttime.
What to Pack for Tulum Based on Weather
You can pretty much count on good weather in Tulum, that’s probably why you’ve chosen it as your next destination.
August is the warmest month with highs of 90 and a low of 75 but it stays pretty consistent.
December through February are the coolest months with averages in the 70s. So if you are planning to visit in these months you will most likely want to pack a pair of jeans and a light sweater.
No matter when you travel to Mexico, don’t forget how important sunscreen is. Even if it feels breezy or cool, you can still burn.
Rain is also more common May through October which is something to keep in mind.
Activities in Tulum to Pack for
There is so much more to do in Tulum than just sitting on the beach all day. If you’re just looking to park yourself down in the sand that’s totally fine, but if you have an adventurous side, keep reading.
There may be some things you’ll want to save room for in your luggage that will be useful if you choose to partake in some activities in Tulum.
If you’ll be discovering the majestic freshwater sinkholes in Mexico known as cenotes, you may want to some sneakers. Most cenotes are located in the jungle or off the beaten path a bit and require more than just your bare feet.
Sandals might work if there’s a good path, but do a bit of research ahead of time if you know which cenotes you’ll be visiting.
Snorkeling and Diving
There is plenty of good snorkeling and diving in Tulum. If you are not a certified diver and only plan on snorkeling, most hotels will provide you with gear. Also if you plan on doing a guided tour it’s usually provided.
However, if you plan on staying in an Airbnb or another type of accommodation, you may want to bring your own.
Also, if you plan on snorkeling in the hot sun, it is always a good idea to wear a rash guard or apply plenty of sunscreen to your back and back of your legs so you don’t burn.
Be sure to use reef safe sunscreen as they are very strict with it in the cenotes. As they want to keep them safe and protected
Most likely you will be doing a lot of walking in Tulum. Especially if you plan on visiting the ancient Mayan ruins.
Tulum is also great for biking along the coast. It is also a great spot to get outdoors and just explore. I highly recommended that you bring sneakers.
You’ll be way more comfortable and you wouldn’t want to hurt yourself in flip flops or sandals.
Tulum Packing List
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: The ultimate Tulum packing list. This guide is based on the assumption you’ll be spending a week in Tulum and you plan on packing light.
If you’ll be there for a longer or shorter amount of time please take that into account.
You’ll be living and breathing in bathing suits for your entire vacation. Since they don’t take up very much space and you’ll be in one all day every day, our suggestion is to bring 3.
This will give you enough to always have a dry one and will leave extra room in your suitcase in case your want to buy one in Tulum : )
You are going to want something, easy to throw on during the day where you still will look great. Day dresses are great because they make you feel sexy, it doesn’t take long to get ready and they don’t take up much space.
Work Out Shorts/ Tanks x 3
The key to smart packing is only bringing the footwear that you are going to need. Shoes take up internally way too much space. If you want to be a smart packer, bring only what you need. One nice pair of flat sandals to go out in, flip-flops for the day, and sneakers for exploring.
To save you space in your suitcase we recommend that you wear your sneakers on the plane.
Leave the high heels behind
For when the sun goes down and you’re enjoying a nice dinner or strolling around Tulum, you’ll want to have a couple of nicer dresses.
You will also want to pack a nice pair of jeans and a light sweater, in case it gets cold.
You will want one good cover-up to add to your Tulum packing list. This will come in handy at the beach or a poolside party. Sometimes you just want something easier than a dress to throw on.
Don’t let the Mexican sun burn your eyes. Invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Also, don’t be fooled to buy a fake pair off the vendors on the beach. These have no UV protection, even if they say they do, there is no regulation on them. They may look cool, but they do not protect your eyes.
When you plan on spending time in the sun it is always a good idea to wear a hat. This will help keep the sun off your face and help to prevent premature wrinkles. This is one top of wearing sunscreen on your face.
Sleepwear x 1
Besides your daytime outfits, you’ll need clothes for sleeping. You should be all set with tee shirts and shorts or a nightgown. You should only need one set of nightclothes that you can wear, especially because you’ll only be sleeping in them. If you want to save room in your suitcase sleep in the buff.
If you plan on visiting any of the cenotes while you are on vacation you will want to add a dry bag to your Tulum packing list. This will help keep your phone, camera, and other items dry while you on jumping in and out of the cenotes.
They also come in handy for any boating trips, as you never know when you might fall into the water. Last thing you want to happen on vacation is drop your phone in the water and lose all your pictures. You can pick one up for under $20. Trust me, learn from my mistakes and pick one up.
If you are taking a trip of a lifetime, you will want to remember it. Yes, cell phones these days take amazing pictures, but they are not as waterproof as they say they are.
Pick up a GoPro if you plan on doing exploring and want pictures/videos to remember it by. Trust me you are going to want a waterproof camera for the cenotes.
Always bring a day bag with you when you travel. I prefer a day backpack because they are amazing to take on hikes and more active activities. They are also great carry-on items for the plane, especially if you plan on checking your other luggage.
Toiletries and Cosmetic Products
Your hotel might have mini bottles of shampoo and body wash but it’s not a bad idea to bring your own. If you’re bringing a carry-on suitcase, you can have one baggy full of liquids but if you’re checking your luggage you can bring as much as you want as long as the luggage isn’t over 50 pounds.
Our tip is to purchase reusable travel-size bottles to pour your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash straight into.
This will save you money and it’s an eco-friendly option. You’ll also need to bring any products you use daily including face wash, moisturizer, makeup, toothbrush, and toothpaste, among others.
If you plan on checking luggage you will want to load up on the sunscreen. Yes, you can buy it in Mexico, but it usually is overpriced and you can’t get the brands that you can get in the USA. A week in Tulum, you are going to need a lot of sunscreen.
You can buy just about any medications over the counter in Mexico, but if you have medications you take daily it is always wise to bring them. Yes, you can most likely buy them in Mexico, but you never know.
This will save you money and it’s eco-friendly. Since you can’t drink tap water in Mexico so you’ll constantly be buying water unless you purchase filtered water bottles that you can fill with tap water and it will filter out for you.
These are so easy and convenient to travel with. If you plan on going to the beach or exploring the cenotes, you will want to add a travel towel to your Tulum packing list. They come in handy and don’t take up a lot of room.
Other Items Not To Forget To Pack For Tulum:
- Credit Card/Debit Card
- Travel entertainment such as a book, headphones, or a downloaded movie
- Printouts of important information: hotel address, copy of your passport/ID, itinerary, etc
- Chargers for your phone, laptop, camera, etc
What Not To Bring To Tulum
A list of what to pack is important, of course, but a list of what not to pack can be just as useful. Many people tend to be over packers out of worry or stress they’ll forget something important.
This only creates more anxiety around trying to fit every item back into a tight suitcase at the end of your vacation which doesn’t save room for new souvenirs.
- Expensive Items – If you don’t want to worry about your nice jewelry, bags or clothing during your vacation, you should leave it behind.
- More than one sweater or pair of pants – You are only going to need these at night, and that is only if you are cold. If you only plan on visiting Tulum while you are in Mexico, only bring one pair.
- Full-size liquids – Even though you’re allowed to bring more liquids in a checked suitcase, it still takes up extra space and weighs down the bag. It’s unnecessary to bring your entire bottle of shampoo. You should get reusable travel size bottles instead.
Luggage Options For When Traveling
This type of luggage will follow you onto the plane and get stored in the overhead compartment above your seat. A carry-on bag often comes free with the purchase of your plane ticket or at a small charge. I always try to travel with Carry-on only. Unless I have something in my bag that requires me to check it.
I travel with and love my Timbuk suitcase. It is the largest suitcase you are allowed to carry on. It is also divided into sections which help me stay organized while traveling.
The size of the standard carry-on luggage is 22” x 14” x 9” but this can vary an inch or two with different airlines.
These measurements also include the handle and wheels. It’s important to measure your bag ahead of time because if you bring luggage that is too large, you’ll need to pay to check it in.
Luggage that has to be checked is larger than the size of a carry-on suitcase and usually weighs a lot more. For this option, I swear by the Dakine line of suitcases. Again everything is divided into sections to help me stay organized.
Some airline tickets come with checked luggage and others do not. So it is always wise to check your ticket before you decide which one you want to travel with.
One benefit of checking your luggage in, you won’t have to wheel it through the airport. Your bag will just be waiting for you when you land. The downside is you will have to wait for your luggage when you land.
Another thing to note is that if your airline offers checked luggage, that usually still means you have the option of bringing carry-on luggage. A common size for checked luggage is 27″ x 21″ x 14″ and most airlines allow up to 50 pounds. If your luggage is too large or weighs too much, you’ll have to pay additional fees.
Other Useful Tips For When Packing:
- Take your time packing. Don’t wait until the last minute because you’ll surely forget something that way. Give yourself a few days which creates a clear mind to remove things you’ve decided you won’t need or for remembering something important you may have forgotten.
- Save room in your luggage for souvenirs. You’d hate to not be able to buy something really unique and special just because you overdid it on the number of shirts you packed.
- Don’t forget to print copies of all your important information. This may seem like overkill but it could save you in a bad situation. You should have copies of your passport, ID, credit and debit card, hotel information and address, itinerary, and embassy information as well as anything else you can think of. Leave these copies in a separate place from the originals because if anything were to happen, you’d still have the copies and it could really save the day.
- Always guard your belongings and make smart decisions. You are traveling in a foreign country, always be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your valuables unattended.
Now that you know the style trends, you should know what to add to your Tulum packing list. What to pack, what not to pack, and everything in between, you’re ready to begin the preparations for the trip of a lifetime.
Tulum is lucky to have you and you’re lucky to visit Tulum.
Enjoy paradise and have the best vacation. No matter what items you end up picking, you’ll have fun and make the most of your trip.