I packed just a daypack for this first international trip with only a daypack. The bus station to our hotel in Oaxaca City was within walking distance, the baggage check lines at the Mexico City airport were shorter, and we felt like locals more often than tourists.
Although such minimalism is uncommon, we saved a lot of time and hassle by packing the light. We’ve compiled a Mexico packing list based on our own to help you pack for Mexico, whether you’re visiting Cabo San Lucas or San Cristobal.
The mosquitoes by the beach were just as annoying as the cooler nights in Oaxaca City since we traveled through Mexico City, Oaxaca, and the coast. Any destination in Mexico can be adapted to this packing list. What to pack in your backpack for Mexico, regardless of where you’re going: Punta Cana, Mexico City, Cancun, or Oaxaca.
What to Wear on Your Vacation in Mexico?
We will begin by taking a look at the basics of what you should pack for a trip to Mexico. You don’t need to worry if you are a first-time traveler to Mexico or if it is your first trip to the country, a packing list is what will keep you from overlooking even the most obvious things that you will need on the trip. (Yes, I am speaking from personal experience here!)
The perfect packing strategy for Mexico cannot begin without mentioning the importance of packing cubes. As our family grew, keeping our clothing organized and tidy became increasingly difficult. We discovered packing cubes several years ago.
It can be stressful to get everyone dressed in the morning when suitcases are messy and unorganized. Packing cubes are not all created equal, however, and you should choose ones that are flexible (not rigid or formed) and large enough for both child and adult clothes.
The packing cubes we personally own are something we absolutely cannot travel without, and we highly recommend them!
Your packing list for Mexico should definitely include a portable smartphone charger. In addition to charging your phone at lightning speed, portable phone chargers can save the day when your battery runs low.
In addition, people won’t have to struggle to find outlets in the airport or hotel. Photos were taken at the beach. A collection of family photos. Photographs of food and selfies are taken by foodies.
If you have a dead phone battery during your vacation in Mexico, there is no room for error in having to deal with it. No matter what. There is no doubt that this is one of the most popular portable chargers on the market today and it certainly does not disappoint.
It may sound crazy, but I am very excited to bring these DampRid Hanging Moisture Absorbers to Mexico! The excess moisture in the air can cause resort rooms to get damp and smelly if you’ve ever traveled to a tropical climate.
Often, resort reviews mention mildew smells (or lack thereof) and the presence of odors can be a deal-breaker. Some Mexican resorts use diffusers to disguise these smelly, natural odors in common areas in order to make them more pleasing.
We recently stayed at Dreams Playa Mujeres where we were asked to complete a guest survey rating the hotel’s efforts to disguise the ‘tropical smell’ in the lobby and lounge areas.
A small first aid kit should be included on your packing list of things to pack for Mexico. Keeping a band-aid and Neosporin antibiotic ointment in your beach bag is an absolute must.
People are bound to get cut, scraped, or fall over shells, rocky ocean bottoms, or slippery pool decks. Ensure that you are prepared by bringing along a small, portable first aid kit.
Bringing along an insect repellent with a minimum of 30% DEET is recommended by U.S. travel doctors when traveling to Mexico. Whenever possible, you should reapply 30% DEET every 8 hours to keep mosquitoes at bay.
If you plan to travel to Mexico, pack DEET-based mosquito repellents from home as they are hard to find there. Check out these mosquito-repellent wristbands if you’re looking for something DEET-free!
Mexico Packing List:
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Clothing and Accessories:
Plan to do laundry or bring an outfit for each day, depending on the length of your trip. Laundromats and dry cleaners are easy to find in Mexico, and you can also wash light items in your hotel sink.
- Suit(s) for swimming
- Shorts, jeans, and pants
- Dress shirts, tops, and blouses
- Dresses or skirts
- Socks, underwear, and bras
- The pajamas
- Keep expensive jewelry at home, though. Belts, scarves, jewelry, and other accessories.
No matter where you are going, you should wear comfortable walking shoes or sandals. You may also want to consider taking the following shoes, depending on your destination and planned activities:
- Shoes for the workplace
- A pair of hiking boots
- Shoes for the water
Protection From the Elements:
- You’ll probably want at least a light sweater for air-conditioned spaces, even if you’re traveling to a hot destination.
- Jacket or windbreaker with a lightweight
- Wearing a hat
- If you are traveling during the rainy season, make sure you have rain gear with you
Money and Documents:
- Debit and/or credit cards
- If traveling by land, a passport or another WHTI-compliant ID is required.
- License to drive
- Booking airline tickets, hotels, and renting a car
- Documents related to health and travel insurance
- Keep a copy of your itinerary at home as well.
Toiletries, Medication, and Personal Items:
The rest of your luggage should be checked if you are traveling by air. You may carry three-ounce bottles of liquids and gels in your carry-on.
- Comb or brush your hair
- Shampoos and conditioners
- Files and clippers for nails
- Shaving cream and razors
- Brushes and toothpaste
- Contact lenses and glasses
- Sanitary napkins or tampons
- The contraceptive pill
- Repellent for insects
- Wear sunscreen
Learn everything you need to know about Mexico packing in this comprehensive guide! Based on your activities and whether you will have access to laundry, you will need to choose the appropriate amount and type of clothing.
In terms of documentation, you must have a valid passport in order to enter Mexico. Visas are not required nor is there an extension of time before the visa expires for Americans.
Tap water can probably be used to brush your teeth if you want to walk on the wild side – but make sure you spit! Water that is bottled or filtered is recommended if you have a sensitive stomach or wish to err on the side of caution.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are crimes taking place right here in your neighborhood as well as in Mexico.
Keep in mind the common-sense rules that are listed above, including drinking only in moderation, getting a cab instead of walking around after dark, and leaving expensive watches and rings at home, wherever you are in Mexico.