Resort or Roughing it – Complete Packing List for Mexico

If you’ve got a trip to Mexico coming up, MAN, are you in for a treat. From the colorful and frenetic streets of Mexico City, to the natural beauty of Baja California, to the calm turquoise waters of the Yucatan peninsula, there’s something for everyone in this incredible country.

That being said, packing for any trip can be a bit of a daunting task. You want to make sure you’ve got everything you need without overpacking or leaving behind any must-haves that you won’t be able to pick up at your destination. That’s where we come in!  We’ve got your complete packing list for Mexico, so you can travel confidently knowing that you have everything you need. From clothing to accessories, toiletries to electronics. So book that ticket (of course, making sure you’ve got the best seat possible), and let’s get packing for your adventure in Mexico!

The right luggage is the best foundation for your packing list for Mexico
Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash


A good suitcase is the foundation of any good packing list for Mexico. If you don’t already have a spinner suitcase, it might be time for an upgrade. especially if you’re staying in a place where you’ll have to do a little walking to your accommodations. The Travelpro Crew line is reasonably priced and will last you an eternity (there’s a reason that pretty much every member of cabin crew uses Travelpro luggage).  On the other hand, if you’d like the gold standard for luggage, check out Rimowa for a suitcase that is equal parts lifetime purchase and status symbol, and for something stylish, lightweight and hard-sided, Away suitcases are hard to beat!

Clothing for Your Mexico Packing List

  • Lightweight and breathable tops and shirts –  It’s going to be hot and humid, and if you go in the summer, VERY hot and humid,  so I recommend adding lots of lightweight shirts and tops to your packing list for Mexico. Stick to all natural fibers like linen, or sweat-wicking tech fabrics, especially if you are planning on doing active things like hiking or cycling.  Some of our go-tos:
    • A classic white button down shirt – this can be dressed up, dressed down, thrown over a swimsuit, etc.
    • Athleta’s tech T-shirts – Easily dressed up for dinner or down for a hike.
    • Athleta’s tech tank tops – If you’d prefer something without sleeves.
  • Light sweater or jacket for cooler evenings –  Depending on where you’re traveling, it might get a little bit cooler at night. You also might want to have something that can cover your shoulders if you want to explore any religious institutions. In the summer, that white button down shirt should do nicely.
  • Comfortable shorts and pants –  Again, thinking about the heat, unless you’re doing athletic bike shorts, you’re generally going to want to stay cool and breezy when it comes to your pants. Leave your thick jeans and sweatpants at home, and pack your loose-fitting shorts and pants.  
  • Swimsuits and cover-ups  –  Pack more than one. It is very hot and humid in Mexico. It is possible that it will take your bathing suit multiple days to dry. So, have at least two so you can rinse and dry out your suits between wears.   Pro tip, if you’re trying to travel with just a carry on, that classic white button down shirt also works as a cover-up.
  • Sun hat or cap – One of  the most common places where precancerous spots are found is in the scalp. So many people remember to put sunscreen on their face and skin, but they forget their scalp. It’s skin as well, and usually directly facing the sun. Cover it up!
  • Light rain jacket or poncho – The nature of its geography means that Mexico will get rain fairly frequently. Especially in the summer and hurricane season. Be sure to be prepared with a good rain jacket. If you’re exploring the cities and have a little room in your bag you might want to throw an umbrella in there as well. Additionally, If you’re hiking, grab some super teeny packable ponchos that will cover both you and your pack.

Footwear for Your Mexico Packing List

  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals – What kind of shoes are sandals you bring depends on what kind of vacation you’re going on. Adventuring? pack some sports sandals with great Arch support.  If you’re going to a Resort and  will be having some nicer evenings out, consider adding a pair of wedge sandals or classic espadrilles or huaraches  to your bag. Some of our faves:
  • Flip flops for the beach or pool – protect those feet!  Classic rubber thongs do the job well, but opt for one with a leather or webbed upper for more versatility.  Some classic favorites:
    • Havaianas  – Inexpensive and available in a million colors and styles.
    • Olukai – Some options for a more dressed up flip flop with serious arch support. Also, these can double as your walking shoes for most street and beach strolling.
  • Water shoes for water activities – If you’re planning on doing some activities where your feet will be wet but you require stability, consider packing a pair of water shoes. For most of these activities, sport sandals like the Chacos I mentioned above, or Teva sandals work wonderfully.
Packing well for Mexico can make all the difference!
Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

Accessories and Essentials for Mexico

  • Sunscreen with a high SPF  – This goes without saying. Apply it at least 30 minutes before you go outside. Aim to reapply every 2 hours, especially if you are swimming.
  • Insect repellent – Mosquitoes can be a serious concern in a lot of this country, but insect repellent isn’t always easy to come by in stores. Be sure to bring your own.  You may want to pack some After Bite as well, in case you do get bit.
  • Sunglasses – Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection are a must. The sun is just as damaging to your eyes as it is  to your skin. Even if you prefer cheapie sunglasses, make sure they have broad protection. If you are planning on doing lots of water activities in Mexico, consider bringing a pair with polarized lenses to improve your vision on the water.
  • Beach bag or tote  –  When it comes to a beach vacation I like to use a large straw tote as my personal item when I fly and it can be used as my beach bag. Alternately, it can be used as your purse/shopping bag as you explore.
  • Beach towels – Depending on where you’re going, beach towels might be provided, so check with your Resort ahead of time before wasting precious suitcase space on this.
  • Snorkeling gear (if planning to snorkel) – Likewise, f you’re not picky about your setup, snorkel gear will also be easy to rent near major tourist areas.  
  • Portable umbrella – If you’re going to bother bringing an umbrella, do not even trifle with a super small travel umbrella. They do the job when the wind is still, but the second there’s a gust they get shredded. Pick up something like my trusty Repel umbrella from Amazon which is affordable and SUPER durable (mine’s going on 3 years of abuse and counting…).

Toiletries and Medications

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash or soap
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products (if needed)
  • Makeup 
  • Hairbrush, spare elastics or scrunchies
  • Prescription medications and any necessary over-the-counter medications
  • First aid kit (band-aids, antiseptic wipes, AfterBite, etc.)
  • Charcoal tabs


  • Device Charging Cords
    • Phone
    • Laptop
    • Camera
    • Smartwatch
    • USB – USB Type C and USB – Mini USB Cord (for miscellaneous devices)
  • Camera and SD Cards
  • Power bank – Be sure to have something 10,000 mAh or larger, like this Anker power bank in case you can’t access any outlets or experience a loss of power.  That’s enough to charge a smartphone about 3 full times.  If you’re traveling with more devices or a larger party, consider something 20,000 mAh or up like this one, also from Anker.
  • Universal adapter (if needed ) – If you’re coming from North America, adapters or converters won’t be necessary. If you’re coming from elsewhere, I’ve got a full rundown of power adapters and converters  that should help you figure out what you need.
  • Earbuds or headphones

Miscellaneous Items

  • Passport and other travel documents – Don’t forget a backup photocopy.  If you end up losing your documents, having those photocopies will make the replacement process much easier.
  • Cash and credit cards – Don’t forget to call your card company to alert them of your travel.
  • Travel-sized laundry detergent or a few detergent pods (if planning on doing laundry)
  • Lightweight backpack or daypack 
  • Spanish phrasebook or language app
  • Maps and guidebooks – In case you need to use analog means to get around.

Remember, this is just a general packing list for Mexico and may need to be customized based on your specific travel plans and preferences. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check with the airline and TSA for any specific guidelines or restrictions on items that can be brought on board or into/out of the country.  Happy travels!

*Suitcase Daze is reader supported. We may earn a small affiliate commission on any purchase made through the links on the page at no cost to you. The opinions remain my own, and I only recommend products I would use myself.

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