Are you planning a trip to a beach resort in Mexico and not sure what to pack? I’ve got you covered!
As a travel blogger who’s lived in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for over two years, I have packed my bag for Mexico so many times I’ve pretty much got it down to a science.
And I know exactly how stressful it can be before your trip when you are packing, organizing, and trying not to forget a single thing.
So, don’t stress! In this post, I’m sharing my ultimate packing list for a Mexico resort vacation and my best Mexico packing tips so you can pack like a pro and don’t leave any essential items behind.
Free Download: If you don’t have time to read the full list, click here to grab my free printable Mexico packing list for a handy one-page checklist of all these essential items.
Beach Style in Mexico
First, let’s start with the beach fashion in Mexico so you have an idea of what to bring to Mexico and help you decide if there’s anything new you want to buy.
The beach fashion is pretty much the same at all of the major beach destinations in Mexico including Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos.
Basically, Mexico beach style is all about bright colors, tropical patterns, and bold prints. Think colorful maxi dresses, flowy skirts, crop tops, and strapless or off-the-shoulder blouses.
You’ll also see styles inspired by traditional Mexican clothing like colorful embroidery, hand-woven fabrics, and tassels and pom-poms.
Mexicans tend to dress a little more formally, but most tourists usually wear more casual beach and resort wear with sandals and flip flops during the day. For a night out, dresses, skirts, and rompers are the norm.
The great thing about Mexico beach style is that you can definitely get away with bold colors and patterns. Don’t be afraid to step out in something that is a little brighter or bolder from your normal style!
Here are some examples of the beach styles in Mexico:
Weather in Mexico at the Beach
Most of the popular resort destinations in Mexico have a warm tropical climate all year round, which means you can feel comfortable wearing shorts and beachwear any time of the year.
The main exception is in Los Cabos and on the west coast of Mexico where the temperatures can get much cooler at night, especially during the winter months.
However, on the Caribbean side of Mexico in the Riviera Maya region, the temperatures will be warm all year round.
Below is a chart of average monthly temperatures in Playa del Carmen to give you an idea of how warm it will be during the month that you’re visiting.
There are occasional cold fronts, but the temperatures never really drop below 60oF (15oC).
The sea temperature is generally warm enough to swim in and relax on the Riviera Maya beaches all year round as well.
During the winter months (December – February), it’s still very warm during the day but can sometimes get cooler at night, so you’ll want to bring a sweater or light jacket if you’re visiting during this time.
Be prepared for the humidity, which is pretty intense all year round and only slightly subsides during the winter months.
Best Luggage for Mexico
Next, when planning your packing list for a Mexico vacation, you’ll want to decide what kind of luggage you are going to bring with you to Mexico.
Type of luggage
Deciding on the type of luggage to use will depend on the length of your trip. For a week-long visit, you’ll probably end up with a medium-sized checked bag, or a carry-on if you are someone that packs very conservatively.
The great thing about packing for the beach is that you can pack lighter and your items won’t take up as much space in your suitcase.
Be sure to check the luggage allowance for your airline to determine if there will be any additional fees for checked bags.
For roller suitcases, I personally have and recommend Away luggage, which is my favorite luggage brand for a hardshell roller suitcase.
The Away luggage comes in four different sizes (Carry On, Bigger Carry On, Medium, and Large).
For me, the medium size Away luggage is usually perfect for a week-long trip. What I love about it is that it’s stylish, durable, and rolls with ease.
If you’ve never used packing cubes, I would highly recommend them. I recently bought these packing cubes and they have been an absolute game-changer for me!
Honestly, I had no idea how much space they really save and they keep your suitcase so tidy, organized, and easy to zip. No more sitting on your suitcase forcing it to shut!
Plus, they allow you to separate your undergarments, swimsuits, tops, and bottoms into different packing cubes for top-notch organization and ease of access.
Packing List for Mexico Resort Vacation
Next, here’s a detailed list of all the important items to add to your Mexico all inclusive packing list broken down into the essential categories:
Mexico Resort Packing List: Travel Documents
First, let’s start with all the essential travel documents you’ll need for international travel:
- Passport: Your passport is the most essential item you’ll need for international travel. For travel to Mexico, you’ll need to make sure you have a valid passport with at least six months validity. Use a travel wallet or cute passport cover to protect your documents.
- Vaccination Card: Traveling in Covid times means you’ll definitely need to bring your vaccination card. While proof of vaccination is not required to enter Mexico, you will need it to re-enter the United States, Canada, and many other countries. I would recommend picking up an inexpensive plastic cover to keep it protected during travel.
- Money: It’s always best to travel to Mexico with some cash on hand. You can bring USD or request pesos through a foreign currency exchange from your bank. You can always get more pesos by withdrawing from the ATMs in Mexico but always have some cash on hand as backup in case of emergencies.
- Travel credit cards: You’ll also want to make sure you have your credit and debit cards. I personally use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card which is a great travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Only use your debit card for withdrawing cash and keep all card purchases on a credit card for the best exchange rate and to avoid foreign transaction fees.
- Insurance cards: Proof of insurance is essential in case of emergency. If your current insurance plan doesn’t have international coverage, then you definitely need to purchase travel insurance for your trip. I recommend using Travel Insurance Master, which is a handy travel insurance marketplace where you can compare policies.
- Priority Pass card: If you have a Priority Pass or other airport lounge membership, be sure to pack your membership card. Most allow members to access through the app but it’s best to have the physical card on hand just in case.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Clothing
Clothes will probably make up the bulk of your packing for Mexico. You’ll want to bring colorful and comfortable beachwear including tops, shorts, dresses, and swimsuits.
Here’s a breakdown of what to pack for a week in Mexico:
For more Mexico vacation outfit ideas, check out my post here: Cute Clothes for a Mexico Beach Vacation
Shirts and Tops
You’ll want to pack tanks, short sleeve, or sleeveless tops since the weather will be hot and humid. You’ll also see a lot of crop tops paired with shorts or skirts.
Comfortable shorts are one of the most important things to pack for a Mexico vacation.
If you’re comfortable in shorts and skirts, you can probably get away without bringing any pants or jeans as it’s too hot for most of the year.
Dresses and Skirts
Bring casual dresses to wear during the day and some more formal dresses or skirts for fancier dinners or nights out.
Rompers are also a good option because they’re comfortable and can be dressed up or down.
Depending on the types of activities you’re planning to do, you’ll want to bring some comfortable activewear for tours and activities.
Leggings or yoga shorts are also a good option to wear over your swimsuit when ziplining with a harness or participating in other adventurous activities.
Also, if you plan to work out at the resort, be sure to bring activewear such as workout shorts, tops, and sports bras.
For fitness lovers, many of the resorts in Riviera Maya have incredible gyms and workout facilities.
Loungewear and Pajamas
I always like to pack some cute loungewear like leggings, joggers, and a comfy top or hoodie to wear on the plane.
You’ll also want to pack a couple of pairs of pajamas to wear to bed or around your hotel room.
Don’t forget to pack undergarments such as underwear, bras, and socks. An undergarment organizer is a handy packing tool to keep them organized.
You’ll probably want to pack extra underwear as you may be changing out of a wet swimsuit multiple times a day.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Swimwear
A trip to Mexico will no doubt be filled with lots of pool and beach time so don’t forget your swimwear and coverups.
For more Mexico swimsuit ideas, check out my post here: The Best Swimsuits for Mexico (or any beach vacation!)
You will likely be in your swimsuit the majority of your vacation, so I would recommend bringing 2-3 swimsuits for a week-long trip.
Since you’ll be wearing a swimsuit so much, a beach coverup is pretty essential!
I usually try to choose a neutral color like black or white that will go with all my swimsuits.
It’s also a good idea to bring a rash guard, which is a long sleeve swim shirt to protect you from the sun while snorkeling, swimming in the ocean, or visiting a cenote.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Shoes
You’ll need to pack a few different types of shoes depending on your planned activities but you’ll likely end up in flip flops for the majority of your trip:
- Casual sandals: Pack casual sandals to wear around the resort and when you’re out and about during the day.
- Flip flops: Bring flip flops or waterproof sandals to wear with your swimsuit when you’re at the pool or beach.
- Comfortable walking shoes: If you plan to participate in any outdoor activities that require a lot of walking, be sure to bring a pair of tennis shoes or comfortable walking shoes. I usually always wear these on the plane to save space in my suitcase.
- Dressier sandals: Bring a pair of dressier sandals for dinners or nights out. Instead of heels, I usually opt for platform sandals for the added height of wearing heels but way more comfort.
- Water shoes: Definitely bring water shoes if you plan to visit a cenote or an adventure park with water activities.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Bags & Accessories
Don’t forget bags, hats, jewelry, and accessories to complement your outfits:
- Sunglasses: You are headed to a sunny destination so a pair of cute sunglasses is a must! Get some that will go with most of your outfits and swimsuits.
- Crossbody purse or belt bag: Bring a crossbody purse or anti-theft bag for added safety and security when shopping or exploring around town. I have this belt bag and it’s one of my favorite travel accessories for daytime activities.
- Going out purse: Bring a nicer purse or clutch for fancier dinners or when going out at night. Crossbody purses are best for safety and security.
- Beach Bag: Pack a beach bag or tote to bring to store your towel, sunscreen, phone, and personal belongings when at the beach or pool. I usually bring a beach bag as my personal item on the plane to save space in my suitcase.
- Sun Hat: The sun is strong in Mexico so you’re going to want to have a hat for sun protection. Panama hats, straw hats, and visors are practical and stylish options. I have this roll up open top straw hat which is cute and super compact when traveling.
- Jewelry: Bring some colorful jewelry including necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to complement your cute Mexico outfits.
- Laundry bag: Bring a travel laundry bag to throw dirty clothes in and make it easy for tossing them into the laundry when you return.
- Face mask: Don’t forget to bring a face mask for the plane. It will also be required to enter most restaurants and shops.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Toiletries
Don’t forget to pack all your normal toiletry items for bath and body, makeup, and hair:
Bath and Body Products
Use this Mexico travel checklist to pack all of your favorite bath and body products:
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Moisturizer / Lotion
- Shaving cream
- Personal grooming tools (tweezers, nail clippers, nail file, etc)
- Contact lens solution
- Content lens case
With all the pool and beach time, you’ll probably wear less makeup during the day but be sure to pack your favorite makeup products for evenings and nights out:
- Makeup: Pack your favorite makeup products and be sure to bring waterproof mascara and SPF foundation for added sun protection. I use and love this CC cream with SPF 50!
- Makeup brushes: Bring along any makeup brushes, sponges, or applicators to apply your favorite makeup products.
- Makeup remover: Bring travel sized makeup remover wipes or eye makeup remover for easy removal at the end of the day.
- Q-tips and cotton pads: Pack a few Q-tips and cotton pads for makeup removal and personal care throughout your trip.
Styling your hair in Mexico can be a challenge with the heat and humidity but it’s still possible. Don’t forget these hair styling products:
- Shampoo and Conditioner: If you’re particular about your hair products, you’ll want to bring your own shampoo and conditioner. Use these silicone travel bottles to bring along your existing hair products.
- Wet Brush: If you’re not using a Wet Brush, get one now! It’s pretty much a game changer for brushing wet hair with ease after the pool or beach.
- Dry Shampoo: Bring along some dry shampoo if you want to refresh your roots between washes. I love this travel sized Batiste dry shampoo for an instant hair refresh without drying out.
- Hair accessories: With the heat and humidity in Mexico, you’re going to want to put your hair up. Be sure to pack hair ties, scrunchies, bobby pins, headbands, and any other favorite hair accessories.
- Hair styling tools: If your hotel doesn’t have one, pack a hair dryer and any styling tools such as a mini flat iron or curling iron. The humidity is pretty intense in Mexico which makes curls more difficult to hold but it’s worth a shot especially if you’ll be in an air-conditioned restaurant.
- Hair Products: Don’t forget your favorite hair styling products like hair spray, heat protectant, or hair gels.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Medicine and First Aid
It’s important to bring some medications and first aid items in case of emergency and to treat minor illnesses and injuries during your trip.
- Prescription medications: Don’t forget to pack any prescription medication and make sure you bring enough for the duration of your trip.
- Pain relievers: Pack a few pain reliever pills like Ibuprofen, Advil, or Aleve for any headaches or hangover relief.
- Pepto Bismol: Food and water borne illnesses are very common in Mexico and can happen to the best of us! It’s a good idea to pack some Pepto Bismol or digestive relief medication.
- Band aids: It’s always a good idea to pack a few first aid items like band aids especially for blisters or small cuts or scrapes.
- Biodegradable sunscreen: Biodegradable reef-safe sunscreen is probably one of the most important things to bring to Mexico. Any time you are going to be swimming in the ocean or a cenote, it’s required to wear biodegradable sunscreen, as the chemicals in regular sunscreen are damaging to the ecosystem and coral reefs.
- Bug spray: The heat and humidity in Mexico means mosquitos can be pesky especially at night. Pack some bug spray or mosquito repellent bracelets to avoid bug bites.
- Aloe vera: Sunburns are very common when visiting Mexico so you’ll want to pack some travel size aloe vera for sunburn relief.
- Sea sickness bracelets: If you are prone to motion or sea sickness, these sea sickness bracelets are a great option to combat uneasiness during any boat tours.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Electronics
Here are some essential electronics and travel tech you’ll want to bring to make your Mexico trip more convenient.
- Camera: If you want higher quality photos than simply using your phone, bring a digital camera to capture memories of your trip.
- GoPro or waterproof camera: If you’re planning any snorkeling, scuba diving, or water activities, I would highly recommend bringing a waterproof camera to capture some unforgettable underwater photos. I have the GoPro Hero 10 and the quality is really incredible for underwater photos and videos! Don’t forget a floating hand grip so it doesn’t sink in the water.
- Kindle or E-Reader: Bring a Kindle or E-Reader to read while relaxing at the beach and pool. I have the Kindle Paperwhite, which is waterproof and is the best e-reader for reading in direct sunlight.
- Headphones: Bring headphones for the plane or to use at the pool. I have the Apple Airpods Pro which are super compact and amazing for noise canceling.
- Waterproof speaker: A compact waterproof speaker is a fun gadget to listen to tunes at the beach, around the pool, or in your hotel room.
- Chargers: Be sure to bring all your phone chargers, camera chargers, or Apple watch chargers to recharge your gadgets during your trip.
- Travel adapter: Mexico uses the same plug as the United States, but if you’re visiting from another country, bring a universal travel adapter for your electronics.
- Selfie stick: A selfie stick is a handy gadget for fun photos at the beach or while you’re exploring different sites around Mexico.
- Waterproof phone pouch: If you don’t have a GoPro, an inexpensive alternative is to purchase a waterproof phone pouch for your cell phone to take photos around the water.
Mexico Resort Packing List: Other Miscellaneous But Important Items
These are a few miscellaneous items that are important to add to your Mexico packing list:
- Water bottle: The water is not safe to drink in Mexico so you’re going to have to make a conscious effort to stay hydrated. Bring a collapsible water bottle to save space in your suitcase and fill up during your travels.
- Compact umbrella: Bring a compact umbrella especially if you’re visiting during rainy season as rain storms can come on quickly.
- Beach towel: If you’re staying at a resort, beach towels will likely be provided but if you’re planning any snorkeling tours or water activities off-site, then you’ll want to bring a beach towel. These microfiber beach towels are a great option as they are super lightweight and dry quickly.
- Snorkel gear: If you’re planning on doing any snorkeling, then you might want to bring your own snorkel set to ensure the best fit, comfort, and cleanliness.
- Travel pillow: Depending on how long your flight is, bring a compact travel pillow for more comfort on the plane and during transport to your resort.
What Not to Pack for Mexico
These are a few items NOT to add to your Mexico vacation checklist:
- Non-breathable clothing: Since the weather is hot and humid for most of the year, the best clothes to wear in Mexico are light breathable clothing as you’ll likely be breaking a sweat. Light cotton and linen fabrics are best to absorb sweat and keep you cool.
- High heels: I wouldn’t really recommend wearing heels as you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking and the streets can be pretty uneven. If you really want to wear heels, I would recommend wedges or platform sandals for more comfort.
- Flashy jewelry: Avoid wearing flashy jewelry and expensive accessories as this can make you a target.
- Too many warm clothes: It’s a good idea to bring a sweater or light jacket if you’re visiting during the winter months, but most of the year you won’t need too many warm clothes.
Mexico Packing Tips
Now that you know what to pack for Mexico, here are some of my best Mexico packing tips:
- Use packing cubes: As I mentioned, these packing cubes have been an absolute game changer for me! Use them to compress more items into neatly organized cubes for expert level organization and ease of access. Now I’m a believer and packing cubes are pretty much my number one packing tip!
- Try to mix and match: Try to choose tops and bottoms that can be easily mixed and matched to create different outfits to wear in Mexico. This will save space in your suitcase and expand your outfit options.
- Pack some neutral accessories: Try to pack a few neutral accessories like tan, white, or blush colored shoes, clutches, and jewelry that can be paired with many of your Mexico vacation clothes.
- Skip the heels: As I mentioned, it can be difficult to wear heels for a night out in Mexico unless you’re planning to take a taxi everywhere. It’s not impossible, but you’ll be way more comfortable in sandals, platforms, or wedges.
- Bring a beach bag as your personal item: A beach bag is a cute and practical accessory to bring to store your beach towel, sunscreen, and other beach bag essentials. However, they can be bulky so I would recommend bringing it as your personal item on the plane to save space in your suitcase.
- Bring water shoes: If you’re planning to go on any tours or participate in more adventurous activities during your trip, I would definitely recommend packing a pair of water shoes. You’ll definitely want to have them for activities like visiting a cenote, ziplining, or going to an adventure park.
Conclusion: Packing List for Mexico Resort Guide
I hope this Mexico vacation packing list helps to take the stress out of your Mexico vacation planning.
I know this is a ton of information to digest so I’ve created a free handy one-page printable Mexico packing list which can be downloaded below.
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