Mexico Packing List
Beautiful beaches, incredible food, welcoming locals, and incredible scenery are just the start to a Mexican vacation. Mexico is easily accessible from North America and direct flights from major US hubs make it a top destination for US travelers looking to beat the cold.
Whether you’re heading to a week at an all inclusive, backpacking through the countryside, or working from an AirBnb for a month, we’ve put together a Mexico Packing List so you’ll be prepared to get the most out of your time there.
Mexico has two main seasons; the rainy season and dry season. The rainy season runs May through early October; outside of that there is generally little to no rain. Even if you go during the rainy season it's typically short bursts in the afternoons or evenings. Mexico is popular with US travelers escaping the colder months, which corresponds with the dry season, so plan for little rain when you head down in the winter.
A large country means varying temperatures depending on where you go but in general, expect hot days and be prepared for some evenings to get cooler. Humidity will depend on what part of the country you’re in.
Mexico Packing List
Mexico is a great destination for packing light. Casual and comfortable clothing will be your go-to and it's easy to find clothing or toiletry items you forget once you’re there. We’ve laid out all the essentials from Clothing, Travel Gear, Toiletries, and Electronics in our Mexico Vacation Packing List.
With consistent and predictable weather and casual style, your clothing list should be simple and straightforward. If you forget to bring anything it will be extremely easy to pick it up once you’ve arrived so don’t pack for every possible eventuality. Overall, reach for lightweight, breathable fabric - if you could wear it to the beach it's probably a good fit.
- Multiple T-shirts for everyday use (moisture-wicking fabric will go a long way)
- 1-2 long sleeve shirts (we recommend linen for when it gets humid)
- 1 sweater for cool nights
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 1 hat
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 1 pair of running shoes
- 4-5 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of sandals
- 1-2 swimsuits
- 5 pairs of underwear
- 2-3 sports bras
- 1-2 sundresses
Pick up a set of packing cubes to keep everything organized, separate dirty clothes from clean, and compress bulky items. You can easily do laundry while you’re there, particularly if you’re staying at a hotel or Airbnb, so it's not necessary to bring more than a week’s worth of clothing.
If you’re moving around frequently to different cities invest in a durable and spacious travel backpack. Moving in and out of cities, or through small towns will mean unpaved roads and fewer options for comfortable transport (public buses are common just about everywhere). Carrying your gear on your back will make it much easier to move around.
If you plan on staying in one or two locations, in major cities, a roller bag will work just fine. Coach buses and Ubers are plentiful, as well as smooth sidewalks and paved roads in town.
A medium sized travel backpack (approx 30L) or large carry-on sized roller bag will give you more than enough space.
A daypack is a must for any visit to Mexico. One of the best parts of visiting this beautiful country is the wide range of activities, day trips, and excursions. A daypack that can go from beach, to hike, to wandering around a city will be worth the investment. Get one that's lightweight, durable and offers organization with a decent amount of space (10-20L). Expect to have it with you every time you head out with your daily essentials.
- A water bottle: You can’t drink the tap water in Mexico so you’ll want a water bottle close by that you can keep topped up with purified drinking water. Expect this to be in your daypack at all times so something lightweight and leak proof will be important.
- Microfiber Towel: Your accommodations will probably have towels that work great for the pool but aren’t convenient to take on the road. For trips to the beach, a local cenote, or anywhere else you might get wet; a microfiber towel is lightweight, takes up little room in your daypack, and dries off quickly.
- Travel Wallet: With all the activities available and the moving around you’ll be doing, keep your cash and cards secure with a reliable travel wallet. Pick one up that can get wet and dirty. A money belt or more hidden form of money management could be used based on personal preference. Pick pocketing and petty theft is generally the only crime tourists need to worry about, which is no different than anywhere else. The stigma of violence and crime often associated with Mexico is due to the drug cartels in select regions. These regions are not frequented by tourists and overall Mexico is generally considered safe for visitors.
- 2 credit cards and debit cards: Accommodations, restaurants, and stores generally all accept credit cards so keep at least one with you at all times. Cash is widely used and easy to get from ATMs or in advance of arrival. Pickpocketing or bag theft can be a problem in touristy areas so it's worth having back up cards and cash stored separately.
Your standard toiletry items for a 1 week trip including deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo.
- Moisturizer for after warm days in the sun
- Moisturizer with SPF for the morning
- A large sized toiletry bag to keep it all organized
Keep your liquids under 100ML so you can carry-on your bag. If you’re on a long trip and run out it will be relatively easy to find replacements for all your common toiletry items.
Stock up any prescription medication before leaving, other over the counter medical items can easily be purchased there but and consider the following:
- Pain relievers
- Anti-diarrhea pills (Stomach problems can be common in Mexico)
- Motion sickness pills like Gravol (Especially if you’re moving between cities via ground transportation, long bus rides on windy roads are common)
Mexico uses the same electrical system as Canada and the US so no need to bring an adapter or converter. We have heard of travelers overheating their small appliances like hairdryers if they’re somewhere with outdated voltage control, so try to avoid running these on the highest setting to be safe.
Especially when you’re in a city, Mexico has strong and reliable wifi, a great place for digital nomads to get some work done or to stream your favourite show after a day at the beach. Outside of the major cities you can still find reasonable internet. Unless you plan on moving around frequently and want to save weight, bring a laptop or tablet.
If you’re working and traveling, Mexico is a great location for digital nomads because of the stable internet and time zone overlap with the US.
Check with your current cell phone provider before your trip, many plans from US telecom providers offer calling and texting to and from Mexico included. If they don’t it can generally be added for a small daily fee, much easier than getting a local sim card once there.
- E-reader for poolside reading
- Power bank; particularly if you’re working or have long travel days
- Camera; based on personal preference
- Retractable HDMI cable; perfect for streaming Netflix on your TV at night
Get the most out of your trip to Mexico with the right clothing, travel gear, toiletries, and electronics so you can take advantage of all the incredible things to see and do when you’re there. Many items are easy to pick up after arrival so avoid over-packing or bringing too many just-in-case items. By preparing ahead of time, with all the right essentials in your packing list, you’ll save time and money.
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