When it comes to packing for Mexico, there are quite a few things to consider. Not only do you want to have your beach bag ready, but you'll also need other specific items for your travel days and time in the glorious Mexican cities.
What you want to wear, where you're going, and what you'll be up to will all affect exactly what you'll want to bring to Mexico.
Luckily for you, I just got back from a month-long road trip around the country and have created the absolute perfect packing list for everything you'll need for an amazing adventure in Mexico.
So, let's dive right in!
What to Pack for Mexico
Packing can be a daunting task, especially if you're headed to a country like Mexico which has an unlimited amount of activities.
To make your life a little easier, I've broken the packing list for Mexico down into categories, including the absolute essentials, life at the beach, and city must-haves.
No matter where you're going in Mexico or for how long, you cannot leave home without these items.
- Comfortable shoes
- Flip Flops or sandals
- Underwear, bras, and socks
- Tank tops or t-shirts
- Skirts or dresses
- Personal toiletries
- Evening layers
Your Packing List for Mexico Beaches
Now, if you're heading to one of the many incredible resorts in Mexico or one of the beautiful beach towns, there are a few more things to remember.
- Bathing suits: I'd recommend at least 2 or 3 bathing suits for your trip. If you plan to do some water activities like snorkeling, you may want to bring a one-piece as well.
- Sarong: You can wear it over your bathing suit as an outfit and use it as a beach towel if you need one!
- Beach cover-up: It's hot in Mexico! So you'll definitely want to wear a lightweight cover-up when heading to the pool or the beach.
- Light layer: A shawl, scarf, or light jacket will be helpful when the sun goes down.
- Insect repellent: When watching the sunset on the beach, you'll be glad to ward off the sand flies with a strong insect repellent.
- Sunglasses: Last but not least, don't forget your favorite pair of shades!
Things to Take to Mexico Cities
While Mexico is known for its beaches, there are also so many incredible cities to visit! If you do plan to see some of the city life, here are the items you'll need in addition to the essentials listed above.
- Comfortable shoes: The cobblestone streets of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Oaxaca, or Mexico City are much easier to navigate in comfortable shoes.
- Day bag: When wandering around the cities of Mexico, you'll want a small day bag that can hold a water bottle, a light layer, and your wallet.
- Party clothes: There is some seriously incredible nightlife in Mexico, so make sure you remember to pack at least one cute party outfit.
- Fanny pack: Mexico is a safe country, but you still want to be careful about keeping track of your personal belongings. The best way to do so in a big city is to keep everything close to your body with a fanny pack.
What to Wear in Mexico
Having a printable packing list for Mexico is super helpful, and now you have one! To better pack perfectly for your Mexican adventure, it's important to consider three things. The culture, the weather, and your plans.
Depending on which province in Mexico you're planning to hit, the local culture can vary greatly.
For example, when you're in Chiapas visiting San Cristobal and the great site of Palenque, the culture is far more indigenous than in other areas.
That means you'll want to cover up a bit more. Shorts and t-shirts are still acceptable, but you should skip the tube tops and short skirts.
However, in Oaxaca and Mexico City, the fashion is much more westernized, so you can really wear whatever you want.
Mexico's weather changes drastically depending on where you are and what time of year you go.
Chiapas is much colder than Oaxaca. You may want a beanie, and you'll certainly need a warm sweater when you're in San Cristobal. Just a warning though, that Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido can get very hot!
You also need to know that the rainy season in Mexico is from May to September. So if your trip falls within these months, don't leave home without a rain jacket.
You should always look up the weather wherever you're going to Mexico, just make sure you're bringing the proper clothing and accessories you need.
What you'll be doing in Mexico seriously affects what you need to pack. When in Mexico, you can scuba dive, ride horses, dance the night away, and attend a local festival!
Therefore, you must pack for the activities you plan on doing during your Mexico vacation.
How to Pack for Mexico
I find that preparing everything on my packing list is easy, but packing my things is the hard part! Here are some tips to make your packing for Mexico go smoothly and efficiently.
Try Packing Cubes
I recently purchased my first set of packing cubes, and I'll never go back! They make it so easy to organize your list when packing.
The best part is that when you get there, you'll be able to take out exactly what you need in each spot you visit without taking apart your whole bag.
Save With Carry-On
Next, you need to decide if you're going to check a bag or just opt for a carry-on. These days, many airlines are charging extra for checked luggage, so a carry-on is undoubtedly the most budget-friendly way to travel.
If you're only bringing a carry-on, then you don't want to overpack! Just make sure you bring what you need and nothing you don't.
Invest in a Backpack
When traveling through Mexico, I recommend opting for a backpack instead of a wheelie suitcase. That's basically for two reasons.
First, the sidewalks in Mexican cities are tiny! I struggled to get my suitcase around the cities without walking on the road, for which I got beeped at multiple times.
If you're going to the beach, most of the roads are made of dirt and sand, which makes backpacks a far easier bag to manage.
If you're moving around a lot, a backpack is a great way to get from point A to point B without having to drag a heavy bag behind you.
Pilot Is Here to Help!
Now that you know what to bring, you're ready to start planning your big adventure to Mexico! Did you know that Pilot can help make your trip planning a breeze?