Packing List for My Trip to Mexico
Before I went to Mexico I asked my relatives who go there A LOT what to bring on the trip. I took their best ideas and what I learned to create this list for you.
We brought food to eat on the plane ride over and just know that Mexico doesn’t allow meat, fruit or vegetables to be brought into the country. Once you get your luggage you have to dump it to leave. Sometimes you’ll get away with it, if your food is well packaged. They have a dog who sniffs for food items and the authorities ask you to throw it away. Ask me how I know.
I usually bring underwear, tshirts, pants, shoes and socks that are ready to be thrown out and I wear them on my trip and throw them away so I have room in my bag for things I’m bringing home.
- $1 bills for tips. You need these to tip the driver of your van/luggage handler, at meals, the spa (only took cash) or drivers. I would bring at least $20 in ones for a week.
- Water bottle (I really love this one). Bring it empty and refill it in the airport on the US side. On the Mexico side you pretty much have to buy water. For home I have the 60 ounce and it keeps my drinks cold. But you might want to find one that has a handle on it or that you can carry with you in a fanny pack or travel purse.
- Rash guard shirt (I have 2 of this brand and like how they fit) with bottoms. You probably want to bring at least 2 swimsuits. If you swim a lot your swimsuit might not dry in time. Make sure to wash yours out in the sink or it might stink. You don’t need a towel because they provide them but if you want a larger beach towel bring one or buy one from the resort store (the store that’s just off property, unless you want to pay the big $$). For a cover up I normally just throw on a simple knit skirt that goes with my sun shirt (and a bikini top underneath).
- Your own snorkel gear, so it fits and you don’t have to rent it and use one that’s been used by a ton of people.
- A lifejacket (I like this lightweight, packable life jacket for the price and how compact it is) and a float to swim with in the ocean if you like to do that. It’s fun to bob around with the waves and just relax. My cousin says bring a wetsuit but I didn’t and didn’t need one. If you want to get fancy, bring a body board!
- Water shoes to walk along the beach in and wear into the ocean or cenotes. I loved these.
- Sunglasses and a hat. Sunscreen. No need to bring insect repellent – buy it there because it will be more effective against their bugs. There was a store at the resort that sold it. I didn’t need any though (I did get 2 mosquito bites but they weren’t a big deal).
- A waterproof phone bag. I needed one and accidentally brought a different phone carrier that wasn’t waterproof. You’ll want one that it so you can take photos in the ocean or while swimming.
- Travel purse. I carried valuables with me most of the time and whatever I didn’t carry was left in the hotel room safe. You should get one that’s lightweight, washable, secure and has wider adjustable straps that go across your body. You should keep small bills and one credit card (make sure you tell them you’re travelling out of the country) in one part and bigger bills in another compartment. That way when you’re shopping you won’t be showing off the bigger bills because usually there are no prices and you have to bargain with shopkeepers on prices.
- Your passport. Don’t forget that and when they give you that paper at the end of your flight DO NOT LOSE IT. You’ll need it to get back into the US and you’ll have to pay if you lose it. Put them both in your safe and keep them both in a zipped pouch or bag so they’re easily accessible. Plan ahead to make sure your passport is still valid on the dates of your trip.
- Travel pillow. The hotel pillows weren’t great and you may want one for the plane ride. Since my flight was during the day and I don’t nap I didn’t really need one but I like the inflatable travel pillows that you can deflate and store flat.
- Optional: your own headphones. I like these because they don’t slip off and are really comfortable to watch movies on the plane ride over. I’ve had them for 4 years and they’re going strong, plus cost under $20. Delta gives you cheap ones on the plane free, but they don’t stay on my ears easily.
- Otherwise I brought my iPad and pre-loaded it with podcasts and videos. I didn’t use them at all. I used my phone to see reviews, get directions and Google places to visit/see. Don’t forget a phone charger with an extra long cord and maybe even a (two prong) plug extender. My room only had one 1-prong plug near the bed. The one I linked to has a USB charger too.
- Pen and notebook. I took notes on my phone or wrote them down for this blog post and other things I wanted to remember (like places to visit). Take photos of places you want to see before you go and photos ofi important documents.
- Medicine like Ibuprofen (for headaches, toothaches, cramps, etc), Imodium (for more serious stomach issues), Pepto (for minor stomach issues). I also bring peppermint and lavender essential oils (for bug bites, to treat minor wounds, etc), Dramamine (if you get motion sick) and bandaids. I brought but didn’t use hand sanitizer. I did bring and use individually wrapped Wet Wipes to wipe down the airplane tray table so I don’t get sick.
I bought a Mexican flower dress to use as a swimsuit cover up and/or to wear to the restaurants. They’re super comfortable and it helps you feel more a part of the community. Expect to pay around $20 for a machine embroidered dress or $40 for a hand embroidered dress. I also bought two blouses for the same reason.
GE Heavy Duty 3 Outlet Adapter, Power Outlet SplitterMLVOC Inflatable Neck Pillow with Ear Plugs, Eye Mask and Drawstring BagSony MDR-ZX110 Overhead Headphones – WhiteJOTO Universal Waterproof Case Compatible for iPhone XS Max XR XS X 8 7 6S Plus, Samsung Galaxy S9 S8 Plus/Note 8 6 5 4/ Pixel 3 XL/3, Cellphone Dry Bag for HTC LG Motorola up to 6.0Womens Mens Water Shoes Barefoot Quick Dry for Diving Swim Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Lesberg Inflatable Snorkel Vest Adult Life Jackets Free Diving Swimming Safety Load Up to 220 Ibs GreenSeavenger Diving Dry Top Snorkel Set with Trek Fin, Single Lens Mask and Gear Bag, S/M – Size 4.5 to 8.5, Gray/Black Silicon/PinkSuvelle Lightweight Travel Crossbody Bag Multi Pocket Shoulder Handbag
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Did I miss anything you think is a must have item to bring on your trip? Let me know in the comments.