What to Pack for Mexico & Unique Items Most Families Forget!
Are you looking for an accurate list of what to pack for Mexico for your family vacation in 2022?
Even if you book an all-inclusive vacation to Mexico where all your food and entertainment is provided, knowing what to pack for Mexico is a must!
Our all-encompassing list of the essential things to bring to Mexico starts with common items that most families forget and continues with a complete run-down of all the basics.
From sandals to sunglasses and collapsible beach pails, read on for our ultimate Mexico packing list!
The links on this page are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on links and purchase them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
What to Pack for Mexico: Top 8 Most Forgotten Items
*Please note: As of this update (10/12/21), Mexico is open to travelers. There is no need to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine on arrival, though most resorts ask guests to fill out health questionnaires.
American travelers should remember they will need a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours or less before travel to return to the US. As always, check for current requirements prior to traveling and consider purchasing travel insurance.
1. Packing cubes
Once you read to the end of the article and see just how much there is to bring and keep organized during your trip to Mexico, let these 2 words come back to mind.
As one of my best packing tips and favorite travel products ever, packing cubes are the ultimate gamechanger when it comes to packing for a family vacation.
Because they keep your suitcases organized and your clothes easily accessible and wrinkle-free.
This leads to less rummaging around for outfits and a quicker turnaround time to head to the beach and then to dinner each day.
When considering things to pack for Mexico, for example, use one packing cube for your swimsuits and cover-ups, one for your sundresses and evening attire, a small one for undergarments, and one for each additional member of your family.
Additional planning tip: Not all packing cubes are created equal, however.
These are the ones that I personally own and recommend as they are lightweight and hold a ton.
2. Portable charger
I’m in love with portable Smartphone chargers.
Not only are they a lifesaver when your phone battery gets low, but they will charge it at lightning speed.
Beach photos. Family photos. Foodie photos and selfies.
There is definitely no room for error in having a dead phone battery while vacationing in Mexico. Ever.
This is one of the most popular portable chargers on the market and it sure does pack a punch.
Complete your Mexico packing list and snag yours here today!
3. Moisture absorber
Call me crazy, but these DampRid Hanging Moisture Absorbers make the top of the list of things to bring to Mexico!
If you’ve ever traveled to a tropical climate before, you know how damp and smelly resort rooms can get related to the excess moisture in the air.
So much so that the smell of mildew (or lack thereof) is frequently mentioned in resort reviews and the presence of odors can be a deal-breaker for some.
In fact, many Mexican resorts now take measures to disguise these smelly, natural odors in common areas by utilizing diffusers in order to create more pleasing smells.
During our recent stay at Dreams Playa Mujeres, we were given a guest survey to complete that had us rank how pleasing the smell in the lobby and lounge areas are based on their efforts to disguise the ‘tropical smell’.
Whether or not this would be an issue for you, the following product is a simple and inexpensive solution to rid of any existing smells in your hotel room.
We have found that using these hanging moisture absorbers in our resort room and closet significantly decreases the mildew smell, as well as the smell that sticks to your clothing.
4. Sunburn relief lotion
Remembering sunscreen is typically less of an issue than remembering to bring along an after-sun skin soother.
After all, the sun in Mexico is extremely intense and its effects can creep up on you unexpectedly.
It is highly likely that someone in your family will experience the painful, hot sensation of a sunburn at one point or another despite your best efforts to apply sun protection throughout the day.
What makes my favorite after-sun soother a home run is that it is non-greasy and fast-absorbing, as well as contains both coconut oil and aloe extract.
5. First-aid kit
When making your packing list of things to pack for Mexico, do not forget to bring along a small first aid kit.
An absolute beach bag essential, it is highly likely that you will need a band-aid and Neosporin antibiotic ointment at some point in time.
Shells, rocky ocean bottoms, and slippery pool decks are bound to cause cuts, scrapes, or cause someone to take a tumble.
Be prepared by bringing along a small, portable first aid kit.
6. Bug spray
When traveling to Mexico, U.S. travel doctors will recommend that you bring along an insect repellent that contains a minimum of 30% DEET.
In order to ward off harmful mosquitos, it is also important that you reapply 30% DEET every 8 hours for effectiveness before potential exposure.
DEET-based mosquito repellents are very difficult to find in Mexico itself, so be sure to remember to pack and bring them from home.
If looking for something DEET-free, try out these mosquito-repellent wristbands!
7. Travel-size games
Over the years, we’ve come up with so many tips for visiting kid-friendly all-inclusive resorts in Mexico!
Another one of my Mexico packing tips is to be sure to bring along a few fun and portable kid-friendly games to keep in your beach bag.
As kids are lounging beach or poolside, or as you’re sitting together as a family out on a patio in the evening, games are a great way to spend quality time together.
There are our kids’ favorite travel-size games that come with us every time.
8. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
If you plan on venturing outside of your resort or anywhere where bottled water may not be available, I highly recommend bringing along a quality water filter.
This award-winning personal water filter is all the rage right now among adventure travelers.
During our off-site excursions at Mexico’s Ocean Riviera Paradise, this is one item we wish we would have had!
So, when considering what to pack for Mexico, the small, lightweight, and inexpensive LifeStraw should definitely be on your list!
Additional planning tip: Flying to Mexico? Don’t miss a chance to get our list of the Top 16 tips for flying with kids, as well as strategies to keep them calm and happy!
What to Pack for Mexico: Beach & Pool Essentials
- A beach bag (Check out article dedicated to the best beach bags for moms!)
- Our complete list of beach bag essentials
- Swimsuits (at least 2 for each person)
- Swimsuit cover-ups
- Life jacket/puddle jumper
- Goggles and swim toys
- Collapsible beach pails
- Shovel and sand toys
- Wide-brim sun hats
What to Pack for Mexico: Clothing
- Dresses/dinner attire (+ know if your resort has a dress code)
- Work out gear
- Lightweight sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings
What to Pack for Mexico: Toiletries
- A hanging toiletry bag (Especially this one, which makes a great travel gift for teens and adults!)
- Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap (unless provided by your hotel)
- Razor/shave gel
- Styling products
- Curling iron/flat iron
- Child and adult doses of pain reliever, antacids, antihistamines
- Contact lenses/solution
- Feminine hygiene products
*Click the following image to get your FREE family vacation packing list that is both customizable and printable!
What to Pack for Mexico: Documents
There are several additional steps to consider when traveling internationally with kids.
Here is a list of some of the documentation that is important when packing for Mexico.
- Driver’s license
- Passport, visa(s) and color photocopies
- Copy of airline tickets and hotel reservations
- Insurance information
- Medical and vaccination records
- Membership cards (AAA, frequent flier)
- Credit and ATM cards
- Passport/travel document organizer
Mexico Packing List: Extras
- Cross-body purse
- Lanyards for the room key cards
- Money/dollar bills for tipping
- Books to read while relaxing
- Deck of cards
- Garbage bag (to place wet or soiled clothing in for on the way home)
Some of our favorite family vacations have been to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico!
There is something truly special about the tranquil blue waters, amazing Mexican cuisine, and the hospitable Mexican culture!
Of all of the things to pack for Mexico, which item is going to top your list? I hope this helped complete your Mexico packing list – have a safe and happy vacation!Jen
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*
If you like our list of what to pack for Mexico, click here to check out our Related posts:
- How to Pick and Plan the Best All-Inclusive Family Vacation
- The Ultimate Guide to International Travel With Kids
- Top 16 Tips for Flying With Kids
- Ocean Riviera Paradise: Our Full Review