Travel Products Travel Tips

What to Pack for Mexico {Our Epic Mexico Packing List for 2023!}

By
on
October 15, 2022

Here’s our list of what to pack for Mexico for your family vacation in 2023 and beyond!

Having been to Mexico multiple times with our kids, we’ve developed a list of Mexico travel essentials that we feel are important to share.

Even if you book an all-inclusive vacation to Mexico where your food and entertainment are provided, knowing what to pack for Mexico is a must!

The following Mexico packing list covers all of the clothing, toiletries, and beach essentials that you’ll need for a one-week vacation – plus, includes the items that people tend to overlook.

From sandals and sunglasses to 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.

Find out the things needed for Mexico trip from top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Fun in the sun in Mexico!

What to Pack for Mexico: 8 Items Most People Forget

*Please note: As of this update (6/13/22), Mexico is open to travelers. There is no need to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine on arrival, though most resorts still ask guests to fill out health questionnaires.

As always, check for current requirements prior to traveling and consider purchasing travel insurance and consider the benefits of using a travel agent.


Over the years, we’ve come up with so many tips for visiting kid-friendly all-inclusive resorts in Mexico!

Here’s our all-encompassing list of the essential things to bring to Mexico that starts with the items that most families forget and continues with our packing list essentials.

1. Packing cubes

When taking an international family vacation, being properly organized is the key to safe and relaxing travel.

Therefore, I cannot possibly begin a packing list for Mexico without first mentioning the need for using packing cubes in order to execute the perfect packing strategy.

We discovered packing cubes several years ago as our family was growing and it became harder and harder to keep our clothing organized and tidy. 

(After all, messy, unorganized suitcases can make for a stressful morning when it’s time to get everyone dressed.)

Not all packing cubes are created equal, however, and the key is to find ones that are flexible (not rigid or formed) and are large enough for both child and adult-sized clothing.

We personally own 2 sets of these packing cubes and continue to recommend them time and time again as they are something we absolutely do not travel without!

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.

2. Portable charger

A portable smartphone charger is an item that should definitely be on your packing list for Mexico, as is a waterproof phone case.

Not only are portable phone chargers a lifesaver when your phone battery gets low, but they will charge it at lightning speed.

Plus, no one has to struggle to find outlets in the airport or hotel, as they are often hard to come by.

Beach photos. Family photos. Foodie photos and selfies.

There is 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!

Get our ultimate Mexico packing list as well as find out the Top 9 most forgotten items!  Don't leave anything off of your list on what to pack for Mexico after you get these great tips!  #Mexicopackinglist #whatotpackforMexico #Mexicopackingessentials #whatotbringtoMexico #familyvacationpackinglist

3. Moisture absorber

Call me crazy, but these DampRid Hanging Moisture Absorbers are always on our 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 is 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

As one of our best Mexico travel tips, don’t forget to bring along sunburn relief lotion as the sun in Mexico is extremely intense and its effects can creep up on you unexpectedly.

In fact, remembering reef safe sunscreen is typically less of an issue than remembering to bring along an after-sun skin soother.

After all, 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 considering 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, especially if spending time in the ocean.

Shells and rocky ocean bottoms, as well as slippery pool decks, are bound to cause cuts, scrapes, or cause someone to take a tumble.

Be prepared and always carry a small, portable first aid kit so you can mend a scrape and get right back to the fun!

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

Another one of my Mexico packing tips is to bring along a deck of cards and a few kid-friendly travel 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, travel-size games are a great way to spend quality time together.

There are our kids’ favorite travel-size games that come with us every time.

,

And pssst….check out our favorite beach bags for moms here too!

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 international travelers.

During our off-site excursions at Mexico’s Ocean Riviera Paradise, for instance, 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!

For those of you who don’t plan to venture away from your resort, don’t drink the tap water, and remember to pack a reusable water bottle to fill with the resort’s filtered water.

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!

Find out what to pack for Mexico from top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Mexico family vacation

One Week in Mexico Packing List

When considering what to pack for a Mexico vacation, here is the ultimate packing list for spending up to 7 days there.

Please note that what to wear in Cabo San Lucas, versus what to pack for Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, or what to pack for Mexico City will vary based on the type of adventures you have planned, whether you choose casual or fine dining, and if you’re interested in matching local fashion trends.

Also, be sure to check if the resort that you are staying at has a specific dress code for all or some of their onsite restaurants.

Our packing lists for a Mexico beach vacation assume casual dress attire, beach days, and a nice evening meal.

Mexico Packing List for Women

For cool mornings and evenings, you must also bring:

  • 2 pairs of joggers/yoga pants
  • 2 lightweight sweatshirts
  • jean jacket or other light jacket

Mexico Packing List for Men

  • 2 pairs of dressy/jean shorts
  • 3 pairs of gym shorts
  • 5 t-shirts (We love these for UV protection!)
  • 2 polo shirts
  • 7 pairs of underwear/5 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of lightweight pajamas (if needed)
  • 2 pairs of swim trunks
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses (our favorites linked here!)
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 baseball cap
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes/sneakers
  • 1 pair of flip-flops for the beach
  • 1 pair of dressy sandals
  • 1 backpack (for day trips and outings)

For cool mornings and evenings, you must also bring:

Additional planning tip: Mexico’s rainy season runs from May to September. If you have room in your luggage, consider bringing a rain jacket or disposable rain ponchos, especially if you have local tours scheduled.

Mexico Packing List for Kids

  • 5 pairs of shorts
  • 6 t-shirts/tank tops
  • sundresses (for girls)
  • 2 pairs of lightweight pajamas
  • 3 swimsuits/trunks with rash guard protection
  • 3 swim cover-ups
  • 1 pair of kid-size sunglasses
  • sun hats/baseball caps
  • 8 pairs of underwear/4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes/sneakers or other comfortable walking shoes
  • 1 pair of flip flops for the beach
  • 1 pair of dressy sandals

Toiletries to Pack for Mexico

Along with using packing cubes for our clothing, we use these clear multi-purpose organizer pouches (size large) to store all of these loose extras or other important things:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Travel size body spray/perfume
  • Lotion
  • Razor/shave gel
  • Face wash/moisturizer
  • Makeup
  • A hanging toiletry bag (Especially this one, which makes a great travel gift for teens and adults!)
  • Shampoo/conditioner (unless provided by your hotel or resort)
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Hair ties/clips (I love these ones for fine hair!)
  • Styling products/hairspray
  • Curling iron/straightener (if needed)
  • Contact lens solution/supplies (if needed)
  • Sunscreen + lip balm with SPF (This is one of my favorites because it smells like summer!)
  • Travel-size bug spray (yes, there are bugs in Mexico!)
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and stomach medications
Find out what things to pack for Mexico from top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Things to bring to Mexico: Pool essentials!

What to Pack for Mexico: Beach & Pool Essentials

Prepare for warm weather no matter what time of year you’ll be visiting by remembering these beach and pool essentials:

*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 and essential items to consider when traveling internationally with kids and specifically for Mexico travel.

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, hotel reservations, and other travel documents
  • Insurance information
  • Medical and vaccination records
  • Membership cards (AAA, frequent flier)
  • Cash
  • Credit cards and debit card (it’s a good idea to bring more than 1 card in case one gets locked due to suspicious activity if you did not notify your credit card company ahead of time that you would be traveling)
  • Passport/travel document organizer

We have not done any driving or road trips in Mexico in order to give a first-hand view of the details that go into a Mexico road trip or travel guide.

Discover our list of what to bring to Mexico from top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Things to bring to Mexico: Beach essentials!

Mexico Travel Checklist Extras

When it comes to a packing for Mexico list, there are a few remaining odds-n-ends that I suggest that you pack.

  • Camera
  • Cross-body purse (helpful for day trips!)
  • Lanyards for the room key cards
  • Money/dollar bills for tipping (this should definitely be on your packing list for Mexico resort)
  • Books to read while relaxing
  • Deck of cards
  • Garbage bag (to place wet or soiled clothing in on the way home)

What Not to Bring To Mexico

  • Guns or ammunition
  • Pepper spray
  • Lethal knives and machetes (anything over 8” is not allowed)
  • Any medication that you are taking to Mexico must be in the original prescription bottle.  Placing pills into smaller containers for traveling is not allowed.

 Although these items are allowed into the country, they are still subject to inspection by customs.

  • Smoking tobacco
  • Honey
  • Dried, roasted, or preserved fruits and vegetables including coffee, herbs, and spices
  • Dry cooked, packed, and bottled foods
  • Smoked poultry such as chicken or turkey. These items must be in their original packaging and properly labeled.
  • If traveling from the United States or Canada, refrigerated, frozen, vacuum-packed milk and cheese are allowed. These items must be in their original packaging and properly labeled (USDA Label is required).

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 of your packing list for Mexico? 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 it, Pin it!" quote
Get our ultimate list the includes absolutely for your Mexico packing list!  If you're going on an all-inclusive Mexico vacation with your family, these are some items that you absolutely cannot forget!  From Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!  #Mexicopackinglist #Mexicoall-inclusivetips #familypackingtips #familytravelessentials #whattopackforMexico #whattobringtoMexico
Get our ultimate list the includes absolutely for your Mexico packing list!  If you're going on an all-inclusive Mexico vacation with your family, these are some items that you absolutely cannot forget!  From Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!  #Mexicopackinglist #whattopackforCancun #whattopackforMexicoallinclusive#thingstopackforMexico#whattopackforMexico #whattobringtoMexico
Find out what to pack for Mexico from Top US Family Travel Blog, Travel With A Plan!
TAGS
RELATED POSTS
8 Comments
  1. Reply

    Sarah Blevins

    October 10, 2021

    I am right there with you on the packing cubes! They make packing and traveling with kids SO MUCH easier.

    • Reply

      Jen

      October 14, 2021

      Yeesss! I have a few sets and am probably in need of a few more. LOL!

  2. Reply

    Margie

    January 26, 2020

    The damp rid is a great idea! and Packing cubes are very essential anywhere! Thanks for the tips.

    • Reply

      Jen

      January 26, 2020

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!

  3. Reply

    Kathryn Dickson

    January 26, 2020

    Good advice on packing pain reliever, antacids, antihistamines! These are things I always seem to forget by end up needing and can’t typically find the same products I like and use from home in foreign countries.

    • Reply

      Jen

      January 26, 2020

      Thanks! I feel like to do tend to bring along a small pharmacy when we travel, but it gives me comfort in having it all on hand 🙂

  4. Reply

    Amanda

    January 26, 2020

    This is such a great packing list for Mexico! I never thought of doing the moisture absorbers and the life straw is genius!

    • Reply

      Jen

      January 26, 2020

      Thank you! Yes, I am quite fond of the moisture absorbers and love recommending them to others 🙂

LEAVE A COMMENT

Welcome Friends!

Hi, I'm Jen - founder of the award-winning travel blog, Travel With A Plan! I help families plan fun & fulfilling family vacations by sharing our exact itineraries and "best things to do" lists to popular US vacation spots. Take the stress out of planning a family vacation by using our detailed destination guides and ultra-convenient packing lists to help you travel better. We'll show you how hassle-free family travel is possible - when you travel with a plan!

Travel With A Plan packing checklist

Get Your Free Family Vacation Packing Lists Here!

Trendy Travel Gifts For Teens The Ultimate Winter Road Trip Packing List The Best Things to Do in Nashville at Christmas The Best Amusement Parks for Toddlers in California Are There Beaches in Orlando?