What to Pack for Mexico: Items Most Families Forget

January 24, 2020

Are you looking forward to some fun in the Mexico surf, sand, and sun?

Our all-encompassing article on what to pack for Mexico will cover the top 8 essential items that most families forget, as well as a complete list of the basics that you absolutely need to pack.

With six all-inclusive Mexico vacations under our belt, we’ve got it down to a science on what to pack for Mexico!

From sandals to sunglasses and so much more, read on for our ultimate Mexico packing list!

What to Pack for Mexico: Top 8 Most Forgotten Items

Mexico resort: 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
Cancun, Mexico

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.

Packing cubes.

As one of my absolute best packing tips ever, packing cubes are an ultimate gamechanger when it comes to packing for a family vacation.

Why? Because they keep your suitcases organized and your clothes easily accessible. This, in turn, leads to less rummaging around for outfits, zero hassle, and a quicker turn around time to head to the beach each day.

When considering what 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 battery gets low, but they charge your phone in lightening speed.

Beach photos. ‘Kids smiling on the beach’ 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 the lightest portable charger 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 on what to pack for 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 Mexico 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!

It is highly likely that someone in your family will experience some degree of sunburn and discomfort despite your best efforts to apply sun protection throughout the day.

The sun in Mexico is extremely intense and its effects can creep up on you unexpectedly.

What makes my favorite after-sun soother a home run is that it contains both coconut oil and aloe extract.

5. First-aid kit

When making your packing list of what 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 it from home.

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.

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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!

Read: 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 and our complete list of beach bag essentials
  • Swimsuits (at least 2 for each person)
  • Swimsuit cover-ups
  • Flip-flops
  • Life jacket/puddle jumper
  • Goggles and swim toys
  • Shovel and sand toys
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hats
Mexico pool: 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
Fun at the pool in Mexico!

What to Pack for Mexico: Clothing

  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Dresses/dinner attire
  • Work out gear
  • Jewelry/watch
  • Socks/shoes/sandals
  • Undergarments
  • Pajamas/sleepwear
  • Lightweight sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings

What to Pack for Mexico: Toiletries

  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap (unless provided by your hotel)
  • Lotion/moisturizer
  • Razor/shave gel
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Make-up
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Styling products
  • Curling iron/flat iron
  • Child and adult doses of pain reliever, antacids, antihistamines
  • Contact lenses/solution
  • Feminine hygiene products

What to Pack for Mexico: Documents

There are several additional steps to consider when traveling internationally with kids.

Here is a basic 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)
  • Cash
  • Credit and ATM cards
  • Passport/travel document organizer
Mexico Beach: 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
Dreams Playa Mujeres, Mexico

What to Pack for Mexico: Extras

  • Camera
  • Smartphone/charger
  • 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)

*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:

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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
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
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  1. Reply


    January 26, 2020

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

    • Reply


      January 26, 2020

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!

  2. 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


      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 🙂

  3. Reply


    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


      January 26, 2020

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


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    Hi, I’m Jen!  Welcome to Travel With A Plan!

    I’m an avid adventurer who is always planning the next family vacation for my husband and I, and our three boys!

    As an advocate for family travel with kids of all ages, I am a firm believer that traveling together helps keep families healthy and happy at home!

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