Have you made your packing list for Mexico yet? No? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re hitting the beach or visiting the city, we will provide a list of items you might want to make sure you pack in your suitcase. Through trial and error, I have learned a lot about what to bring when traveling and I would love to share it with you. This always comes in handy for future trips.

Your list will likely vary depending on factors such as the time of year you visit and your packing preferences. Packing for trips during winter time can be quite challenging! It’s good to travel light whenever possible, but there are times when traveling with just your carry-on will be out of the question.

Without much further ado, let’s get started.

Picking What Clothes to Pack During Warmer Months

Open suitcase with clothes, a hat, a tablet, a map and a camera.

Temperatures in most of Mexico are warm to hot most of the year. The rainy season runs from May through September, so that adds to the humidity factor. These are some things you definitely have to take into consideration when packing.

When I travel during warmer months, I always make sure to pack some shorts, T-shirts, maybe a couple of polo shirts, a pair of khakis, a pair of sandals/flip-flops and a pair of sneakers. It’s also always a good idea to pack a nice pair of dark jeans/slacks/chinos and one or two button-down shirts in case you go to a club or nice restaurant. I always try to dress casual. It’s all about comfort. We’re on vacation after all!

Shorts and T-shirts are great for both men and women. In addition to that, women might want to include some simple tank tops, light pants/leggings, a couple of skirts and a nice dress just in case. For footwear, I highly recommend bringing sneakers for those long walks, although you may want to add a pair of heels to dress it up if necessary.

As a general rule, expert travelers recommend packing enough clothes for one week. If your trip lasts longer than that, you can “recycle” some of them or you will have to wash them. In any case, always think cotton clothes and light colors. They’re the best option for hot weather.

Chances are you will be hitting the beach. Don’t forget your swimsuit! The kind you choose will obviously depend on your preferences. In my case, I always opt for swim trunks, but there are guys who prefer Speedos. Make sure to bring a couple at least while the other gets dry. If you’re a woman, you will probably want to include a swimsuit cover up too.

You might also want to include some linen or manta (raw cotton) clothing. These include pants and guayaberas. They’re great for hot days!

I’m not a fan of athletic clothing, but there are some people who like to wear it because they say it dries off fast. If you go somewhere humid, this is something you could consider packing as well.

Also, make sure to pack some pajamas or comfortable clothes to sleep at night.

Picking What Clothes to Pack During Colder Months

Open suitcase with undiscernible clothes inside.

Most of Mexico doesn’t have harsh winters like parts of the U.S. or Northern Europe. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get cold. That’s why it’s important to always check the weather forecast before starting packing for your trip.

When traveling during colder months, I always stick with jeans, fleece sweatpants, long-sleeved T-shirts, a couple of sweaters, a hoodie/windbreaker, a jacket, a beanie and a scarf. You may want to add thermal undergarments if you visit regions like Chihuahua in Northern Mexico.

It snows in very few parts of Mexico, but if you happen to visit one of those places, it’s a good idea to include some gloves, earmuffs and winter boots.

You don’t have to worry about cold weather on the beach. While it certainly isn’t as hot as summer, there’s no need to layer up. If anything, just bring with you a light sweater for those chilly nights.

One thing you have to keep in mind are changes in temperature. It’s not uncommon to start the day off with 7°C (44°F) and reach 25°C (77°F) later on during the day. This is especially true of places with high elevations like Zacatecas City and Queretaro City.

Should You Bring Any Accessories?

As a guy, I just worry about bringing a hat, a pair of sunglasses and a watch. As a matter of fact, I have a collection of hats from all my previous trips. It’s good to have some variety to choose from.

For women, I would advise against bringing any expensive jewelry. You don’t want to draw too much attention, the wrong attention that is. Opt for something simple and fashionable to complement your outfit instead. Besides, you will likely have the opportunity to buy some local jewelry and get to wear it during your trip.

Essential Items

When traveling, there are some things you should always make sure to bring with you. These include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Lip balm
  • Some medications like Ibuprofen and Imodium.
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Toiletries like shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant/antiperspirant, etc.

You can buy a toiletry bag with all you need. However, there are people who prefer to buy those things upon arrival instead. It’s a matter of choice.

Electronics

A good camera. Most people nowadays take all their photos with their phones. Nothing wrong with that. However, I think that cameras are always better than phones. It doesn’t have to be an expensive camera. I recommend the Canon EOS Rebel T6. It takes really cool photos and is quite affordable.

A tablet/e-reader. This might be a good option to read or watch a movie while on the road.

An unlocked phone. If your local carrier doesn’t have coverage in Mexico or roaming is too expensive, consider getting an unlocked phone. This way you can use it with a Mexican SIM card and have access to calls and the web.

A selfie stick/tripod. These come in handy especially when you’re traveling solo. There are several inexpensive ones out there.

Earphones/headphones. Whether wireless or conventional, always make sure to bring a pair of earphones/headphones with you.

Chargers. Just bring the necessary ones. You could use the same charger to charge more than one thing.

A power bank. You might not always have access to a power outlet. That’s why it’s always advisable to bring a power bank along.

I don’t recommend you bring your laptop unless you have to do some work during your trip. Otherwise, leave it at home.

Money and Important Documents

Make sure to bring cash with you. Don’t forget your credit cards either. You may not be planning to use them, but they’re always a lifesaver in case of emergency.

It goes without saying that you have to bring your passport. Make sure it’s still valid. Citizens from some countries might need a visa too. If you’re renting a car, don’t forget your driver license as well. It’s recommended to make copies of all important documents in case you lose them. You don’t want to be denied boarding at the airport because you lost your passport.

It’s always a good idea to bring printouts of your itineraries. The current trend is going paperless and I agree it’s good for the environment. The problem arises when you lose your phone or it runs out of power and you can’t access your information. That’s why I always make sure to bring printouts of my flight/hotel/car rental itineraries.

Optional/Seasonal Items

A good book. Note that I listed this under optional because not all people like to read or they prefer to use a tablet/e-reader. Personally, I prefer hard copies, but that’s just me.

A small backpack. More often than not, you might want to bring a few things with you while touring around and leave the rest at the hotel. But how are you going to carry those things? A small backpack would be ideal. There are some that you can easily roll up and store when not needed. I recommend this one.

An umbrella. If you visit during rainy season or visit a place like Mexico City where it rains a lot, I highly recommend bringing an umbrella. You can find a portable/travel size one anywhere online.

A rain jacket. If you don’t want to bring an umbrella, you might consider a rain jacket.

A waterproof phone pouch. This one really comes in handy when hitting the beach and you want to have your phone with you at all times.

A deck of cards. For those rainy days or delays at the airport.

Time to Pack Up!

Packing your suitcase can be stressful. As much as I love traveling, I’ve found this to be my least favorite activity of all. However, I discovered that planning ahead helps a lot. If you make a list like the one above, you will have a much easier time packing up.

What would you include or exclude from the list? I’d love to read about it. Let me know in the comments below. If you found this useful, I would really appreciate your sharing it with your loved ones. See you soon!

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30 Replies to “Packing List for Mexico – What to Bring”

  1. Great article Enrique! I agree that one of the more stressful parts of traveling is the packing itself. I’ve been to Brazil a few times and I feel that this kind of planning and checklist can apply to more than Mexico as well, which speaks true to folks who travel abroad. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on traveling to Mexico, I enjoyed learning from your tips!

    1. Hey, Dereck,

      Yes, you can definitely apply this list to other trips abroad as well. Packing up is stressful, but planning a little always helps.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. I have never been to Mexico before but my boss is getting ready to leave THIS EVENING for a trip to Mexico and I am incredibly jealous. I will be sure to be forwarding your post to him before the end of the day today and saving it for myself. I would love to plan a trip soon.

    Like you said above, I am someone who stresses over making sure I bring everything. Since I have never been out of the country I think I would probably be even more worried.

    Thanks for sharing! Great post!

    1. Hi, Kay,

      Really? How cool is that! Where is your boss going?

      I appreciate your sharing it. One of my main objectives is spreading the word for all those who might be interested in visiting but don’t have a clue as where to start.

      I’m just like you. I used to stress over packing everything. I remember my first trip to Canada. Packing up was a nightmare lol.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. I’m so glad to find your article online. Thank you so much. I’m actually stressed over my upcoming trip to Mazlatan in a few weeks. Your article really gave me a picture perfect map of what to bring and expect in Mexico. Seriously, I was stressed!

    Thanks to you, I would have over packed and likely been bogged down the whole trip. After all, I’m trying to relax, do a little fishing and walk the beaches. If all goes well, as I’m sure it will now, my next trip will be to Iceland next year. I’ll be checking back for tips on that trip.

    Thanks again,

    Brian

    1. Hi, Brian,

      That’s so cool! I’m so jealous lol! I’d love to hit the beach at this very moment, especially with this cold Texas weather. I just checked the weather forecast and it’s 84°F in Mazatlan right now.

      Many of us tend to over pack every now and then, especially if we have a large suitcase. Keep in mind there are several clothes we can wear for a second time. Try not to overthink it. We make the mistake of packing too much for the “ifs”. Since you have a good idea of what you will be doing, making a checklist should be easier. Don’t stress over it.

      Enjoy your trip. I’d love to hear how it went. Thanks for commenting.

  4. A very informative post. Useful information as well. The list you have in this post is what people need to look at before leaving for Mexico. Your site is great.
    Thanks for sharing

  5. Hello Enrique,
    These are really some good suggestions. I’ve never been to Mexico, but I have been to Jamaica. I had my iPod in my suitcase on when flying back home and it got stolen sometime during luggage checks while in customs, so I advise anyone to keep important jewelry and other personal items in their possession at all times.
    Also, another thing I recommend is a credit card and passport protector. They have those on Amazon as well. They can’t be scanned through the protected cover which is a great idea.

    Have a good book is another great suggestion. The flights are long and magazines are limited on the plane. One thing I had wished that I had was sanitizer wipes and a small blanket. The trays on the backs of the airplane seats are not sanitized near enough.

    Your suggestions and tips are very helpful. There are certain things here that I never thought about, like playing cards, unlocked phones, power banks, etc. Great ideas!

    I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    Best wishes,
    Devara

    1. Hi, Devara,

      I’m sorry about your iPod. Yeah, it’s always recommended to keep any valuables with you at all times. That includes jewelry, money and electronics. Never put any of those in your checked baggage.

      Thanks for your recommendation. I overlooked it, but you’re totally right. Those protectors are excellent to keep your cards safe from hackers.

      Sanitizer wipes are also something you might need.

      Glad you found this useful. Thanks for commenting.

      1. Thanks for your fast response! 🙂
        We like to travel during the summer months and always looking for new places to visit.
        Mexico has always interested me, but I still have fears leaving my country and usually get pretty sick on my stomach on the first day of travels.
        Do you have any areas of Mexico that you recommend? We like all-inclusive resorts..
        We recently got engaged and will be looking for a great honeymoon resort soon.
        Thanks again for these helpful packing tips!

        Best wishes,
        Devara

        1. Hi, Devara,

          You’re very welcome. I’m always glad to help.

          I know what you mean. When we travel somewhere new and eat something we’re not used to, it can be harsh on our stomachs. That’s why I always make sure to bring Imodium or some other similar medication.

          There are several all-inclusive places throughout Mexico. The most visited ones are in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area in the Yucatan Peninsula.

          Congrats on your engagement! I wish you all the happiness.

          Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

  6. I traveled to Mexico a few years ago to a city in the northeast area called Montemorelos. It was beautiful and we drove there. If anybody drives into Mexico, the Federal Police stop you and search your car. Depending on if it’s late or they are busy, that might impact your drive time. But Montemorelos is in the mountains and at night it got cool, even in the summer, so bring some pants or jeans, you might need them.

    1. Hi, Derek,

      Montemorelos is beautiful! It’s a 1-hour drive from Monterrey.

      Sorry to hear about your incident. Hope your experience wasn’t that bad.

      And yeah, Montemorelos is cooler than Monterrey. When visiting those places, it’s always a good idea to bring pants or jeans and a sweater.

      Thanks for commenting.

  7. I know very little Spanish. I studied it a lot when I was young, but through lack of use, most of it has been forgotten. I’m guessing a basic translation manual with some important phrases underlined would be a great idea for someone like me.
    I hadn’t considered bringing printed copies of important data. That is a great idea!
    One more idea for people who don’t want to look wealthy. Perhaps bringing a cheap flip-top phone that looks well used if you’re going anywhere shady. That, of course, goes for any place one might visit.

    1. Hi, Cathy,

      That’s an excellent idea! Yeah, not knowing the local language can be a problem. Although you will definitely find more people that speak English in Mexico than let’s say Russia. Thanks to technology, you can pull up your phone and get an instant translation.

      Bringing copies of important documents is always a good idea. You may lose your phone or your passport, and it can be a real problem if you don’t have a backup.

      I totally agree with you. We don’t want to draw the wrong attention. It’s preferable to not show off when we travel. In any case, it’s advisable to keep your belongings close to you and watch your surroundings.

      Thanks for commenting.

  8. Very useful information. It is always a good thing to make a list before u start packing. Thanks for the list that you added. My problem is with the packing coming back. The space is not enough lol.

    1. Hi, Sue,

      Haha! You’ve got a point there. That’s exactly why it’s important to not overpack. We don’t think about souvenirs and other things we’ll be bringing on our way back.

      Glad you found this useful. Thanks for commenting.

  9. Hey,

    Call me crazy, but I always over-pack when I travel, especially on underwear and socks. I’m not so picky about my t-shirts and Jeans, But if I’m traveling for four days, I make sure to bring at least 5 pairs of underwear and 5 pairs of socks. They are small anyway so having a few extra never hurts anyone.

    I am also one who doesn’t really care about having swim trunks. I will generally just swim in any kind of shorts whether they are khakis or sports shorts.

    I have never been one to carry an actual camera with me. I feel like these days phone cameras are getting so good that most of the pictures you can take on a smartphone will suffice. I am also one to not want to attract the wrong attention, and I feel that a nice camera might do just that. But hey, to each their own.

    I was thinking about going to Mexico someday, and now that I have read your article on what to bring, I will be more than prepared.

    Thanks again,

    Max

    1. Hey, Max,

      I know what you mean. I totally agree with you about underwear. It’s important to bring enough for the duration of your trip. You don’t want to run out lol.

      I also used to bring x or y thing just in case. The problem is many times we end up not needing all the extra things we packed. We could’ve saved some space for the trip back.

      Regarding swimsuits, we’re more laid-back about it in Mexico. We don’t usually have strict codes like France where you have to wear a Speedo.

      I agree that phone cameras have gotten pretty good. However, there are times when you would still prefer a camera over a phone. I’ve seen this especially when taking photos at night or with movement. Cameras have a lot of settings you can play with to take awesome photos. But that’s just me. You have a valid point there.

      I hope you visit someday. You will be amazed.

      Thanks for commenting.

  10. That’s a good page. Facilitates your journey when you don’t have to figure out what to bring and what you need to know about your destination. Everything is told here 🙂

  11. Hello, I agree that the essential thing before going to some other country is to pack properly and what’s more important not to take too much unnecessary stuff with you (which happens to me all the time, to be honest). Your article may serve as a checklist for traveling to Mexico and if you live very far away from this place (I live in Russia and it will take around 24 hours to get there, I don’t want to find myself in the situation when I left some important things at home and realize it only flying across the Atlantic))) Thanks for your article))

    1. Hi, Maria,

      I totally agree with you. Sometimes we don’t pay attention to what we’re bringing when traveling. It’s always a good idea to prepare a checklist and pack as light as possible. Many times we end up not needing all that extra stuff.

      I’d love to visit Russia someday! A friend of mine went there for the World Cup.

      Thanks for commenting.

  12. Pretty interesting, I loved it. Planning a trip can be hard when you’ve never been there so finding your post about Mexico is fantastic. I need to go there someday.

    Here, you talk about Mexico, but honestly, I could apply the same structure of planning for any other trips and it would work fine, the stuff would only be different. I’ll keep in note your article for my next trip. 🙂

    I do a lot of moto traveling and going in countries far away (like Australia) is one of my goal, so planification will be very important!

    Thank you for sharing all these ideas!

    Audrey

    1. Hi, Audrey,

      As much as I love traveling, I hate packing up. But having a checklist always comes in handy.

      Like you said, this list can be applied to many other destinations. Several countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia have similar weather conditions due to their proximity to the equator.

      You do moto traveling? That’s so cool! I’d love to try it someday.

      Thanks for commenting.

  13. Even though I live in a border state, I have never been to Mexico. And I always want to travel there. This list is truly helpful and will definitely make my packing easier whenever I decide to take the trip. Great post.

    1. Hi, Carol,

      The good thing for us folks living close to the border is we can drive our cars there and save some money. Although there are certainly some drawbacks to that, but you have to decide what’s more important to you.

      Hope you visit soon. Thanks for commenting.

  14. Thank you for this informative article Enrique.

    I am travelling to Mexico next summer and I want to have a really good time there. That is why I want to get as much information as possible to make my trip enjoyable. Since I will be in Mexico in July, do I really need to bring rainjacket? I think Mexico is really warm in the summer with a lot of sunny days. Does Mexico has some kind of rain seasons/months in the summer?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi, Strahinja,

      Glad to hear you’re visiting soon! Hope you have an excellent time.

      It’s always a good idea to do some planning. Answering your question, generally speaking, the rainy season starts in May and lasts through September. It varies as there are some areas where it rains more than others. Mexico City, for example, can see some heavy rains. The same goes for the Yucatan Peninsula in the southeast. The north tends to be drier than the south, but you will still see some rain during rainy season.

      You can bring a rain jacket or just an umbrella. Many people say the rainiest months are August and September, so you won’t probably have to worry too much if you visit in July. Where are you going by the way?

      In any case, always make sure to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Enrique

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