What You Need to Know About Packing for Mexico

As many know, I recently got married! We decided to go to Mexico for our honeymoon. I had never been out of the country before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had no idea what to pack for a trip to Mexico! Given this circumstance, I may have overdone it.

First, we did not check our bags. If we would have, it may have made it easier in some ways. I was a little nervous about them losing our luggage. We spent all of our extra money on the wedding, so we didn’t want to risk having to buy new clothes when we arrived.

Please learn from my mistakes, I’m here to tell you what I packed for Mexico, what I wish I hadn’t, and what I forgot at home.

Swimsuits

I basically packed a swimsuit for each day. If I were to go back, I’d probably only bring 2 or 3, instead of 5 or 6. I should have left a little room in my suitcase for anything I wanted to buy while we were down there. The swimsuits didn’t take up a ton of room, but still. In a carry-on, there’s not a ton of room to start with!

Verdict: you don’t need a swimsuit for each day. Pack light.

Sunscreen

Since we weren’t checking our bags, we couldn’t bring any large bottles of sunscreen. With the ounce allowance, we decided to buy some when we arrived. It was almost $50 for 30 SPF sunscreen and some face sunscreen. If you have a free checked bag, I’d recommend bringing your own! Particularly one you’ve used before so you know that it works. The sun is a lot stronger in Mexico than where I’m from and even though I applied sunscreen several times, I still got fried.

Verdict: Bring your own, or it’s twice as much.

Cute Sweaters

In my mind, I pictured us walking down the beach at night with a chilly ocean breeze, me wearing a cute, oversized sweater. I brought 2 and they stayed in the suitcase the whole time. Even though the temperature drops a little bit at night, it did not cool down enough to warrant a sweater!

However, I kept one in my bag to wear on the plane. This was a good idea! Just make sure you are wearing something under it, because when we arrived in Mexico, I wanted to take it off immediately.

Verdict: Bring a sweater for the plane, but keep it in your backpack!

Lightweight Clothing

I didn’t realize just how humid and sticky it would feel in Mexico. It doesn’t help that when we arrived, it was in the middle of a storm. It was so unbearably humid! I had only brought a few options that were super lightweight and ended up wearing the same 2 shirts each day.

Verdict: Lightweight clothing will be your best friend, pack it!

Dress Clothes

This may be a rookie mistake, but we didn’t pack very many options for dressier clothing. We figured we’d just be relaxing. Why dress up when you’re out at the pool all day? We were staying at an all-inclusive resort. What we didn’t know is that the nice restaurants at the resort literally had a dress code. They almost didn’t allow my husband in because he was wearing sandals — on the beach.

They didn’t allow flip flops, hats, shorts, or t-shirts. They required long pants for men. It was so hot, so to require people to wear long pants seemed crazy to me. But, rules are rules and you’re better to be safe (and fed) than sorry!

Verdict: Pack at least one option!

Shoes

I’m so silly. I brought tennis shoes, thinking that I was going to go run on the beach. We were there to relax and relax only. The tennis shoes were a bit much, but I did bring a pair of flip flops and a pair of nice sandals. That was enough.

Verdict: Unless you know you’ll use them — leave the tennis shoes at home!

Sunglasses

I brought 3 pairs of sunglasses. Don’t ask me why. I’ll just make this one simple.

Verdict: Unless you are prone to losing your sunglasses, one pair will suffice.

Fanny Pack

Ah, yes. The fanny pack is back. My husband made fun of me when I was putting this into my suitcase. He thought it was a joke. He reconsidered when I was able to stash some money for tips, our room key, the sunscreen, and my sunglasses all without a purse. I was so nice to clip it around my hips and then not worry about it again! Mine is neon pink, so it was also easy to keep an eye on it if we were in the pool.

Verdict: Yes! You need one.

Money

This may be common sense to some, but it was our first time out of the country. We brought $500 in cash. Here’s the thing: it was so difficult to find someone to break it so we could tip people. We found out after a few days that there are exchange centers, and there was one within walking distance.

Verdict: Bring ones and fives from the US so you don’t have to worry about it.


If you are traveling out of the country soon, I hope this helps you decide what to bring and what to leave at home!


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I graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Communication. Photography and writing have both always been a passion of mine. I love sharing and hearing stories, both are such great ways to do so! In my free time, I love to drink coffee and hang out with my dogs. I have a great big German Shepherd and a tiny Porkie (Pomeranian & Yorkie).

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