What to Pack for Mexico

Deciding what items to take with you on your vacation (and what to leave behind), is an important part of good travel planning. The climate of your destination, the activities you plan to participate in, and the duration of your trip will determine what you should pack. Resist the temptation to pack non-essential items. You will probably be able to find any things you may need in Mexico, though perhaps not the brand names you are used to.

If you’re traveling by air, keep in mind there are some things you may not be able to bring in your carry on. Check the airline regulations about your luggage allowance and the TSA regulations for what’s allowed in carry-on.
At beach destinations casual clothing is generally acceptable whereas in Mexico’s colonial cities somewhat more formal dress is the norm.

Avoid short shorts and halter tops in Mexico’s inland destinations. Below packing list can be used only as a general guide:

Besides your suitcase or backpack/duffle bag, you should also have a day pack or shoulder bag to carry snacks, bottled water, maps, a camera, and anything else you may need on your excursions. A money belt is a good idea to keep your documents and money on you while traveling, but do make use of your hotel safe when you can. Pack an extra light-weight bag if there’s a chance you may purchase handicrafts or other souvenirs.
Money and Documents:

Credit and/or debit cards
Passport or other form of WHTI-compliant ID (if traveling by land)
Airline tickets and your package reservation
Health and travel insurance documents
Travel itinerary (also leave a copy with someone at home)

Depending on the length of your trip, either bring an outfit for each day, or plan to do laundry. It’s easy to find laundromats and dry cleaning service in Mexico.

Bathing suit(s)
Pants, jeans and shorts
T-shirts, tops and blouses or dress shirts
Skirts or dresses
Belts, scarves and accessories
Underwear, bras and socks

No matter your destination you should take comfortable walking shoes or sandals. Other shoes you may consider taking depending on your destination and planned activities include:

Dress shoes
Hiking boots
Water shoes

Protection from the elements:

Sweater (even if you’re traveling to a hot destination, you’ll probably want a sweater for air-conditioned spaces)
Light windbreaker or jacket
Rain gear
Toiletries, Medication and Personal Items:

If traveling by air you may take three-ounce bottles of liquids and gels in carry-on, the rest should go in your checked luggage.

Hairbrush or comb
Nail file/clippers
Razors/shaving cream
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Glasses or contact lenses and solution
Tampons or sanitary napkins
Insect repellent
Electronics and Books:

Camera, batteries, sufficient memory
Recreational reading material
Maps and guide books
Phrase book and Spanish dictionary
Travel alarm clock
A notebook and pen
Cellular phone and laptop (don’t forget chargers, extra batteries and necessary cords)

First aid kit:

Motion sickness tablets
Diarrhea tablets
Aspirin or acetominophen
Small sewing kit

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Based on About Travel article.