How to Pack for Cancun

How to Pack for Cancun

How to Pack for CancunWhat was once a remote and tiny fishing village has now turned into a popular Mexican vacation hot spot. Aside from boasting 14 miles of pristine white beaches and world-class resorts, Cancun is home to many cultural treasures and natural attractions.

If you are planning to make your way to Cancun anytime soon, here’s what you should pack on your bag on top of the absolute travel necessities such as your passport and government-issued IDs:


As Cancun is a beach destination, it is important to dress lightly for its hot and humid temperatures. If you’re going for a week, this makes for a good capsule closet on the go:

  • 6 pieces of underwear.
  • 3 tank tops and 2 tees. Preferably cotton or linen, so they don’t make you sweat!
  • 2 pairs of shorts. Best to include a denim pair with you.
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 2 dresses. Especially if you’re staying in an all-inclusive resort, it’s nice to wear something a little dressier for the nighttime.
  • 2 pajamas or nightgowns.
  • 1 swimsuit cover-up. You can even buy a handmade sarong in one of the local markets in Mexico.
  • 1 light jacket or a cardigan. Sometimes it gets cool in the evening, plus it’s always a good idea to get cozy in the plane!
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of dressy sandals
  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes. If you’re planning to do a little hiking, it’s worth it to have the right pair of shoes.
  • 1 foldable tote

The best way to go about your holiday wardrobe is to pick a color scheme to stick to for all your items. Doing so allows you to easily mix and match all your items, without having to worry about bringing different pairs of shoes and accessories to complete the look!


While you can easily purchase your favorite hygiene products with you in local stores, it is certainly not convenient for you to be lugging those bottles around. Just take the following instead:

  • 100mL refillable bottles filled with your favorite shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial wash and lotion
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Mosquito Spray
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Facial Spritz
  • Wet Wipes
  • Medicines (Ibuprofen, Berocca, Paracetamol, Imodium)
  • Band-Aids
  • Hair Ties and Bobby Pins. These are extremely helpful if your hair can’t deal with the humidity, wind and salt water!

Bonus tips for the ladies:

  • While you’d want to look good in all your photos, don’t take your entire make-up kit with you, as well as your hair dryer, curling iron and straightener. Stick with the basics and embrace the ‘au naturel’ look. It’s also probably a wise idea to leave some space in your suitcase for those cute sarongs and souvenirs you can only get in Mexico!
  • Don’t take your good jewelry along with you. Not only will you risk losing them in open sea, you might make yourself an easy target of pickpocketing and scams.


If you are planning to bask under the Cancun sun (as you should!), don’t leave home without the following items that will surely protect you from any burns and discomfort:

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Choose the highest SPF to protect yourself from sunburns and peelings.
  • After-sun moisturizer
  • Beach towel. While some resorts do provide beach towels for their guests, it helps to have one with you if you plan to spend the day in the beach.
  • Baby powder. It’s really handy in helping you get the sand off your toes!
  • Snorkeling gear. While it is easy for you to rent equipment in Cancun, sometimes it helps to bring your own mask and snorkel. A poor fitting mask can ruin a fun snorkeling day, especially if you wear contact lenses.
  • Bottle opener and disposable ice. After all, you’d probably want to enjoy your beer ice cold, right?


Unless you’re planning to go on a digital detox while you’re on holiday, these gadgets can help add to the fun and the convenience of your trip:

  • Not only is it incredibly handy in taking high-resolution pictures of your vacation in Cancun, you can save eBooks for your reading pleasure and easily check-in your flights using your mobile device.
  • While the joy of reading paper books still lives on, you don’t want to be lugging around the extra weight in your bag. Just take along a Kindle with you instead.
  • Best way to enjoy your tropical playlist while tanning.
  • Portable charger. If you rely on Google maps to get around, it’s probably wise to invest in a high-quality charger that can keep your phone powered up at all times.
  • Travel adapter. While most hotels have spare adapters to lend you, it incredibly helps to have one with you every time you travel.

Whatever you do, leave the laptop at home. You’re going to Cancun for a restful holiday and not to catch up on your favorite Netflix series or your work emails!


Aside from the obvious necessities, here’s what on the bag of most seasoned travelers:

  • A notebook & pen. Useful when filling out immigration forms and writing down names or addresses.
  • Zip Lock Bags. Not only are they great for segregating damp and dirty clothes, they also protect your electronics from dirt and dust. Smaller ones are also very useful in segregating your different cash currencies on hand.
  • Bubble wrap. It’s incredibly handy in protecting fragile items on your luggage such as that expensive bottle of tequila or mescal you’re planning to take home with you.
  • Collapsible duffel bag. Great for those who are planning to raid the local markets and bring home a lot of local handmade goods.
  • Extra contact lenses or glasses. You’ll never know if an accident happens, so it’s best to have an extra set of eyes with you when you travel.

This may seem like an overwhelming packing list, but it is narrowed down to the basics that you need to have a good time. If you stick to it, you’ll never have to worry about bringing too much or too little, or extra baggage fees as a result of careless packing.