After spending over a week in the city of Cancun relaxing by the beach and doing many outdoor tours and activities, I feel that I have finally perfected my list of things to pack for this getaway destination that I hope will inspire you! The style/look I am going for is beach goddess with a pop of color because Mexico is full of vibrant colors and intricate patterns. I had a blast in this beautiful part of Mexico and I hope this list allows you to enjoy your vacation without stressing about what to bring.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Cancun, Mexico
What to Pack for Cancun, Mexico:
Swimsuits| Of course, you cannot visit Cancun without spending endless sunny days drinking pina coladas next to the blue Caribbean Sea. Many of the activities I did like the Underwater Museum and snorkeling required a swim suit that could easily dry (it is extremely humid) and could withstand the waves and currents. I would recommend bringing at least one, one-piece bathing suit. They are back in style and will help you get through the water activities and tough moments (like where the waves undo your string bikini… we’ve all been there).
Clothes| I went to Cancun during the very pleasant weather month of January and never really needed more than a light jacket to keep me warm. I loved wearing cute dresses and sets but during the windy days of tours and beaches I found that rompers, jumpsuits, and shorts were the true lifesavers. However, I do wish I had invested a bit more in a cute beach cover-up because of the close proximity of my room to the beach.
Sunscreen Products| These are a given, it is not worth it to skip application and damage your skin! I apply sunscreen at the beach and apply a moisturizer and lip balm with added sunscreen during the day. Tip: Parks like Xcaret require you to have biodegradable sunscreen, so plan ahead or bring money to purchase there.
Hydration Products| Although my hotel supplied us with unlimited water bottles to drink from, Andrew and I still preferred to have our reusable water bottles with us during tours and by the beach to make sure we got our daily water intake, especially frying in the sun! One of my favorite products is because I spritz it on my face during the day to feel refreshed and hydrated. Shop my favorites here
Snorkel Gear| Buying my own snorkel gear was such a great idea! I used it for activities like the Underwater Museum, cenotes, and of course snorkeling in the Caribbean. It was great to not have to rely on the cheap snorkel rentals the tours offer and to be able to take them back home to California with me! I would suggest Amazon or even Costco for quality but cheap gear.
Hat & Sunglasses| I am warning you now that you will be sweating from the humidity and the sun in Cancun. I always had a hat and sunglasses with me to keep the harsh sun from my face and eyes, especially when doing outdoor tours like Chichen Itza and Tulum.
Travel Bag| Personally, I prefer a small bag or backpack when traveling because I do not like to be out and about with a bunch of things to have to worry about protecting or holding on to. My small little bag included some cash, hotel key and address, sunglasses, chapstick, and my phone. What else do you really need to hold on to during a relaxing getaway?
Selfie Stick| I will admit I used to be a huge hater of the selfie stick revolution but now I see how they help create incredible shots! I use this to help take great shots of my adventures and to be able to fit both Andrew and I in the camera frame without awkwardly having to ask strangers. Score!
Portable Charger| Andrew and I experienced first hand forgetting our chargers at home. Although it was nice to de-plug for a day, we definitely wanted our phones for picture-taking and communicating with back home.
My favorite souvenirs that I bought from Cancun were decorative Mayan calendars and the beautiful headband I bought for my best friend back home. As I’ve been blabbing on about, Mexico has amazing things to bring home that really demonstrate the vibrant colors and beauty of the country.
My beautiful best friend with the headband from Cancun! Check out her photos here: Instagram
Tip 1: On many tours they will make a stop before the final destination to purchase “authentic Mayan” souvenirs, however, these are often double the price of the same exact souvenir you will be able to buy at the final location. More than often, the tour guide encourages you to buy things at the stop so that they get the commission.
Tip 2: Many calendars for purchase are actually Aztec calendars (Aztecs are from present-day Northern Mexico and Mayan are more central) rather than Mayan. If you are trying to buy a Mayan calendar when visiting Chichen Itza, just make sure you purchase the right design.
As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my packing/souvenir guide to Cancun! Is there any necessities I forgot to add that you brought on your trip? Let me know in the comments below.