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Plan your upcoming trip to Mexico with confidence using our ultimate Mexico packing list and guide as written by a local, helping you vacation in this vast, colorful, and wonderous country smarter, safer, and in style.
If you scroll to the summary of this article, you’ll find a link to download this PDF, allowing you to print it off, fill it in, and take it with you on your trip to Mexico.
The Ultimate Mexico Packing List
Our packing guide covers the things and accessories you should pack specific to Mexico and things to be aware of when traveling to this vast and beautiful country.
On our packing list printable, you’ll also find included a range of items such as toiletries, that you should also travel with, no matter where you’re going.
In addition, feel free to take a look at our ultimate vacation packing list for a fully comprehensive checklist of accessories and items to pack with you on any upcoming trip.
1 – Passport
Bring a current passport. A specific duration of validity is not necessary, but the passport must be valid for the period of stay and on the day you depart from Mexico.
2 – Visa
Visitors from countries in this list who will stay less than 180 days in Mexico do not need a visa. If your country is not listed, then you will need to get a visa to enter the country. Try the Mexican Embassy in your country for more information.
3 – Multiple Immigration Form
Every person who enters Mexico must complete a Multiple Immigration Form, in which they provide personal information and the purpose of their visit.
4 – Proof of Purpose of Your Visit
As with any other country, the Mexican authorities will ask about your reason for visiting. Try to have supporting documents such as hotel reservations or tickets that show you plan on returning home after visiting Mexico.
5 – Risk Factor Identification Questionnaire
The Ministry of Health in Mexico has a form asking all passengers to fill out the “Risk Factor Identification Questionnaire for Travelers” to identify coronavirus risk factors.
Ministry of Health officials are present at the border crossing to examine individuals exhibiting coronavirus symptoms and implement appropriate precautions.
Note that all current restrictions can change frequently, so be sure to check on the latest restrictions before traveling to Mexico.
6 – Face Mask
Most locals are still using their face masks in public places. Some stores and public buildings will require you to wear yours.
7 – Comfortable shoes
If you’re going on a trip, it’s essential that your footwear is not only comfortable but also suitable for traveling. Bring sneakers or non-laced shoes, that can be easily slipped on and off.
Make sure you’ve packed shoes that support your ankles when you visit Mexico. The cobblestone streets can make for an interesting walk!
Don’t just bring one pair of shoes. When visiting a more traditional location, such as a church, it is advisable to wear closed-toe shoes.
8 – All-Weather Clothing
The climate in Mexico, especially in the center, varies greatly. You can be strolling along with cheerful sunshine one minute when suddenly a biting wind appears from nowhere, and rain begins to pour!
Unless you’re only going to the beach, remember to bring clothing for both hot and cold conditions. The ideal advice is to layer your clothes. It’s always a good idea to have an umbrella on hand.
9 – Sunscreen
The average number of sunny days in Mexico is high. You will certainly need sunscreen for protection from the sun.
The good news is that sunscreen can be found at pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience stores, and department stores in Mexico. Bringing a hat can be very helpful too.
10 – Water Bottle with a Water Filter
Mexico does not have potable water that comes from any tap. In fact, it is dangerous to drink tap water.
We recommend bringing with you a filter water bottle that you can fill up anywhere. You can buy bottled water, but its single use creates a lot of plastic waste.
11 – Over the-Counter Medications
Mexican food is delicious, but it’s best to be prepared for the inevitable. Some people may not know how their bodies react to a certain amount of chile or species.
While traveling, keep an antiacid or a laxative on you, as well as some form of medicine for diarrhea. Ask your doctor about any medications you should bring with you.
Even a spotless restaurant may add a little too much chili to the meal, and you don’t want to be fooled by Moctezuma’s revenge!
12 – Vitamins
Vitamins are readily available in Mexico. However, if you have a favorite brand from home, it’s best to bring it with you, so you don’t have to struggle to find it.
13 – Anti-Mosquito Products
Mosquitoes are prolific in the evenings and a night during the rainy season across a large portion of Mexico. Bring your favorite product to repel them, such as a bracelet, lotion, or citronella candles. You may also want to bring cream or ointment that soothes mosquito bites since bites can itch and swell.
14 – Earplugs
In Mexico, there are few locations where noise is not a problem at night. If you want to get a good night’s sleep while on vacation, consider packing earplugs.
Many locals aren’t necessarily considerate of other people’s need for sleep. Because of this, some hotels give them away for free. You could also consider noise-canceling headphones.
15 – Maps and Guides
You may bring a map of the area on your cell phone or buy them in book form. If you’re visiting a city like CDMX, having a Metro (subway) and Metrobus map is a good idea.
The public transport system in CDMX is excellent, so having a map will assist you to get wherever you want to go. You can also download offline maps to your smartphone or tablet.
16 – Pepper Spray
It’s unusual to see many people in Mexico using pepper spray, but it may make you feel more secure, especially if your hotel is on a minor road, or if you plan to walk back late at night. Just know you’re not allowed to bring it with you in your carry-on (it will have to be in your checked luggage). You should also check if your airline has any additional rules on traveling with pepper spray.
17 – Alternative Wallet
When you go to Mexico, it’s a good idea to split your money and credit cards into two wallets. We suggest obtaining a money belt that you can attach inside of your clothes.
You may carry your most important papers safely while also saving money. If you lose your ordinary wallet, you will always have cash and cards on you for this emergency.
18 – Credit Cards
If you are planning to do some shopping in Mexico, bring your credit cards with you. Cash is usually accepted at stores and restaurants, but it’s always better to pay with a card, so your bank can give a much better rate than you would get at an exchange kiosk or at the airport.
19 – Driver’s License
Have a driver’s license with you if you plan on driving in Mexico, either by yourself or via a rental car. If a police officer stops you, you’ll need to produce a valid driver’s license and vehicle papers.
Little Things That Matter
20 – Keychain
Most hotels and Airbnbs will provide you with a loose key, expecting you to bring your own keychain. Therefore, traveling with a keyring is a smart idea.
21 – Towels
Some hotels will not allow you to take the towels from their rooms to use them at the beach, for example. If you have a medium-sized towel with you, it is possible to take it with you wherever you go and utilize it as you please.
22 – Camera
Mexico is packed with locations where you can capture some amazing photographs. Some claim that Mexico is filled with magic, so be ready to pull your camera out at a moment’s notice.
23 – Journal and Color Pencils
After seeing a variety of cultures and customs, you will undoubtedly be inspired by many aspects of Mexican culture. Journalling is a great way to note-take and capture some of the beauty you see, both written and visual.
24 – A recording app on your phone
Mexico has a plethora of beautiful sounds. You’ll be astonished at how many wonderous sounds you’ll hear.
It could be the squawk of a parrot in a tree, a mariachi band performing for someone’s birthday, or the melodic sounds of marimba music in the park. You could even create a sound library with only your phone, and share it when you return home.
Items To Carry With You Every Day
Here is a list of items you don’t need to bring with you, but that you should have with you daily. They’re all available in Mexico’s supermarkets and pharmacies.
25 – Toilet or tissue paper
Public toilet paper is not available in Mexico, as it is in other parts of the world. In Mexico, most public restrooms do not have toilet paper.
When traveling through Mexico, bring a small roll of paper or some tissues with you at all times. Always use a pay toilet, since they are likely to be cleaner than free public toilets.
26 – Disinfenctant
It’s a good idea to travel with germicide or disinfectant drops for food and water. It’s better not to eat fruits or vegetables from a restaurant if you’re suspicious about their quality. Trust your gut in these situations.
27 – Eyedrops
Take into account that pollen and seeds are produced in the spring and fall seasons by flora and trees in Mexico. Because the plant species of Mexico are so different from other countries, many foreign visitors who have never had a hay fever might get it while traveling through the country.
A few eye drops can help to keep your eyes moist, and decrease irritation. They’re also helpful if you go to a highly polluted metropolis, like Mexico City.
28 – Sunglasses
Bring sunglasses with you every day. In Mexico, the sun can be quite powerful, even in the winter. It can often be so bright, driving can become very difficult.
29 – Tags (if you travel by car)
In Mexico, it is necessary to buy a tag for electronic toll collection if you want to use certain roads.
For example, in Mexico, IAVE and TAG TeleVía are among the automated toll collection systems on highways. You must first set up your device online.
Then, place the gadget on the inside of your automobile’s windshield (below the rearview mirror). You may charge the device using your credit card.
Although Mexico’s motorways are generally free, we recommend you utilize toll roads whenever possible. These are safer, usually have two lanes, and emergency services are available in the event of a breakdown in the middle of nowhere.
Here is a small list of extra items and accessories you should consider packing, depending on which part of Mexico you are planning to visit.
30 – Desert Gear
If your trip includes a visit to the desert, such as the desert in San Luis Potosí, be sure to bring insecticide. Encounters with scorpions and millipedes are frequent, especially if you stay in small hotels.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to panic; it’s quite possible that you can remove the live bug without injuring it, but spraying insecticide will help deter the insect from approaching in the first place.
31 – Jungle Gear
If you’re heading to Mexico’s Chiapas region, keep in mind that you’ll need clothing that protects you from both the strength of the sun and the insects that live in the tropical climate.
In Mexico, the jungle is no laughing matter, and visitors are frequently afflicted with sunstroke or innumerable insect stings, as a result of crossing it in shorts and sandals.
32 – Mountain Gear
If you plan to travel by car and want to travel into the mountains, bring medication for seasickness and motion sickness. In Mexico, the mountain roads are very windy.
In these areas, the altitude can also be very high, so check to see how high above sea level you’ll be traveling. It’s normal for someone who lives by the ocean and visits CDMX to feel sick at first, due to the difference in altitude.
Remember that Mexico’s mountain regions are nothing like the coastal areas. Valle de Bravo and Patzcuaro, for example, are areas where it can get very cold at night, so bring a sweater and jacket, and plenty of layers.
Mexico Packing List Summary
Mexico is a country that can offer so much. But just like many other countries, there are many things you should be aware and knowledgeable of before you travel there.
A little forward-thinking and planning will go a long way to keeping you safe and comfortable on your vacation, particularly if you’re traveling to the more rural areas of Mexico.
Use our packing list and travel tips to get yourself educated about Mexico, its climate, and things you need to be aware of when traveling to and from the country.
Put the effort in now to plan accordingly, and you can spend your time on vacation enjoying all that Mexico has to offer, and not dealing with problems and surprises that succumb from a lack of planning.
You Might Also Like to Read
- The Ultimate Vacation Packing List: 50+ Essentials You Need
- 18 Popular Mexican Foods You Need to Try
- 20 Mexican Desserts You Need to Try in Mexico
Save and Pin for Later
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Author: Ana Perusquia is a bilingual editor and writer from Mexico City, with a wealth of experience in the travel and publishing industry.