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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. It will help you vacation in this vast, colorful, and wonderful country smarter, safer, and in style.
If you read to the end 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.
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.
Documents You Need
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.
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.
Multiple Immigration Form (FMM)
Every person who enters Mexico must complete a Multiple Immigration Form, also called a Multiple Migratory Form (FMM), in which they provide personal information and the purpose of their visit. The form will be provided by the airline or at the port of entry.
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.
Essentials to Pack
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.
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.
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.
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 a filter water bottle you can fill up anywhere. You can buy bottled water, but its single-use creates a lot of plastic waste.
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 spices.
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!
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.
Mosquitoes are prolific in the evenings and at night during the rainy season across a large portion of Mexico. Bring your favorite product or bug spray to repel them, such as a bracelet, lotion, spray for your clothes, or citronella candles. You may also want to bring cream or ointment that soothes mosquito bites since bites can itch and swell.
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.
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 in getting wherever you want to go. You can also download offline maps to your smartphone or tablet.
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 to the 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Journal and Color Pens or 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 take notes and capture some of the beauty you see, both written and visual.
A recording app on your phone
Mexico has a plethora of beautiful sounds. You’ll be astonished at how many wonderful 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.
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 it will likely be cleaner than free public toilets.
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.
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 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 visit a highly polluted metropolis like Mexico City.
Bring sunglasses with you every day. In Mexico, the sun can be quite powerful, even in the winter. It can often be so bright that driving can become very difficult.
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 using toll roads whenever possible. These are safer and 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 plan to visit.
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.
Remember 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.
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.
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 is a country that can offer so much. But just like many other countries, there are many things you should be aware of and knowledgeable about 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 ultimate packing list and travel tips to educate yourself about Mexico, its climate, and things you must 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.
These Mexico travel essentials can help you enjoy your Mexico trip to the fullest and spend your time in the warm weather of the Mexican sun doing the things that matter: exploring the beach towns, embracing the beauty of the rural countryside, and getting plenty of beach and pool time at various hotels and beach destinations while you’re at.
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