The Best Packing List for Mexico: 17 Items You Can’t Leave Home Without

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Beach at the Villa Mozart y Macondo Beach at the Villa Mozart y Macondo, Oaxaca/Oyster

If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, there are some things you just can’t leave home without. Swimsuit? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Sunglasses? Check. But if you’re in the mood to refresh your vacation staples, as well as add a few things you might not have thought of, check out some of these great buys to squeeze into your suitcase.

1. Allbirds Wool Runners

Allbirds Wool Runners

If you’re planning on exploring parts of Mexico by foot, but don’t want to carry around a set of heavy hiking boots, these lightweight sneakers by Allbirds are a great option. Wool uppers allow your feet to breathe and stay warm, while an impressive grip makes trotting up rocky mountain paths a doddle.

2. Summersalt The Deep Dive

Summersalt The Deep Dive

It goes without saying that a vacation in Mexico will include lots of beach and poolside lounging — and of course you want to look your best. The Deep Dive collection of swimsuits by Summersalt are not only stylish and eye-catching, but they come in tons of sizes for a snug, yet comfy, fit no matter your body shape.

3. Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen

Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen

While many sunscreens come with a high stickiness factor, this Supergoop! cream is different. Its fast-absorbing and lightweight formula is great for everyday use on both your face and body. Extracts of citrus, basil, and rosewood mean it smells divine, plus it won’t come off when splashing about in the Mexican surf.

4. Elan Wrap Maxi Cover-Up Dress

Elan Wrap Maxi Cover-Up Dress

Urbane vacationers know it’s bad form to pad around in just a swimsuit between time spent by the pool or at the beach. This breezy maxi dress provides just enough cover, though the plunging bodice and slit skirt still keep things light and airy.

5. Lululemon Channel Cross Swim Short

Lululemon Channel Cross Swim Short

Whether you stumble across a waterfall in a lush Mexican jungle or plan on exploring one of the Yucatan’s numerous cenotes, you may be tempted to jump into water. Thanks to these crossover shorts, you need not pack separate trunks in case the opportunity arises. A zippered pocket also means you can keep small valuables safe when taking the plunge.

6. Korres Greek Yoghurt After Sun Cooling Cream

Korres Greek Yoghurt After Sun Cooling Cream

Even the most careful sunbathers can overdo it occasionally, and the Mexican rays can be particularly fierce. Overexposed skin is not only instantly cooled, but also nourished and moisturized, thanks to the real Greek yogurt packed in this after-sun gel. Enriched with plant extracts, this popular Korres product works for all skin types and sun-induced side effects, from dryness to burns.

7. Lovers + Friends Montague Maxi Dress

Lovers + Friends Montague Maxi Dress

If you’re looking to up the stakes in the sartorial department while on vacation, the Montague maxi dress does just that. With a colorful striped design and breezy wraparound cut, it will blend beautifully into the vibrant tropical surrounds of your Mexican break. It’s perfect for that date night on the beach.

8. Bonobos Riviera Short Sleeve Shirt

Bonobos Riviera Short Sleeve Shirt

Nothing says “relaxed vacation vibe” quite like this hummingbird-print shirt by Bonobos. Choose a fit (slim, tailored, or standard) and length (regular, short, long). It’s also made from 100 percent cotton, so you can keep cool on those balmy Mexican nights. Meanwhile, a button-down collar adds a bit more style for those special evenings.

9. GoPro Hero5

GoPro Hero5

From kitesurfing to whitewater rafting, there are plenty of adventurous activities to choose from in Mexico. And with its super-sharp 4K video, the GoPro Hero5 is the ultimate way to capture, share, and relive those adrenaline-pumping moments. The durable design means it’s able to withstand plenty of punishment. Plus, it’s waterproof up to 33 feet for recording stunning undersea action.

10. Quick-Dry Water Shoes

Quick-Dry Water Shoes

In addition to protecting your feet from hot sand and sharp rocks, these non-slip water shoes work well for a wide range of beach activities, including surfing, kayaking, yoga, and Pilates. They are also designed to prevent chafing, so slip them on for longer outings beyond the beach, too.

11. Ray-Ban Retro Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Icons Retro Sunglasses

The sunglasses you choose can make or break your vacation look, but it’s hard to go wrong with a pair of Ray-Bans. These retro shades subtly channel the 1960s with a sleek, 21st-century finish. Crystal lenses offer 100-percent UV protection, plus lightweight frames mean you’ll barely feel them on. Groovy.

12. Everlane Linen Scoop-Neck Tee

Everlane Linen Scoop-Neck Tee

Staying cool while looking good can be a challenge, but not so with this scoop-neck top from Everlane. This chic summer tee has a slim, but relaxed, fit — perfect for that casual resort vibe. Made from lightweight linen, it also helps protect from overheating in the steamy Mexican climate.

13. The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat

The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat

You can’t always guarantee shade when you’re out exploring, so the obvious solution is to bring your own. This classic style covers pretty much everything you’ll need in a sun hat: a full three-inch brim, a soft terry sweatband, and an adjustable drawcord if it gets breezy. There’s even a mesh vent for added breathability to keep things cool up top.

14. Steve Madden Catia Wedge Sandal

Steve Madden Catia Wedge Sandal

Sandals are certainly a vacation staple, and this Steve Madden espadrille-inspired design belongs by the sea. Soft leather uppers, adjustable ankle straps, and a lightly padded footbed ensure all-day comfort. Meanwhile, the jute-wrapped wedge heel provides an extra height boost.

15. Birkenstock Arizona Sandal

Birkenstock Arizona Sandal

When it comes to casual footwear, Birkenstock sandals are up there with the best. With contoured cork footbeds that mold to the shape of your foot, these sandals are well-designed for walking. This, plus two adjustable buckles and comfy suede straps, make them suitable for day trips as well as lounging on the beach.

16. The North Face Top Loader Daypack

The North Face Top Loader Daypack

If you’re visiting Mexico for some adventure, then this compact daypack is the perfect accessory. The top-loading backpack is made from recycled fabrics, with a padded back panel and shoulder straps for comfort. A hidden zip-lock pocket keeps valuables safe, plus the manufacturers are so confident in its durability that it comes with a lifetime warranty.

17. RFID-Blocking Travel Money Belt

RFID-Blocking Travel Money Belt

With its colorful barrios, fascinating history, and buzzing nightlife, Mexico City has become a destination in its own right. But like any major metropolis, pickpocketing can be a problem. While anti-theft money belts have been around for some time, this nifty holder also protects from the modern phenomena of RFID theft (when criminals skim your credit card details through radio frequency identification).

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