10 Things to Pack for a Perfect Trip to Cancun

See recent posts by Christina Vercelletto

Grand Oasis Cancun/Oyster

Grand Oasis Cancun/Oyster

Cancun, located at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, is one of the most popular spots for a beach vacation. It has all the trappings of a tropical paradise, and is a relatively short flight from the East Coast. While it’s not exactly the ideal destination for a quiet getaway -- its party atmosphere draws a rowdy crowd -- most travelers want to check it out at least once (partiers plan repeat visits). Once you’ve decided you want to visit (for the first or fifth time), the question becomes what to bring. Of course, swimsuits, cover-ups, and flip-flops will top your packing list. Here’s what else to carry along to make sure you have a memorable trip to Cancun.

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1. Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

Given Cancun’s proximity to the equator, the sun can be strong. That being said, a high SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen (meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays) that’s water-resistant is a must. And make sure it’s not expired. Rather than relying on that tube that has been sitting in your closet for two years, pick up some fresh bottles. We recommend La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 sunscreen, which checks all the boxes.  

2. Lip Balm With SPF Protection

Our lips burn just as fast — if not faster — than the rest of our face. Still, many of us forget to apply sunscreen on our pout. Forget in Cancun, however, and you might have to skip that margarita in a salted glass. Coola Liplux is hypoallergenic, protects with SPF 30, and goes on smoothly, with no funny taste. 

3. Sun Hat

Trust us, you’ll be happy you brought a wide-brimmed hat to Cancun — not only for the beach, but also for strolling around. You can find plenty of cute options that fold up to fit in your bag, like this Goorin Bros. floppy hat, made entirely of paper. Plus, the thin leather strip adds a chic touch.

4. Apres-Sun Spritz

Do you see a theme here? Pack things that will protect you from the sun. Another oft-forgotten, but really useful, item to have is a skin-soothing spray. Herbivore Botanical’s After Sun mist can ease the sting of a sunburn. It’s packed with aloe, and even if you don’t get singed, it’ll moisturize and cool your skin after all that time in the pool or sea. 

5. Portable Charger

What’s worse than heading out in Cancun — surrounded by turquoise water, pink bougainvillea, and blue skies — and finding your phone dead and unable to snap photos of the picturesque scene? Whether your battery drains quickly from capturing photos or searching for service, Gearonic ultra-thin portable charger is here to the rescue. It’s sleek, small, and works fast, so you won’t miss a single memory-making shot.

6. Hair Ties

It’s both hot and humid in Cancun, so unless you’re rocking a pixie cut, you will likely want to get your hair off your neck before even pulling up to the hotel. Toss a few Goody scrunchies in your bag. They’re comfy, easy on your hair, and have a fun retro style. 

7. Sunglasses

You might want to invest in a good pair of sunglasses — not only to protect your eyes, but also to take Cancun on in style. Native Eyewear’s Kodiak polarized sunglasses make colors seem crisper and reduce glare, even on the brightest of beach days.

8. Humidity Spray

On the few occasions — an elegant dinner out perhaps — that you may not want to wear your hair up, a product to de-frizz your mane can be a game-changer. Triumph & Disaster’s KareKare hair tonic is all natural, with sea salts and root extracts. Apply it after a shower and let your locks air dry for an effortless, beach-y look.

9. Versatile Tote

Super cool beach bag? Check. Shopping tote that will zip through security? Check. Approved for stadiums, arenas, and festivals back home? Check, check, and check. The clear Policy handbag might just be the perfect satchel. They’re even vegan.  

10. Earplugs

Even if you’re in Cancun to party, you will want some good sleep. Eargasm High Fidelity earplugs will help, especially if you’re staying in a lively hotel with thin walls. They’re meant for concerts, so you know they’ll get the job done. Plus, they’ll also come in handy on the plane.

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