Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Janine
Wondering what to pack for an all-inclusive in Mexico? This packing list highlights exactly what to pack for a Mexico resort, from clothing and accessories to medications, toiletries, and travel documents.
All-inclusive resorts are the ultimate way to have a stress-free vacation: you just show up, and everything is taken care of. It’s like daycare for grownups! Unfortunately, they don’t handle the trip prep for you, meaning you’re still responsible for packing your own suitcase.
Packing for an all-inclusive trip in Mexico should be pretty straightforward, but when you’re going somewhere new, it can be tough to anticipate exactly what you need. Going on vacation should be FUN, not stressful, so I’m here to guide you through this packing conundrum.
Your packing process should take into account the climate in your destination, the types of activities you plan to participate in, and any items you may need to feel comfortable and content during your trip.
The following packing list has been curated based on 4+ years of my own Mexico travel experience. I’ve sprinkled in all kinds of insider Mexico travel tips to help you make educated packing decisions. I’ve also included a detailed pre-trip packing list so you can ensure you have all your travel papers in order before you head to the airport.
Packing for a Mexico resort is a little different than packing for other types of Mexico trips. Because you’ll likely spend most of your time in the very controlled resort environment, you don’t need to exercise the same levels of preparedness and organization you might if you were out and about all the time. Honestly, your wallet probably won’t even leave your room most of the time!
This is a very detailed packing list. You probably don’t need every single one of these items. Take what’s applicable and forget about the rest.
Packing for the weather in Mexico
Overall, Mexico’s climate is amenable to beach vacations year-round. But the temperature, humidity levels, and precipitation may impact your decision of when to visit. Generally, summers are hot, humid, and prone to rain showers (and hurricanes).
Winter typically offers the most comfortable conditions– precipitation is low, heat is moderate, and humidity is lower than usual.
Here’s an overview of the climate in Mexico’s top destinations for all-inclusive vacations.
Cancun & Riviera Maya
Located in the state of Quintana Roo, the climate in Cancun and the Riviera Maya is reliably warm all year round. January is the coolest month, with an average temperature of 82.4°F. August is the hottest month, with an average of 95°F.
Hurricanes are a concern between June and November, and with them, increased precipitation. The wettest months are September and October.
Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit (West Coast)
With average temperatures in the mid-80s, this region is reliably warm all year round. The hottest month is August, with an average of 92.7°F, while the coldest month is January, with an average of 84°F.
The most precipitous time of year is the summer, particularly July, August, and September. Hurricane season on the west coast lasts from July through October.
Los Cabos has the largest climate fluctuations of these three resort regions. There may be a dramatic difference in temperature during the day versus after the sun goes down.
The warmest months are June through October, when the daily average high lands around 90°F and the low falls around 75°F. The hottest month is August. The cool season stretches from December through March, with January being the coldest month. The average daily high during the cool season is 80°F, and the average low is 62°F.
The wet season in Los Cabos extends from August through October. August is the wettest month, with a mean precipitation of 3.3 inches. This time of year is also hurricane season.
PSA: Don’t leave home without travel insurance.
Travel insurance is an essential expense when you travel. While the chances that anything will go wrong on your trip, even something minor, like lost luggage or food poisoning, could derail your trip. And let’s face it, you work hard for those vacation days!
SafetyWing offers affordable, comprehensive policies that will give you peace of mind when you travel. Their Nomad insurance is the best option for long trips (say a month or more).
Pre-Trip Checklist: Documents & travel essentials to pack for Mexico
Packing for your Mexico all-inclusive should begin with organizing your documents. After all, if you don’t have those in order, you won’t be able to get on the plane!
Because travel requirements related to vaccines and testing are prone to frequent changes, make sure you review your country’s current mandates a few weeks ahead of your trip. That way, you can plan to get the appropriate tests and documentation for your return home from Mexico.
Once you’re up to speed on what your re-entry process will look like, it’s time to organize your travel documents and essential items for Mexico. Here’s what you need:
- Vaccine info: You won’t need your vaccine documents to enter Mexico, but you may need them to return to your home country. Pack them somewhere safe. You may also want to take photos of these documents and upload them to your Google Drive just in case the originals go missing.
- Passport: You will need a passport to enter Mexico, and the expiry date must be over six months from the date of your return ticket.
- FMM: The FMM is your tourist visa to enter Mexico. In the past, this was a paper form that you’d be given to fill out on the airplane, but now you’ll just receive a stamp in your passport. The immigration agent will write the number of days you’re permitted to stay in Mexico within the stamp.
Travel tip: If you leave the resort property, carry a photocopy or a photo of your passport and FMM stamp with you. Police may stop you to perform an immigration check, and you could be detained if you don’t have proof of this documentation.
- Travel insurance info: Once you book a travel insurance policy (Again, I recommend SafetyWing), save the policy number somewhere that is easy to access so you can contact the insurance company if necessary.
- Spanish Phrasebook: While English is commonly spoken throughout Mexico, knowing a few key Spanish phrases will definitely come in handy. Pack this pocket Spanish phrasebook for easy reference throughout your trip.
- Cash in pesos: You’ll need cash for tipping bartenders, servers, and other service providers at your Mexican all-inclusive. Currency exchanges are a rip-off, and your resort may not have an ATM on-site, so order a few thousand pesos in cash from your bank before your trip. Once you’re in Mexico, ATMs are the best place to get cash, but if they offer you an exchange rate, hit “decline,” and you’ll get the rate your bank offers.
Related Reading: Money Tips for Mexico- ATMs, Currency Exchange, and more
What’s the best luggage for Mexico?
For most Mexico trips, I’d recommend a travel pack, but at an all-inclusive, you can get away with a rolling suitcase. You’ll likely go straight from the airport to a taxi to your beautiful resort. There will be no trekking over cobblestones or negotiating your bags up narrow staircases into an Airbnb; a rolling bag will work just fine.
- Rolling suitcase: I recently purchased the Carry-On Plus roller from Monos, and I love it. It’s stylish, well-constructed, and super light. They’re a Canadian brand, and their luggage is super stylish and comes in many beautiful colors. They also offer a lifetime guarantee, free shipping, and give you 100 days to try out their gear– can’t argue with those terms!
💡 Packing Tip: If you struggle to cram all your things into your carry-on suitcase, packing cubes can be a great way to condense items further. Plus, they make it so much easier to find things in your luggage!
- Travel pack: For those who prefer traveling with a travel pack, my favorite brand is Osprey. I have an Osprey Fairpoint 40, which I absolutely love. It’s light, it’s comfortable, and it’s the perfect size for a weekend getaway. The Osprey Fairview 40 is another popular option. They come in a few different colors, so you have the opportunity to set yourself apart from all those black bag travelers.
- Daypack: Daypacks are handy for beach trips, outings, and shopping excursions. I use the Osprey Daylite, which is on the small side, at 13L– I find it helps prevent me from overpacking. If you want more space, opt for the Sirrus 24.
Before you pack, consider your activities
I know we all seem to believe we’ll suddenly become totally different people when we go on vacation (in my case, someone who wears fancy clothes and applies makeup every day 🙄), but just try to be realistic about the types of activities you’ll be doing on your vacation.
Then ask yourself which items you’ll realistically reach for when enjoying these activities. Will you really wear that body-con dress you just dug out of the back of your closet? …Yeah, I didn’t think so.
What to wear to a Mexico resort
When deciding what clothes to bring to Mexico, you’ll want to err on the side of breathable and versatile. Of course, you should consider the types of outings you plan to take, but generally, lightweight, breathable pieces will serve you well in Mexico’s warm, humid climate.
A few basic tips to remember as you pack:
- Tight clothing can be uncomfortable in Mexico’s heat and humidity; opt for loose-fitting pieces whenever possible
- Soft fabrics are more pleasant on skin that is parched from sun, salt, and chlorine exposure
- Light colors show sweat more easily– doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack them, just something to be aware of.
When it comes to tops, keep function in mind. Tanks and t-shirts are great because they’ll keep you nice and cool when you’re out and about. If you’re planning a particularly active vacation, opt for breathable fabrics like light cotton or linen or athletic fabrics that wick sweat. This way, you won’t overheat.
Sun protection and bugs are a consideration as well. Pack a gauzy long-sleeve or a cotton button-down to protect your skin. A long-sleeve button-down is a great way to add extra warmth on a cool evening while also offering bug protection.
Even if the weather in Mexico is set to be hot, it’s still wise to bring at least one pair of pants. Airports, airplanes, and buses can be cold, so you’ll likely appreciate an extra layer. Pants can also offer sun and bug protection and keep you warm during chilly evenings.
I recommend loose-fitting or linen pants for your Mexico trip. Jeans are probably too heavy, and leggings are too tight to be comfortable in the humidity.
Shorts are essential for a Mexico beach vacation. Depending on the activities and excursions you have planned, you may want a few different pairs. A pair of nylon quick-dry shorts like these are great for wearing over your swimsuit for cenote excursions or snorkeling trips.
I’m a fan of loose cotton or linen shorts for the beach or pool, as they’re super comfortable and easy to slip on and off.
And, of course, you can’t go wrong with a pair of denim cut-offs.
Dresses & Skirts
Skirts, sundresses, and maxi dresses are versatile and functional while taking up minimal space in your suitcase. The nicer restaurants at your all-inclusive may have a dress code, so a dress or skirt is a great way to create a comfortable yet elevated look for dinner.
Long dresses and skirts provide sun protection, giving your skin a break from the harsh rays. And remember, loose-fitting, lightweight fabrics are the most comfortable in heat and humidity.
The best thing about dresses is they are a complete outfit on their own. If you like wearing dresses, packing more of them will simplify your outfit selection process!
Naturally, swimwear is one of the most important things to bring on a trip to Mexico. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the water, bring several different swimsuits, so you don’t have to squeeze into a wet one every morning.
As you choose your swimsuits, consider which activities you plan to participate in. If you have snorkeling and cenote diving on your schedule, you might opt for a suit with broader coverage than if you plan to just lounge by the pool.
Related Reading: The Best Swimsuit Styles for Mexico.
While Mexico’s beach destinations are typically pretty warm, evenings can be chilly, especially during winter. Plus, shuttles, buses, airplanes, and indoor spaces tend to be heavily air-conditioned.
Pack a couple of warm layers, just in case. I recommend a cardigan or a light jacket, but a hoodie or fleece would also work. The Patagonia Better Sweater is one of my favorite options because it’s super warm but packs down small.
If you’re traveling from a cold climate, a lightweight puffer jacket is a great piece to wear on the plane. I have a Patagonia NanoPuff, and I love that it folds up into a self-contained pouch when I’m not using it.
Underwear & Socks
Don’t forget to pack socks and underwear – I always pack them last because they’re small and I like to use them to fill in the gaps in my suitcase. Sometimes this genius strategy results in my forgetting to pack them all together 🤦♀️
Bring a few more pairs of underwear than you think you need, just in case you get stranded in transit.
If you plan to wear sandals during most of your trip, you can probably get away with packing just 2 or 3 pairs of socks.
Shoes & Sandals
Sandals will probably be your primary footwear for your all-inclusive vacation. Slides or flip flops are comfy and easy to slip on and off between dips in the pool– I’ve had these Rainbow sandals for years, and I highly recommend them.
Pack a pair of sneakers if you plan to do a lot of walking or take advantage of your resort’s fitness facilities. Breathable sneakers are a comfortable and practical option for exploring Mayan ruins or wandering around town. If you prefer sandals, Chacos and Tevas are great options for active days, especially since you can get them wet!
Accessories to bring on a Mexico resort vacation
When it comes to which accessories to pack for your all-inclusive vacation, it’s easy to go overboard. In the interest of packing light, try to be really thoughtful about which items you really need to bring. What will you actually use? Some of us just aren’t hat people. If that’s you, don’t try to become one on this trip!
Anti-theft purse or belt bag
You probably won’t need to carry a purse around while you’re on the resort property, but you’ll want to have one for day trips and excursions off the property.
While the chances of being pick-pocketed are pretty unlikely, an anti-theft purse provides additional peace of mind. With RFID blocking, slash-proof fabric, and locking zippers, you’ll be confident that your valuables are safe and sound while you see the sights.
A belt bag is a great alternative to a purse. I love them because they sit close to your body, making it tough for pickpockets to access them, plus you can even find anti-theft versions. Here are a few of my favorite styles.
Protect your face from the harsh sun with a sunhat. These are so helpful when it comes to preventing sunburn, and if you like to read in the sun, a sunhat will help cut the glare off the pages of your book. This one rolls up, making it super travel-friendly.
Sunglasses are essential, especially when you’re next to the pool or on the water. Opt for a polarized pair to help cut the glare and give your eyes a rest.
Whether you’re headed to the beach or the pool, you’ll probably want a beach bag to hold your essentials. Any tote will do.
My favorite compact carry-all is this one by Baggu. It folds down into a small pouch that you can tuck inside your purse, backpack, or pocket when you’re not using it. They’re super strong, lightweight, and come in all kinds of fun colors and patterns.
Masks are required in most indoor spaces in Mexico, including shopping centers and public transportation. Many resorts even require guests to wear masks in all public areas.
Whatever the case, you will need a mask at some point during your trip. I recommend packing several so you can stick them in all your different bags and pockets.
I have several of these masks and love them because they are breathable, have a snug fit (with a nose wire), and have adjustable straps. They have a pocket inside where you can insert a KN95 filter for additional protection. They also come in every color and print imaginable.
Sarong or quick-dry towel
Your all-inclusive resort will provide towels for your room and the pool, but it’s still nice to have your own for day trips and excursions. This quick-dry towel is very light and will easily fit in your daypack during excursions.
A sarong is a handy alternative to a quick-dry towel. Use it as a beach mat, to towel off after a swim, or wear it as a swimsuit coverup on your way to the pool.
Toiletries to pack for a Mexico vacation
Packing toiletries is always a delicate balance. It can be tempting to bring your whole collection from home, but you aren’t liable to use every last item when you’re on vacation. When packing toiletries for your all-inclusive vacation, try to consider what types of activities you’ll be doing and what you’ll realistically use.
You’ll probably need to pack more sunscreen and skin lotion than you might usually wear, but you can probably cut back on the amount of makeup you typically apply.
Remember, if you forget to pack anything, most Mexican all-inclusive resorts have an on-site shop where you can pick up essentials like toothpaste, floss, and so on.
Shampoo & Conditioner
Solid shampoo and conditioner bars are a travel essential. They’re super easy to pack and affordable, and they don’t count against your liquid allowance (more room for sunscreen!).
Lush offers several different shampoo and conditioner bars in different scents. There are also several brands available on Amazon. This argan oil shampoo and conditioner set works well for all hair types.
You can buy sunscreen in Mexico, but it costs more, and you won’t have as broad a selection as you can find at home. If there’s a particular brand you’re partial to, pick some up before your trip.
Biodegradable sunscreen is the only way to go. Many popular areas in Mexico are home to delicate marine ecosystems which can be harmed by sunscreen. In some places, you won’t even be allowed to snorkel or swim if your sunscreen isn’t reef safe.
Related Reading: The Best Eco-friendly Sunscreen Brands for Mexico
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Don’t forget about dental hygiene when you’re away. Be sure to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste. This bamboo toothbrush comes with a handy travel tube to keep your brush clean without taking up too much space in your toiletry bag.
Bugs can be a nuisance in Mexico, especially in tropical areas like the Riviera Maya. Pack bug spray and apply it as soon as the sun goes down to avoid irritating bites.
Hand sanitizer is essential in your Mexico travel bag. It’s great to have when you’re out and about, just in case you want to wash your hands and can’t find a sink. Make a habit of using it before eating, so you don’t accidentally get sick in Mexico.
Wet Wipes have become another staple in my travel bag, especially since 2020. Use them to wipe down your airplane seat, tray table, or any public table you find yourself sitting at. They can also be used as a hand-washing substitute. In really desperate times (like long airport layovers), you can use them to freshen up if a shower isn’t an option.
Carrying a small packet of tissues is wise anywhere you go in Mexico. Public restrooms aren’t always well-stocked, so it’s good to have a backup plan.
Because of the hot weather, a reliable deodorant is key. Solid deodorant is the easiest option to get through airport security. If you forget deodorant, you can buy it in Mexico. In my experience, Dove and Nivea are two of the most prolific brands.
Make a list of your essential medications before you begin packing to ensure you don’t forget any. Always carry meds in their original packaging to avoid confusion when you pass through airport security.
Even if you don’t take any prescription meds, bring a small bottle of ibuprofen or Tylenol and some Pepto-Bismol tablets. You wouldn’t be the first Mexico traveler to experience a hangover or upset stomach, and it’s best to be prepared.
If you do happen to forget any meds, there’s a good chance you can get them in Mexico. Mexico has excellent pharmacies, and it’s usually free (or very inexpensive) to arrange a consult with a doctor if you need one.
Related Reading: How to Avoid Getting Sick in Mexico
Electronics to bring to Mexico
When it comes to electronics, try to pack only what you really need. Not only is it faster to clear airport security without a laptop in tow, but it’s also one less thing that can be lost, damaged, or stolen. … Plus, leaving your laptop at home is the first step toward a truly unplugged vacation!
Here are some of the electronics and accessories you might consider packing for an all-inclusive resort.
Load it up with beach reads and pack your Kindle! It’s more compact than a book, it holds hundreds of titles, and they even make water-resistant versions now! Kindles hold a charge for weeks at a time, so you probably don’t even need to pack a charger.
You may not need (or want) to take any calls while you’re in Mexico, but your smartphone doubles as a camera, a translation device, and a map, so you will probably need it at some point.
Folks in Mexico tend to communicate primarily through WhatsApp, so download the app before leaving home.
If you don’t have international data, pick up a Telcel SIM card when you get to Mexico to take advantage of affordable local data rates.
Travel tip: Program the number for a local taxi service into your WhatsApp, so a ride is only a text away. Google “radio taxi” + [City] to find a company in your destination.
Wireless headphones are the best thing ever. Be sure to pack yours to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks during your flight. I love that you can clip this AirPods case to your backpack or purse strap for easy access.
A waterproof action camera will help you capture Mexico’s stunning coral reefs, sea life, and cenote cave systems. A GoPro is an awesome option, especially if you like to make vlogs or travel videos, but there are budget-friendly alternatives also.
Portable battery pack
Running out of battery power in the middle of a day out is the worst! Pack a portable battery pack like this one to keep your devices topped up while you’re in transit.
Waterproof phone case
These waterproof pouches are fantastic for stashing your phone and or credit card while you’re swimming. Sure, they look a bit dorky, but it’s a much better theft-prevention option than burying your stuff in the sand and hoping for the best!
Best Places for an All-Inclusive Vacation in Mexico
If you’re still in the hypothetical phase of planning your all-inclusive vacation to Mexico, here’s a look at some of the top resort destinations in Mexico.
- Playa del Carmen – Situated in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is home to many beautiful resorts and offers a broad range of activities and excursions. From swimming in cenotes and snorkeling with sea turtles to gorgeous white-sand beaches, lively bars and nightclubs, beach clubs, adventure parks, and more, there’s tons to do in the area. Click here to plan a trip to Playa del Carmen!
- Cancun – Mexico’s premiere resort destination offers a huge selection of dreamy resorts to choose from. With gorgeous beaches, excellent nightlife, and every amenity imaginable, Cancun is a fantastic place to escape to. If you’re itching to leave the resort, consider a day trip to Chichen Itza or a snorkeling excursion to a local reef! Click here to learn more about what Cancun has to offer.
- Cozumel – Located just off the coast of Playa del Carmen, this island destination is one of Mexico’s top snorkeling destinations. Cozumel is a wonderful place to visit, whether you want to soak up the marine life or simply enjoy the perfect weather. Click here to learn more about Cozumel.
- Puerto Vallarta – Unlike many resort destinations, Puerto Vallarta’s culture doesn’t feel diluted by tourism. This beautiful and charming city is home to many gorgeous resorts offering sweeping views of the impressive Bahia de Banderas. Check out some of the top all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
- Riviera Nayarit – Located on Mexico’s west coast, the Riviera Nayarit offers a collection of impressive, modern resorts with proximity to Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita. From here, you can enjoy golf, surfing, jungle hiking, and so much more! Click here to check out some of the dreamiest all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Nayarit.
- Los Cabos – Sitting at the tip of the Baja peninsula, Los Cabos is home to many incredible all-inclusive resorts with stunning ocean views. Whether you’re interested in a relaxing spa vacation, golf, water sports, or want to party the night away, Los Cabos has it all. Click here to discover some of the top resorts in Los Cabos!
Mexico Resort & Packing FAQs
What should you NOT bring to Mexico?
Hopefully it goes without saying that you shouldn’t bring any firearms, ammunition, or illegal substances into Mexico. If you are bringing any medications with you, keep them in the original bottles. Unmarked medications could be flagged and confiscated (or worse).
Pepper spray is not allowed to be carried into Mexico. So, if you’re a solo traveler and concerned about safety, refer to these safety tips instead of packing it :).
Another thing I recommend leaving at home is valuable items. It’s fine to wear jewelry in Mexico, but just to be safe, stick to the essentials (wedding rings, everyday jewelry, etc) and leave the rest at home.
Should I bring jeans to Mexico?
If you enjoy wearing jeans, there’s absolutely no reason not to wear them in Mexico. Check the weather though– depending on when and where you go, it may be too hot to wear them comfortably.
Do I need cash at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?
Yes! You’ll need cash to tip your servers, bartenders, and housekeeping staff. Often there are very few ATMs available at all-inclusive resorts (and those that are available charge insanely high fees), so make sure you get cash before you arrive. You can hit an ATM at the airport when you get off the plane or venture into town and visit one during your stay.
Is it rude not to tip at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?
Tipping isn’t compulsory, but it is expected, so I would plan to do it. The amount you tip is entirely up to you, but I’d suggest at least $200 pesos per day for your bartender or server if you’re staying at a mid-range resort.
Continue Planning Your Trip!
Mexico Guide Books
This Mexico phrasebook will help you communicate, even if your Spanish skills are lacking.
This Mexico travel guide is packed with all the info you could ever need.
I use a combination of Booking, Airbnb, and VRBO to find accommodation throughout Mexico.
Some cities in Mexico have more listings on VRBO than Airbnb (or vice versa), so it’s best to check both to find the perfect place!
Rental cars add tons of flexibility to your travel plans. If you opt to rent one, I recommend using Discover Cars to find the best rates!
Skyscanner is my favorite tool for finding the best deals on airfare.
Never leave home without travel insurance.
SafetyWing offers super-affordable policies that cover things like medical expenses, trip interruption, and lost luggage. They even offer coverage for some expenses related to COVID-19. Their policies are particularly great for long-term travelers, making them a great option for Mexico.
There’s no question that knowing basic Spanish is wildly beneficial in Mexico. It helps you stay aware of your surroundings, solve problems, and make friends!
RocketSpanish has a well-structured program that will take you from bumbling to conversational in just a few modules. Start your free trial today!
Still have questions?
Join my Female Travelers in Mexico Facebook group, a supportive community of fellow Mexico travel enthusiasts, where you can find answers to all your travel questions!