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With many of you heading out to beautiful sunny Mexico this season, I thought I’d share my personal beach vacation packing list for Mexico from my trip to Tulum earlier this year. In June, my mom and I celebrated our birthdays by spending 5 days in one of my favorite parts of the world: the Riviera Maya.
Traveling with just one carry-on size duffle bag, I packed a 10 piece capsule wardrobe for a leisurely stay at an all-inclusive resort in Tulum. We spent one day sightseeing in Playa del Carmen, one day exploring the India Jones style Coba Ruins, and the rest of the time chilling at the resort or in the nearby downtown Tulum.
I used this Riviera Maya Vacation Packing List as inspiration – you can see how I applied TFG’s guidelines to create my own packing list and now you can too!
Beach Vacation Packing List for Mexico
My personal beach vacation packing list for Mexico included:
- 1 cardigan
- 3 tops: 3 sleeveless tops in varying styles
- 3 bottoms: jeans, shorts, skirt
- 2 dresses: one sundress and one mini dress (that I also used as a top)
- 1 purse, hat, and scarf
- 3 shoes: dressy flip flops, thong sandals, flats
- 1 beach cover up dress
- 1 reversible bathing suit
- 1 weekender bag
Most of my clothing was purchased quite some time ago from places such as Forever 21 and H&M but if you’re interested in learning more, you can find similar items in the sample beach vacation packing list for Mexico at the end of this post.
You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly!
Beach Vacation Packing List for Mexico and Travel Outfits
To and from Cancun airport from LAX I wore stretchy, lightweight jeans with a cardigan and scarf to keep me warm on the flight. Topped it off with my hat, sandals, and souvenir purse from Guatemala. I love weightless and easy to wear circles scarves such as these.
As a diver, I spend alot of time on the beach and in the water and this terry cloth beach cover up has been super useful even doubling as a towel. I also use this reversible bathing suit to maximize my space. Everyone asks me about the above yellow dress and this terry cloth beach cover up is the closest I could find.
The key to packing light is to use packing cubes to compress your clothing shown in this video!
At night, I always like to explore so this outfit is cute yet comfy. Maxi skirts and dresses are a popular option for travel. I have an eye on this convertible dress / maxi skirt from Modcloth.
The next day, I wore the same top as the night before because it was still relatively clean and I’m able to get the most use from it between washes. These are some of my favorite (but lazy) stylish travel accessories.
I love this sundress which I wore during the day and night. It’s casual, comfortable, lightweight, and feminine making it one of my favorite travel dresses. If you want something for versatile, check out our top 5 convertible travel dresses.
On the first night I wore this skirt in the evening but for the day I paired it with a casual crop top for a fun and flirty day out.
I love mini dresses such as this one that I can on the occasional night dancing but I can also wear as a top as you can see below. Choosing versatile pieces is key when creating a capsule wardrobe for travel. Here are 10 more tips!
Again, I wore the same top from the night before to maximize it’s use while it was still “clean”. These are 3 ways to do laundry while traveling.
For the Riviera Maya, it can get breezy in the evenings so a light cardigan is enough to add a layer of warmth. I can also use it if I’m going to a more conservative area or if visiting religious sites. Here are some tips on dressing respectfully for conservative countries.
I’ve had a few days to wash the top I used to travel so I wear it as one of my final travel outfits. While the above ballet flats are from Puma, these are 10 other cute and comfortable travel flats.
Since I’ve only worn this dress once before during the day, I am able to wear it again for dinner without anyone noticing. I basically wear the exact same thing to travel back home as I did to arrive.
Shop my beach packing list for Mexico
Maxi Dress | Dress | Cami | Tank | Top | Cardigan | Cover Up | Jeans | Skirt | Short | Bag | Bikini | Flat | Sandals | Flip Flop | Sunglasses | Hat | Scarf | Necklace | Bag
Because many of you like to take inspiration from TFG’s packing lists to shop for your own travel clothing, I created the above sample beach vacation packing list for Mexico based on my own clothing . These aren’t the original items but they’re as close as I found that were available at the date of publishing.
What are you beach vacation must haves?
For more tips on planning your perfect packing list for Mexico, please read:
- Riviera Maya Packing List for Vacation
- What to Pack for Mexico: From Cities to Beaches
- Caribbean Cruise Wear Essentials
- What to Pack for Hawaii: Packing List
Suggested Travel Resources:
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My problem is bathing suits that don’t dry in humid climates. What do you recommend? I loved more dresses for Mexico. Breezy. Yeah, I wore the same 5 things over and over, but I didn’t care. I don’t think anyone else cared either and it was super easy. I did bring skinny jeans (worn on the plane), a sweater, and 2 tops to dress up a little nicer in the evenings. I did bring yoga pants and a zip hoodie to catch the sunrise.
Perfection! Going on my first cruise and it’s to Mexico. So this post is exactly what I need! Thanks for the pictures!
Glad you found it helpful 🙂
This is one of my favorite posts – because of the “real world” outfit photos. TFG has definitely helped me to pack a LOT lighter the past couple of years – even with a 2-year-old! Thanks, Alex and TFG!
Thank you Joan 🙂 Yay!
I love the green skirt where can I find one like this?
Hi Erinn sorry I’m not sure. I bought it a while back 🙁
Where are your dressy sandals from? They are adorable and seem to go perfectly with everything.
Thanks Michelle! I bought them in Thailand so they’re a no name brand from a local shop in Koh Samui. Sorry 🙁
Your website is so helpful! 😉 My fiancé and I are going to Puerto Vallarta next month and I’m going to try my best to pack light/minimal. 🙂
Thank you! I hope you have a great trip!
This is so helpful, thanks! My husband and I and our couple friends are heading to Jamaica next month. I love how your items pulled double duty. Will definitely put your techniques to use. Love your website too!
Thanks Vanessa! Hope you have a great time 🙂
omg, i love your website! i am driven by the optimal packing goal, which to me means minimal, mix and match, and of course, cute, so i am getting a lot of inspiration from your website. i also employ a rule that each item of clothing that goes must serve two distinct purposes and it looks like from this packing list above, you do the same. currently, i’m working on a “packing manifesto” because i not only pack for myself, but for my husband and my two little children (3.5 y and 10 mo)! even with a family of four and all the stuff that children “need” (like blankies and waterproof crib sheets), i’m determined to get us down to two backpack carryons and one kids’ supplies bag for a trip. (renting cribs at destination, of course!) i’m not sure if that kind of content is in your plans, but for the meantime, i just wanted to say “yes!” and “thanks!” and “great job!”
Thank you Jami, I’d love to have a family travel packing list. Hopefully I can get an expert to share one with us 🙂 Would love to see your packing lists!