Beach vacations are a time to relax and enjoy the sun, but they can also be a fashion minefield. With so many different clothing options available, it can be difficult to know what to pack.

This Cancun packing list will help you choose the right clothes for a Cancun vacation, but can be incorporated into another sunny vacation or beach destination.

Maxi dress for packing to Cancun Mexico
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No matter where you’re going, there are a few items that you should always have with you when you travel. This list includes everything from must-have documents to things that will make your trip more comfortable. So they are definitely included in the things to pack for Cancun.

Cancun Packing List: Travel documents

Passport and travel documents to include when traveling to Cancun Mexico

First and foremost, make sure you have all of the necessary travel documents for your trip. This includes your passport, visa (if required), and any other required permits or licenses. If you’re traveling with medication, be sure to bring along a copy of your prescription in case you need to refill it while you’re away. It’s also a good idea to make copies of important documents like your passport and driver’s license, just in case you lose them while on your Cancun trip.

Check out this post for an itinerary for your Cancun vacation.

Cancun Packing List: Travel Insurance

I’m am avid believer in travel insurance. Whether you’re headed to the beach for a week-long vacation or a quick weekend getaway, travel insurance is always a good idea. Here are four reasons why you need travel insurance for your next beach trip:

  1. Unexpected weather conditions can ruin your plans. No one likes dealing with bad weather on vacation, but it can happen. If you’ve got travel insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for any non-refundable expenses if your trip is cut short due to bad weather.
  2. You could get sick or injured while on vacation. If you get sick or injure yourself while on vacation, travel insurance will help cover the cost of medical treatment. This is especially important if you’re traveling outside of your home country, where medical care can be very expensive, or your personal insurance may not cover you in a foreign country.
  3. Your belongings could get lost or stolen. If your luggage gets lost or stolen while you’re on vacation, travel insurance will reimburse you for the cost of replacing your belongings. This coverage is usually limited to a certain amount, so be sure to read the policy carefully before you buy.
  4. You might have to cancel your trip unexpectedly. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs, and sometimes that means having to cancel your vacation plans. If you’ve got travel insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for any non-refundable expenses if you have to cancel your trip due to a covered reason like illness or jury duty.

No one wants to think about all the ways their beach vacation could go wrong, but travel insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind. So before you pack your bags and head for the sand, be sure to purchase a travel insurance policy.

Cancun Packing List: The weather

First, consider the climate of your destination. Cancun is located on the Yucatan peninsula with a tropical climate, even in the winter months. Which means that Cancun just experiences a dry season and a wet season.

The dry season is during winter from December to February. The average temperature is warm with little humidity and sunny skies. Perfect for plenty of beach days. March to May has similar mild temperatures, but a bit more of a humid climate.

The fall and summer months from June to November is considered hurricane season or the rainy season in Cancun. Temperatures and humidity run high, with September typically being the rainiest month of the year. So with that in mind, pack accordingly depending on which season you’ll be enjoying your Cancun beach vacation.

Cancun Mexico itinerary selfie at the CANCUN sign

Light layers. But in any season, you’ll still experience loads of beach time and outdoor activities. So you’ll still want to pack clothing that’s light layers to keep you cool and comfortable. Flowy dresses, maxi dresses and tank tops and shorts are ideal for daytime wear, while long pants and long skirts are better for evening walks on the beach. You also won’t need much more that flip flops or a pair of sandals for footwear.

Dress code. If you are staying at an all inclusive resort in the famous Hotel Zone, some of the best restaurants will have a dress code. A good choice is to also pack a nicer evening dress and a light sweater if it’s a place that has air conditioning. Some Cancun resort restaurants even restrict open toe shoes for dinner, so a great idea is to pack a good pair of dressy flats or high heels. Those heels might also come in handy if you plan to venture to Cancun’s famous nightclub, Coco Bongo!

Visiting Cancun during the rainy season requires a few more list of things. A rain jacket, travel umbrella, water shoes and pair of pants will ensure any downpour won’t break up your fun activities. However, you can check where you’re staying as many luxury resorts in Cancun will have many of these items readily available in your hotel room.

Check out this post for a great all-inclusive family friendly resort to stay while in Cancun.

Cancun packing list: The activities

Second, think about your activities. If you plan on spending most of your time lounging by the pool or on any of the beautiful beaches, you’ll want to pack cover-up and a beach bag to carry all the essentials. Maybe include a good book as there’s nothing quite like relaxing on the sand with a good book in hand.

But if you’re planning on sightseeing or exploring the local area, you’ll need clothes that are more comfortable for walking such as linen pants and a pair of comfortable walking shoes.

Hyatt Ziva Cancun club pool and cabana

Sightseeing. A few places I would recommend is exploring the Mayan ruins, chichén itzá, and some cenotes (swimming holes). Day trips can be booked to a great sightseeing place, then end the day at a cenote. If you do this, you’ll most likely need a change of clothing, so I recommend bringing a travel backpack that includes a bag for all your wet clothing.

Water sports. A day trip can also be booked for all day water activities, such as scuba diving to see coral reef, parasailing or boat rides. While you engage these water sports, you’ll most likely need a dry bag and waterproof phone case to keep your belongings from getting water logged.

Day trips. I also recommend visiting the picturesque places of Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum. You’ll need a travel backpack and dry bag for these excursions too!

Check out what you can do and book all your day trips and sightseeing excursion right here!

Cancun packing list: The accessories

Finally, don’t forget about accessories! A wide-brimmed sun hat will protect your face from the sun, while sunglasses and biodegradable sunscreen are essential for any beach vacation.

Pack a few lightweight scarves or sarongs to use as beach towels or wraps. I usually also pack a light long sleeve top for extreme sunny days. And hair ties to keep it out of your face when swimming.

One of the worst things about being at the beach is having your lips chap from the sun and salt water. Be sure to pack lip balm with SPF to keep your lips hydrated and protected.

Just as important as lip balm is staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you to fill up throughout the day. And don’t forget about mosquito repellent so as to not be eaten alive by bugs. Apply mosquito repellent before heading out, and re-apply as needed throughout the day.

Cancun packing list: The essentials

One last thing for travel essentials is cash and credit cards. Most resorts, restaurants and bars, tour companies and shopping places accept credit card. A general rule is that cash in USD is accepted in most tourist places, resorts and taxis, so there’s not need to convert your money, but do be up to date on conversion rates!

By packing these items, you can be sure to have a fun and safe day in the sun.

Cancun packing list: The bathing suit

I also didn’t forget to include a bathing suit! Saved the best for last and here are a few of my current favorites for swimwear:

Pink bathing suit in balcony hot tub at Hyatt Ziva Cancun
Blue one piece bathing suit with head scarf


What to pack for Cancun? Now you know!

With these packing tips for Cancun in mind, you’ll be sure to pack the perfect wardrobe for a relaxing and stylish beach vacation.

Here are some other beach inspiration posts:

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2 years ago

Love your article. BTW, I think I spot a typo. Puerto Vallarta in the day trip is probably unintentional.

Last edited 2 years ago by San
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