So what exactly should you pack for an all-inclusive vacation to Mexico, Cuba, or any of those one-week destinations that North Americans flock to during winter months?
This is the question I asked myself prior to my recent trip to Mexico. I usually forget what I pack for vacations and find myself spending far too long deciding whether or not those shoes that I never wear in my day-to-day life will finally come in handy on the beach, or if I should bring that icebreaker sweater to a 30 degree location “just in case”. Should I bring something nice for those nights out or fancy dinners, or keep it casual? I decided I would jot down everything I brought to Mexico along with a note whether or not I used it. Also, as I’m trying to minimize the stuff I bring while travelling, the rule was to pack everything in a carry-on only pack, with a small day pack for the plane or day excursions off the resort. To give you some ideas, here’s what I packed. Obviously it’s from a male-minimalist-who-can’t-seem-to-minimize-his-packing point of view…
- Tortuga Carry-on Travel Pack: The only travel backpack you need!
- Small Daypack: Great for easy-to-access items on the plane, or for day excursions to Playa Del Carmen or Tulum
- Snacks: Speaking of planes, might as well mention snacks here. Always bring snacks for the plane.
- Rain jacket: Not used, but always a good idea for a tropical location.
- Warm icebreaker long sleeve fleece: It was cold leaving Calgary in the morning and on the plane, but then it was never used in Mexico.
- Underwear (x10): Only used 7. Makes sense for a 7 day vacation, ha!
- Crew socks (x3)
- Ankle socks (x6): Only used 3 pairs.
- Long pyjama pants: Just in case the rooms were cold. It was never that cold, so I never used them.
- Sleep shirt and underwear
- Tank/sleeveless tops (x2): If I had another, I would have brought it. Around the beach, these items were my staples.
- Swim trunks (x2): It’s always a good idea to bring two. No one likes to put on wet swim trunks :/.
- Jeans: Hot. Heavy. But I love jeans.
- Long khaki trousers: Good for going out or for dinners. I suppose it’s nice to be presentable once in a while.
- Shorts (x2): One black. One white. Shorts are must-haves for hot destinations.
- T-shits (x5)
- Button-down short sleeve shirt
- Long sleeve dress shirts (x2): Handy if you’re going out at night (which we didn’t), or for those fancier restaurants that have dress codes
- Under vests (x2): I like to wear these under long sleeve dress shirts. Probably not necessary.
- Light long sleeve sweater: Again, I should remember, sweaters are generally too warm for tropical destinations! Never used.
- Flip flops
- Water shoes
- Walking shoes/trail runners
Athletics and Activities
- Workout shorts: Because gym days don’t stop, even on vacation!
- Workout gloves
- Water bottle
- Snorkeling gear (Goggles and snorkel; no flippers)
Toiletries and Medications
- Regular toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) of carry-on size
- Medical kit: This came in handy. Foot injury. We should have brought rubbing alcohol or disinfectant wipes and more bandages, of which we only had 4. We ended up having to buy rubbing alcohol and bandages at the resort.
- SPF lip balm
- 100 ml sunscreen SPF 30
- Facial sunscreen SPF 15
Miscellaneous and Electronics
- Small note pad and pen: Just in case.
- iPhone and iPad with charger
- iPhone tripod
- iPad keyboard with charger
- Sleep mask
- Waterproof digital camera and charger
- $100 Canadian in pesos: For tipping and miscellaneous small expenses
- $40 U.S.
- Amazon Rewards Credit Card with no foreign exchange fees: We ended up using this more than we thought we would for excursions, which cost quite a bit!
And that’s it. Perhaps too much, perhaps not enough, but it’s great to remember for next time. Even though everything fit in my carry-on, my goal is to pack less next time. Like seriously, why did I bring 10 pairs of underwear?
Was there anything I should have brought with me that I forgot??