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Packing list for a Mexico vacation

I think we all try to remember the basics like swimsuit, sunglasses, and sunscreen. But what about those items you don’t think of until you’re there? Here are just a few you might not think of …

1. A sweater!

I know I know, you think Mexico is sunny and gorgeous and warm all the time. But not always … there are also gorgeous cloudy days, too! Even some summer nights can get cold with the right humidity and coastal breeze. I always want to walk the beach during sunset, and when it ends, I immediately regret my decision. Tie a sweater around your waist! What also works well is to tie-up the arms and body like a little duffle bag! It’s quite handy! Even on a good day, use it to cover up your sunburned areas. Just keep a sweater with you.

2. Hair supplies

After a day on a boat, or at the beach, hair usually ends up with a head full of tangles or sand. I highly recommend bringing your own hair supplies. Long hair or short, I always recommend bringing your own shampoo, conditioner, and detangler. Most home shares or privately rented condos don’t provide these amenities. And the hotels that do give you those itty-bitty bottles that can’t really get the job done. For my bald/short-haired friends, alternating between sunscreen and dry shampoo is key. Anytime you’re dry, put in sunscreen, anytime you feel greasy and grimy, use dry shampoo. Really helpful for the skin. As for my long-haired friends, a good hairbrush. There are brush kinds for wet or dry hair. And when worst comes to worst, some hair ties for a messy bun.

3. Plastic bags or doggie poop bags

Even if I’m not bringing my pups along, I still recommend bringing these, as many hotels and condos don’t have extras of these in the room. Usually these doggie bags are the perfect size for the small trashcans in each room and are great to have in your pocket or purse as you walk about. They’re also great on a boat if your friends struggle with seasickness. At the beach, I had one bag for shells and one bag for trash.

4. Headlamp or flashlight

It doesn’t matter where you are in Mexico, it has an amazing nightlife. I don’t mean just the clubs, I mean the wildlife. In the desert you can check out the bats fluttering from cactus to cactus. You’d be surprised how many owl and coyote eyes are watching you, too! Some areas even have armadillos! And if you’re near the coast, ask the locals about the times of the tide. When the water recedes back at night or early morning, head out to the new shoreline and check out the life in the tide pools. I recommend turning it off for a moment—you might just catch some bioluminescent plankton making the beach naturally glow blue!

5. External charger/car phone charger

There’s nothing worse than having your phone die while you’re in another country. It could be something as simple as you wanting to take a picture of this beach, your huge margarita, or that dolphin! Or it could be something serious, like needing to call for help. If there’s ever an accident I need to be able to call in a claim, and call my family back home! I always bring a pocket-sized external waterproof charger with me while I’m walking about. And my car has its own charger in case I get pulled over, so I can show them my proof of Mexican auto insurance.