By the time you’re reading this, Jake and I will just be returning from our spring vacation to Cancun. It’s been over a decade since I’ve been a proper spring break, and as a Minnesotan, it’s well deserved. We’re not usually the type to travel to an all inclusive or fancy place, so this trip was likely going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So I kind of went all out! So here’s my Mexico packing list, including beauty, accessories, and some thrifted outfits from someone who doesn’t consume fast fashion.
Last summer, our friends approached us and said they wanted to do a trip together during spring break. I didn’t need to hear more. Minnesota’s winters are BRUTAL you guys. I don’t think I can even explain it. So there was no way I was turning down an all-inclusive resort in March. I’d also never been to Mexico, or any part of Latin America, so it was a way to add another country to my travel list.
For our trip, we decided to check one bag between the two of us. Jake and I lost our luggage during our trip to Iceland a few years ago (we got it back a few days later) so I’m also hesitant to check a bag. But we were going to need more than 3 ounces of sunscreen for Jake and 3 ounces of conditioner for my curly hair. We were also bringing sun hats, which I considered wearing on the plane, but that would be annoying 🙂 so into the luggage it went.
For the majority of my clothes and items, I packed them in a carry on and my backpack as my personal item. Also, packing for Mexico is a little different than other places we’ve travel too because all the pieces are smaller and lighter. So they roll up very small.
I’m not going to lie, I may have packed a few too many extra outfits. But I needed options.
- Bikinis – I brought three suits for five days – I wanted options!
- Romper – I brought my romper as a swimsuit cover. Something semi-dressy for grabbing a quick bite at the poolside restaurants.
- Sun Hat – I’ll admit, I love catching some sun and getting a tan. But I always keep my face out of the sun when I can. A sun hat with a large brim is essential beach side.
- Beach Bag – Back in January, I thrifted the cutest, nautical inspired bag for our trip and future trips to the lake. It’s the perfect size for sunscreen, some snacks, a towel, and my tablet. I treated the bag with a bit of Scotchgaurd and packed it away.
- Sun Dresses – I may have packed a few more than I needed, but one for each day should do.
- Sandals and Flip Flops – I brought casual sandals that I could dress up with a cute outfit or walking through the resort. I also thrifted some brand new Champion flip flops a week before our trip that would hold up to the water and sand.
- Dress Wear – Some of the restaurants have stricter dress codes, so I was sure to bring a nice dress, comfy heals, and a light cardigan.
- Denim Jacket – An essential piece for all travel, in my opinion.
- Athletic Wear – When it comes to excursions, I keep is casual and comfy. For the hot weather in Cancun, I packed some light athletics clothes and tennis shoes. Me and girl friend also planned a few days in a fitness class while we were there!
- Basic Sports Bra
- Athletic Shorts
- Old (but reliable) tennis shoes
- Tank top
- Bralettes – If I’m being honest, I only wear bralettes these days versus the traditional wired bra. They fit my athletic figure comfortably and are easy to hand wash.
Beauty & Health
- SPF & Aloe Vera – Sun burn just ain’t cute, so pack some extra sunscreen just in case. I also packed Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gelly for the potential skin burns. I was even sure to grab lip balm that includes SPF 30 because burned lips are no fun. Target had this mango Sun Bum lip balm in the travel section and I couldn’t say no.
- Herbal Essence Hello Hyrdation Conditioner – Since we checked a bag, I brought a full size conditioner to detangle the mane after swimming. This is my go-to travel conditioner because it’s affordable, hydrating, detangling and curly girl friendly!
- Lorac Unzipped Palette – My favorite summer palette with rose golds and bronze colors, so I knew it would be going with me.
- Cream Products – When you’re planning to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, cream products will be your best friend for a good base. Cream products also look more natural on the skin, especially when applied with a a beauty blender. In my makeup bag, I included:
- It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream – I originally received this as a sample a few months ago, and immediately knew I wanted it for our trip. The base product has SPF 50, good coverage, and is very comfortable to wear. It doesn’t keep me fully matte, so I brought a mattifying primer and good powder for blotting.
- Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops in Nectar – This was a new product to me, and it turned out to be a perfect coral that pops on my tan skin.
- Maybelline Color Tattoo Bad to the Bronze – Perfect for quick and easy eye looks!
- Waterproof Mascara – Between the humidity and water activities, I wanted a waterproof mascara. My favorite mascara at the moment is the L’Oreal Lash Paradise – I brought a regular and waterproof. Don’t forget makeup remover!
- First Aid Supplies & OTC Medicines – You never know what could happen when you’re traveling. Be prepared! So I packed up your basics – bandages, antiseptic and antibacterial cream, antacids, ibuprofen, antihistamines, etc. I also packed some PeptoBismol and other stomach-friendly medicines, just in case we consumed a bit of the local water.
Snacks & Accessories
Even though we were traveling to an all-inclusive, I still like to travel with a few snacks for the airport or during excursions.
- Quest Protein Bars – My favorite for traveling! I’ve shared my favorite travel snacks before, and these are always included.
- Trail Mix – Something for quick snacking!
- Backpack – The ultimate bag! I love traveling with my Eddie Bauer backpack – it’s water resistant, holds loads of stuff, and zips/clips closed. I purchased this bag before our Gatlinburg vacation, and use it for traveling, trips to the lake, picnics and more.
- Clutch Purse – Something small that will go with all your outfits that you can take to dinner. I have a Fossil side purse I purchased a few birthday’s ago, and it’s perfect! It small enough to carry, but durable enough to pack full of essentials.
You know, the official stuff and things you can’t live without.
- Passport, ID, travel & medical documents
- Phone & Tablet
- 32oz. water bottle & carabiner (to attach the water bottle to my backpack)
Check out more of my travel adventures here and keep up with me on my social media! Post coming soon on everything we did during our trip.