You might think what you need to holiday in a tropical destination is simply a bathing suit – and you’re not wrong – but a credit card, passport and sunscreen would be a few of the best things to include on your Tulum Packing List. The ultimate packing list I created breaks down everything you need from the most important things to beach essentials, whether it’s the rainy season or dry season. No matter if it’s Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, or even Mexico City you’re heading to, my Tulum Packing List can be used to prepare for any tropical climate.
Your Ultimate Tulum Packing List:
The most important things for any vacation packing list:
2. Credit card and debit card
Be sure to let your bank know you’re travelling to a foreign country. It’s also a good idea inquire if there is an extra cost when using your cards.
3. Travel insurance
If a recent global pandemic and severe weather systems have taught us anything, it’s that we need to protect ourselves when making travel plans as changes may be out of our control.
4. Prescription medications
Ensure you have more than you need in case of travel delays. And be sure to bring them in their original packaging in case you’re questioned by Customs.
5. Cell phone
6. Portable charger
7. Copies of important documents
It’s a good idea to keep copies of important documents like your health insurance, passport, and contact information inside of your suitcase in case things go missing and they’re needed.
Essential items for any tropical destination:
8. Bathing suit
Expert travel tip: put your swimsuit in your carryon so that you have it in the event of your suitcase being lost or delayed.
9. Sun hat
This is handy for sun protection on your face and shoulders
Bring at least one pair of sunglasses on your Tulum trip. These Lilian tortoise shell sunnies will keep you looking chic while protecting your eyes.
11. Beach bag
Keep all of your belongings in one place during the day. Look for something like the Lululemon Clean Lines Tote which is made of water-repellent fabric.
12. Flip flops
Helpful when you want to walk from the pool to the beautiful beaches
13. Small first aid kit
This travel first aid kit is compact as well as affordable.
14. Reusable water bottle
The YETI Rambler Bottle with Chug Cap is leakproof and has a double-vacuum wall to ensure your water stays cold even in the warmest tropical climate.
Best Things to Pack for Skincare and Body
15. Reef-safe sunscreen with SPF of 50 or higher
I recommend this highly-rated sunscreen, Hydro UV Defense by LANEIGE.
16. Mosquito repellent
If you want a natural, DEET-free mosquito repellent, this is a good option.
17. SPF Lip Balm
Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm has over 4000 positive reviews on Sephora. Try the version with Shea Butter and Vitamin E which softens and condition lips, while the green tea extract and antioxidants help protect lips from damage.
18. After sun cream
Clarins Sun Balm Face & Body is free of sulfates and uses natural ingredients to soothe, hydrate and calm sunburned skin while prolonging your holiday tan.
Thousands of users swear by Nécessaire Deodorant Gel to keep them dry. This deodorant is vegan, has 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Niacinamide, and a fresh eucalyptus scent.
20. Moisturizer with SPF
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Moisturizer has a water-resistant sunscreen with SPF of 45 and 30% hyaluronic acid complex. It comes in a mini size that’s perfect for travelling.
21. Foundation with SPF
IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum is a color-correcting, medium-coverage skin tint with SPF 40 and Niacinamide.
22. Body cream
Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum cream is a cult favourite and now you can get it in a travel pack. These best-loved, travel-friendly minis include the iconic Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Brazilian 4 Play Shower Cream-Gel, and Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist for a head-to-toe fragrance blended with addictive notes of pistachio and salted caramel.
23. Contact solution and case
If you’re a contact wearer, don’t forget your contact solution and a spare case at home.
24. Eye glasses
Best things for hair care in a tropical climate
25. Product to protect hair
Bumble & Bumble Heat Shield Protectant Mist has UV filters to help protect hair against the drying effects of the sun, as well as hot styling tools.
26. Hair ties
No matter the time of year, you’ll want to tie up your long hair when it’s hot. These scrunchies will look cute while keeping your hair healthy and damage-free.
Your hotel room will likely have one but if you’re staying in an AirBNB or private home, you may need to bring your own. The T3 Afar travel hair dryer has a compact body and folding handle allow for easy storage in small spaces while traveling, and the auto-dual voltage automatically adapts for worry-free styling abroad.
Tulum Packing List: Clothing and Accessories
28. Light jacket
You can’t go wrong with a classic denim jacket from The Gap, which can be thrown over a sun dress or shorts.
29. Flowy dresses
A silk-cotton maxi dress is universally flattering and will appeal to everyone’s personal style.
30. Tank tops
Having an assortment of basic tank tops in different colors will give you a lot of flexibility to change up your Tulum outfit ideas.
31. A basic white t-shirt
This perfect white tee can elevate an outfit as easily as it can pair with jean shorts.
32. Swimsuit cover-up
This gorgeous linen top doubles as a bathing suit cover-up and an elegant blouse when worn with linen pants.
33. Jean shorts
A basic denim short with a dark wash are practical and stylish, and can be worn with a tank top or button up top.
34. Linen pants
Elegant yet comfortable, wide leg linen pants are a good option for a beach destination.
35. Light sweater
A lightweight linen blend sweater, like this one from Banana Republic, is perfect.
36. Athletic gear
Lululemon Align pants are legendary for being universally flattering. They’re also perfect leggings to wear on a long flight, especially these ones with pockets.
37. Breathable undergarments
It’s a good idea to ensure your Tulum packing list include sweat-wicking, quick drying underwear like these ones that are also naturally breathable.
38. Shawl, scarf or pashmina
I find this useful if you’re chilled on a long flight or need to cover up in the air conditioning at your hotel.
39. Closed toe shoes
If you’re staying at luxury all inclusive resorts, there may be a dress code requires this.
40. Strappy sandals or Espadrille wedges
An easy way to glam up a sundress is by adding a pair of strappy sandals.
41. Comfortable running shoes or sneakers.
Whether you’re running to catch your flight or hiking to see Mayan ruins, super comfy Vessi shoes are the perfect travel sneaker. And in case you get a little rain on your beach vacation, they’re 100% waterproof. Click to read my blog post reviewing Vessi shoes.
42. Dry Bag
If you’re planning to go paddle boarding, kayaking or any other water activity, you’ll want to bring a dry bag to keep your belongings from getting wet.
43. A travel purse or handbag
A belt bag like the Roots Village Pack Tribe will keep your valuables organized and secure.
44. A pen
This is your friendly reminder that you’ll want to have this coveted tool when you need to fill out your declaration card.
45. Power adapter
If you’re travelling from outside North America, be sure to check the power requirements and if you need to bring an adapter.
What NOT to Pack on your Tulum vacation
46. Expensive jewelry
47. High heels
48. Valuable camera equipment
49. Family heirlooms or items with significant emotional value
50. Anything that you’re not willing to lose
I hope my Tulum Packing List helps you to prepare for your upcoming vacation. I’d love to hear if you found it useful. Tell me in the comments!
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