Cancún What to Pack

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  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo

    Pack Light

    by Etoile2B Written Feb 8, 2005

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    Kerry & me in just our bathing suits!

    Luggage and bags: Depending on how long you'll be traveling try to bring just enough to carry on the plane. But leave a little room in your bag to bring home souvenirs to your jealous friends you left at home.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: During the day you'll only need sandals or thongs. If you're planning to use the hotel gym, take a jog along the boulevard or hike the ruins then bring along some tennis shoes. At night bring out the dancing shoes... you'll need them!

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring extra batteries, pepto bismol, Imodium and tums if you have a weak stomach or fear Montezuma's Revenge. Also bring aspirin to combat those late nights out. When you're there make sure you stop by the supermarket and stock up on bottled water.

    Photo Equipment: Bring batteries, film and/or and extra memory card for your camera. It's gorgeous here and you'll want to take plenty of pictures. Also bring an underwater or waterproof camera if you're planning on participating in water sports.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: No need to bring towels, most hotels provide both bath and beach towels. We brought our own snorkel gear - but there wasn't anything to see off our hotel beach. All organized snorkel and dive trips provide your equipment. We brought our own paddle ball set to play on the beach.

    Miscellaneous: Bring a bathing suit and sunscreen. Also bring nice clothes to wear out at night. People tend to dress up a little in the evenings in Cancun. And if you're going to the clubs be sure to check out the dress codes first.

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Spa and Resort

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  • Kaspian's Profile Photo

    Staying at a Resort

    by Kaspian Updated Feb 8, 2008

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    Luggage and bags: - If you plan on spending lots of time exploring the beaches, you may want to bring a small bag with zippers on it. Things can fall from open pockets on bags and disappear in the sand.
    - A collapsible bag you can use later to bring home souvenirs. Many people like to buy large Mexican blankets which they have trouble fitting into their suitcase later. If this is your first time, there's lots of neat things to buy.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: - You will need some nice clothes to dress up at night for dinner and/or the clubs.
    - Men: Pants and proper shoes! (Some other tips say don't bother to bring them, but you may require them for fancy restaurants and the occasional chilly evening.) You may also need something nicer than a T-shirt for admission to some restaurants.
    - Women: If you're travelling during winter months, bring a light sweater--a cardigan or something like that. The wind off the Gulf can get very chilly at night.

    General rule of thumb for clothes in Cancun: Pack everything you'd like to bring and think you need, unpack it all and only put half back in.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: - Sunscreen (a high and low SPF number)
    - Aloe vera gel
    - Solarcaine or similar treatment for sunburns
    - Immodium, Pepto Bismol, and Gravol (just in case)
    - Ibuprophen, Aspirin (hangovers)
    - Polysporin (in case you knick yourself on underwater rocks/coral)
    - Mosquito repellent if you plan to do any jungle activities or visit the ruins at Coba
    - Normal toiletries
    - No need to bring a hairdryer, they will have one in the room

    Photo Equipment: - Camera, extra film and/or sufficient memory card(s), battery charger
    - Underwater camera if you plan on snorkeling. Your resort will have them but they will charge a fortune.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: - Bathing suits (1 or 2)
    - Sunglasses
    - Sandals
    - Sarong (women)
    - No need to bring beach towels to a resort, they will lend them to you
    - Hat (if you're a hat person)

    Miscellaneous: - ATM card
    - Credit card
    - A watch/small travel clock (you may find your resort doesn't have a proper clock in the room)
    - A book to read
    - MP3/CD player
    - A pen for filling out all the forms at the airport
    - An electrical adapter if you need to bring your own hairdryer, curler, etc., and you're not from North America (US and Canadian appliances will work fine in these outlets.)
    - Pack bathing suits, lotion, and other beachwear at the top in your luggage so you can access them in case you arrive at the resort before regular check-in time

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • School Holidays
    • Beaches

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  • patatina's Profile Photo

    Stuff to Bring

    by patatina Updated Jul 22, 2006

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    Luggage and bags: We brought 2 small suitcases for a week long stay and ended up bringing back an additional handcarry duffel bag to carry the extra stuff we bought, mostly bottles of Mexican liquor and souvenirs. We ended up getting the duffel bag for free but it's also convenient to just bring an empty one flattened down in the suitcase to use on the way back.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We went in July and the evenings were consistently warm. We brought light sweaters just in case but didn't end up using them. The type of outfits I normally wore were cropped pants or long shorts for the evenings with sleeveless tops. It does get damp out in the evening, so the lighter the clothing the better. I only brought a pair of sandals with short heels and flip flops and those were all I wore the entire time. Cancun is mostly informal wherever you go; but do bring along a summer dress or nice slacks for the more formal restaurants.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: (1) Aloe vera/after sun soother: It is well worth it since you will need it almost immediately if you haven't been in the sun for a long time. The stuff we brought with us was just a godsent the moment we got back to the hotel.
    (2) Sunscreen: The weather was always around 90 F and the sun is scorching hot, you will definitely need sunscreen applied right away. Again, it's so much better to bring it from home.
    (3) Immodium: Aside from Pepto-Bismal and Tylenol, I didn't recognize the brands of other medical products which are mostly Mexican. The drugstores show the comparison/translation of the Mexican's brand name to the U.S. brands, but you might just want to bring any medical supplies from home anyway since familiar brands will be very hard to find.
    (4) Shampoo, body wash, lotion, face wash
    (5) A must-have: face lotion with SPF, I brought along one by L'Oreal with SPF 15 and I credit it for protecting my face, especially my nose, from sunburn throughout the day.

    Photo Equipment: (1) Underwater camera: prices are much higher in the shops in Cancun
    (2) Ziploc bags for extra protection for camera from sun, sand, and wetness

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: We ended up buying souvenir beach towels for about US $10 each at a souvenir shop but the hotels do provide beach towels for the guests. Do pack a beach bag if you have one, if not, they are easily found for US $10 - $15 at the local shops.

    Miscellaneous: Reading material? I had a hard time finding English magazines and there were only one or two places where you can buy paperbacks.

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  • fire00starter's Profile Photo

    Be prepared...

    by fire00starter Written Feb 9, 2006

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    Luggage and bags: I bring a small soft-side cooler with me. This way you can carry water/beer with you where ever you go. I also use it for my purse and camera bag when I go to the beach.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I suggest bringing a sweater or a lite jacket for after dusk. Even though you are in a troplical region, it still can get cool at night. (65F) Just from personal experience, ladies, who wants to wear a sexy little strappy dress and be freezing all night long?!

    Photo Equipment: Bring your cameras and video, but also bring a soft cloth for cleaning them off. The sand at the beach blows around, and your equipment will get sand in every crack & crevis. the humidity and salt in the air can also make the buttons stick a little. When you get home, have the equipment professional cleaned. It's worth it!

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Carry a high SPF sunscreen. The sun is VERY intense and it doesn't take long to burn. (like 15-20 min) It doesn't feel like you're burning because of the everlasting, cooling ocean breeze. I tan very easily, but still put it on lips, shoulders & tops of ears. A bad sunburn will ruin your vacation, so just take a few minuites and put on your sunscreen

    Miscellaneous: Bring a stack of $single dollars$ for tipping. You will need to tip everyone from the bell boy, maids, wait staff, bartenders, drivers, tour get the picture. I always bring about $50 in singles, this way you always have a dollar to tip, and you will be appreciated and recieve the best service!

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    by gipper84 Written Jul 4, 2005

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    Miscellaneous: Make sure when you go to Cancun that you take a 45 or 30 sunblock with you. The sun in Cancun is really strong and can burn really easily. David thought he could withstand the sun, and got minorly burned after the first day. Afterwards me and Dave wore the 45 sunblock that I brought and we never got burned. The other good thing is that you can still get a really good tan even with the sunblock on. Make sure the sunblock is waterproof, and sweatproof. The last thing you want to have to do is to stop every 30 minutes and put sunblock on.

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  • Pat&ZoAnn's Profile Photo

    Save Your Stuff!

    by Pat&ZoAnn Written Dec 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zip-lock bag saves the day!

    Miscellaneous: For a number of years now, we have been putting things like lotions, shave cream, etc., in zip lock bags. By doing that, those things are isolated in case they accidently open during travel, making a mess of our clothes. Usually, there is no problem, but this time, one of the bottles opened and leaked. Thank goodness for zip-lock bags!

    Related to:
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    • Family Travel

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  • Darkeyedgirl's Profile Photo

    Get on the boat... Banana Boat

    by Darkeyedgirl Written Aug 17, 2005

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    the spray-type for kids is gentle & easy to use

    Luggage and bags: Don't worry about overpacking in Cancun; the attendants will carry your bags from the time you step onto the bus to scoot to the hotel, til the time you step off the bus to fly home.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes! I cannot stress that enough! My first time down I stupidly wore very sexy, strappy shoes. Second time? Well-worn, comfy shoes.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: This is Mexico; which means --- lots of drinking (Pepto Bismol helps the morning after); Immodium AD (you know why), Tylenol & Advil or both (ugh... hangovers)... and something for that bad sunburn you're bound to get. (aloe vera gel)

    Photo Equipment: A ziploc bag (Ziploc should call me for help in advertising) for your camera, and stuff at the beach; extra batteries for the digicams & regular cams.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Ladies should bring sarongs or something to help protect shoulders from the sun; SUNBLOCK on every outing; wide-brimmed sunhats...

    Miscellaneous: Sunblock. Sunblock. Sunblock. Sunblock. Sunblock. Sunblock. Even if you're the tanning-type... do you really want to look like a walking raisin when you're older?

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  • spartan's Profile Photo

    Bring the appropriate beach attire

    by spartan Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Depending on when you go to Cancún, it can either be very hot or cool. During the summer season, shorts, t-shirts, swim trunks and tank tops will do (you can also bring some casual slacks for those places that require it). During fall season, the days are warm, but the nights can be cool, so a wind breaker and slacks should be brought in addition to your summer clothes.

    Photo Equipment: Any camera will do, but suggest buying film in your own country since prices can be steep.

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort

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  • frqtflyr's Profile Photo

    Packing List - Where to Go

    by frqtflyr Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Mexico Map

    Miscellaneous: Weather & Sun:

    Cancún has the sun on permanent retainer. The
    city's temperature averages an ideal 80°F year-
    round, dipping painlessly from time to time, hitting
    65°F in January. It can swelter to 100°F in May, though
    ocean breezes keep it more bearable than the rest of
    the Yucatán, which can get drenchingly muggy and hot.
    Rainfall is rare, though violent storms called nortes
    can roll in on any afternoon, their black clouds, high
    winds and torrents of rain followed within an hour by
    bright sun and blue sky.

    November and early December are perhaps the best
    times to go, as there are fewer tourists and prices are
    low. The busy season is from mid-December to April,
    when prices are noticeably higher.

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  • rachel_sun's Profile Photo

    What do i need to take with me?

    by rachel_sun Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Luggage and bags: I felt totaly safe here.My flight was 10 hours.Deep vien thrombosis is now quite common on long flights,so dont drink alcohol,drink plenty of water,take an asprin before and during the flight.Get up every hour and stretch your legs.
    Some of Cancuns atractions are abit of a rip-off,but Cancun is touristy so that is to be expected.Im surprized how nice it was.

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    • Spa and Resort

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  • GinGinCoo's Profile Photo

    Bathing Suits!

    by GinGinCoo Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Its warm in Cancun the whole year round.. we were there during December and it was still hot. Bring several swimsuits and summer clothes.

    Photo Equipment: Lots of pictures and videos!

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you have your own snorkeling equipment bring it! They also have rentals there.

    Miscellaneous: Tanning Lotion

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • UKDaisy's Profile Photo

    Biodegradable sunblock

    by UKDaisy Updated Mar 18, 2007

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    Miscellaneous: If you plan to visit Xcaret or Xel-Ha, you can only use biodegradable sunblock at these places so that it won't harm the marine life. But it can be very expensive to buy there (might be a good idea to buy some online before the trip)

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel
    • Aquarium

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  • rachel_sun's Profile Photo

    Dont forget your snorkel

    by rachel_sun Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: sandals were all i took along.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take mossie spray,insect bite relief,plenty of sun lotion and aftersun.Headache pills and asprin for the flight.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: BIKINI of course...snorkel gear if you have any so you dont have to keep paying or que up to hire it out...

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort

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  • sunscreen

    by malalaura Written Dec 16, 2003

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    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: bring lots of sunscreen and different varieties! buying sunblock at your hotel will be expensive. also make sure it is waterproof. if you want a good tan and not a burn i recommend this. start with a base of SPF 25 your first couples of days. keep reapplying and then work your way down. if you don't burn move to 15 after a few days but i wouldn't recommend going lower than 8 unless you have really dark skin and already have a good base tan built up and will reapply it very frequently. the sun in cancun is brutle. my first trip to cancun i put 15 on my very first day, never reapplied and was out in the sun all day. i was drunk so didn't realize i was so burnt until i went to the room. let's just say my next few days in cancun weren't very enjoyable as i could barely do anything i was so sore. i also never tanned because my burn turned to severe peeling and scarring so i went home pale.

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  • changeinlatitude's Profile Photo


    by changeinlatitude Updated Mar 15, 2006

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    Luggage and bags: Take a small carry-on. Just a light bag to keep your music or movies in. It is usually best to check most of your bags.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Flip Flops are a must. If you are going to walk around the town or going to the ruins, tennies are usually the way to go. Most places are pretty casual, so shorts, capris, sundresses, light weight slacks will do. It is a good thing to take a light jacket if you are going to be there between January and April. It does get a little cool some evenings.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can get just about anything you need in Mexico, so if you forget something, the pharmacies usually have it and they are within walking distance of most of the hotels.

    Photo Equipment: Always!! A digital is the way to go these days.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Beach - most of your hotels supply your beach towels for you, so that is very nice. Make sure you bring your sunglasses and swim suits. I have a suit for just about every day of the month.

    USE YOUR SUNSCREEN!!! Trust me on that one.

    Miscellaneous: Try not to over pack. If you need something, what a great excuse to go shopping.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • School Holidays
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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