Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Make sure you pack an insulated cup with a snap-on lid. You can fill it with coffee for your morning walk on the beach. Then rinse it out and throw it in your beach bag. Once the beach bar opens, have the bartender fill it up. It's much more efficient that using the tiny little cups offered at most resorts, and they would much rather make up 1 large drink than 3 little ones. Plus, the snap on lid will keep the sand out, and the cold in. If you're tight for space going home, leave them behind for another traveller. You'll make a new friend!
Luggage and bags:
bags that roll are best for traveling
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: comfortable shoes (2 pair), summer clothes, a hat, rain poncho, long pants for men to go to the restaurants in the evening, at least 2 swim suits
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: band aids, medicine for upset stomach, sun burn cream
Photo Equipment: camera, video camera, lots of film, fresh battery
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: beach towel
Miscellaneous: insulated cup or mug, incense, inflatable pillow, bug repellent
Luggage and bags:
I pack a few of those pesky plastic grocery bags so that I can put our wet swimwear/clothes in them for the trip home. With the high humidity, nothing ever seems to dry.
Check your airline, with additional fees on some airlines to check luggage, we decided to carry all our luggage on with us. There are restrictions on liquids, make sure to pack them in 1 quart size bag per person, max. 3 oz per item.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Well, of course, you should pack a bathing suit or two, shorts and sandals. Playa del Carmen is casual, at some of the restaurants on 5th Avenue, you might want to dress a little nicer than beach wear. Most resorts have reservation only restaurants where you'd feel more comfortable with nicer clothes.
In early December, I needed long pants and a light sweater in the evening.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring sunscreen!
Some people get hit with Montezuma's revenge, you might want to pack some Immodium or for less serious cases Pepto Bismal
Photo Equipment: Most days I could use my digital camera but for boat trips you might want to bring a disposable camera in case it gets wet.
Also, if you are going snorkeling/scuba diving, you might want to bring an underwater camera.
Miscellaneous: A valid passport is needed if you are American and travelling by air. By summer 2009, this requirement will be extended to sea travel (except closed loop cruises). If you are travelling by land you can also use a Passport card in lieu of a Passport. Check the US State Department's website for current information.
I always bring all my neglected magazines to the beach with me, lightens the load on the way home and I don't have to worry about sand and sunscreen with them.
Miscellaneous: If you don't have a camera or videocamera that you can use under water, you should concider buying an Aquapac or something similar. It's a waterproof "pocket" where you can put your camera and take pictures down to 2 metres under water. There is so much to see in the sea here, so you should really have something for take pictures under water.
Miscellaneous: when visiting the archeological sites is very important that you bring sun caps or even an umbrella if your skin is very sensitive. The sun is very strong and the shades are almost impossible to find. Also bring water with you, and some confortable shoes.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: When I stayed a night in a new hotel right on the beach in town in Playa del Carmen around 13 years ago, there was tar in the sand all over the beach -- and then it was on my feet and would not come off. Maybe someone who has been there recently can say whether the tar is still there and whether it might be on the beach at the resort that is the topic of this thread. Just in case, I suggest bringing "beach walking" shoes that you will use for nothing else. Open shoes (sandals) are not likely to completely protect your feet.
Photo Equipment: If you can afford a good under water camera i would get one and take it. I never took one as i don't own one but when i did the trip out to the whale sharks i wish i had one then to catch these beautiful animals on picutre. Luckly for me the tour guide had one and put all the pictures on a disc for me and the quality is out standing. I have since gone and ordered my self one for furture holidays. A must have for any ways doing snorkelling or water sports.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I adivse any one who burns alot or easier takes a high sun cream. The first day i would a good make 50 and i still burn't. I ended up buying a good american brand 70 which seemed to work better for me. But when swimming in the water i used a rash vest to help stop burning.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I was advised before going to mexico to buy a snorkell and mask here in the UK because they are expensive in mexico. All the places i see selling good quailty snorkels and masks where abit more than the UK and the only cheap ones seem to look and feel cheap plastic ones. Depends what the prices of the gear is in your place of home but i found it to be slightly cheaper and this is a must have if going to Mexico
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Every beach i went on seem to have quite shape large rock or stones. Also when walking out into the sea it seemed to be the same but you just carn't see them due to the water at times. I got some before i went out there and used them all the time. Well worth thinking about taking them.
Miscellaneous: You need to just remember to take with you your immigration money to get out off the country. They have a person sat at a table within the check in line taking it off you and stamping your tickets. I got told its different cost at different times of the year and for differen't countries , i am not sure how true this is but it cost me $55 , which is around £38. You can pay is US dollars, English Pound or Mexican.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You need to take a large tube of cream for bites when in mexico. I got bited 10 times by a Mosquito which are sore but the ant bites there itch for day and days. The only time they didn't itch was when i put cream on which is a relef.
Miscellaneous: Just remember if your going from the UK to take a UK to Mexico Travel adapter weather its so you can charge your camera up or phone etc. Our room didn't have any and the hotels prices for one was around £10 more than we paid in the UK. We took 2 with us which did the job.
Hat, White long sleeve shirt (so you don't get your shoulders burned)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: sunblock
Photo Equipment: Water proof camera, for taking pics of beautiful scenery while snorekling
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Pack as many bikinis as you can