10 Piece Packing List for Vacation in the Riviera Maya Mexico

10 Piece Packing List for Vacation in the Riviera Maya Mexico

This is the ultimate packing list for vacation in one of the my favorite travel hot spots in Mexico – the Riviera Maya coastline.

While the Thailand Islands are a massive holiday destination for Europeans, the Riviera Maya is a travel must for North Americans. Thousands of vacationers travel to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula each year in search of sun, fun, and relaxation. The exquisite turquoise waters and shimmering white sand do not disappoint those seeking picture perfect beaches.


1 Week Packing List for Mexico: Riviera Maya


The Riviera Maya – Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum – boasts idyllic beaches for travelers hoping to find a tropical escape in the winter (and any time of the year). The weather is perfect in December – warm and dry; it’s even cool in the evening time. With a temperate climate, you can fit your belongings quite easily in a carry-on suitcase or travel bag when planning your Riviera Maya packing list for Mexico.

While most of your clothing will be cool summer clothes, you also want to take a light cover up for the evenings as the temperature can drop, especially by the beach.

If you’re heading south to Mexico, Travel Fashion Girl gives you a 1 Week Packing List for Vacation with just 10 pieces of clothing!


Riviera Maya

1. High Neck Tank 2. Fringe Top 3. Halter Neck Top 4. Sleeveless Blouse 5. Off-the-shoulder Dress 6. Swing Dress 7. Mid Rise Skinny Jeans 8. Lace Shorts 9. Denim Jacket 10. Basic Tee 11.  Split Side Maxi Skirt 12. Gladiator Sandals 14. Platform Sandals 15. Oversized Panama Hat 16. Mini Leather Saddle Bag


3 Tops

For your packing list for vacation in Mexico, pack three comfortable yet chic tops you can dress up with jeans or your skirt. Play with your travel outfits to make sure your tops are interchangeable with the rest of your travel wardrobe. Choose bright colors for tops and neutrals for the bottoms for an easy way to mix and match your travel outfits.


3 Bottoms

Jeans – Surprised? A pair of jeans is the perfect addition on your packing list for Mexico. You can wear them on the plane, on cooler days, to explore, and dress them up at night. If you want something more rugged, go with cargo pants.

Skirt – Dress it up or down, a skirt allows you to create multiple outfits with just the change of one top. Choose a versatile skirt that you can wear in town, for dinner, or at the beach. Check out these maxi skirt travel outfit ideas.

Shorts – Whether denim shorts or something more dressy, a pair of shorts is a must for a beach holiday. They’re easy to wear and can usually be worn several days without a wash. Choose a length that’s most comfortable for your style.


 3 Dresses

Sun dress – Nothing’s better than to slip into an easy lightweight sun dress for a day out. Add a scarf for extra coverage and style should you be leaving the beach area. Respecting the local culture should always be priority when traveling.

Maxi Dress – A nice maxi dress in a light fabric keeps you cool and can be worn in different settings if you choose to venture further into the inland of the Yucatan. Check out these maxi dresses that are great for travel.

Cocktail Dress – The dress you choose for your packing list for Mexico can be a basic cotton LBD you can dress up or down or a sexy number you picked out especially for your vacation. You want something you feel comfortable wearing out to dinner and on the dance floor.

If you’re going during New Years, check out my post on How to Pack for New Years Abroad which gives you fun dress, accessories, and beauty options.


1 Outerwear

While the Riviera Maya coast doesn’t get extremely cold, I did experience many chilly evenings while living abroad in Playa del Carmen last year. I’d definitely suggest a light sweater, cardigan, or even blazer for the nights. Choose a neutral color that goes with everything.


2-3 Shoes

Heels and/or Dressy Sandals- Nightlife on the Yucatan, in particular Cancun and Playa del Carmen, requires a dressier look including nice shoes. The relaxed South East Asia look isn’t gonna fly. Many backpackers I met during my stay even went out and bought nicer clothing while they were here.

If you’re on vacation, add a sexy pair of heels to your packing list for Mexico. However, if you’re on an extended trip, nice flat sandals work, too. A pair of dressier sandals is a must in most packing lists especially by the beach where heels aren’t always the most convenient for some bars and restaurants.

Flip Flops – A must in every travel bag, these are essential if you’re hitting the beach. I like these cute iPANEMA hybrid styles that don’t look like the same old flip flops. You can find iPANEMA in several shoe stores on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen – that’s where I first spotted them! Depending on the style and material, if you’re a Minimalista and you only choose one pair of shoes on a quick trip to the Yucatan, these are a good choice.


When planning your final packing list for vacation, remember to cater your packing choices to what fits your needs. If you plan on exploring several ruins and being active while you’re there, add a pair of trainers and skip the heels. If you don’t plan to leave the beach, add a bathing suit and a kaftan in place of a dress.

What are your must have pieces in your packing list for Mexico’s Caribbean coastline?

 For more packing lists for vacation, please read:

Suggested Travel Resources:




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  1. Thank you so much for the time you put into this and for being willing to share it with us! It’s perfect!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Kathy! I appreciate the feedback! Happy travels!

  2. ONe bikini for a whole week in Mexico?!?!?!

    • I have one bikini for a whole year in the world ;-)

  3. Just one bikini for a whole week in mexico???!!!

    • It’s an ultra-minimalist packing list but you can always pack more :-)

  4. Alex, this is so timely – we leave for a huge family vacation in Anguilla on Thursday and am so excited to get the maximum fashion impact for minimal packing. Especially because I own pieces for every catagory, just needed help putting them together – great work!!

    • That’s great! Glad to help :-)

  5. You’re a lifesaver! Can you please tell where the other two tops and the yellow dress are from?

    • Hi Barbara! everything is from Tainted Kiss shoptaintedkiss.com/orange-blossom-dress-4517.html except the beige top which is from zalando.co.uk/ Thanks for reading!

  6. i love that b/w striped maxi dress! where is it from?

    • thank you! the dress is from Target ;-)

  7. Great outfit ideas! I love the green tiered tank, where is it from?

    • Thank you! Glad you like it :-) It’s now out of stock but the green tank was found here: shoptaintedkiss.com/scrumptiously-scalloped-top-in-green-5245.html

  8. the black cocktail dress is GORGEOUS! where is it from? x

    • Hi Rhea, glad you like the dress! It’s from Forever21 :-)



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