Packing for a Cancun Vacation
Some things you should bring with you are:
- Underwear. This is almost impossible to
find in Cancun. The only men's undershorts I could find were $40 US!
All the stores just sell the same kinds of items (t-shirts, caps, belts,
You can go some days just with swimwear though.
- Socks, for the same reason.
- Salty snacks. There is not a very big selection
of chips, peanuts, etc. and they are relatively expensive compared to
restaurant meals. I accidentally took a big bag of bulk honey-roasted
peanuts and was very grateful for it. (Although it took a minute at
customs for the peanuts to be OKed.)
- Sandals, if you have them. They are the footwear of choice.
- Basic suntan lotion.
- One pair of decent pants -- shorts are not allowed at some of the
better restaurants and at some of the nightclubs.
- Decent camera.
- One light jacket or sweatshirt in case of cold weather.
Yes, I actually made use of this on a few evenings during my vacation.
- Band-aids. Between walking a lot in sandals, walking barefoot around
snorkel sites, and bumping into the occasional underwater obstruction,
you can pick up some blisters, scrapes, and cuts.
- Portable tape player and headphones. The airport departure lounge is
very noisy. The buses are very noisy. In the hotel zone you get fairly steady
low noise from traffic, surf, and/or air conditioning. In fact, I had good
luck sleeping with earplugs that I packed on a whim.
Some things that you can pick up in Cancun for reasonable prices are:
- Sandals, if you don't have them. Expect to pay about $17 US for a basic
pair, more for a good pair.
- Exotic suntan lotion ("bronzing", SPF 45+, etc.). $10 US and up.
- Various snorkeling gear. When you rent gear on many of the snorkeling
tours, you get to keep the snorkel. However, the rental charges do add up
so you should buy at least a mask and possibly flippers if you do intend
to snorkel a lot.
- T-shirts. Expect to pay 3/$10 or $5 for low-end ones (i.e. maybe 1-2
decent designs per store for this price). Expect to pay $8-12 for ones
with designs you like. Unless you are impressed by such slogans as,
"It's not a beer belly, it's a fuel tank for a sex machine".
- Cheap one-time use cameras. You can find them with no flash for
about $12 US, with flash for $20, panoramic for $13, underwater for $18.
Buy them at one of the many small photo shops downtown
(along Avenida Tulum, on the left side as you come from the hotel zone).
They are a few dollars more at the sightseeing places.
- Baseball caps. Although it took me a while, I finally found one big enough
for my "cabeze grande" at the 100% Natural deli in Plaza Kukulcan.