What to Take on Your Tulum VacationSo you’ve booked your first trip to Tulum and are daydreaming in work meetings and checkout lines. That white sand, the clear blue waters — you’re ready to leave tomorrow. Only one problem: you don’t know what to pack for Tulum. Dressy? Casual? How many bathing suits? Luckily, I’ve got you covered with this Tulum packing list!
The Good NewsDo you have a muumuu? Have you ever wanted to unleash your sexy inner Mrs. Roper? (You remember her – the downstairs neighbor from the Three’s Company sitcom!?) That airy dress you bought on a whim to look like the Instagram “influencers,” but then chickened out on wearing? FIND IT NOW — it’s perfect. The vibe of Tulum is hip and laid back, so think flowy skirts, rompers, caftans and off-the -shoulder dresses. I only pack dresses and cover-ups, because if I get a sunburn I want the least amount of stuff touching my lobster-y body as possible.
What You’ll Be DoingRelaxing on a beach lounger. Taking sunset walks. Eating at local spots – while even the fancy ones are relatively casual. Cooling off in cenotes or the beach by Mayan ruins. Snorkeling with turtles up the road in Akumal Bay. Bicycling along the beach road.
If you plan to get around by bike, you’ll want to add some shorts or rompers to the mix for sure. I don’t pack heels, because I’m a klutz-and-a-half. Also, the roads are not well paved or lit. Instead bring flip flops and strappy sandals. Add a pair of sneakers or hiking sandals if you plan to bicycle or explore ruins. Many beach hotels have sand pathways as soon as you step onto their grounds — which means BARE FEET. (Ahhhhhh!)
Tulum Packing ListI recommend packing at least two bathing suits and cover-ups since you’ll spend most of your time on the beach. I’d also take 4-7 dresses or rompers/outfits based on how many days you will stay. Taking one-piece outfits doesn’t allow you to mix-and-match, but you can always “sink-wash” a few items. Tulum restaurants are lit mostly by candlelight and lanterns, so no one’s ever going to know if you re-wear your faves. Also a bathing suit with a sarong is completely acceptable attire for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner at many beachfront spots!
Click the text links below for designer-inspired “what to wear in Tulum” options at reasonable prices. (Because you should splurge on dinner the last night of your trip, not a $500 caftan.)
Caftan | Maxi dress | Comfy maxi dress | Short romper
Jumpsuit | Off-the-shoulder dress | Sporty dress
Cover-up | Cover-up #2 | One-shoulder suit | One-piece suit
Ruffle bikini | Sarong | Packable sun hat | Packable sun hat #2
Straw clutch | Rattan bag | Rolling carry-on | Over-handle carry-on
Add-Ons for Your Tulum Packing List
- Sunscreen or reef-safe sunscreen for swimming with turtles
- After sun/aloe vera
- Mosquito repellent – I am not kidding about this. They will eat you alive. Take a spray with DEET and wipes for on-the-go
- Outlet adapter if you’re from overseas (if you’re from North America, you won’t need one – Mexico has the same plugs as the US and Canada)
- Dry pouch for your room/car keys
- Headlamp for biking – there isn’t much light on the beach roads, so it will help with getting around after dark
- Battery pack – if your hotel has limited hours of electricity
- Hiking sandals
- Tide sink packets
- Quick dry towel for swimming in cenotes (or be sure your hotel provides beach towels you can take along)
- Waterproof camera or waterproof phone case (cases aren’t that great underwater, but you can get some supermodel surf shots without worrying about water damage)
- Snorkel and mask or prescription snorkel mask — if you want to snorkel with turtles or in cenotes and don’t want to worry about renting equipment