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What to pack, what to buy

Vancouver, Canada
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What to pack, what to buy

I typically pack pretty light. For an 8-day trip to Cancun/Playa del Carmen I'll bring a couple pairs of jeans, shorts, a simple dress, bathing suit, couple light sweaters, couple light tops, runners, sandals. Even though the hotels offer toiletries, I also bring one of those travellers packs with a mini toothbrush, etc. Thinking I'll buy "Off" and sunscreen at the shopping centre in the Hotel Zone because I can get full-sized ones (rather than packing minis).

Of course, like most people, I also like to pick up one or two things on my trips as reminders of the trip. Nothing big, just something kinda cool.

If you were going to suggest one thing you found a "must have" that you would pack for Cancun/Playa del Carmen and a "must buy" from Cancun/Playa del Carmen -- what would those things be?

Green Valley...
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1. Re: What to pack, what to buy

I like to carry on a beach towel to cover up on chilly plane (there & back) plus the obvious use on beach...

Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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2. Re: What to pack, what to buy

Don't bother with jeans - you'll be way too hot.

I recently stayed here for two weeks, here's what I wore:

- travel outfit: comfy long sleeved top, capris or leggings;

- excursions: one pair of shorts and a couple of tops;

- beach: bathing suits - take more than one as things take forever to dry in the tropical climate and putting on a still damp bathing suit just feels nasty (I brought 12 but that was probably overkill!);

- evenings: dresses: 5 - all of which scrunch down to nothing, don't crease and are printed with forgiving patterns;

- shoes - flip flops for beach, comfy sandals (which I ended up wearing on the beach 'cos my flip flops rubbed my feet) and one pair of heels. If we'd been planning on doing the ruins or anything else with a lot of walking, I'd have worn my runners on the plane;

- sunscreen - it's available everywhere but overpriced, especially at resorts. If I were doing carry on only, I'd bring a mini or two with me and suck it up and buy sunscreen locally;

- bug spray - ditto;

- toiletries - I'm really fussy about what I use on my hair and always bring my own;

- cosmetics - minimal as it's just too darned hot and humid for a full face of paint;

As for souvenirs, I've been to Mexico so many times that I don't usually bother these days and most of the stores offer the same made-in-China tourist tat anyway. I do have some cute silver jewellery and a talavera (sp?) spoon rest that I bought on previous trips.

Michigan
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3. Re: What to pack, what to buy

Depends on what time of year you are going. We go in March and I only bring, swimsuits, coverup/sundresses that can be worn at night. Usually 2 tops and comfy capri's/shorts to wear for walks and on the plane. Flip flops, comfy sandals. Each year I learn to pack lighter and lighter. I don't bring beach towels, because that adds to the weight of the suitcase and I think most resorts have them. I also bring all my own bathroom products, kindle and tons of sunscreen. I like going home with a few new pieces of jewelry.

Cleveland, Ohio
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4. Re: What to pack, what to buy

beachboysbabe: How do you take "tons of sunscreen" with the liquid and gel limitations?

I usually take a light blanket to survive my hubby's AC addiction, but it's too warm for the beach. Now I realize I could carry-on my 60"x60" beach towel!

Most important for us when we travel - If it doesn't go on as carry-on; it doesn't go!

Oklahoma
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5. Re: What to pack, what to buy

I like to bring all the usual stuff for beach and excursions. I always bring back a piece of pottery, nothing too big gotta squeeze it into luggage, and a bracelet or two. Cinbad I'm thinking beachBoysbabe must pack the sunscreen in her luggage not carryon, which is fine.

Cleveland, Ohio
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6. Re: What to pack, what to buy

duh - that makes sense. Wasn't thinking!

BSQ
Charlotte, North...
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7. Re: What to pack, what to buy

My must pack is a Benadryl Itch stick. I am a mosquito magnet, and that really helps tame the bite itch.

Off all the souvenirs I've purchased over many years, I'd say

Wind Chimes. These are in every souvenir shop, and usually priced for a multiple sale. (3x15, etc). As I said, they are all over so they are by no means unique. They get totally trashed if you actually hang them up outdoors, but my Mom and I both have ours hanging by a kitchen window. Afternoon breezes make them gently chime and that's quite lovely.

(I know any regular poster to this forum will be shocked to see I didn't say Tequila ... so just to not disappoint, I'd actually say Xtabentun if you'd like to bring home a unique liquor.)

Edited: 14 October 2011, 03:13
Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
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8. Re: What to pack, what to buy

My 'must packs' are:

- a pareo- beach towels are too bulky and heavy, these are perfect-light and easily packed for day trips, and double as a sarong cover-up, and dry quickly.

-snorkel gear

-travel mug-insulated

-Kindle

I always buy the same things....vanilla (usually I get it at the grocery store and not the overpriced tourist bottles, that just defeats the purpose) and two bottles of 12 or 18 year old Havana Club or Flor de Cana rum!

Medina, Ohio
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9. Re: What to pack, what to buy

I have to pack sunscreen, we go through so much and it is so expensive there. I pay $5 here and $20 there. Last time I bought some art work there painted on leather and it is so beautiful framed in my house.

Michigan
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10. Re: What to pack, what to buy

Yes, my sunscreen is in our packed luggage along with my big bottle of conditioner. The wind can play havek with curly hair. We each take a suitcase, because you never know what you might want to bring back. But our suitcases are packed light.