What to Pack for Isla Mujeres

February4

I have been anticipating our annual sojourn to Isla Mujeres in an whole new way this year.  Since we will have access to a little house and we have stayed in this neighbourhood a number of times before, I am really looking forward to going “home” to Isla, as opposed to going “away” to Isla.  Perhaps the primary reason too, will be that our entire family will be with us including the Wee One.  I am almost organized and our departure is still almost two weeks away.  But getting out my flip flops and sun dresses adds to the joy of anticipating our trip.  Coincidently, Sister #3 must be in packing mode too as she sent this to me by email today:

 

What to pack for Isla Mujeres

Personal Items

Ear plugs (Especially if the person you travel with is a snorer but sometimes you can have noisy neighbours)

Kleenex packs, small hand sanitizer, wet naps (Carry with you as some bathrooms don’t have toilet paper or soap to wash up)

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Clear plastic rain poncho-dollar store variety (When it rains it comes fast and hard), easier and lighter to pack than an umbrella

Your toiletries (Most hotels and some casa’s provide shampoo and soap)

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Sun glasses, sun screen (Vital as the cost of sun screen if very high in Mexico)

Sun hat (It is very windy on the island so one that has a tie is a good idea)

Blow dryer etc. (I don’t bother with any of this stuff on the island.  I just let my hair go crazy – and it does.  I wear a lot of head bands and scarves to keep my hair out of my face in the wind.)

Bank card (there are lots of ATMs) You don’t have to bring pesos as it is easy to find an ATM. You don’t need to bring a credit card as you won’t use it except maybe at the airport. Don’t bring traveller’s cheques, they are next to impossible to cash these days.

Clothes

I typically pack the following for two weeks.

Three bathing suits, two beach cover ups

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6 sun dresses, two pashminas, jean jacket (It can get a bit chilly in the evening so I carry one of these so I have something to slip over my shoulders)

2 pairs of shorts

4 t-shirts or tank tops

2 nighties

something light to through on when I get out of the shower.

One pair of long cotton pants and a hoody to wear on the plane.

Flip flops, one good pair of walking shoes.  Don’t bring anything with a heel, the sidewalks are cobblestone and you can kill yourself.

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The restaurants are all pretty casual.  I like dresses as they keep me the coolest.  Remember you can always go see Hortenzia if you run out of things to wear.  She can whip up a light cotton dress for less than $20.00 in a day or two.

You can drop off a load of laundry at one of the many Laundromats and they will wash, dry and fold it for you for later that day.  It is a very affordable option and helps reduce what you need to pack.  Your clothes will come back smelling fantastic.  I wouldn’t recommend it for anything delicate.

Other things to consider

I scan my passport, bank card, travel insurance card etc and I keep a copy in the room safe.  Just in case I was to lose my stuff.

I put the address of the place I am staying inside my bag in case my bag goes missing it can be sent to where I am.

If you have a soft sided suitcase you might want to put the clothing in a garbage bag inside your suitcase as cases can get wet on the ferry ride over or on the airport tarmac.

Tag all your luggage even carry on.

I also bring

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A laptop or iPod to check email

docking station with speakers to play music

digital camera with charger

baggies, cutting boards, containers for food preparation

laundry soap to wash out bathing suits etc.

Clorox wipes for cleaning up the kitchen area

Peanut butter and jam packets to have on fresh buns from the bakery

Tea, hot chocolate packages, salt and pepper, granola bars, homemade granola (to go with breakfast of fresh fruit and yogurt or for a late night treat.)

Bubble wrap and masking tape (to pack breakable things for the trip home)

Beer sleeve, cooler bag (I like to fix sandwiches in our room to take to the beach and a beer sleeve keeps my water or beer cold on a hot day)

I bring tea towels to do my own dishes (I don’t like leaving them for the maid as I don’t want to attract bugs) and a small hand towel to take to the beach in case I get really sweaty. I don’t pack towels as they take up a lot of room and the casa we stay in provides them.

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Kath here to add a couple of things that I bring along:

my own folding/back pack beach chair so that I can pick my place on the beach instead of renting a chair,

water proof sturdy-bottomed sandals (like Merrels) to beachcomb and climb over coral

an insulated coffee mug (Contigo brand is my fave) because I like my coffee to stay hot as we watch the sunrise and I fill it with ice and water for my walk to the beach.

I pack more bathing suits and put one on as soon as I get out of my pjs.  Then I wear one of Hortenzia’s dresses over top and I am ready for anything the day throws at me.

Gravol, Imodium, polysporin, band aids because you just never know what may occur.

Kath’s quote: “14 more sleeps!”-me

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Love-that is all.


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8 Comments to

“What to Pack for Isla Mujeres”

  1. Avatar February 4th, 2014 at 12:01 pm Heather Says:

    My parents winter in Mexico and they discovered a Vaseline lotion that has sunscreen in it – MUCH cheaper than buying sunscreen itself. It’s the aloe one and has spf 15 – can be purchased here or down there for cheap!


  2. Avatar February 4th, 2014 at 12:10 pm Kathryne Says:

    Thanks Heather. Great tip.


  3. Avatar February 4th, 2014 at 3:22 pm Sister #3 Says:

    I recommend an spf of at least 45 for the Mexican sunshine. Nothing ruins a trip like a sunburn.


  4. Avatar February 7th, 2014 at 11:13 pm marilyn Says:

    Hi Kathryne,
    We are arriving on the island March 4. Is that the day you return? So looking forward to the warm sun.


  5. Avatar February 8th, 2014 at 10:31 am Kathryne Says:

    We will be home by then-drat. Does anyone in your family happen to know the Epps of Independent Jewellers? They were over last night and we were talking about leaving next weekend. They asked us more about Isla and then said that it sounded like the same island that their friends the Martens go to and there are nine families going together.


  6. Avatar December 23rd, 2016 at 2:07 pm alicia Says:

    Can you tell me where to find Hortenzia?
    Thank you


  7. Avatar December 24th, 2016 at 12:01 pm Kathryne Says:

    She is on the north east corner of the local market in Centro. If you are standing on the street facing the entrance to Poc Na Hostel she is on your right.


  8. Avatar January 1st, 2018 at 3:11 pm julia Says:

    Thank you for this! It is an extremely useful list and makes me feel more prepared for my first trip.


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