Table of Contents

27 Top Cabo Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

Cabo ocean rock formations
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Cabo San Lucas is a resort city on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Cabo is known for its sun-soaked beaches, water activities, and vibrant nightlife.

If you’re headed to Cabo, expect to spend your time soaking in the sunshine, dining at waterfront restaurants, and bar-hopping around Plaza Bonita. Don’t forget to pack any of these essentials before you go! We’ll also help you learn what to wear in Cabo, what NOT to bring, and the answers to top Cabo San Lucas FAQs.

Girl on beach in Cabo
The color of the water in Cabo is so dreamy!
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What to Pack for Cabo San Lucas – 27 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    Keep your valuables organized and secure in a handy neck wallet that you can wear under your clothes. Large enough to carry your phone, wallet, and passport, a neck wallet is an invaluable item to bring with you to Cabo. Pickpocketing and petty theft are always a risk when traveling to any touristy destination, so this item will ensure your belongings remain protected.

    neck wallet

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Grayl Filtered Water Bottle

    Though the tap water is not safe to drink in Mexico, you’ll likely have plenty of access to filtered water during your stay. Cut down on single-use plastic water bottles and opt for a more environmentally friendly option, like this awesome Grayl filtered water bottle. It will make contaminated water safe to drink, should you be out on an excursion or in a rural area without access to bottled water.

    This one is a real investment in your health since it removes parasites, viruses, bacteria, sediment, microplastics, lead, and more. We use it for all of our worldwide travels, but especially when camping or visiting a less developed nation without access to potable water.

    Grayl Filtered Water Bottle

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Nearly HALF of all cybersecurity attacks in Mexico are successful, according to a study by Tenable. Those aren’t odds that I would gamble with. And since there are millions of online attacks each year, you will need to protect your private data with a virtual private network.

    A VPN encrypts personal info such as passwords, SSNs, and credit card numbers so that hackers cannot access them (especially when you connect to Wi-Fi in public places such as hotels, airports, and cafes). My credit card number was stolen at an Airbnb that I thought was safe, so you never really know.

    As a bonus talent, a VPN will also grant you access to websites from your home country that may be blocked or censored in the destination you’re traveling to. I love the discounted flight tickets since there’s no IP address tracking and nearly unlimited server options, while my wife loves the pop-up blocker! If you care about your privacy and online freedom, it’s a must.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    View NordVPN.com Options ➜

  • 4. Cooling Towel

    Cabo can get hot. You don’t want to be stuck in the heat unprepared. Keeping a cooling towel on you during all of your outdoor excursions is a good idea to stay cool, comfortable, and safe. These cooling towels remain 20-30 degrees cooler than outside temperatures making for an incredibly refreshing relief when the heat hits. Simply get the towel wet, wring it out, and you have a cold towel no matter where you are or how hot it gets.

    Cooling Towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch

    A waterproof phone case will protect your smartphone from water splashes and beach sand getting in the cracks and crevices. It’s a necessity if you’re bringing your phone along for all the surfing, fishing, swimming, climbing, hiking, and partying that Cabo San Lucas has to offer. It even makes it possible to take underwater photos and videos (with sound)!

    Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Mexico

    Personally, I wouldn’t travel to Mexico without travel insurance. It is essential, particularly when traveling outside your home country since your domestic provider does not follow you across the border (including Medicare and Medicaid). Thinking ahead will spare you from being stuck in an unexpected emergency without a plan.

    We use Faye since they’re the best insurance option for covering the costs of lost luggage, theft, flight cancellations, delays, rental issues, and medical expenses. There’s no need to pay out-of-pocket for international hospital bills or expensive medivac transports to the mainland (which starts at around $15K) – all of this is covered for up to $250K. Faye is a modern provider that offers reimbursements through their easy-to-use mobile app. It’s a small investment compared to your other trip expenses and will provide you with true peace of mind.

    Travel Insurance for Mexico

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Packing Cubes

    There’s nothing better to help you stay organized and avoid overpacking than using packing cubes. This set comes in a variety of bright colors and includes separate cases for shoes and dirty laundry. Label what’s inside each case on the outside slot and never dig through your luggage in search of that one specific shirt again!

    Available on HeroTravelSupply.com with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    packing cubes

    Or view them on Amazon.com ➜

  • 8. Activated Charcoal

    Mexico is known for the dreaded “Montezuma’s revenge” that is placed on travelers, a curse that allegedly gives visitors traveler’s diarrhea. In case you get an upset stomach or food poisoning from the local cuisine, it’s handy to have some activated charcoal pills with you. If you’re hit with this common ailment, activated charcoal contains small chambers and cavities that “capture” or bind unwanted materials and gas and carry them safely through the digestive system. They are my go-to for big and small stomach troubles while I am traveling.

    Activated Charcoal

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes

    Hiking is a very popular activity in Cabo San Lucas. In case you decide to hike Fox Canyon to the hidden waterfall, or scale Mount Solmar, definitely throw a pair of these water shoes in your suitcase. Many of Cabo’s outdoor adventures involve trekking on wet, uneven, rocky, or jungle terrain, so come prepared!

    Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 10. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A microfiber quick-dry travel towel is a must-have for your trip to Mexico. Bring it to the beach or use it on an impromptu waterfall hike. This will also come in handy if your accommodation doesn’t provide a bath towel or if the provided towel is unclean, such as at hostels or budget accommodations. This one is lightweight and compact enough to toss into your daypack.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 11. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    No need to worry about your smartphone running out of battery at an inopportune moment when you bring along a handy lipstick-sized portable charger. This external battery is a great and easy thing to throw into your purse or daypack to keep your phone working for photos, music, navigation, and more. You don’t want to be caught in an emergency without it.

    Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 12. Hangover Relief

    Those all-inclusive drink packages and tequila-tasting tours can really do a number on you! From the margaritas to the palomas to the Dos Equis beer – come prepared with hangover relief supplements that will detoxify the alcohol from your system more quickly. This way, you’re not wasting time in paradise with a killer headache or nauseous fatigue.

    Hangover Relief

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 13. Lightweight Backpack

    For day-to-day adventures, use this daypack to hold all of your essentials (phones, wallets, umbrellas, water bottles, shopping items, etc.) This one is made for travel and is wonderfully lightweight. It even has a waterproof compartment if you need to keep something dry, but we always recommend a full dry bag for water-based excursions.

    Lightweight Backpack

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 14. Luggage Locks

    Don’t run the risk of having your belongings stolen out of your suitcase. It happened to me once and ever since I’ve been using luggage locks on my checked bags to make sure it doesn’t happen again. They’re great for lockers, backpacks in crowded attractions, purses, and more. It’s important to get locks that are TSA-approved like this two-pack.

    Luggage Locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 15. Affordable Waterproof Camera

    A waterproof camera like this is the perfect tool for capturing those colorful Cabo moments with your friends or partner. This camera is made for vacations like this because it’s waterproof, small, and nearly indestructible. Take it with you on a kayaking trip, snorkeling, underwater, cliff jumping, and anywhere else your trip takes you.

    Affordable Waterproof Camera

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 16. Swimsuit Cover-up

    In Cabo San Lucas, you’re likely to spend the majority of your days lounging by the beach or at your resort’s pool. Bring a swimsuit cover-up so that you will always have something to throw on over your suit. This one is perfect for boat rides, beach bars, and everything in between. Keep in mind that some resorts won’t let you dine-in or markets won’t let you shop there without a cover-up over your swimsuit.

    Swimsuit Cover-up

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 17. Clothesline

    In Cabo, you’ll end up with loads of wet towels and swimsuits every day. Dry them out quickly on your balcony or porch by bringing a clothesline with you. This one is awesome because of its stretchy, braided design. You can securely hang up anything without using clothespins and attach it nearly anywhere.

    Clothesline

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 18. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    It rains at some point in nearly every destination in the world. A travel umbrella is great for exploring on a rainy day, but it’s also smart to carry for sun protection and shade. This one covers two people and will be invaluable against the elements. It’s made for travel and only weighs 1 pound.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 19. Swim Rash Guard

    The sun in Cabo is super strong even in the winter. Especially if you have fair skin (like me!) a rash guard can be a lifesaver in Mexico. This one is inexpensive, stylish, and can be worn for a day at the beach or for more athletic endeavors like hiking and kayaking.

    Swim Rash Guard

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 20. Sarong

    A lightweight sarong is something that will come in handy during every day of your Cabo trip. It can be used as a beach towel as you soak in the Baja sun, or a shawl when you’re out at night and the air gets a little chilly. This one comes in several different colors and is great for any occasion.

    Sarong

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 21. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Limited countertop space is no match for this hanging toiletry bag! It will create a built-in storage system no matter where you are (hostel, luxurious hotel, camping outdoors, etc.) Simply hang it and unfold 4 giant pockets that have tons of compartments for all skincare, haircare, makeup, and hygiene items. Way better than throwing your items all over a bathroom or chaotically losing them all over the room.

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 22. Reef-safe Sunscreen

    Keep in mind that areas like Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa Del Carmen have already mandated biodegradable sunscreen. The sun shines a bit more powerfully near the equator, so you’ll need a strong and natural sunscreen option. This one by Sun Bum is reef-safe which means it won’t endanger delicate coral reef ecosystems or marine life. It’s safe for kids and made in the USA!

    reef safe sun screen

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 23. Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

    Dengue fever and Zika are mosquito-borne illnesses that are still present in Mexico. Protect yourself and your family with these non-toxic mosquito-repelling wristbands. It’s nice to have a wearable option that you don’t have to respray all day, plus they’re waterproof and reusable.

    mosquito repellent wristbands

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 24. Beach Bag with Built-in Cooler

    This one is a treat! Don’t forget to pack a beach bag for your trip to Cabo! Perfect for bringing everything you need with you to the beach. This one’s awesome because it comes with an insulated cooler in the bottom so you can keep your drinks and snacks cool all day long.

    Beach Bag with Built-in Cooler

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 25. Gorgeous Outfit

    On your trip to Cabo, it’s likely you’ll want to spend at least one night out on the town exploring the happening bar scene or enjoying a nice dinner. Be prepared with a gorgeous outfit like this one which is perfect for the warm Mexican weather, doesn’t wrinkle easily, and looks great on a wide variety of body types.

    Gorgeous Outfit

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 26. Universal Power Adapter

    If you’re coming from the U.S., your electronics should work fine. But for travelers from any other part of the world, you will likely need a power adapter. I like to bring this one on all of my travels since it works in 100+ countries and has a built-in fuse protector to protect my electronics from any shotty outlets. It even comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee, so it may be the last adapter you ever need to buy in all of your global adventures!

     Universal Power Adapter

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 27. Discounted Tickets on Cabo Tours

    Cabo is an absolute playground for adults! Snorkel through the Sea of Cortez, marvel at the legendary Los Cabos Arch, and ride off into the sunset ATV Ride. January through March is whale-watching season, and it’s always the right time for a party cruise!

    Get Your Guide is our favorite booking platform for experiences that add a lot of life to your trip! They are hosted by the locals so you get that authentic feel. But you can always trust the hosts you’re booking with since you’re being supported by a reliable company with flexible cancelation. We absolutely love them and use them for all major city excursions!

    Discounted Tickets on Cabo Tours

    See all Cabo San Lucas attractions at GetYourGuide.com ➜

What should I wear in Cabo?

In Cabo, breezy and laidback is the accepted style. Bring swimsuits, tank tops, shorts, cover ups and sundresses. When you go out for drinks or dinner, beachy and cute outfits are good, so bring some casual-cute clothing like simple dresses, a nice pair of khakis, and simple sandals. A hat and sunglasses are also a good idea too. For any athletic activities, shorts and a tank top are good to beat the heat. No matter what, bring comfortable walking shoes.

What NOT to take to Cabo

  • 1.Refillable Water Bottle

    Anyone who has ever been to Mexico will tell you not to drink the water. It’s true – not even the locals drink the tap water! Leave the refillable water bottle at home, and make sure to only drink bottled water in Cabo.

  • 2.Jeans

    Don’t make yourself uncomfortable with stiff, inhibiting jeans in this heat! Denim and Cabo don’t mix well.

  • 3.Nice Jewelry

    Don’t make yourself a target for pickpockets.

FAQs about Cabo San Lucas travel

  • 1. What’s the best time of year to go to Cabo?

    The best time to visit Cabo is from May to June, when the Spring crowds have gone home and the summertime storms have yet to hit. October and November are also nice months to visit, but you’ll need to begin your hotel search early unless you want to end up spending loads more money!

  • 2. What language is spoken in Cabo San Lucas?

    Spanish, but many people also speak English. If you are staying at a resort, the staff will definitely be fluent in English.

  • 3. What currency is used in Cabo San Lucas?

    Mexico’s currency is the Peso. U.S. Dollars are widely accepted in Cabo, but don’t expect great exchange rates if you choose to use dollars. Plan ahead, and exchange money before your trip.

  • 4. What are some good beach reads?

    We all have different taste in books, but if you’re in the mood for a juicy but light-hearted vacation read, check out this list.

  • 5. How can I avoid overpacking?

    Before you commit to bringing anything, make a list of what activities you’ll be doing throughout the whole trip. Plan out each day’s outfit, and try to stick to items that can be re-worn and repurposed. For example, bringing a simple black dress that you can wear to the beach with sandals can probably be dressed up at night time with some lipstick and cute jewelry. By bringing multipurpose clothing items, you can pack much lighter.

  • 6. Should I tip in Cabo? What is Cabo’s tipping culture?

    Tipping is appreciated, though not required. Keep in mind that pre-tipping a little bit can sometimes help you get faster, higher-quality service, especially when being served drinks or snacks by resort staff. Don’t leave US coins as a tip, though – the person you’re tipping may have a heck of a time exchanging them, making it more of a pain than a compliment.