sun hat in Tulum

Your Tulum Packing List for Stylish Yet Practical Beach Outfits

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If you have been dreaming of spending your days in the Mexican sun, you have clicked on the right post. With delicious Mexican food, relaxing Mayan clay spas, and beautiful beach clubs, Tulum is a top tropical destination. And now, it’s time to get your passport ready for a trip to Tulum and to think of what to add to your Tulum packing list!

Just as it’s important to get your travel insurance and important documents in order for a tropical destination, you also need to create a Tulum packing list.

This list will ensure your travel bag has the clothing pieces you need to help you make stylish and practical vacation outfits!

1. Bathing Suits

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that the first thing you need to add when packing for a vacation on the white sand beaches of Tulum is a stylish bathing suit!

Choose one in neutral colors like white, black, tan, or grey. A one-piece swimsuit in a classic print is a good idea too. Why? Bathing suits in these minimal shades will go with just about anything! Linen coverups, strappy sandals, denim shorts, the list goes on and on.

That being said, it can be fun to wear a bright color on vacation, so feel free to throw in a bold option as well, as long as it’s not all you have. 😉

As for the style and silhouette? Reach for classic and flattering designs that are not too revealing (i.e., itty bitty bikinis) so you can maximize your travel wardrobe and wear them with other clothing items in your suitcase.

One-piece swimsuits are the types of bathing suits you need to add to your Tulum packing list. A bright white number will make you look great as you swim in the turquoise waters of Tulum.

Not only does the design look perfect on practically all body types, but it is also a Tulum must-have because it can be worn with a breezy maxi skirt, a sarong, and a pair of jean shorts off the beach.

2. Coverup

If your activities consist of visiting the local boutiques of Tulum or lunch by the beach, then add a coverup to your Tulum packing list. A chic coverup will easily complement your bathing suits and some cover-ups can also double as a dress!

One of the most useful things about coverups is that you can hide a food baby. This region of Mexico is well known for its good food and it’s more than easy to eat to your heart’s content. If you are worried about looking bloated, a coverup has literally got you covered!

3. Flowy Dresses

Tulum is the perfect place to dress up in beautiful flowy dresses. Of course, there’s a wide range of options, but a pro tip when choosing the best one is to go for one with fun prints in neutral hues.

Need an outfit that will take you from day to night? You can dress up your flowy dress with hoop earrings, strappy sandals, and a straw bag for the perfect Tulum vacation outfit.

Related: What I Wore: Tulum Edition

4. Sun Hats

The average daytime temperature in Tulum is 78 Fahrenheit. These hot temps mixed with the even hotter tropical sun mean that a sun hat is one of the important things to pack for your trip to Mexico!

To make sure you enjoy your time on Tulum’s beaches (without frying to a crisp), start your transition from your winter hats to cute sun hats. Plus, they will make your beach selfies look extra stylish. 😉

This beach destination accessory comes in many designs, so if large sun hats are not up your alley, you can choose a woven straw bucket hat instead.

Or if you are looking for a sun hat with a touch of elegance, wide-brim hats accentuated with glossy ribbons would work perfectly for you.

5. Travel Towel

Hit the beach or the pool with a practical yet stylish travel towel. Not only can it dry you off but it can also be used as a cozy blanket when lounging around in the evenings.

Pick one that is not too basic and not tacky (you know the ones). Instead, go for one with a design that stands the test of time (and one that is quick-drying and sand absorbing, of course!).

For example, black and white stripes will help you sunbathe in style.

6. Tank Tops

The countdown to your trip to Tulum is on, and if you are ready to make your summer fashion debut, I recommend adding classic tank tops to your Tulum packing list. They are good to have on deck for boat rides (no pun intended), strolls on the beach, and relaxing afternoons by the pool.

A tank top is also endlessly versatile and can be teamed up with many styles. Think warm-weather pieces like shorts, skirts, and breezy pants.

There are a ton of tank top styles out there, so you can easily find one that meshes well with your personal style.

When shopping, stick to neutral hues and classic prints as they will easily pair with any other pieces in your vacation collection.

7. Beach Bags

Beach bags continue to be a vacation staple that is well worth adding to your Tulum packing list. Not only do they do a great job of elevating a summer outfit, but they are also practical. You can store beach essentials like a water bottle, lip balm, bug spray, books, and, of course, sunscreen.

While there are many fancy designer styles available (like the trendy Chloe tote bag), it is probably best to look for a bag that is stylish but can take a beating. Between endless sand granules, sunscreen exploding, and your water bottle leaking, you probably don’t want to carry a bag around Tulum that can’t get messy.

Also, you may want to pick beach bags that are not too bulky to carry around- these cumbersome bags will make your vacation less enjoyable!

Related post: What to Wear in Tulum | Fashion Guide

8. Strappy Sandals

There are plenty of wonderful things to look forward to about going on vacation in Tulum. Like eating delicious acai bowls and having dinner by the beach for starters. And if you are a fashion lover, then wearing a cute pair of strappy sandals is also a vacation highlight.

If you want strappy sandals to help you look fashionable in Tulum, replace your flip flops and try sling-back sandals or a slide sandal. They will help you tie together your vacation (and show off your pretty vacation pedicure.)

9. Denim Shorts

Summer months are all about wearing denim shorts. But choosing the right one can be a little tricky. Just like a white tee, there are many iterations of denim shorts.

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about wearing super revealing denim shorts because there are better options available. You’ll find that a-line silhouettes and high-rise designs will pair well with your one-piece bathing suits and tank tops.

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Thanks to this packing guide you don’t need to worry about packing the wrong things for your Tulum trip. Together, these 9 fashion items will give you a ton of choices to create the ultimate vacation outfits!

If you also plan on visiting other tropical destinations this year, then you’re going to want to check out a capsule wardrobe to help you put together chic beach looks!

Up Next: A Minimalistic and Chic Tropical Vacation Capsule Wardrobe

Woman wearing a bikini at the beach while carrying a straw bag


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys, her biggest fashion critics.