I’m going to start posting blogs about specific things I have purchased for specific trips (based on what I know, what I’ve crowdsourced, what I’ve read, and what my friends have recommended). I’m not going to talk too much about gear or tech since that’s on almost every website, so I’m just going to assume you’ve got your basics purchased already.
So, for the Yucatan (I’m first headed to Playa del Carmen), in addition to the essentials, this is what I have specifically purchased:
- Crocs Isabella Sandals.
These are super cute and comfy. The only thing is that if you are a half size, they might not fit. I ordered down and they were just a tad too small. I ordered up and they are loose but with the ankle strap, they will work. I also have ordered two sizes of the Croc Sexi Flip sandals too just to try out though I don’t like them as much.
2. Water Shoes.
If you’re going to travel up and down the Yucatan peninsula and run in and out of the water, go hiking or even to a water park, I’m told these slip on Aleader water shoes are a must have. They look like street shoes and based on reviews are comfortable enough to wear daily. I did a lot of research and found the style and reviews on the Aleader water shoes the best. However, with these shoes, I’m a half size and I ordered up and they were too large. The felt like they would slip off if they got full of water/sand so I reordered them the next whole size down.
At first I resisted. I’ve always been one to throw on a dress because it’s like an adult onsey. Having to wear a bathing suit and figure out to tie this thing seemed like a hassle. However, the overwhelming feedback was to get one of these as they work as a cover up, a towel, a sheet in case your hotel room is a bit sketchy, etc. Many digital nomads recommend a sarong to be used as curtains, room dividers, etc. I remember seeing someone wearing a sarong the thermal baths in Budapest in January and thought how nice it would be to have this wrapped around me while I was running back and forth from bath to bath in the freezing cold outside. And it takes the place of a bathrobe too! And with free returns from a lot of merchants on Amazon, you can order several in different colors and sizes until you find the one that you like (since you’ll probably be looking at it alot during your travels!).
4. Maclock for Macbook
I might be paranoid but better safe than sorry so I bought a laptop lock for my Macbook from Maclock. Be sure to check out which model mac you have because the newer Macbook pros have screws in different places to mount this. Also, the reviews have said that the screw is soft so be careful not to strip it or you won’t be able to get this off (though not sure you need to). This comes with a combination cable lock. Yeah, this is technically gear but when I was in Europe, I was in an apartment and not a sketchy hotel so I didn’t think to get one. Also, I might actually use a coworking space in Mexico so this will come in handy.
5. Mosquito Repellant
An American friend who owns a house in Merida told me that I am going to need this. You can buy wipes so that you can save your airplane liquid allowance for other things. You may also want to pick up a coil too for your AirBnB. While there is mosquito repellant in the stores, they contain as much DEET as in the US. If you’re deathly allergic to mosquitoes like me, it’s worth it to get those pests to bugger off even if it means potentially poisoning yourself with DEET. My friend recommended Deep Woods.
6. Pepto Bismol
This was recommended by my doctor over Immodium since it has some antibacterial properties and it eases nausea also. You can get it in a tablet for to save on liquid allowances. However, the same friend who told me about getting Deep Woods Off said that the Mexican version, Treda, works a lot better than Pepto. So if you have time to visit a store, grab some Treda instead. If you are just going to be in and out, at least pack some Pepto.
If you don’t already have one, you should pick a Nalgene or water bottle up so you can always carry clean water with you. I recommend the standard 32 ounce one with a splash guard.
I saw the Lifestraw on another website and thought it would be good just to have with me just in case. It filters 1000 liters of contaminated water and gets rid of both bacteria and parasites. I got giardia once in Beijing–that was not fun. It’s not cheap but I figured it was one of those things that if you needed it, you REALLY needed it so I thought, why not? It’s small and light .
I also picked up these cheap 3 prong to 2 prong adaptors since my livelihood depends on being able to use my laptop and not all places in Mexico have 3 prong outlets so in a jam, I wanted to have these handy. Since this is Mexico specific (this wouldn’t be helpful in Europe), I thought I’d mention it in this post.
10. Reef Safe Sunblock
If you plan on taking a dip in the cenotes, then reef safe sunblock is required. This one comes in carry-on size bottles and had good reviews.
And then of course, bikinis, microfiber towel (unless you want to use your sarong), goggles (just in case), sunglasses, shorts, etc. in addition to your traditional digital nomad gear.
AND THAT’S IT! Go have fun!