As most of you know, I got back from a two-week trip to Mexico last week. What most of y’all might not know, unless you follow me on Snapchat, is that I ventured down there with a special someone that I now have in my life. Yes, I can’t believe it, either. I am the pickiest person alive when it comes to dating and it’s been almost 6 years since someone has really captured my attention the way he has. So, to start … his name is Ben and he lives in London. We’ve been “talking” since January, after we met while I was over there on my New Year’s trip with my girlfriends, Kristan and Whitney. Our communication was pretty inconsistent at first because I’m really stubborn when it comes to communication with someone of interest. [i.e. If I’m interested in someone, I will NOT text them to initiate conversation. For me, it’s up to the man to reach out and show his interest and pursue the woman, at least in the very beginning.] And he did, just not everyday … at first. By the end of February, though, around the time of my birthday, I would wake up to a text from him every morning, and our communication became more and more frequent ever since. That’s when, I’d say, we started seeing each other as a serious person of interest. It’s weird to say we’re ‘dating’, being that we aren’t physically in the same city, going on dates, but neither of us are looking to date other people so I’m saying that’s what it is, hah!
Being that we live in different countries, though, our relationship is much different than most people’s. It consists of texting via What’s App throughout the day, impromptu Facetime’s on his lunch break (which is when I’m just starting my day) and Skype dates every night – well, 5pm for me and 10pm for him! We saw each other back in April. He met my friend Sarah Kate and I in Bologna, and I spent some time with him in London afterwards. It was so nice to meet up after work like ‘normal’ couples! Ben is an architect and works for a large firm in central London. With that said, he can only take so much time off a year but, back in March, he said he wanted to go on a trip with me. My initial thought was ‘are you sure?’ As I’m sure y’all could guess, traveling with a blogger is a little different than traveling with someone who isn’t. But, still … he didn’t care and said he wanted to use one of his ‘holiday’s’ on a trip, just him and I. I was nervous at first, but then really flattered that he was so sure about it.
We started researching places that weren’t too difficult for either one of us to get to. He said he was up for making a trip over to my side of the world being that I had already done so twice in the past six months. [Swoon. Sweet, sweet man.] Now, I will say … Ben has been almost everywhere! He lived in Australia for a while so he’s been to Fiji, Bali, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, etc. And, growing up in England has allowed him to hop around Europe quite a bit so he’s been to France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, etc. So, Central American and South American countries rank pretty high on his list of places to visit. We opted for Mexico because it was the easiest place for him to get to that wasn’t so far for me. [We were trying to achieve fairness financially, as well. Italy wasn’t far or expensive for him, but it was for me so, this was a trip where we kind of traded places. And, obviously, my career is a little more flexible and, overall, I’ll probably be doing more traveling to see him than he is able to do to see me so, he was pretty adamant about making this holiday one he spends on this side of the world.]
Ben is one of those people that LOVES to adventure around the country he visits, seeing as much as possible, because he, essentially, doesn’t want to have to come back being that it takes him so long to get to places, whereas I love a mix of adventure and relaxation. So, we opted to venture to multiple cities: Mexico City, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Those cities were a great mix for both of our travel tastes. Mexico City has culture, the Yucatan Peninsula has tons of Mayan monuments, and Cozumel has some of the best scuba spots in the world – so Ben was set. Playa del Carmen has beautiful beaches and Tulum had a lot of great food places and not as many people, all of which I love.
Overall, we both really enjoyed our trip. Traveling with your significant other, as I’m sure a lot of you know, is an EXCELLENT way to really get to know your partner, ha! ESPECIALLY if you’re long-distance! We definitely had a crash course in each other’s personalities, preferences and quirks, which was uncomfortable at times but, because our relationship has been dependent on maintaining amazing communication with each other … we came out of those super quickly and stronger because of them. I was ready to come home at the end, but wasn’t necessarily ready to leave him … :\
Today is the first of a four-week travel series all about our trip! Each city had its own majesty, pro’s and con’s. Each week, I’ll share what we did in each one, including fun excursions, our hotel experience, where to eat and any other recommendations that came out of our experience!
First up! You can’t go to Mexico without packing smart! I kept this packing list a little diverse just because Mexico City is much different than Tulum, so take what you need from the list and apply it to your Mexican adventure! I hope it helps!
The packing list for a trip to Mexico includes but is not limited to:
– Bathing Suits & Coverup’s: You’ll want to bring plenty of bathing suits if you’re heading to Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel or Cabo San Lucas. The beaches in Mexico are clean and beautiful with crystal clear blue water. You won’t be able to resist spending some time out there under the sun.
Here are some bathing suits that I either brought with me or just found and started crushing on:
Here are some cover-up’s I like, as well:
– Statement Jewelry: Summertime is the best time to finish off your outfits with bright colored statement jewelry, and y’all know I’m no stranger to it! Here are some that I brought with me and some that I recently found after my trip that are now available:
– Sunglasses: Sure is bright down there in Mexico! Don’t forget to bring some shades with you! Here are some of my favorites:
– Floppy Hat: These are, obviously, good to protect your face from the sun.
– Loose-fitting dress & rompers: I lived in these during the entire trip!
– Beach Towels: Love these oversize Tulum towels but think having a smaller one to dust off the sand when you get back to your room from the beach is helpful, too!
– Practical Footwear: Y’all … do NOT bring heels to Mexico! Unless you’re going to a wedding, that’s inside, you have no reason for them to be on your feet!
– Oversize Tote Bag or Backpack: I would personally recommend bringing both of these items for a long trip that involves all-day adventures. I brought beige Longchamp with me as my ‘personal time’ on the plane and packed the small Hershel backpack with nothing in it in my checked suitcase. Having my tote bag was great when I wanted to get up early and go to a local cafe and work, but the backpack was actually my preference on the multiple all-day adventures we went on.
One day in Tulum, we rented bikes and it was so much more convenient and practical to carry all of our items in the backpack than the tote bag. I’d also HIGHLY recommend a waterproof dry sack to bring with you on a boating adventure, or any adventure where you’ll eventually be close to water. I missed out on capturing some amazing photo’s of dolphins and sea turtles in their natural environment because, with the bags I had, I was afraid my camera would get wet so I opted not to bring them. If I’d had one these waterproof bags, I would have been more open to carrying my camera in it and getting it out when I felt it was safe.
Speaking of safe, I’d recommend a small rolling carry on bag to stow any expensive equipment you may bring with you on your trip. If you promise not to hijack it if you see me traveling at an airport, I’ll share that I always carry my photography equipment in this small rolling carry-on.
If you’re needing a tote to travel with, I linked this gorgeous cognac tote bag on the style board above because it’s so cute and only $48! I recommend giving it a try or any of these below:
– Travel Cosmetic and Jewelry Case: These are both necessary for obvious reasons and, honestly, they’re one of my favorite things to shop for! They’re always SO cute, and the ones below are no exception. There’s no way you can go wrong. I found this jewelry organizer the other day, which I have definitely been needing! I just bought it so I’ll let y’all know how I like it the next time I travel!
– Hair Care Products:Let’s just say … I went to Mexico unprepared for some things, one of which being the humidity. Now, I live in Florida so you’d think I’d be okay with what I normally use but… no. The humidity was on another level down there and my normal hair care routine did NOT work. I recommend using this impermeable anti-humidity spray by Oribe. I have it and use it in July / August, when humidity gets really bad here, so it does work … I just totally didn’t think to pack it for Mexico. Some other products I recommend, especially if you’re just going to embrace the natural beach waves are linked in the widget below:
T3 recently sent me this adorable compact hair dryer and I love it! It’s a mini version of the one I have and use to blow dry my hair once a week so I’m excited to have it for international travel now. In Mexico, I learned that hotels aren’t always equipped with one in the bathroom.
– Fun Clutches: It’s Mexico! This is just a given! I’m OBSESSED with this cactus one..
– Shorts: When you’re over wearing dresses or rompers, and it isn’t AS hot as the other days you’re there … opt for shorts and a cute top!
– Undergarments: So, this area is not covered on the style board above but I wanted to talk about it because if you’re not prepared you’ll really wish you had a washing machine and dryer in your hotel, and that’s just not likely.
As I’ve mentioned, the heat makes this trip a little uncomfortable and difficulty when it comes to dressing. If you wear normal undergarments underneath your normal clothes to walk around in, I would say that you’ll make yourself even more uncomfortable … most of the time. It’s kind of a judgement call and will depend on what you have on your itinerary. One night, in Playa del Carmen, we were going out to walk around as the sun was going down and then we were just going to find a random place to eat dinner somewhere, and I got away with wearing this outfit with normal undergarments. I was hot, but it wasn’t anything like it was in Tulum. By then, I ONLY wanted to wear whatever covered me appropriately but didn’t cling to me, like this romper, this dress and this dress, because it was so hot and humid, and I would typically just wear a bathing suit underneath it because I knew it was the most comfortable thing to do.
At night, I wore dresses like THIS … nice, but you could get away with wearing no bra. If you MUST wear something underneath your clothes because of the garment, I would suggest whatever you would normally wear plus something like THIS. Although, just a heads up … they don’t pack well and you can probably only wear them once, maybe twice … so you’d really have to pick and choose when you’d wear them. I brought two and wore them both once then threw them away.
– Waterproof Makeup: With the humidity making the heat almost unbearable down in Mexico, especially near the coast, it’s important to embrace minimal make-up and come prepared with waterproof and ‘long wear’ makeup! I, honestly, embraced not wearing a lot of makeup most days and regretted not researching different makeup before I left, but didn’t even think about it. With that said, I can’t let you make the same mistake, so here are some great waterproof makeup products out there with amazing reviews, as well as some of my daily makeup items that still worked great:
There are some others that should be mentioned like a camera, bug spray, sun screen and hand sanitizer … but I’ll let you do the shopping for what you’d prefer in those departments! I hope today’s post was helpful! It got up a little late but … I’m trying to just get posts up when I can these days! Hope you had a great day! Thanks for stopping by! xo.