packing list for New Mexico

What to Pack for a Trip to New Mexico

It can be hard to know what to pack for a destination you haven’t been to before, so we hope you’ll find this list of what to pack for a trip to New Mexico helpful! Of course you’ll need to pack the things you always take when you travel–such as toiletries, medicines, and “regular” clothing and supplies. There are other things you’ll want to bring along too. Before you begin packing, though, there are a few things you need to know before you head to New Mexico.

For a printable list of what to pack, scroll to the bottom of the article and click on the link!

Things You Need to Know

  1. Cell service in New Mexico can be spotty. There are many areas where you can’t get cell service at all. In other places, you may have it for a few minutes and then it may be gone. Be sure to let folks back at home know not to worry if they don’t hear from you or if you’re talking or texting and then you suddenly get cut off.
  2. The weather can change a lot over the course of a day! It may be cool (or even cold) when you get up in the morning, and it may get hot by the afternoon. We’ll talk more about clothing in a few minutes, so keep in mind that temperatures can change 30 degrees or more from morning until evening.
  3. It’s easy to get dehydrated because it’s so dry in New Mexico. Keep that in mind as you explore!
  4. Altitude sickness is real! You’ll need to know the signs and (even more important!) how to prevent it from happening.

Toiletries and Medicines

  • your regular toiletries
  • any supplements or medicines you take


Of course you’ll want to bring regular items like socks and underwear and whatever clothing you normally wear to sleep in and travel in. But there are other things you’ll need to take along if you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, and especially if you’ll be hiking, swimming, boating, etc.

  • sun hat (with a brim)
  • sunglasses
  • swimsuit
  • water shoes
  • rain poncho and/or umbrella
  • plastic bags for wet clothing
  • shorts
  • long pants
  • t-shirts (for layering)
  • long sleeve shirts (for layering)
  • sweaters (for layering)
  • jacket
  • loose, light-colored clothing (for hiking)
  • sturdy sneakers or hiking boots (You’ll have to have close-toed shoes if you’re going on a hot air balloon ride.)


  • cell phone charger
  • camera (if you’re bringing a nice camera instead of using your cell phone camera)
  • extra battery for the camera and/or your charger for your camera battery
  • an extra backpack or two (You never know when you might need an extra one!)
  • small change/dollar bills for tipping
  • souvenir money
  • debit or credit cards (Be sure to let your bank know that you’ll be traveling so they won’t put a freeze on your cards when you try to use them in a different state!)
  • lip balm (Since it’s dry in Mew Mexico, your lips may get chapped!)
  • lotion (Again, since the weather is dry, your skin will tend to be dry.)
  • sunscreen (If you’ll be outside a lot, sunscreen is important even in the winter)
  • sun protection clothing (If you’d rather wear clothing with SPF than use sunscreen.)
  • water bottles (or a refillable water bottle) You’ll want to be sure to take plenty of water with you any time you leave the hotel–especially if you’re going hiking!
  • snacks – You’ll want to bring some snacks any time you leave the hotel.

Click here (or click the image below) to print your packing list!

packing list for New Mexico

If you’ll be going to Taos, New Mexico (or even if you’ll be visiting other areas of New Mexico), our article with Travel Tips for Taos, New Mexico, may be helpful to you too!

Do you have suggestions to add to our list of what to pack for a trip to New Mexico? If so, please leave them in the comments! 


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