Although traveling to another country will undoubtedly have its differences, experiencing new and different cultures is what makes the world so interesting! Mexico is no different. Whether you’re touring ancient Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, snorkeling with fish in the Gulf, or just hanging out on the beach in Baja, here are some handy tips for traveling to Mexico.
Possess all necessary travel documents
In order to enter Mexico, as well as to re-enter the United States, you’ll need a valid passport. It will make a difference if you’re driving or flying into Mexico as to what type you’ll need. Passport cards are becoming more popular due to their ease of use, but if you plan on flying into Mexico, a traditional passport book will be required.
Besides a passport and Mexico auto insurance, additional travel documents may be needed depending on various factors such as bringing animals and staying longer than six months to name a few.
Do your research on activities, but be flexible
This rings true with any vacation or traveling you may do, but you should have an idea of things you want to accomplish or enjoy during your trip while in Mexico. However, keep an open mind and just go with the flow of your trip. Last thing you want is to be stressed on making appointments during your vacation. It’s OK to not check off everything on your wish list as you can always go back!
Practice general safety precautions
One of the biggest questions we receive: “Is Mexico safe for traveling?” Yes, it is as long as you follow general safety precautions. Mexico possesses the same level of travel advisory as Germany, United Kingdom, France, and other major nations. Exercise caution when traveling late at night and avoid illegal activities. Knowing Mexican laws, especially traffic laws, is always important and make sure to keep your wits while in crowds or markets as pickpockets and thieves are crafty.
Take care of yourself
Mexico is hot and close to the equator! Don’t skimp on using sunscreen to protect your skin as I can attest a bad sunburn on the first day will leave you uncomfortable for the remainder of your trip. Also make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, however avoid drinking from the tap. Water bottles are sold almost everywhere and you can always ask for purified water at a restaurant. My wife and her family’s trick of eating yogurt every morning just might help with Montezuma’s revenge.
Learn some Spanish phrases
Although English is the second most common language in Mexico, learning basic and common Spanish words and phrases won’t hurt as you travel around Mexico. Most people will respect and appreciate your attempt even if it sounds bad. The following phrase is a great starting point by letting them know you can’t speak Spanish but asking if they can speak English. “No hablo español. ¿Habla usted inglés?”