4 Tips for Travelers Heading to Mexico

  • Travel Team
Mar 19, 2013

Mexico can be a fabulous destination for beach-loving travelers. With extensive coastlines, luxurious resorts and plenty of historic sites, the country is packed with things to do during a trip and is a perennially popular location for warm weather vacations. Despite the country's popularity, visitors must remain on their toes to stay safe in all situations. There are a variety of surprises that can pop up and significantly impact a trip, but staying aware of common problems and doing your best to prevent them can go a long way in creating a great experience.

1. Hang on to your tourist card

Travelers venturing to Mexico will need a tourist card before they can enter the country. This free pass is essentially a formal declaration of permission from the government to set foot into Mexico, and if you can't get your hands on one beforehand, airlines usually have a supply of forms on hand before boarding.

While this may seem like a formality, you will need the pass during your departure from the country - a fact that can surprise many travelers. Be sure to keep the document in a safe place and write down your card number. That way, even if you misplace the card itself, you'll be able to confirm that you did go through the process when entering Mexico.

2. Don't call attention to your valuables

Much like many other tourist-heavy locations, travelers should do their best to avoid gaining unwanted attention. Wearing flashy jewelry, openly using smartphones or other devices and showing off money are all surefire ways to catch the attention of pickpockets, and by choosing more subdued clothing and actions, visitors can help protect themselves. Exchanging money before you land in Mexico is also useful, as it can prevent you from alerting others that you are a foreigner scrambling for money in the destination.

3. Let your hotel do the work

When it comes to getting around the area, it can be tempting to use taxi services. To make sure your transportation mode of choice is legitimate, ask the hotel or restaurant you are at to arrange a pick-up or at least recommend a service. Thieves can occasionally pose as drivers to try to scam people out of their travel money, but hotels will connect guests with the best and most reputable services to make sure they get to their destination safely. Travelers should also note that, while tipping taxi drivers is not customary in Mexico, a final price can be determined before setting off on the car ride.

4. Watch the water, eat the food

Like many other destinations, travelers should be aware of the dangers that may arise from drinking the water in Mexico. It is almost certainly different than the liquid found in the U.S., and a slight difference in the purification process can cause major stomach problems for travelers. To prevent this ailment from ruining a trip, be sure to purchase bottled water for your day-to-day drinking and invest in travel medical insurance. Should you need any kind of medical attention due to an ailment, policies and provide support and even reimbursement - just be sure to read it over thoroughly before travel so you know what's included.

Even with these potential dangers, visitors should still make it a point to take trips to city markets. These locales are generally filled with all kinds of tourists searching for the perfect snack or souvenir, making it a great place to spend a few hours soaking up the local culture. Authentic cuisine can also be found at some of these vendors, but be sure to wash off any fresh food with your own bottled water.

Have you traveled to Mexico recently and have additional suggestions?

We'd love to hear from you! Provide your travel tips in the comments section below.

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