MEXICO

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Mexico

HOLA [Hello] and BIENVENIDO [Welcome] friends to yet another adventure with us around the World where we share with you some interesting information about where we are, what to do and see while there, and what to pack and take with you to your next specific destination.

We are in the beautiful and vast country of Mexico where the food is HOT with red hot chili peppers, homemade tortillas are a food staple, the drinks of choice for many visitors are tequila, beer and margaritas and the sun worshipers are YOU!   

Mexico's official name is "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" (United States of Mexico). 

It is a great destination to visit throughout the year and has something for everyone so it’s no wonder some 15-16 million Americans cross the second-longest border in the world each year in search of this vacation paradise at reasonable prices.

If you're traveling by air, keep in mind there are some things you may not be able to bring in your carry on, such as liquids in a container over 3.4 ounces and sharp objects such as razors, scissors. Check the airline regulations about your luggage allowance and the TSA regulations for what's allowed in a carry-on.

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Carry On Bag

In packing your Carry-on think about when you are going to arrive at your destination.  If you are schedules to arrive before your room is ready, then you will want to pack items that will make you comfortable at the pool while you wait.

* Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation
* Hotel & Transfers reservation confirmations
* Passport/Visas/Driver’s License
* Credit Card… Visa or MasterCard are most widely accepted

* Photocopies of all the above, PLUS a photocopy of any prescriptions in the event you need an emergency refill while on vacation
* Phone numbers for your credit card companies (in case your cards are lost or stolen)
* Recommended Cabeau Travel Neck pillows & YiView Travel Eye Covers

* Prescription medicine (important – keep it in the original bottle)
* SPF 50 Sunscreen/Beach Bag
* Charger for electronics
* Sealed snacks like energy bars
* Recommended Bose Headset/Earphones for movie/audio book on the plane (most international flights show movies)
* Sarong or Pareo 
Swimsuit, Sandals and cover-up, [just in case your room is not ready]
* Recommended Solar Shield Polarized Sunglasses/Sunscreen/lip protection
* Sunhat/Wide-brimmed hat
* Tablet or IPad /Paperbook/eBooks
Digital Pocket Camera w/ accesories 

 

Agent SideNote: With most airlines you are able to have 1 carry-on for the overhead bin, 1 other bag such as a purse/backpack/daypack/beach bag that will go in under the seat in front of you on the plane. Check with your airline.

Agent SideNote:  Scan your passport and travel documents and e-mail them to yourself. That way, if your documents are lost or stolen you can easily access copies from your e-mail account. You will be able to access them either by your smartphone or a PC.

Best Time to Go

Mexico is a great destination to visit throughout the year. Temperatures drop, though, from November to February when it's best to pack a sweater or jacket. In general, altitude is a determining factor, with cooler temperatures at higher elevations (Mexico City, Puebla, San Cristóbal de las Casas) and warmer weather as you descend (Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, Oaxaca).

October and November is perhaps the best time to visit, after the rains have ended and everything is still green. Early spring tends to be hotter and dustier.

Along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, winters are comfortable, summers very hot and humid, though resorts like Cabo San Lucas benefit from a sea breeze. Late summer months bring heavy rains. The hurricane season in normally runs from June to November and can affect both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

 

Check the Weather


Deciding what items to take with you on your vacation (and what to leave behind), is an important part of good travel planning. The climate of your destination, the activities you plan to participate in, and the duration of your trip will determine what you should pack.

Be sure to check the forecast for your destination before you leave so that you will be well prepared with a sweater or jacket and or a raincoat if necessary. In southern Mexico, rainy season usually falls from spring through early fall. 

Passports / Visa

Passports have been mandatory for air travel between the United States and Mexico since the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative came into effect in 2007. But for travel by land and sea, there are a few alternative travel documents which are still accepted in some situations. When traveling to Mexico, U.S. citizens, Canadians, and other foreign visitors should check what identification and travel documents are valid and necessary. If you are traveling to Mexico with children, there are some special requirements you may need to complete before you book your trip.

Agent SideNote: Make sure your passport is valid for six months after your return date. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to even board the plane or ship.

For more information regarding Passports/Visa’s please refer to U.S. Dept of State website:  https://travel.state.gov

Resort Hotel and Mexican Vacations

The sand, the sun and the sea: Is there anything more relaxing? If you're planning an upcoming trip to an Resort, Hotel or All-inclusive resort in Mexico, you're probably more than excited about the prospect of lounging in an oceanside cabana, soaking up the sunshine and indulging in a Pina colada or two. But what should you pack for your trip? Preparing a packing list beforehand can help ensure that you bring everything you need so you're able to enjoy your vacation to the fullest with no worries.

Agent SideNote:  Before you start packing, check the resort's list of activities to make sure you bring the appropriate outfits.

What to Take and What to Leave Behind

Mexicans may dress more formally, and in some cases, more modestly than people north of the border may be accustomed. Of course, you're free to dress as you wish, but if you choose to dress very differently from the majority of people you will be singling yourself out as a tourist, and worse, you may be seen as being disrespectful to your host country. 

At beach destinations, casual clothing is generally acceptable whereas in Mexico's colonial cities somewhat more formal dress is the norm. Avoid short shorts and halter tops in Mexico's inland destinations.

What You Need: (Agent Recommended Products below)

Agent SideNote: Carry-on an empty water bottle/container [fill it after you are through security if you want to.]

Depending on your Activities

If you're visiting churches, short shorts, short skirts, and tank tops are frowned on, but Bermuda type shorts and t-shirts are generally fine. 

Archaeological sites​ – comfort is key! When visiting one of Mexico’s many archaeological sites, it’s important to wear comfortable recommended Skechers Footwear, as you are sure to do plenty of walking on sometimes treacherous surfaces. Although the weather may be hot, it is best to cover up to avoid excessive sun exposure. Sneakers or running shoes will cushion your feet as you climb the pyramids at Teotihuacán or explore the jungle in Palenque. Lightweight breathable fabrics or even exercise attire is your best bet for staying comfortable in the heat. Be sure to bring a hat for extra sun protection.

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Adventure Activities

Zip-Lining - wear shoes that attach firmly to your feet, so you don't risk losing them. Shorts that are long enough so that the harness does not chafe your skin is a good idea. Wear your money belt with your passport, credit card and some cash.

 

Whitewater Rafting - Water Shoes are the best we recommend the Aleader brand Water Shoes -  and quick drying clothes. You may want to wear a bathing suit under your clothes. Wear your money belt with your passport, credit card and some cash.

Golf is BIG in Mexico so don’t forget your golf clubs, we recommend the CaddyDaddy Club carrying case for the airlines, luggage tag for the Golf Bag, golf shoes, golf shorts and shirt, sunscreen, lip balm, money belt with passport, credit card and some cash.  If you are at a resort have them make a tee-time for you and schedule with the front desk for transportation to and from the resort.

Ocean Fishing is very popular with visitors. You will need water shoes, polarized sunglasses, long sleeve lightweight shirt, zip off nylon pants, Money Belt you’re your passport in it and some cash, sweatshirt, wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap, sunscreen and lip balm.  AND…don’t forget your fishing license. Here you will want to dress in layers.  It can be a bit cool on the water in the early morning hours but as the day warms you will be able to roll up those sleeves and zip-off the lower part of those pants if you want.  Just be careful of the reflection of the water as it enhances the ability to burn. Wear your money belt with your passport, credit card and some cash.

 

Museums​ – Casual clothing is perfectly acceptable for visiting museums in Mexico. Keep in mind that spending an extended period walking on a concrete or tile floor is tiring for your feet. Wear cushioned walking shoes or runners. Museums tend to be air conditioned, so a sweater or light jacket will keep you comfortable as you soak up Mexican history.

Beach/Pool​ – Standard beach attire, shorts, a sundress, and a swimsuit are perfect for beaches or pools in Mexico. Polarized sunglasses and a hat go a long way in protecting you from the sun. A tote bag or backpack comes in handy for carrying reading material, extra sunscreen, and water. Don’t forget the Universal Waterproof Phone Case.

Around town​ – The traditional uniform of jeans and a stylish top is ideal for exploring Mexican cities. The streets and sidewalks are often made from cobblestones or dirt and are typically uneven, so it’s best to wear comfortable shoes. In crowded cities crossbody purses are best for women; carry it in front of your body to deter pickpockets. Wear your money belt with your passport, credit card and some cash.

 

Visiting Markets​ – ​Mexico’s lively and vibrant markets are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Plan for crowds and avoid wearing open toe shoes. Women should carry small purses as theft is more likely to occur in crowded locations. If you bring a backpack to port your goods home, consider wearing it on your front so you can monitor the zippers. Wear your money belt with your passport, credit card and some cash.

Luggage

Choose your type of luggage depending on how much you're going to take with you and whether you'll have to walk far with your luggage. A Suitcase with Roller Wheels Like the Travel Pro is a good idea for navigating through airports, but may not roll smoothly on cobblestone streets, so you may want to choose a backpack or convertible bag.

Besides your Suitcase or Backpack/Duffle bag, you should also have a Day Pack or Shoulder Bag to carry snacks, bottled water, maps, a camera, and anything else you may need on your excursions. A RFID Travel Document Wallet as Featured on Our Travel BLOG is a good idea to keep your documents and money on you while traveling from place to place but do make use of your hotel safe when you can. Pack an extra light-weight bag if there's a chance you may purchase handicrafts or other souvenirs.

Agent SideNote: To avoid overweight luggage going home mail your souvenirs/some dirty clothes home. Could be cheaper that the airline’s fees for overweight luggage.

Money and Travel Documents

  • Cash – Take $1, $5, $10 for tipping ~ATM Cash or change won’t be in USD and there will be fees.

  • Credit and/or debit cards

  • Passport or other form of WHTI-compliant ID (if traveling by land)

  • Driver’s license

  • Airline tickets, hotel reservation and car rental info

  • Health and travel insurance documents

  • Travel itinerary (also leave a copy with someone at home)

Agent SideNote: Don’t forget to call your credit card company/s and advise them of your travel dates and where you are going.  Also, log card company’s international phone number in case you lose the card. Leave copy of credit card with family so you can call them to retrieve the credit card number if it is stolen. The same goes for your cell phone company; contact them to inquire about international texting and calling so you don't accidentally rack up expensive charges once you're in Mexico. 

Here is a list of things you may consider taking with you. This packing list should be used only as a general guide. Don't take every item on this list; determine what you will need based on the considerations mentioned.

Clothing and Accessories

Depending on the length of your trip, either bring an outfit for each day, mix/match wardrobe and wear multiple days or plan to do laundry. If they're not essential, they're probably better off left at home. This will also make for lighter bags, allowing you greater ease of movement which can deter potential thieves.

We Invite you to visit the Amazon Essential Clothing to take along on your trip to Mexico!

  • Bathing suit(s) - Bring a couple of bathing suits because you'll likely be hitting the pool or the beach multiple times per day, and having an extra dry suit is always handy. 

  • Bathing suit cover(s)

  • Pants, jeans, and shorts

  • T-shirts, tops, and blouses or dress shirts

  • Skirts or dresses

  • Underwear, bras, and socks

  • Pajamas

  • Belts, scarves, jewelry and other accessories – Take ‘costume’ jewelry

Agent SideNote: As you're packing, think twice about taking valuables with you. If they're not essential, they're probably better off left at home. This will also make for lighter bags, allowing you greater ease of movement which can deter potential thieves.

Evenings Out

For restaurants or nightclubs, you should dress a bit more formally. Some restaurants require men to wear long pants and closed shoes. The old adage "Men, wear pants. Women, look beautiful." still applies in some establishments. For men, guayaberas are generally a good option - you'll be cool and will be dressed appropriately even for formal occasions. Women pack a few dressy outfits for dinner in the evenings.

Footwear

We Invite you to visit the Casual Footwear section of our recommendations

No matter your destination you should take comfortable walking shoes or sandals. Other shoes you may consider taking depending on your destination and planned activities include:

  • Sneakers/Walking Shoes

  • Sandals/Flip-Flops

  • Dress shoes

  • Hiking boots

  • Water shoes

Protection from the Elements

  • Sweater (even if you're traveling to a hot destination, you'll probably want a sweater for air-conditioned spaces)

  • Light windbreaker or jacket

  • Hat – Wide Brimmed to cover shoulders

  • Sunglasses - Polarized

  • Rain gear if traveling during rainy season

Toiletries, Medication, and Personal Items

If traveling by air you may take three-ounce bottles of liquids and gels in your carry-on, the rest should go in your checked luggage. Check out our recommendation for TSA Approved Toiletry Bag

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo/conditioner

  • Makeup

  • Nail file/clippers

  • Razors/shaving cream

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Glasses and/or contact lenses and solution

  • Tampons or sanitary napkins

  • Contraceptives

  • Insect repellent

  • Sunscreen

  • Vitamins and prescription medication (in original containers)

Electronics

  • Camera, batteries, sufficient memory

  • Recreational reading material

  • Phrasebook and Spanish dictionary or smartphone app for translating

  • Travel alarm clock

  • A notebook and pen

  • Cellular phone and laptop (don't forget chargers, extra batteries, and necessary cords)

Books

  • Mexico travel resources - See our recommendation reading material below.

First Aid Kit

  • Band-Aids

  • Water Purification Tablets

  • Motion sickness tablets

  • Aspirin or acetaminophen

  • Small sewing kit

  • Diarrhea medicine - Examples: loperamide [Imodium] or bismuth subsalicylate [Pepto-Bismol] - Several drugs, such as Lomotil or Imodium, can be bought over-the-counter to treat the symptoms of diarrhea. These drugs decrease the frequency and urgency of needing to use the bathroom, and they may make it easier for you to ride on a bus or airplane while waiting for an antibiotic to take effect.
     

  • Travelers Diarrhea Antibiotic - Many travelers carry antibiotics with them, so they can treat diarrhea early if they start to get sick. The choice of antibiotics varies depending on the destination. Ask your doctor if you should take an antibiotic on your trip.

What NOT to wear in Mexico
 

As nice as most locals like to dress and present themselves in Mexico, you will find it’s hard to misstep with fashion here. Certainly, as with any travel, you should avoid wearing anything that paints you as a hapless tourist (think: fanny packs, American flag tee-shirts, super white sneakers, souvenir sombreros…), and you should try to dress respectfully. Avoid anything too heavy or not quick-drying or breathable since those items will only make you uncomfortable and take away from your enjoyment of your trip. Opt for breathable linens and moisture-wicking fabrics instead. Try to keep super casual clothing to the beach and poolside areas and take the opportunity to dress up a little from what you’re used to.

All Inclusive Resorts

Don't forget to pack an insulated coffee mug or drink tumbler. This is the one item that many people wish they'd thought to bring before going to an all-inclusive resort. Why? Because while all your drinks will be free at the resort, the cups are usually very small and made of Styrofoam, which means your frozen margarita will melt quickly and you'll have to go back and forth to fill up your coffee. Save yourself the hassle and bring an insulated drink tumbler from home.

 

Don't Leave Home Without...

 

We Recommend the Universal Waterproof Phone Case – This case is amazing.  I honestly would NOT go to the beach or poolside without it.  Everyone is aware that getting your phone wet is a ‘NO-NO’ but few people realize how even a little bit of sand can really mess up and scratch your phone camera.  This super affordable little case also allows you to still use your phone’s touchscreen and takes killer underwater photos and videos with sound.

  • Extra pair of glasses/contacts [make sure you have a retainer strap for your glasses, so if they fall off your face they will not hit the ground]

  • Large Ziploc bags (for wet swimsuits or clothes) – see Agent SideNote below

  • Sewing kit

  • Shout Wipes/Tide Stick (instant stain-treatment)

  • Anti-bacterial liquid or lotion (hand sanitizer)

  • Eye Drops (get the red out)

  • 1 pair old sneakers that can get wet or left behind

  • 1 pair workout sneakers and 2-3 workout outfits if you plan on getting your sweat on

  • Compact umbrella or rain poncho


Agent SideNote:  The Large Freezer Ziploc Bags are absolutely invaluable, handy and cheap. They take up virtually no room and are versatile in their use. We have used them for years when we travel and because they are so handy we encourage you to use them too.  When we go on any vacation [including a Staycation] we take a whole NEW package of ‘zip-lock’ bags. They never fail us, and we end up using most of them. Don’t be afraid to take more than you anticipate. Throw a few into your carry-on bag and a few into your suitcase for things you may need to storage such as dirty underwear.

 

Agent SideNote: Wrinkle Release is amazing product that offers you the ability to have clothes that look freshly ironed.  This is a wonderful product for cruisers too.

Health and Safety

Don’t Overdo the Sun on Day One - Most visitors fail to heed this advice. The tropical sun is strong, and your delicate skin will balk at its exposure if you’re not mindful. You know the drill – tons of sun block, no mid-day rays, stay in the shade, cover-up and wear a hat. Remember, pools and ocean water only intensify the UV rays, so limit your swim time until your tender epidermis adjusts to the sunshine.

Health issues can vary by the destination, but traveler's diarrhea is probably the most common issue you may encounter. Other diseases also caused by ingesting contaminated food and water include cholera and dysentery. Take the following precautions to minimize your risk:

Water Concerns

  • Boil, purify or disinfect: In developing countries, treat all water unless you purchase bottled water. Do not consume drinks with ice. Brush your teeth and wash vegetables with treated water as well.

  • Check bottled water: When buying bottled water, check the seal to make sure it hasn't been opened and refilled with tap water. Bottles of carbonated water are the most tamper-resistant.

  • Stay hydrated: Don't let your concerns about water safety keep you from drinking enough water. Staying hydrated will help keep you healthy.

Food Concerns

  • Boil it, peel it or don't eat it: Avoid salads and fresh fruits. Fruits that cannot be peeled should be soaked in a mild iodine or bleach solution.

  • Eat only steaming hot foods: Pass up foods that have been sitting all day and are reheated.

  • Avoid dairy products: In tropical climates where pasteurization and refrigeration are questionable, avoid dishes made with dairy products.

  • Take Acidophilus Tablets: Available at health food stores, Acidophilus Selections is natural yogurt culture that can help your body deal with bacteria. Or simply eat yogurt while you're traveling.

Safety Concerns

  • Research your destination. The US State Department's Web site has information about Mexico as well as current warnings and public announcements regarding safety issues for travelers. 

Vaccines

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Currently, the CDC is recommending that all travelers going to Mexico consult their doctors for vaccines they recommend. The CDC is recommending for all travelers the minimum inoculations for Hepatitis A and Typhoid be obtained prior to travel.

Check with the Center for Disease Control website [CDC.gov] for further information or ask your Travel Agent.

 

Click on the Travel Perks-Dream Vacations Travel Banner below to view Mexico Travel opportunities.

Did You Know…

CABO: A shipwreck was recently discovered right in front of Land’s End and Cabo’s famous Arch. Local fishermen believe the ship dates from 1954 and was believed to set course from San Marcos Island. This piece of history has attracted considerable attention and has become Cabo’s newest attraction for both locals and tourists alike.

877-GoCruise Travel Agency

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