Will this be your first time in Mexico? First of all, great choice! Mexico is a beautiful country full of culture, beautiful landscapes and amazingly friendly people. But we know that traveling to another country requires some research. This is why; in order to make your trip easier in this short guide we will tell you what you need to know before you go to Mexico.
1. Don’t Forget Your Passport
One of the main things to keep in mind when you are traveling to Mexico from U.S. is that you will need a current and valid passport, Mexican authorities may ask for it when you cross the border and you will need it to prove your nationality on your way back home.
2. Guns And drugs Are Not Allowed
There are some things that you cannot bring to Mexico like drugs and guns of any kind, unless it is for hunting purposes in which case you will need a special permit . If you are planning to cross the border carrying your medications you need to know that even medical marijuana is prohibited in the country no matter your medical condition or if you have a prescription for it.
3. Your Pet Can Travel With You
If your pet is traveling with you be sure it has a health certificate to prove it is healthy, that it have its vaccines and that it has been dewormed.
4. Money & Exchange Rate
A good tip is to have your bank international’s phone number written down in case you lose your credit card or need help using it from another country. Sometimes banks hold transactions when you are in a different country you may want to call them before your trip. Also carry with you some cash, there are still in Mexico some small business that won’t accept a credit or debit card.
Talking about cash, if you are visiting a city in the border you can use american dollars almost everywhere and also in some other cities. But is better to exchange your money to mexican pesos in a currency exchange store. This is because each restaurant, hotel, coffee shop, supermarket, etc. has its own exchange rate and most of the time you will lose some money in the transaction. A good idea is to google the exchange rate before your trip to have in mind how much are your really spending. The good news is that good food, transportation and lodging is not expensive at all in Mexico.
You can take a cab to move around any city and they are very safe. A good tip is not to take taxis on the street, ask your hotel to call you a taxi, but if you do just make sure it is an authorized taxi and the taxi driver has a valid and visible id. Another good option in most major cities in Mexico is to use Uber app to ask for a taxi, this way you won’t even have to carry cash to pay for it.
If you are in Mexico for a medical treatment ask your clinic, sometimes clinics offers free transportation to its patients, it will make everything easier.
6. The Language Barrier
If you are worry because you don’t speak Spanish, not even one word! It’s ok, all touristic places in Mexico have at least someone who speak English and you’ll be fine. And if you are travelling for medical purposes we have the best clinics in the country and their doctors and staff speak English fluently.
7. Crossing the Border
If you are planning to visit a border city it is a good idea to check if the border crossing port is open 24/7 or if it closes by night. Use Border Wait Times website to find also how many lines are currently open and the approximate delay time to cross the border. And if you are in a city like Los Algodones, Tijuana, Tecate or Mexicali to get a medical treatment you can also ask the clinic for a Medical Lane Pass. With this pass you can avoid spending hours in line to get back to the United States, you will be able to use a special line and cross the border faster.
One More Thing
Travel in low season to save some money, try the food and explore. We are pretty sure you are gonna have an awesome time in any city you are visiting, but if you need more tips read our city guides.