Our holiday in Mexico was great! Why? Because Mexico truly has everything to offer: overwhelming nature, special Mayan culture, beautiful tropical beaches and delicious cuisine. And not to forget, very friendly and hospitable people. I would have liked to have known a few practical things before I went there instead of at the destination so therefore I will share some tips with you!
Going on holiday to Mexico? You want to know this
Let’s start with the question we got asked the most: is Mexico safe enough? Keep in mind, you should always check the site of the Ministry of Foreign affairs before you leave, but I have not felt unsafe once during our entire stay there. We travelled through Yucatan and Quintana Roo and these are very safe parts of Mexico. Both are suitable areas for a road trip with kids too.
Island hopping? Make sure you have cash
Our first night in Mexico we stay on Isla Holbox, a fantastic tropical island. Isla Holbox has waving palm trees, an azure blue sea, pearly white beaches and NO working ATM machines. Well, not while we were there that is. The only ATM we found was broken. So make sure you have enough cash on you before you get onto the ferry to this tropical paradise.
All risk insurance
When we rented the car, a wise man told us: always take all risk insurance in Mexico, because the chance of you damaging the car is larger than not damaging the car. And yes, we returned the car damaged too.
I think it’s safe to say that the road users in Mexico pay less mind to all of the traffic rules, creating dangerous situations now and then. Also, lots of poles are put in places that don’t make sense and you may come across speed bumps on roads where you are allowed to drive 100 km/h.
Often, it’s cheaper to get all risk insurance when you book ahead instead of at your destination. You may want to check this out before you leave.
Large supermarkets (Aki, Chedraui) are only found in the larger cities. In all of the smaller places you visit, you will mostly find less stuff in the smaller supermarkets. You can still buy fruits and vegetables on the local markets or along the road of course, but if you’re accustomed to certain things, be sure to stock up on them when you run into a large supermarket
Paper in the pedal bin
This may sound logical, but with paper I mean toilet paper. So when you’ve done a number 2, you throw the dirty pieces of paper in the little waste bin (that has a lid if you’re lucky), instead of the toilet.
The sewer in Mexico is not large enough to handle masses of toilet paper that gets through. So if you don’t depose them in the bin, you may cause blockage.
We noticed a few times that the amount we had to pay for our gas did not add up to the amount of gas we actually took. If you need to fill up your gas, be sure to check if your bill matches your own calculations.
There aren’t a lot of gas stations so you may go for hours without running into one. So when you do run into one: be sure to fill her up.
Stop or no?
At the start of our trip we fell for the “waving people trick” a couple of times.
You see people waving with some sort of flag in the distance and you brake almost instinctively because you think something is wrong. In our experience, its often a crafty sales trick. If you stop, someone will get in front of your car and tell a nonsense story. Often, the result is you can’t leave until you pay, or they offer you parking space for a price that’s ten times higher than what you would pay if you drive a little further.
My advice is: drive on, stopping never resulted into anything positive.
Bring snorkeling masks
One last tip for when you are going on holiday to Mexico: bring a snorkel mask! What? A snorkel mask that covers your whole face. With this, even small kids can snorkel, and it’s handy for you too.
You can rent regular snorkels in lots of places. But these have been in other people’s mouths too. It’s also nice to be able to peek into the water in all the nice spots where they haven’t got rentals.
The places we stayed
We stayed in amazing apartments and hotels during our holiday in Mexico. They all have a pool and perfect locations!
- Cielito Holbox – Isla Holbox
- Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows – Chichen Itza (with the secret entrance into Chicken Itza)
- Azul 36 Hotel – Bacalar
- Coco Village – Tulum
We’ve visited 45+ countries and I have to say, Mexico was a big surprise! This is a big recommendation as far as I’m concerned! And with these tips you’ll be well prepared and on your way.
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