Mexico is a nation that almost everyone should attempt to visit at some point in their life. Full of fun, excitement, beaches, and fiestas, Mexico has become a leading tourist destination. Just as you should do in traveling to any other country, you would also be wise to learn the ins and outs of traveling to Mexico prior to your departure to enjoy the best experience possible.
First, to the degree that is practical, learn some of the basic language for Mexico – at least some short, practical phrases, and typical questions. Spanish is the primary spoken language. Also, it would be to your benefit to bring along an English/Spanish dictionary just in case. Though the dictionary will identify you as a tourist, it would be better to swallow your pride and use it rather than artificially restrict your ability to communicate.
Come prepared with your passport because you may be asked for it frequently. You also need a tourist card, which basically serves as your permission to visit Mexico as well as provides proof of citizenship for your native country. You will have to provide all this when landing or driving through customs.
When traveling to Mexico, there are certain items that will not be permitted into the country. For example, you cannot carry more than three liters of alcohol and 50 cigars. Cigarettes are also limited to 400 as long as you are over 18 years old. You may only bring one camera as well; if you still use rolls of film rather than a digital camera, you can only bring 12 rolls of film with you.
The currency in Mexico is the Peso; most stores and restaurants only accept those. If you do not want to exchange your money upon arrival, you can use your credit cards – but you will need cash in some of the smaller stores and restaurants. Traveler’s checks are great to have on hand as well because in many places in Mexico, theft is a significant concern.
Another important tip to bear in mind when traveling to Mexico is that it is vital that you not drink the water. Either drink bottled water or boil your water if needed. The tap water, even though many claim to have a water purifying system, is full of bacteria that many tourists from other countries can’t process internally very well. Keep your distance from fruits and vegetables as well that have not been washed in a purifying system and cooked thoroughly. You definitely do not want to become sick on vacation simply because of the water you drink or food you eat.
Mexico is a safe destination if you head for the popular spots; stay away from the outskirts where it can be rather dangerous. If you follow these tips and learn from the locals where to go and avoid, you should have a very enjoyable trip.