I’ve learned a few things the hard way after a dozen visits and a year spent touring Mexico – and I’ve put together this list of things to know BEFORE going to Mexico so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
We’ll go over practical information you won’t find anywhere else, such as how to use the restroom without making a fool of yourself and a vital immigration document you must remember to save or face issues!
#1 – The Ladies Use The Restrooms Marked With An “M.”
“Mujeres” is the Spanish word for women. So, gentlemen, don’t assume that a door marked with an “M” leads to the men’s room. Instead, seek a door with the letters “H” (for “hombre”) or “C” (for “Caballeros”) on it.
It may appear to be a little detail, but for English-speaking guys, using the restroom designated “M” has become nearly second nature, and this tip still catches me off guard every now and then. At least three times, I’ve unintentionally barged into the wrong restroom!
#2 – Don’t Toss Away Your Customs Paper Slip
Pay attention when the Mexican border official hands you back your stamped passport, since there’s probably something else inside.
Most travellers to Mexico will fill out a little piece on break-away paper at the end of the immigration form. It will be torn off and inserted into your passport by the immigration official. Keep it safe since you’ll be asked for it (or face a fine) if you leave the country without it!
This is crucial information to have before coming to Mexico, so keep it in mind!
#3 – Never Drink The Tap Water
Drinking tap water in Mexico is never a good idea, so never drink it straight from the tap. However, because Mexico is hot, you’ll need to drink plenty of water during your vacation (we’re talking about drinking water here, you party animal). Many tourists waste a lot of time looking for a drink and are frequently overcharged by opportunistic sellers selling bottled water. Purchasing bottled water adds up rapidly, and plastic harms the environment.
So, What Are Your Options?
One simple and eco-friendly answer is to bring a water bottle with a travel-grade filter with you so you may drink the water with confidence wherever you go.
#4 – Go Beyond the Beach Resorts
This is one of the most crucial pieces of travel advice for Mexico.
There’s nothing wrong with visiting renowned tourist destinations like Tulum Beach in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
However, many people merely stick to the heavily-travelled coastal locations (the Tulum ruins, for example, can be extremely crowded at times) and perhaps a quick stop in Mexico City.
And that, in my opinion, implies they are missing out on a lot of what Mexico has to offer!
That’s why one of the most important travel advice for Mexico is to venture off the beaten road and visit the country’s towns, mountains, countryside, and tranquil fishing villages (here’s a guide to Valladolid, Mexico, one of my faves) (I recommend Celestun).
Mexico is a large country with a lot more to offer than just beaches.
Mountains, deserts, towns, beaches, jungles, canyons, plains, and every other type of terrain you can think of may be found in Mexico. Each region of the country has its own culture, cuisine, and atmosphere.
I’ve visited Mexico six times and spent well over six months there – and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface!