**Traveling to Mexico for the first time? Are you prepared for the journey? There are a few things to know before traveling to this country.**
Traveling to a new country, especially one where you don’t speak or understand the primary language of communication, can be daunting!
However, there’s no need to panic. This list of tips covers all the practical things no one else will tell you, including which bathrooms to use and how to stay safe so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest!
1. Learn basic Spanish
Learning a few Spanish phrases is beneficial before you get to Mexico. Remember that Mexican Spanish is quite different from Spanish spoken in Spain.
Trust me, a basic understanding will go a long way, especially if you’re trying to figure out which bathroom to use. Remember that the restrooms with the letter M are for ladies, as the Spanish word for women is “mujeres.” “H” (for “hombres”) or a “C” (for “caballeros”) are for men.
2. Check the weather
Though Mexico is known for its bright, sunny weather, this can change daily. The key is to plan your trip for the right time and check the weather report to be sure it will be clear and sunny.
3. Pack a jacket
Now, even if you’ve checked the weather, you should pack a jacket. Mexico city will surprise you with how quickly it can get cold since it’s so high up.
4. Don’t stress about your safety
Another thing about which the mainstream media has misled is how safe Mexico is. Don’t let tales of the cartel stop you from planning your trip.
Millions of US citizens travel to Mexico annually, and the Mexican government has made concerted efforts to protect the more touristy areas. Just be vigilant and take precautions where necessary.
5. Get insured
Before your trip, getting insurance for yourself and your family is vital. You can get hybrid insurance that allows more flexibility with your insurance coverage. Remember to ensure that it will cover you for your trip to Mexico.
6. Don’t drink tap water
The number one rule is: DO NOT drink tap water in Mexico. Although the water is clean and purified, the distribution system might contaminate the water. Stick to bottled or filtered water.
7. Pay with Pesos
Paying by card is not well supported in Mexico, and many street stalls will require cash only. Always have cash and exchange some money before you go.
8. Use a VPN
We highly recommend using an online Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, especially if you’re going to be connecting to the Internet in a coffee shop, to protect your data and keep your browsing activity private.
9. Have the correct paperwork & vaccines
Although Mexico is phasing out the FMM (Multiple Immigration Form), you may still get one depending on where you are traveling from. If you get an FMM, keep it safe, as you need it to leave the country.
Do your research about what [visa requirements and vaccinations] you may need and apply in advance. We recommend saving yourself the stress of applying and instead using great services that apply on your behalf, like those of [iVisa].
10. Don’t assume Immigration will give you 180 days
In 2021, Mexico’s Immigration Service (INM) changed its rules and became more strict. They now ask you exactly how many days you need and may even require proof of when you are leaving if your stay lasts longer than a month.
Ensure you have proof of accommodation reservations and outbound flight tickets. Also, ensure you always have your passport and FMM on you, as you can be stopped and asked for them.
You’re all set for your Mexican adventure with all this in mind! Pack your bags, grab your passport and visa, and enjoy!