Essential Travel Tips For Your Family Vacation To Mexico
Of all the family vacations I have been on, going to Mexico has been the ones that I always think back to with extreme joy. Here you will find the most important and essential travel tips for when you go on a family vacation to Mexico.
Many of the travel tips put together here seem like no-brainers, but you would be amazed at how many people don’t think about or plan for them. The best family vacation to Mexico you can have will always be the ones without problems and issues that could have been avoided.
Read on for what I consider to be the must-know travel tips.
Safety in Mexico
We might as well address the elephant in the room. Is it safe to go on vacation to Mexico? The short simple answer is: Yes it is safe in Mexico.
Safety is probably the biggest concern for many when traveling with kids to Mexico.
Mexico is indeed very safe. The most popular vacation destinations in Mexico are safe. Use common sense, as you would anywhere in the world when traveling with children.
Keep an eye on your kids, and make sure they know which hotel or resort you are staying at. Also keep them informed of your itinerary so they know what is scheduled. General safety is no different than at home.
It is always a good idea to be in a group, and not wander the streets alone late at night.
The easiest thing in today’s digital world is to post on social networks about your plans for the day. You probably would do that anyway, but doing so ensures that friends and family know where you are supposed to be. If you are not a big fan of social networks then use the buddy system. Send a text to a friend or family member back home, with your plan and let them know when you expect to be back.
Use the Mexico Travel Warning website to find out if there are any special alerts or warnings for the region you will be traveling to.
If you want to compare the safety in Mexico to US Cities and States, then use the How Safe Is Mexico website.
Safety is generally not an issue if your vacation destination in Mexico is in the typical tourist areas like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Acapulco, Los Cabos, Sayulita or any of the “hotel and resorts areas”. As stated above – use common safe and travel with confidence.
Backup Important Documents
Having all your documents in order when traveling is not just a good idea, but an absolute must. Traveling to Mexico for a family vacation is no exception. Find all important documents you might need. That includes passports, driver’s license and medical documents if needed.
Make sure that all your documents are valid through the entire vacation.
Make a copy, or better yet, a scanned digital backup that can be backed up to your cloud storage of choice. Almost everyone these days will have either Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive or maybe DropBox. The important thing is that you can access a digital copy in case your documents are lost or misplaced.
Book Transportation In Advance
Traveling can be a stressful thing, and having to worry about finding transportation while juggling luggage, kids, customs and immigration control doesn’t scream a great start for your vacation.
Take our advice and have your transportation figured out – and booked in advance. It doesn’t matter if you are renting a car, ordered a shuttle to the hotel or booked a seat on a bus. Make sure you confirm it a few days before arrival so there won’t be any surprises.
Make sure you bring special food or medication you may need. You can have your doctor write a quick letter with the medication you are in need of, so you won’t have any problems with immigration checking it. That is very important for prescription medicine such as painkillers, sleeping pills, heart medicine etc.
There are many factors that can affect your health during a vacation, so common sense and a little preparation will go a long way.
The most common factors are climate change, dehydration, alcohol, lack of sleep, mosquito bites and sunburns. These are all things you can plan against or at least do something about – except climate change.
What about the local food? That is all up to you and your stomach. If you have a tendency to get an upset stomach then try to be picky with what and where you eat. Mexican food is part of the charm and experience. Seek out recommendations from hotel employees or from other travelers at your resort.
What do I always bring with me? Baby wipes and hand sanitizer in travel size is always within reach.
Choosing what to bring when packing for a vacation can be very hard. Try and pack as light as possible, and you will end up happy that you did. Having too much luggage to carry around is a real burden. Trust me on this one. I used to pack as if I were going away for years and always had tons of clothes I didn’t use at all. I know it can be a difficult thing to do but you actually need less than you might think, and I have yet to see a hotel in Mexico where you can’t get some clothes washed.
It’s very likely that you see something interesting for yourself, or something that could be a good souvenir to bring home. Everything you plan on bringing back takes up space and the ever so precious weight allowed by the airlines can end up costing you extra money.
Do yourself a huge favor and pack light. There are stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies in Mexico too in case you need something.
Protect Against The Sun
Everybody has tried getting sunburned and it’s a total pain in the a**. You don’t want to be hiding from the sun during your vacation, or have your kids in pain when it’s supposed to be all about fun and playing. I simply can’t stress the importance of a good sunscreen enough!
The sun in Mexico can be extremely brutal. Especially during the peak sun hours from 11 am to 3 pm. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen throughout the day even if it’s cloudy – the sun still packs a mean punch.
I recommend FPS starting at 30 for general use and FPS 50 for the little ones. Using UV Sun Protection Full Body Swimsuits for the kids is the best option if you want to minimize the chance of them getting sunburned.
Pack sunscreen where ever you go. Have it with you by the pool, when you go to the beach and of course also when you go on trips and excursions.
Have after sun creme ready at the hotel to soothe the burn if you get sunburned after all.
You are going to Mexico for the sun, right? There is a high risk of becoming dehydrated as you go on tours or play in the pool by the hotel. Make sure the entire family is well hydrated throughout the day. It’s very easy to forget, and the sun might not feel that hot – but trust me it is.
Always bring bottled water no matter what activity you are doing. Going on a tour? Bring water. Going to the beach? Bring water. Playing by the pool? Bring water! Maybe I sound like a broken record – but bring bottled water!
This shouldn’t come as a surprise but I will mention it anyway. Don’t drink the tap water. Tap water is fine for brushing your teeth, but when it comes to drinking water then stick to bottled water.
Consider Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is always a hot potato to talk about, but it’s one of those things I see as essential. So many things can happen at any point. Luggage can be delayed or lost, you or your kids can get sick and need medical attention. Our family has always had a travel insurance and hope every time that we won’t need it. Medical and hospital bills can skyrocket very fast to the point of ruin. MEXcation has no specific recommendation so fire up your favorite insurance comparison sites, or hit up friends and family for recommendations. The best recommendations you can get are from people that have actually been in unfortunate situations and used their travel insurance. Traveling without one is a serious gamble.
Know Who And When To Tip In Mexico
We wrote an excellent article about Tipping In Mexico to cover this topic. Go read it so you are well prepared for handing out the expected “propina” in Mexico.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Travelling with kids? Try to once in a while see things from their perspective and put yourself in their shoes. We all can get tired and need to rest. Seeing ancient ruins for days on end might not be all that great.
Being thirsty or hungry can put a real damper on the mood. Make sure the whole family keeps the energy levels up, and the thirst at length. Skipping meals to have more time to see things can and will backfire eventually. If you are thirsty chances are your kids are thirsty too. I can’t stress it enough – drink plenty of water when you are on vacation in Mexico.
Enjoy – Have fun and relax!
That’s it – you are ready for your family vacation to Mexico now that we have the above topics covered. The only thing you have to do now if you haven’t done so already is to book the perfect hotel or resort in your favorite vacation destination in Mexico. You can read through our article of the Best Vacation Destinations in Mexico for inspiration on where to go.
Enjoy your vacation and create unforgettable family memories that will last you, and your kids, a lifetime – it’s more valuable than anything you can buy with money.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found a few things you can take away from it to make your next family vacation that much better. If YOU enjoyed it – then others will too. I would appreciate if you could share it on social medias, or even send it to a friend you know will be going to Mexico soon.
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Leave us a comment if and tell us your best tip for traveling to Mexico with the family.