For those looking for a nice international getaway that won’t break the bank, it’s hard to beat our friendly neighbors to the south: Mexico. With miles of plush coastland that cater to everyone from the casual traveler to the A-list celebrity, Mexico has a little to offer everyone.
Here’s How To Plan a Beach Vacation to Mexico
Here are a few tips on how to make your Mexico vacation truly unforgettable.
Where to Stay
There’s a reason why sites like Cozumel, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen continually top the charts of most sought-after Mexican beach spots, and it has nothing to do with the frequency of cruise liners that visit there. Boasting a fantastic combination of nightlife, five-star accommodations, and day-time activities, it’s hard to beat the big three.
Alternatively, you can visit some lesser-known destinations such as Tulum and Puerto Vallarta, which are known for their amazing beaches and breath-taking scenery. Due to its proximity to Los Angeles, Los Cabos is a favorite of most Hollywood stars who frequent the beaches for a sense of isolation and peace.
What to See
Speaking of Puerto Vallarta, one must-see attraction is the pedestrian sidewalk known as El Malecón. Stroll along at any time of the day and take in the breathtaking scenery along the coast, as well as the statues and impressive sand displays that line the beach.
If you find yourself in the Oaxaca region along the Pacific coast of Mexico, stop in at Playa Zipolite, a one-mile beach that is known for its progressive and hippie-esque vibe. In times past, this area was known as a nudist beach, and while some of that association is justified in today’s world, it’s more known for being a staple of the counterculture.
Head inland just slightly and take in El Tajín, a Veracruz city established between 600-900 AD. As the home of their entire civilization, there are over 150 structures on the site, though only a few dozen are rebuilt and open to the public. Still, the ruins play an important part of Mexico’s history and stand as a monument to their heritage.
What to Pack
Since Mexico is only a short flight away from most major American travel hubs, it’s convenient to hop over for a long weekend; fortunately, you can fit all you will need for a fantastic trip in a single carry-on. Due to the warmer weather, shorts are the common attire for men, but women will feel more at-home (culturally) in a skirt. Couple that with a couple of tank-tops or t-shirts, and you’ll be in business.
While you’ll definitely need athletic shoes if you plan on doing a lot of walking or hiking, for most of the trip, a simple pair of sandals will do, which you can pick up at any store for less than $10 a pair. Don’t forget a swimsuit, sunscreen, and bug spray, as you’ll likely be outdoors most of the trip. And take some simple medications for basic illness or discomfort: ibuprofen for headaches, Imodium for stomach issues, and so on. Finally, don’t forget an unlocked phone that you can use for international calls and emergencies.
How to Stay Safe
Although coastal resort towns are accustomed to tourists and have safety protocols in place, the reality of crime is still an ever-present danger. As such, the standard caveats apply: women should not travel alone at night, children should remain under close supervision, and any traveler should remain vigilant of their surroundings, especially at night at places like clubs and bars where criminals can take advantage of intoxicated foreigners.
Scams and bribes are common all over the world, and Mexico is no exception. Distractions are common ways to steal loot, such as a fight or car accident, and criminals love to exploit the opportunity. Be especially careful when driving on the highways, and stick to first-class buses that travel primarily in the daytime. By implementing a few basic safety procedures, you can make sure that your trip to Mexico is a safe one.
Heather Lomax is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Privilege Club. She enjoys writing for travel blogs on the best sights to see around the world and how to make for an unforgettable trip.