Kyle and I have been to Mexico a few times together, and Kyle also lived there for a year and half, making us pretty well aware of what can make or break your time there. This is why we were asked to come along as “tour guides” for Kyle’s parents during this past trip. As we were playing the tour guide role, we were able to share our knowledge with Dellas and Nancy. Now, as we have done before, I would like to share those thoughts here. Some may specifically refer to Mexico, and others international travel in general. So,without further ado, here is Part 1 of our tips and tricks for daily need-to-knows in Mexico:
- Exchanging Money – Try not to change your money to the local currency until you are away from the airport and main touristy areas. You will get a much better rate away from the hustle and bustle of other tourists. In Mexico, you are required to have your passport and a copy of a passport to make the switch, so be sure to come prepared.
- Keeping Cool – Mexico is toasty! Yes, I just stated the obvious, but that is essential for the next few tips and explanations. If you are going to be exploring for more than open spots on the beach, you will want to wear light, flowy clothing. Think natural fibers; cotton, linen, etc. Also, bring along a washcloth, bandana, or other fabric to help wipe the glistening perspiration from your face. You may feel a little silly, but oh, does it feel good!
- Doing the Wash – Washing your clothes in the sink is so easy. Just follow the same steps that your washing machine goes through. Put water and soap in the sink, wet clothing, soak for a couple minutes, scrub stains if necessary, remove and repeat if necessary. Empty the sink. Then, rinse cycle the clothing by running the water over them to remove the suds. Gently wring out as much liquid as possible. Finally, take a towel and lay it out flat. Place the item of clothing on top of the towel, then roll the towel as tightly as possible. Step on the towel to release the last of the water from the clothing, and unroll. Hang to dry the rest of the way.
- Staying Hydrated – The water in Mexico is not good to drink from the tap. You will have to find convenience stores to stock up on water, and lucky for you, they are all over. However, before you buy, make sure that the bottle has not been tampered with. Make sure the bottle is still sealed and there are not any signs of piercing or gunk covering the bottle. Sometimes, the bottles can be picked up, refilled with tap water, and sold again. Just be detailed in your check, and you should be fine. We liked to stock up daily with more than enough to make it through the day. Remember that because of the humidity and heat, you will be sweating and it is essential that you replace the lost fluid.
- Brushing Teeth – In addition to the above water comment, make sure that you use the water from your bottles to brush your teeth. Even running your toothbrush under the tap water to wet or clean your brush will run a chance of getting the undesirables into your body. Don’t take that chance
- Daily Hygiene – For showering, make sure to bring along a pair of plastic flip flops. This may seem a little over protective, but let it be known that germs are everywhere. Those flip flops will provide a barrier between you and the floor where those little critters reside. Also, make sure not to swallow the water while washing your face, for reasons already explained. After the shower, avoid walking around in bare feet. You just never know what undesirables could be on the floor. So keep those shoes on, or at least a pair of socks.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this list for tips and tricks while you are out and about.