How to Plan an Unforgettable Mexican Vacation
Have you heard? Mexico is a great vacation spot for budget travelers, beach-hoppers, honeymooners, history buffs, upscale travelers, and more! Millions of Americans visit Mexico every year. Are you next?
Before you start packing your bags (it’s tempting, we know), take some time to plan your trip. With a little preparation, you can have a wonderful trip you’ll remember for a lifetime. Let’s get started!
Where To Go In Mexico
Mexico is a huge country, covering over 760,000 square miles. It’s home to over 120 million people and boasts a unique culture, history, and landscape. With a wide variety of destinations ranging from metropolitan Mexico City to quaint beach towns, how do you decide where to visit?
Here are a few popular destinations to get you started:
- Cancún – Reputation for partying, cheap flights, and inclusive resorts
- Oaxaca – Full of culture, vibrant markets, delicious food, surrounded by mountains
- Tulum – Known for Mayan ruins, smaller boutique resorts, and a large expat community
- Playa del Carmen – Enjoy a hip food scene, bar culture, golf, and beautiful beaches
- Cozumel – Explore coral reefs, Mayan culture, and relaxing beaches
- Guadalajara – The birthplace of tequila and mariachi, full of museums, great restaurants, cultural sites, and a vibrant nightlife
- Puerto Vallarta – Great blend of beaches, authentic regional cuisine, and Pacific beaches
- Cabo San Lucas – Known for its big party scene, luxury hotels, and pristine golf courses
- San Miguel de Allende – A step back in time with colonial buildings, churches, and markets
- Zihuatanejo – Perfect if you’re into laid-back vibes, SCUBA, snorkeling, and beautiful sunsets
These destinations are by no means the only places worth visiting in Mexico. Do your homework and find the place that captures your imagination!
Photo courtesy of Visit Mexico
When To Visit Mexico
When are you thinking of visiting Mexico? Depending on the time of year, there will be differences in prices, number of tourists, and weather.
Mexico has two main tourist seasons:
- High season – Mid-December through Easter
- Low season – Easter to Mid-December
Prices may drop between 20 and 50 percent during the low season, but there are exceptions. Prices (and tourists) will spike in July and August for summer vacation and during spring break.
Mexico has two main weather seasons:
- Rainy season – May to Mid-October
- Dry season – Mid-October to April
Of course, the weather also depends on which part of Mexico you visit. The rainy seasons generally doesn’t affect the dry, northern parts of the country. Elevation can affect the weather too. High-elevation cities like Mexico City and San Cristóbal de las Casas can get very cool, especially at night, so plan accordingly.
Generally, the most recommended time to visit Mexico is between December and April.
Photo CC Stefano Ravalli
Prepare For Your Trip To Mexico
Planning a trip can be a big endeavor, especially an international trip to a totally new and different place. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Got your passports? A valid passport is required to travel to Mexico. That’s all you’ll need if you’re visiting for less than 180 days. Make sure your passport is not set to expire during your trip and it has at least one page available per stamp received.
How will you be traveling to Mexico? Flight is the most popular transportation option, You can often find good deals online, especially on flights to popular beach destinations and major cities.
Also, consider how you will be traveling within the country as well. Transportation options include taxis, rental cars, buses, trains, ferries, boats, and more.
Are you looking to stay in an all-inclusive resort? Or perhaps a metropolitan hotel? Again, check online to find some great deals. All-inclusive resorts are common in popular beach destinations. However, there’s something for everyone and all styles of traveling.
Packing tends to be the least favorite part of traveling. However, it can be fun with the right attitude and the right items that get you excited for your trip! Take the opportunity to wear some Mexican-inspired fashion, like Mexican silver jewelry. Mexican silver rings, necklaces, and bracelets are the perfect accessories for your Mexican getaway.
Here are some recommended packing lists for Mexico:
- The Best Mexico Packing List for Carry-on Only
- The Packing List for an All-Inclusive Vacation to Mexico
It should come as no surprise that Spanish is the national language of Mexico. While you’ll probably be fine speaking English in tourist areas, learning some Spanish will be helpful. You can learn for free on Duolingo or at least memorize some Spanish phrases for traveling.
As with traveling anywhere, it’s important to be aware of any safety concerns specific to the region you are visiting. Check the U.S. Department of State to view the most up-to-date information about traveling to Mexico.
Familiarize yourself with:
- Any applicable travel warnings
- Embassies and consulates near your destination
- Entry, exit, and visa requirements
- Safety and security concerns
- Local laws and special circumstances
- Health concerns, including water quality information
Photo courtesy of Visit Mexico
Buen Viaje! Viva Mexico!
Mexico is a wonderful place to vacation. No matter where you go, or what you do, show up in style and have some fun! Buen viaje!