by Nancy Pitman
Exotic Mexico should be a destination where all you need to do is sit on a sun-soaked beach with an ice cold margarita. Of course, travel can sometimes get more complicated these days. To ensure a stress-free Mexican vacation, follow these six tips —
(1) Carry your passport and make plenty of copies of it. International travel laws have recently changed, and so these days you’ll need a passport to enter Mexico — a birth certificate is no longer sufficient. Bring with you several copies of it and leave a copy at home as well. That way should you lose the real thing it’ll be easier to replace.
(2) If you are traveling alone with your child, keep a copy of notarized authorization from the other parent. Both the mother and father have to approve the journey. The authorities will deny you boarding if you don’t have this. Grandparents and other family who are traveling with your child also need notarized power of attorney, in case of emergency. Because obtaining these documents can take time, be sure to start the process early.
(3) Book a package, instead of individual tickets. To keep the trip organized and efficient, book a trip that includes your roundtrip flights, transfers from the airport to your hotel, and accommodations. Wholesalers will often even include a half day city sightseeing tour. As a bonus, packages usually come at a discounted price.
(4) Carry bottled water. While most modern hotels have a very good filtration system for drinking water, bottled water outside the hotel is a must. It’s your best defense against falling ill.
(5) Learn a bit of Spanish beforehand. To overcome the language barrier, try learning simple phrases that you can use to meet your basic needs. The locals appreciate when you try to speak their language. You can also carry a pocket dictionary or electronic translator. If you’re still nervous, remember that most people in larger cities can speak English relatively well.
(6) For monetary conversions from pesos to dollars, just move the decimal point over one figure to the left. Because the conversion rate often changes, you can get up-to-date rates at http://www.xe.com/ucc/.
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