Planning a trip across the border is always exciting, but you’re in for a treat if it’s your first time visiting Mexico. The country is extremely culturally diverse, with widely varying climate, cultural traditions, art, and cuisine. I was a teenager the first time I experienced the wonder of Mexico, and no matter how many times I go back, I’m always amazed at the new discoveries I make.
Research and planning are the keys to a fun trip in Mexico. Making a list of where to go, what to see, what to do and even what not to do before you go will ensure a smooth travel experience. In general, you will find the Mexican people to be warm and welcoming, and they’re also quite courteous. Most speak at least some English, but it’s considered good manners for you to make an attempt at their language while in the country.
If your Spanish is rusty or you never learned to speak it, learning a few key phrases will go a long way toward ingratiating yourself among the locals. Don’t worry if your accent is atrocious; the fact that you’ve made an effort to communicate in their tongue will be greatly appreciated.
Let us be your guide
Making the most of your trip in Mexico starts with carefully picking which cities to visit at the time of year you’ve chosen to travel. All year long, there are hundreds of local festivals and cultural events taking place around the country. Check online for a schedule of events you’d like to attend, and go into it with an open mind. Soak in local culture, try new food, and participate in the dancing. It’s truly a wonderful way to get a feel for authentic Mexican life.
As most are already aware, drinking the tap water in Mexico is not recommended. Rather than buying and tossing plastic bottles during your trip, invest a reusable water bottle with an internal filter. Then you can fill up no matter where you are, and reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans. While we’re on the topic of what to bring with you, don’t forget the sunscreen, particularly if you plan on hitting the beaches.
Start the story before you arrive
Your first time visiting Mexico is bound to be amazing, but even more so if you start learning about the culture before you step off the plane. There are thousands of books about Mexico that can provide background information on whatever part of the country you plan to visit. The history going as far back as indigenous tribes, like the Mayan and Aztec peoples, is fascinating. Reading about it and seeing the ruins in person is an experience that will have you telling friends it was the best vacation ever.