With winter approaching, the longing for tropical climates and beach hideouts is taking hold. If you’re searching for somewhere new to travel to this holiday, why not check out what Mexico has to offer?
Palm-fringed beaches, sumptuous cuisine, vibrant cities and flourishing jungles: Mexico is a place of exploration and excitement.
At ACE-FX, we’ve created this Mexican travel guide on the most salient budgeting and safety tips, so you can go prepared and able to make the most of your trip.
Mexico budgeting tips
Make the most of the bus network
Mexico’s bus network spans the country, and is set out in a tiered system - with different classes of service for different prices. The first-class buses are some of the most luxurious in the world, and an experience in itself! Whatever tier you choose, travelling by bus is the perfect way to save some money and take a further glimpse at the breathtaking Mexican landscape.
Pay in Pesos
Like many other countries, in Mexico you can either pay in the local currency (pesos) or US dollars. While many are tempted to use dollars, a currency they are familiar with and may already have at home, this is not the wisest choice. Paying with dollars means you are subject to the exchange rate decided by the merchant of the day - highly unlikely to be a favourable one! The best option is to change your currency before your trip, with a reputable company like ACE-FX, or to bring a currency card with you.
Eat at markets and local restaurants
As with anyplace, there are tourist-centred restaurants with far higher price tags than the typical Mexican fare. If you’re interested in experiencing Mexico like a local, and saving some pennies, search out some of the local markets and restaurants. Not only is the food inexpensive, it is delicious! Check out our previous article on eating street-food to ensure you thoroughly enjoy the experience, whilst avoiding becoming ill.
Delve further than the beach
No one would dispute the beauty of Mexico’s beaches; whether it’s Tulum or the Riviera Maya. But there’s a whole other world away from the tourist-travelled beaches, where you can discover the real Mexico: quaint fishing villages, towns like Valladolid with underground cenotes and colonial architecture, lush mountainous countryside. What’s more, inland Mexico is far cheaper than its famous, tourist-infested coasts.
Staying safe in Mexico
As a tourist, you already stand out from the crowd. To lessen the effects of this, and your attraction to thiefs, don’t wear flashy items or expensive jewellery. Blend in. Walking around with a camera around your neck and a map advertises your status as a tourist.
Use a money belt and spread your money
Rather than carrying around great swathes of cash, leave some money in your hotel and spread it around your luggage when travelling. Using currency cards means you do not need to get out huge sums at once: only what you need, and if your card does get stolen and used, your entire savings will not be in one accessible place.
Don’t worry too much!
Understandably, there have been warnings and precautions about travel in Mexico. But it is worth bearing in mind, that these are isolated areas that you would never visit regardless. The majority of the country is safe and welcoming, the locals lovely and there are many practices put in place by the police and government to ensure the safety of tourists.