Mexico is a charming country. It’s thriving with a unique culture and history. Last year in 2017 Mexico jumped on the list and became the sixth most visited destination in the world. Back in 2013, it was at number 15. When we arrived in Mexico two months ago we based ourselves in Mexico City Traveling in Mexico for the first time can be challenging and of course, there is some mistake we made as first-timers. Make sure you Avoid making these simple travel mistakes as we did.
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What I should pack for Mexico City
When we packed our bags before the trip to Mexico we were so excited for some nice warm weather. Little did we know that Mexico city is so high up that parts actually get snow. Mexico is a big country, therefore the weather varies. Some states are indeed perpetually hot, but in some areas not so much. Central Mexico has a high altitude and so temperatures vary throughout the year. Don’t expect tropics everywhere you go. Lots of first-timers turn up in their prettiest beachwear looking for palm trees and balmy days. They’re often disappointed to find that Mexico City sits 7,000 feet above sea-level which results in a cool, dry, alpine climate and thin air. This may leave you suddenly winded while climbing stairs. or going on hikes (Don’t forget to drink plenty of water; it’s important to stay hydrated at higher altitudes). That’s not to say it’s cold here, but it certainly isn’t hot in the winter. Rainy evenings and chilly nights and mornings are common, even on the warmest days. So bring layers.
The cheapest way to get around in Mexico City
Public transportation is incredibly cheap in Mexico City. You have four common options: Buses, Subway, Cabs, and Uber. In most cases, a lot of people avoid local buses and cabs. Uber and Subways are the most common way to get around. Uber can be cheap but in times of traffic, it can be drastically expensive.
The Traffic is completely insane in Mexico City and can take hours to go only a short distance. In most cases, when there isn’t a lot of traffic and you want to travel about 15 minutes away your ride will cost around 60 Mexican pesos ($2.91 USD). For the subway, your ride will always be 5 pesos ($.24 USD) no matter how far you go or how long you are on the subway. This is why the best way to get around is the subway but again I would avoid all public transportation during rush hour.
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Avoiding crowds in Mexico City
Most times if you want to avoid the crowds in Mexico City you just have to avoid 6-8 am and 5-7 pm. BUT this is not always the case here in the city. We have noticed another huge rush hour in the city is 1-3 pm. The reason for this is that most people in Mexico City take a super late lunch. The lunch hour traffic is sometimes just as busy especially if you are trying to get something to eat. I would suggest going out to eat for lunch around 11am-12pm this way you can have eaten and paid before the rush even begins.
Long term rentals in Mexico City
After traveling full-time for a while now we imagined it wouldn’t be that difficult to get an apartment in the capital city of Mexico. Boy was we wrong. It was one of the most difficult places to rent we have ever been to. The reason we say this is that there were a lot of requirements for you to be able to get an apartment. You needed a cosigner or someone to vouch for you. You also needed one month to rent up front in case you broke anything or didn’t pay. I understand why these requirements are in order but most places we traveled never required this before. We just don’t feel comfortable handing over an extra 800 USD to someone we could possibly never see again. This is why we highly suggest using Airbnb. This is the only choice we really had. The only suggestion I would give is if you are going to use Airbnb I would suggest you Rent for two days and then go see more Airbnb’s that are available before you rent long term. You want to make sure the place looks like the pictures online. It’s not bad renting if you are under a month because you can rent Airbnb or hotels and its not bad if you are renting six months to a year because you can put a down payment down but when it comes to one month you are kind of in a tight situation. If you do plan on using Airbnb you can use this link when signing up for $40 off your first trip https://bit.ly/2QDMyoF
Do I tip in Mexico?
Mexico’s tipping culture is less pronounced than the United States, but it is common courtesy to include at least 10 percent of your bill for the waiter. When we first arrived we did not know that. Coming from Asia where there is no tipping culture we had heard that you don’t tip in Mexico but this is wrong. You should always tip at least 10%, this rule applies for restaurants, cafés and even bars where you will pay for drinks when you are billed at the end of the night.
All in all, have a great time on your trip to Mexico, just keep some of these simple things in mind when traveling. If you want to check our FULL VIDEO GUIDE we have that on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL showing you an in-depth guide to all the best and even some of the most unknown local spots!
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