Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful countries to travel from the United States and nearby is Mexico. Amazing food, friendly people, colorful crafts, exotic drinks, retreats, you name it! If you’re close to the border, the whole experience is just a drive away from you. But as always, you need to take some precautions during your travel to Mexico from USA, whether it’s for business, health, or leisure. We thought that you could really use this list to make your journey easier and more enjoyable – but most of all know that you and your family are safe!
Here are the 10 tips for when you travel to Mexico from USA
1. Not knowing Spanish is not an issue
If you don’t speak Spanish, you won’t be criticized for this. Normally our neighbors love making conversation, practicing their English, or showing you Spanish (be careful with those bad words, they love to laugh). But you must have a Dictionary or an App to help you express your needs.
2. Don’t drive at night on Mexico’s roads
You don’t want to bump into some bandits, but not just that, normally there are pedestrians, livestock, or bicycles on the road from nearby towns and since the road doesn’t have any illumination this is dangerous.
3. Road rules in Mexico are ambiguous
Not only will you find unmarked speed bumps, but you can also come across holes in the road that could give you a flat tire. Exit signs and road names are sometimes poorly marked.
4. Get yourself a car insurance app
If you will be traveling in your own car due to COVID-19 (much safer to be honest) make sure your insurance covers you in Mexico. Some online insurance companies just cover a few miles away from the U.S., so make sure you talk to your agent before hitting the road. La Segura Insurance covers all of Mexico and you can include as many cars as you want plus have all the information in their app.
5. These are Mexico’s speed limits
Police officers and police on the streets of Mexico are different and you don’t really want to be pulled off by any of them. So the authorities that could give you a ticket are Federales, they normally have those black fast cars and their tickets are pretty expensive! Inside big cities are tránsitos, which can give you tickets if you pass a green light, park in a prohibited space, or pull you off the street if you look suspicious. For these, make sure you have all your permits in order, otherwise, you may get a ticket or they might try to get a few dollars for bribery. These are the official speed limits according to the Subsecretaria de TransporteSubsecretaria de Transporte and you should be able to see signs of them. Just remember, they use Kilometers instead of Miles, but we did the conversion for you:
Trucks: 49 mi/h (80 km/h)
Buses: 59 mi/h (95 km/h)
Cars: 68 mi/h (110 km/h)
If you don’t see any signs, rule yourself out by following these recommendations:
Cars: 31 mi/h (50 km/h) day or night, in or near a city.
62 mi/h (100 km/h)- Day | 55 mi/h (90 km/h) Night in the road.
Buses: 31 mi/h (50 km/h) day or night, in or near a city.
59 mi/h (95 km/h) Day | 49 mi/h (80 km/h) Night in the road.
Trucks: 31 mi/h (50 km/h) day or night, in or near a city.
49 mi/h (80 km/h) Day | 43 mi/h (70 km/h) Night in the road.
Others not mentioned before:
31 mi/h (50 km/h) day or night, in or near a city.
62 mi/h (100 km/h) Day | 55 mi/h (90 km/h) Night in the road.
6. Have copies of personal documents
If a police officer asks for personal documents like driver’s licenses or passports, make sure to share those copies with them. Nobody should take your personal documents from you. Also, have your TIP and FMMFMM, and perhaps get some advice on temporary vehicle import permits.
7. What to expect from gas stations in Mexico
Make sure to always have your gas tank full. If you’re driving through a gas station and you’ve used half of it, you can’t know when you will reach the next one. Ask for the exact amount in pesos and make sure the meter is reset. These stops sometimes have clean bathrooms and charge around 5 pesos, so you must have coins with you. Toilet paper is normally available as you enter the restroom, so take as much as you think you’ll need but always have with you an extra pack of tissues. They also have stores to grab snacks, coffee, and sometimes local candy. You can pay with your card or cash. Unless it’s a small town, the cash must be in pesos.
8. Motels in Mexico are Love Hotels!
Mexico motels are cheap, but they are used as love hotels. So if you’re traveling with family, avoid these and always look for hotels instead. Otherwise, your kids will only have porn movies to watch! Plus I don’t think they should be that clean, considering some rooms are rented for a few hours.
9. Toll roads vs. free roads in Mexico
Mexicans tend to use more toll roads, which means they are faster and safer. Just make sure to have the exact amount of cash so you won’t be holding the line for the rest of the travelers. Free roads can be dangerous due to what we mentioned before, but at some point, you have to use them; just make sure to not speed and have your eyes wide open in case you see livestock around.
10. Avoid getting robbed in Mexico
And last but not least, your money and jewelry should not be there at first sight. Covid has led to many people losing their jobs, so make sure you’re not a victim of a robbery. Don’t bargain with their prices, Mexicans need to feed their families too and, if possible, offer them a bit more. Normally what they offer is handmade, takes a lot of time, and to be honest, it could cost more.
If you’re young and with friends, stay away from places locals say you shouldn’t visit; this includes buying any hallucinogenic substance or drinking too much alcohol that could leave you in a vulnerable position. genic substance, or drinking too much alcohol that could leave you in a vulnerable position.
Vacations in Mexico are Amazing!
Mexico is a wonderful place to travel to, and knowing all these tips to travel to Mexico will help you prepare for that cultural contrast you might not even expect. The greatest trip you make is the one that makes your return home sound and safe, right?
A special “thank you” to all the members of On The Road In MexicoOn The Road In Mexico. They shared with me wonderful advice that made this post possible and which I hope is very helpful to all of you who travel to Mexico from USA.
Share with us any other tips you think would be useful by mentioning us on social media! And Viva Mexico!