Mexico City Travel Advice

Mexico City Travel Advice

Tips to help you feel prepared for your trip to Mexico City

The most populous city in North America is a staggering characterization to anticipate for a non-Spanish speaking traveler.  However tourism is booming here. Each year millions come to explore Mexico City’s many museums, gardens, and clubs, and it’s begun to be spoken about in the same sentences as with London, Paris, etc.  Many have a misconception that the city is rife with crime, overpopulation and pollution. To the contrary, Mexico City is a beautiful and colorful destination waiting for you to explore its deep rooted history, culture, and possibly most important, food!  After traveling here, I’ve put together my most useful Mexico City travel advice.

20 Pieces of Travel Advice for Mexico City

1.  There are (essentially) no rules of the road.  People will drive in all directions and nudge their cars through where they want.  And adjust your ears for the car horns, as they are extensions of a Mexico City drivers arm.

2.  Public Transportation should be avoided if you are not a local.  Pick pocketing happens to many tourists, so use Uber instead

[New to Uber?  Use this link to earn your first ride for free on me!]

3.  Avoid the taxis too (they are pink & white).  This may be a preference on the traveler, but I’ve read plenty of stories of Mexico City taxi drivers who skim your credit card information and overcharge non-Spanish speakers.  If you insist on taxis, NEVER hail one from a tourist attraction. Go to the stations that have taxis parked, or one that your hotel can call for you.

4.  In fact, the ratio of drivers to people living in the city is fairly low, which makes its people more sustainable than most other cities.

5.  Overall, Mexico city is very safe for tourists!  In fact tourism is booming here; with over 12 million plus visitors coming each year.

6. The city is very vegetarian and vegan friendly!

Related: Here is a vegan food tour we did ourselves in Mexico City! ]

7. Mexicans are not fans of sarcasm and can take things very personally. So use caution if your go to humor is sarcastic. (*we were advised of this by a few different Mexico City locals, however I never experienced it firsthand)

8. Cinnamon is a popularly used spice.  Embrace it or go home.

9. Mexico City is not for morning people (or so I’m told).  They enjoy late nights out, and who couldn’t blame them with their exciting club scene.  Lucky for travelers, that just means it is easier to take morning photos since there will be less people out.

10. The city is massive.  While on a map it may not look like it will take you long to get there, in real time it will.  So, incorporate travel time and traffic if riding in a car.

Related: Mexico City Travel Guide ]

11. There are 16 districts in Mexico City, also known as colonias.  Each has its own personality, and vibe. Polanco, for example, is one of the wealthiest residential areas with expensive designer boutiques, upscale restaurants, and swanky clubs and hotels.  While Condesa and Roma are home to hip cafes and bars, quirky shops, and cool art galleries.

Related: Wondering where to stay in Mexico City?  Here’s why you should stay in Roma or La Condesa ]

12. The city was built on a high altitude lake bed- and it continues to sink… (could this be north america’s version of Venice?)  When people speak about pollution in the city this is because the air takes awhile to migrate away from this valley.

13. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, so should not be missed.  The gastro scene in Mexico City is booming. You can find a delicious meal on any spectrum of price you’re willing to pay.  Dinner typically starts around 9pm.

14. Carry loose change to tip at restaurants.  10% is customary, and it can be left on your table when you depart.

15. Speaking of cash, it’s best to carry small denominations of pesos with you.  Use your credit cards for larger purchases.

16. Pack to dress in layers- the weather can be sunny all morning with showers in the afternoon.

17. You cannot and should not drink the tap water.  My advice would be to purchase a large jug of water at a local convenience store and refill your own water bottle throughout your trip.

18. Leave your valuables at home.  There is no need to flash off your expensive jewelry or handbags.  As a visitor, you can easily be targeted. We were even told that many locals won’t wear their nice jewelry out in certain areas of the city.

19. Dress smart.  While many may not wear expensive jewelry, as a whole, the people of Mexico City dress professionally.  

20. Set aside at least three FULL days in Mexico City.  While you could spend weeks here to see it all, the major sites can be done in a weekend.  Plus that’s three lunches and three dinners where you can eat your way to happiness here.

If you’re questioning whether you should go to Mexico City or not, the answer is YES, go!  The city is very affordable and safe for tourists. Have more questions? Check out my other posts about traveling in Mexico.  You can also leave a question in the comments below and I’ll be sure to respond and help you plan your trip!

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Eco-Friendly Tips for the Beach

Eco-Friendly Tips for the Beach

Five simple tips to help keep our beaches clean

Note: this post contains affiliate links to products we love and have purchased ourselves on Amazon. Clicking these links doesn’t cost you any extra money, and you’re supporting us by doing so. You can view my disclosure page for additional details.

When choosing a destination for a vacation one of the most popular reasons for going will be a place with stunning views and landscapes.  In order for these destinations to be desirable they are well maintained by someone who is being paid to do so, and some beaches cannot keep up with the trash pollution (hello tides bringing things in and out).

        Beaches are easy places for people to leave behind garbage because the assumption is that ‘I won’t be coming back here so not my problem anymore’, or a personal “favorite” of mine is the assumption that someone will clean up after you.  It’s confusing to think about how and when that mindset settled in, but the reality is no one is coming in after you to clean up your mess on a beach.  Beach clean ups are great, but they are a band-aid over a bigger problem, not a solution.  So, I’ve put together a simple list of things YOU can do to prevent waste and be eco-friendly on your next beach visit.

Five Friendly Tips to help keep our beaches clean

1. CARRY A (REUSABLE) WATER BOTTLE

Instead of purchasing another plastic water bottle, reuse one you already have or carry a sturdy reusable bottle with you.  It’ll be a great reminder to fill it up and stay hydrated, and it saves plastic from being left behind.

Here is a resusable water bottle that I really like

*My suggestion would be to not invest too heavily into a reusable bottle that you will travel with.  I once had an empty water bottle tossed via a secondary, full plane, re-check of our carry on luggage with the reason being I couldn’t have any bottles of any kind…

2. BRING A REUSABLE CLOTH SHOULDER BAG OR GROCERY BAG

        Plagues are to human destruction, as Plastic is to the ocean… alright, my attempt at an analogy may not be great, but the point I’m trying to make is that plastic is the devil- especially to our oceans.  Avoid plastic like a plague and always bring a reusable bag with you.  Some clothing stores use cloth bags, such as Free People and Verge Girl, that you can reuse or use a reusable grocery bag.  They are lightweight and very useful.

These cloth bags are a great size for a long day spent at the beach

3. WEAR REEF-SAFE & CRUELTY FREE SUNSCREEN

Coral reefs maintain and protect vast parts of our oceans.  They can be bleached and die from oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are main ingredients in many mainstream sunscreens.  They are toxic to our oceans.  Protect marine life and coral reefs by wearing reef-safe and cruelty free sunscreens.

I am currently working on reviewing various sunscreens that fit into this category to share which ones are best for protection, quality and for your dollar.  In the meantime, here are brands that I have heard of:

  • Sun Bum; I use their 30 spf
  • Hang Ten
  • Jason Mineral
  • Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
  •  Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen
  • Bare Republic

*search for mineral and zinc oxide based sunscreens

4. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD

Packing your own food will allow you to use reusable Tupperware and avoid horrific items like foam packaging and plastic straws.  While at home I use the Pyrex brand, but for travelling these silicone bags are great (plus they have cute little pandas on them too)

If you bring items that are individually wrapped, such as protein bars, be sure to…

 

5. TAKE YOUR TRASH WITH YOU

Some beaches will have garbage bins on the beach, which is wonderful!  However, beaches are windy places.  When the wind starts it’ll pick up whatever lightweight items are in a garbage bin and float them away.  Use that reusable bag you’re going to bring with you and store your trash in there to toss out at home or at your lodging.

        That’s it!  Five very simple things you can easily do to help preserve beaches.  It’s incredible to think about how simple these five tasks are and even more incredible how impactful you, as an individual, can be utilizing these tips.

Share this post with someone you go to the beach with so you and your team can be prepped for the beach that all you have to do is enjoy the the rays & the waves!

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