Mexico Travel Tips
Things to Consider When Traveling to Cabo
So you have finally decided to book your trip to Cabo! Now it’s time to start thinking about the logistics of your travel. Traveling internationally is a little bit more complicated than domestically, but it doesn’t have to be too hard. Based on years of living and traveling in and out of Mexico, we have created this blog to help you with all of the little details so you can travel with complete confidence!
Whether you rented a beachfront villa, home on the golf course, or any other option, these tips will help put your mind at ease throughout this process.
1. Research Different Areas
Whether you want to travel to Los Cabos, Cancun, Tulum, Mexico City, or any other place in Mexico, we highly recommend doing research on the area. Do you want to stay in a hotel or in a villa? What activities are available? Is there anything specific you need to know before traveling to that area? The good news is if you’re coming to Cabo, we’ve got you covered! With our blog and informational pages, you will find everything you need to know about Cabo. On top of that, every reservation comes with a personal concierge, who will also be your destination specialist and a quality source of information.
2. Booking Your Flights
There are two airports in Los Cabos: Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo (SJD). Unless you are flying a small plane or a private jet, you will most likely be flying into SJD, which is the international airport in Cabo. While navigating through the Cabo airport is not particularly difficult, it is different than airports in the U.S. Read our guide for navigating through the Cabo airport. Depending on where you’re flying from, there will be a number of different airlines that make the trip. The airlines that fly here the most are American, Alaska, United, and Delta. There are also a couple of Mexican airlines that fly internationally such as Volaris and Aeromexico. To make sure you are getting the best price, try searching several different websites: Google Flights, Kayak, Skyscanner, Hopper, JetRadar, and more.
3. Make Sure to Bring Passport & Cash!
First and foremost, DO NOT forget your Passport!! If you don’t have your Passport, you will not make it to Mexico and if by some incredible miracle you did get through, you will not be so happy about the results because you will not make it back home. Make sure and bring cash. While several places in Los Cabos accept debit and credit cards, others do not. It is always a shame to go to a shop and find the exact thing you’ve been looking for, but not be able to buy it because you have no cash.
4. Exchange Your USD for Pesos
While most places in Cabo will accept USD, it is almost always better to just pay with pesos. It’s confusing for many first-time Mexico visitors, but every store, restaurant, or bar can set their own rate of exchange. Therefore, even if the national rate of exchange is $20 pesos for every $1 usd, a particular store could make their exchange rate $15 pesos for every $1 USD, essentially making your dollars 25% less valuable. You also don’t have to try and calculate if you are receiving the correct amount in change. Lastly, DO NOT exchange your money at the airport. They offer the worst rate of exchange by a pretty large margin. You will get the best rate of exchange at your local bank, if they do currency exchange. If not, a bank or exchange in Mexico will work just fine. It is standard to have to provide a passport in order to exchange currencies.
5. Check Your Credit Card Terms & Conditions
We certainly recommend bringing cash with you to Mexico because many establishments run only accept cash. However, with that said, we don’t expect you to come with enough cash to purchase everything, give tips, etc. And while many businesses only accept cash, many of them also accept cards (especially in Cabo). Before coming, you should check with your credit card company to ensure your card won’t incur international transaction fees. It is also a good idea to turn on transaction alerts while you are here just in case your information gets compromised.
6. Check Your Cell Phone Plan
Does your plan include international calling, texting, and/or data? If you receive a text while you’re over here, are you going to get charged a ridiculous roaming fee? How much does a weekly or monthly international add-on cost? These are all things you should talk to your cell phone provider about before coming. Most international add-on plans are very affordable and we highly recommend it since phones can be a necessity, especially when in a foreign country.
7. What to Pack?
There is nothing special you have to pack when coming to Mexico, but there are a few things you might not want to forget. If you are coming to Cabo, remember your bathing suit(s)! You will also definitely want to remember sun glasses and sunscreen. There are several vendors in Mexico that you will be able to buy knock-off Ray-Bans, Oakleys, and more for around $10, but you will get what you pay for. A nice pair of polarized sunglasses will do you wonders while you’re suntanning on the beach or frolicking through downtown Cabo. Other than that, don’t forget your phone charger and warm-weather clothing. It’s also never a bad idea to bring a light sweatshirt to wear while you’re sitting around the fire and listening to crashing waves at night. All outlets in Mexico are the same as in America so you don’t need to worry about outlet adapters.
8. Save Your Immigration Papers
While on the plane to Mexico, your flight attendant will hand you immigration papers for you to fill out and present to the Customs agent upon arrival at your destination. The Customs agent will rip this paper on the perforated edge, take one side and leave you with other. DON’T LOSE THIS! Stick it in your passport, put it in your wallet, do whatever you need to do in order to save it. You will need this in order to board the plane to come home. If you do end up losing this piece of paper, you will be able to purchase another for around $30 at the airport before takeoff. However, several people have missed their flights because they didn’t realize they needed that paper. If you need another one, you must visit the immigration office in the airport BEFORE you go through TSA.
9. Learn a Few Spanish Words
While many people in Cabo speak English, that is not entirely true for the rest of the country. Certainly in tourist towns and areas, there is going to be a higher percentage of English-speaking people, but in non-tourist areas, most people will typically not speak Spanish. On our FAQ page, you can find a list of easy and helpful Spanish words and phrases that you can study before traveling here. Also apps such as Duolingo are great for learning some basic things to say.
10. Enjoy the Culture
Isn’t this the reason you want to travel in the first place!? Seeing and experiencing new things makes traveling one of the most rewarding things you can do. We highly encourage all of you to get out there and try new things when you are here in Mexico. Eat street tacos, try new dishes, talk with the locals, go on tours, and do things that might make you a little uncomfortable at first. We have chosen to make Mexico our permanent home and we want everyone to understand why and be able to experience the true magic and beauty of this wonderful country.