Tara Burgess / Jun 13

What to Know Before Traveling to Mexico

Tara Burgess / Jun 13

With sun-soaked beaches, bustling cities, and thousand-year-old ruins, Mexico is bursting with life and beauty. There’s a lot to see in this wildly diverse country, although there are some precautions all travelers must take to enrich their experience here. To make your trip easier, we’ve compiled a list of tips to keep in mind while planning a trip to Mexico.

Don’t Drink the Tap Water

Generally speaking, tap water in Mexico is not safe to drink. And in some places, it shouldn’t even be used to brush your teeth. Tap water in Mexico is not and can make you sick, ruining your entire trip and experience in Mexico!

Instead, we recommend bringing a water bottle that cleans water, like the LARQ bottle. It uses UV technology that eradicates up to 99.999999% of contaminants and bacteria like E.coli. Simply fill up your bottle with tap water and double-press the PureVis cleaning button on the cap. In 3 minutes, the UV light will purify water that you can drink wherever you are in Mexico. The double-press activates Adventure Mode for cases like this. They do recommend to use extra caution in certain parts of the world where the water quality may vary greatly. For me, one or two Adventure Mode cycles did the trick.

If you’re a stickler like I am when it comes to how the water tastes, I’d recommend also getting the LARQ Bottle Filtered too — this one comes with a Nano Zero filter which removes contaminants like chlorine, lead, heavy metals, and more. The water in Mexico does tend to be on the “hard” side, so even if bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella are eradicated with LARQ, you could still get that minerally feel in your mouth, which the LARQ Bottle Filtered can help improve. Old pipes corrode which leads to contamination from the water source to your tap water, so it’s important to purify with the PureVis™ UV-C light, then drink through the LARQ Filtered Cap to ensure there’s nothing left to make you sick. Some parts of Mexico will have water filtration systems running through rental properties, hotels, and restaurants, so you can opt for that as well instead of bottled water.

Carry Local Currency

No matter where you go in the country, it’s important to always carry Mexican pesos with you at all times. While many touristy areas take credit cards or even US dollars, you’ll likely be hit with expensive conversion rates or fees for using them. Not to mention, many of the smaller restaurants or shops will only take cash.

You can always get pesos from your bank before leaving the country. Another option is to use an ATM at a reliable bank to withdraw cash. Currency exchange shops or kiosks can work in a pinch, although they generally have poor conversion rates when buying or selling.

Bring a Reusable LARQ Bottle

Because tap water is unsafe for drinking, most locals and tourists rely on bottled water. Unfortunately, buying single-use plastic bottles creates a lot of waste which can be harmful to the environment. Not to mention, bottled water in touristy areas can also be very expensive, especially if you need to stock up with drinking water for your entire trip.

By bringing a reusable water bottle, you can reduce the number of plastic bottles that are wasted. Not to mention, you’ll also save money by using a LARQ bottle instead of buying individual plastic bottles. That’s a win-win situation for your wallet and for the environment! 

Venture Outside the Beach Resorts

Mexico’s coastline is known for its spectacular scenery. However, these areas are generally geared towards tourists. If you’re interested in experiencing local culture (while also saving money on accommodation and food costs), then it’s worth exploring some of the more off-the-beaten-path destinations around the country.

Guanajuato, Oaxaca, and Mexico City are some of the most underrated places that are often overlooked by tourists. The interior of the country is also dotted with numerous landmarks like ruins, volcanos, and cenotes. There’s so much more to Mexico than the beaches on the Pacific or Caribbean, so keep an open mind when deciding where to spend your vacation.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Mexico isn’t as dangerous as many people think. However, crime and petty theft can be problematic, especially in large cities. That’s why it’s important to use common sense while traveling, just like you would anywhere else in the world. For instance, don’t wear expensive jewelry, flash money in the open, or walk alone at night. 

Scams against tourists, while rare, can also happen. The most common type of scams include unmetered taxis and illegitimate tour vendors. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any time, leave the scene and report the scam to the police as soon as possible. 

Buy Travel Insurance

In addition to your LARQ water bottle, travel insurance is one of the most important things you can take with you to Mexico. If you were to get sick or injured while traveling, then travel insurance would help cover the costs for an unexpected doctor or hospital visit. And if you’re traveling to remote destinations with inadequate medical services, then travel insurance will also transport you back home or to the nearest hospital for help.

Some travel insurance policies also reimburse for non-refundable flights or accommodation costs if you cancel or leave your trip early. For these reasons, travel insurance is an absolute must while traveling to Mexico!

Sample the Local Cuisine

No trip to Mexico would be complete without indulging in a bit of the local cuisine. Thankfully, Mexico is known for its gastronomic food scene, with dishes that are guaranteed to delight all types of eaters. While you’ll find traditional classics like burritos, tacos, and enchiladas throughout the country, each region also has its own specialties that are worth sampling. 

And don’t be afraid to try street food. It’s fresh, cheap, and one of the best ways to experience Mexican culture like a local. Just steer clear of pre-cut fruit that may have been sitting out all day in the sun. Always make sure any fresh fruit or vegetable is cut in front of you when it comes to street vendors.

A Little Spanish Goes a Long Way

The official language of Mexico is Spanish, although English is commonly spoken in resorts or touristy areas in Mexico. But if you’re planning to spend time traveling around the country, then knowing a few words in Spanish will absolutely come in handy. Not only will the locals be grateful for your efforts, but it will also help you better appreciate the culture and history.

It’s a good idea to memorize a few common words or phrases, like “thank you,” “please,” and “how much?”. You can also carry around a dictionary or use Google Translate to help you communicate with others. 

Final Thoughts

With these travel tips, you can stay safe and make sure that you get to fully experience everything Mexico has to offer. Immerse yourself in the culture, interact with the locals, and make sure to stay hydrated by bringing your LARQ bottle so you can enjoy purified water everywhere you go. And don’t forget to keep an open mind. Mexico is an amazing country that’s guaranteed to leave a lasting impression for lifetimes to come.