If Mexico is on your bucket list, let me share How To Plan A Trip To Mexico. This is the method we used for planning our family trip to Mexico that did not include all-inclusive resorts. This is specifically for visiting the Yucatan.
Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico?
Without a doubt, yes. There are a few things to be mindful of, and let me explain.
First off, always go to safe areas. Do your research ahead of time- I have done this for you. The world is not scary, but a beautiful place!
Always be mindful of your surroundings. you should be in the habit of doing this anyway, but especially be careful in unfamiliar countries and unfamiliar situations.
If you are nervous in an area or uncertain, only travel around during the day. The chance of something bad happening during the day is much less likely than at night.
Why Getting Out There Is A Good Idea
There are several reasons to plan your own vacation and travel outside all-inclusive resorts. Let me name a few.
First off, you really get to experience the culture. In an all-inclusive, you only have a small view of what that country is like. Get out and see how people live and interact with locals!
It is far less expensive to stay on your own. The housing costs, food costs, and experiences are all much less expensive. You can pay for exactly what you want to do.
Lastly, you have more space. All-inclusive resorts are so crowded, but when you venture out on your own you have space and don't need to compete with thousands of people for everything.
How To Have The Best Vacation In Mexico
Do your research before leaving. I will talk about this several times. Plan your trip, decide where all you want to go and what you want to do.
However, even though you plan, make sure and leave room for other things you might want to do as you discover the area. Leave some free space in your itinerary.
Be respectful of the people you visit. Respect their home, language, and customs. Appreciate the beauty of their lifestyle. You will enjoy your vacation so much more if you do.
Another thing to remember is to be flexible. Mexicans typically run on a little different time schedule than North Americans do. Embrace it and go with the flow, and your trip will be less stressful!
Why Visit The Yucatan
One of the best things about this area of Mexico is safety. As mentioned above the Yucatan is safe! It is one of the safest areas in Mexico.
The Yucatan has it all. We were looking for awesome beaches, ruins, and cenotes, and we found them all here.
It is easy to travel and navigate in. We rented a car, but their bus system is also really good.
One of our favorite parts about the Yucatan is traveling is cheap! Hotels are cheap, food options are cheap, experiences are cheap. You get the idea.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit?
It is key to visit Mexico when the weather is not too hot. We missed out on the best season, so it was very hot when we went. According to the locals, the time to visit is between October to March, when the weather’s cooler and not so humid. We went in May, and it was humid and hot the whole time. May through August are usually the hottest months.
This part of Mexico is located in the tropics, so it has a rainy season. This is June to September so if you visit then, you should expect rain almost every day.
How To Plan Your Vacation
- Know your budget. I like to decide ahead of time what the budget will look like. We almost always go over a little, but having a starting point is important.
- Start by deciding what you and your family like to do. We wanted beaches, ruins, and cenotes. This was our starting point.
- For us safety was key, so I also researched the safest areas to visit each of the above mentioned experiences.
- If you are traveling with a family, like we were, look into family friendly areas and experiences.
- Make sure you have arranged for your passport in advance. Right now the process is still pretty slow, if you are even considering it, make sure you have a passport.
- Decide how you will document the trip. You might think you will remember everything about the trip, but the truth is, over time you will forget. I like to use both my phone and camera for photos. I use both depending on what we are doing.
- Discuss with your family and see what they want to do. Compromise and try and make the vacation fun for everyone!
Traveling In The Yucatan
We flew into Merida airport, which I definitely recommend. It is a great airport to fly into and easy to navigate.
We decided on a rental car as we didn't want to be tied to the bus schedule. We went with hertz and had nothing but great experiences with the company in Mexico.
Google maps worked in most places. I have T-mobile and my friend had Verizon, and we both had coverage in most areas. If you are concerned, download your maps before heading in.
All the roads we traveled were well maintained. We had no problems navigating, and even road construction areas were easy to get through.
Toll roads are something to keep in mind if you are planning on renting a car, the Yucatan is full of them. Keep plenty of pesos on hand as they don't accept credit cards.
Make sure you bring a debit card. There are still a lot of places that do not accept credit cards.
Download google translate if you are not fluent in Spanish. This was a lifesaver for us, and made communicating so much easier!
Get out and visit with the locals! We found most of them to be incredibly friendly and helpful, and we loved seeing them and the way they lived.
Best Places To Visit In The Yucatan
Some of our favorite places that we visited on our trip to Mexico were:
- Merida, Mexico- we flew in and out of this city and also spent several days here.
- Uxmal Ruins- These are very near Merida and the perfect day trip.
- Izamal- A beautiful, historic yellow city.
- Isla Holbox- A relatively undiscovered tropical island. Perfect for a relaxing vacation.
- Ek Balam Mayan Village and Ruins
Cenotes Of The Yucatan
- Cenote Zaci-Ha- This huge open-air cenote is a must-see.
- Cenote X'Canche- This cenote is a great place to cool off if you visit Ek Balam, as it is right next to the ruins.
If you are trying to decide if a trip to Mexico would be fun, hopefully, this has helped sway your opinion! There is so much to see and fun things to experience in the Yucatan, you will not regret going!