Going to Mexico? Here are some tips to keep in mind…
Bargain. There are some places where prices are fixed, such as restaurants or shops in malls. But if you’re shopping in a market, or on the streets, BARGAIN. Offer half the cost. Go back and forth, don’t be shy. Some vendors will say no, some will meet you halfway, and some will say ok. No one will get upset, and you might save some money. But always remember that wages are much lower in Mexico, and vendors don’t have a lot of money, so be fair!
Make an effort to speak the language. Learning a new language is not easy, but challenge yourself by trying to communicate with locals in Spanish. Download an app or carry a small Spanish phrasebook. No one will laugh at you; instead, locals will be patient and they will be so appreciative when they see your efforts.
Always have Mexican Pesos, and have it in different spots. Even though many places do accept US dollars, use Mexican pesos. Have a variety of bills, but don’t wad them together. Separate them. Coins come in handy (especially when you pass the fruit cart that has bright tropical fruit winking at you) so have some loose change in your pocket.
Don’t judge. Be open minded. Different culture, different lifestyle. There aren’t as many “rules” in Mexico as there are back home, so just be patient. It’s ok if someone cut in line, or if there’s a parked car in the middle of the road. Just go with the flow and let it be. It’s actually quite nice and liberating to just accept things as they are and realize that there are so many differences in the world. When you are open to these differences, you won’t waste any time being frustrated.
Don’t be afraid. Let your guard down and soak it all up. Step out of your comfort zone. Interact! Mexico is beautiful, the people are warm and friendly, the food is delicious, and you will see some amazing sights. You will fall in love with the authentic hospitality and welcoming nature of locals. Forget what you’ve heard about the dangers in Mexico. Just make sure you are keeping safe as you would anywhere in the world.