Information on Mexico - Essential Tourist Extras
Obtaining some basic information on Mexico before booking your trip is essential if you want to avoid last minute hassles. Some of the most important practicalities to look into include visa requirements, health precautions, language barriers, and insurance.
Citizens of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and certain EU countries are free to enter Mexico without a visa provided their stay in the country will last 180 days or less. This period is limited to 90 days for nationals of Poland, France, Greece, Luxemborg, Austria, Israel, the Czech Republic, and Monaco. Other nationals will need to check with the Mexican Embassy to see what requirements apply to them specifically.
In all cases you will be required to have at least six months left on your passport and carry a tourist card which you can obtain from your travel agent or the airline you are flying with. Keep in mind that if there is a chance that you may visit the USA en route to your final destination you will need a US visa in addition to your Mexican visa.
Health precautions and problems:
You are unlikely to encounter any major health threats while on vacation in Mexico, but the old motto of better safe than sorry is always a good one to follow. The ailment that you are most likely to suffer from in Mexico is diarrhea or turista as it is called locally. Only drink bottled or purified water and avoid overly spicy food and keep anti-diarrhea medication such as Imodium in your travel bag at all times. In rural areas diseases carried by mosquitoes such as dengue fever and malaria may be a problem, so it is advisable to find out beforehand if you will need to take a course of anti malaria medication. Ask your travel agent for advice about high-risk areas.
Language is unlikely to be a major problem in Mexico. In major towns and cities most locals are able to speak English while in rural areas you should be able to get by using a dictionary and hand signals. Locals do however really appreciate it when tourists attempt to speak to them in their native language, so learning a few basic Spanish terms in advance is highly recommended
Travel insurance is an essential part of any trip. If you pay for a travel ticket or package with a major debit or credit card, travel insurance is often provided free of charge. A number of medical insurance packages also apply overseas, as do some home insurance policies. If you do need to take out extra insurance, there are a number of first rate travel insurance packages that can be booked online. Make sure that the package covers baggage and ticket loss and incorporates protection against theft, accidents, sickness and emergencies.
Guide to Mexico