My recent 2-week trip to Cancun, Mexico was filled with sun, fun, and food. I had the most amazing trip, and as a tourist I learned a lot of things about the country that I wish I had known ahead of time. Based on my personal experience, these seven tips are going to save you time and money and have you vacationing like a pro. If you love to travel like me, you’ll definitely need to keep these tips in mind for the future.
1. Don’t Drink Tap Water
That means avoid eating the ice too. During my stay in Cancun I used bottled water even for when I brushed my teeth. If you’re not from the area, the microbes in the water in Mexico can make you sick because you’re not used to them. For more information, USA Today wrote about the 10 things to know about drinking the water in Mexico. I mean, you’re not going to die, but generally it’s not recommended to drink the tap water in another country.
2. Cover Yourself In Lime Juice
Using lime juice is a more organic and money-efficient way to ward off mosquitoes. You’ve probably heard of using lemons as a mosquito repellent as well, but you won’t find many of those yellow fruits in Mexico. If you’re at a restaurant, ask your waiter for some lime slices. Make sure to apply ample amounts of lime juice on your legs, since the mosquitoes practically wait under those tables to eat you alive.
Can’t find yourself lemons or limes? There’s more foods that help repel bugs, so don’t you worry.
3. Drink A Margarita
When in Mexico, you need to drink Mexico’s national drink, tequila. A margarita, which is a cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, salt, and orange liqueur, is quite appropriate for a relaxing day on the beach. Drink responsibly and watch the bartender make your drink because, trust me, the beach buzz is real.
If you don’t want to waste money (cocktails can get expensive), you can make a margarita right in your hotel room and bring it out to the beach.
4. Ask For the Tableside Purse Stand
I saw these purse stands in most, if not all, the restaurants and cafes I’ve been to in Mexico. I think they’re genius. You don’t get your bag dirty, and you can save seat space. If they don’t offer you one, make sure to ask for one. If you like it, maybe you can endorse it back home.
5. Don’t Pay an Extra Tip
Of the restaurants I went to in Mexico, they included the tip in the total. Don’t make the mistake of adding an extra tip on top of that. It’s just a good idea in general to double check the receipt.
6. Say Piña
I made the mistake of saying “virgin piña colada,” and I seriously wish someone told me to say piña because it would have made things easier. I love virgin piña coladas, and I had a ton of them in Mexico. The first time I tried to order one, the guy nodded his head like he understood and gave me a piña colada with alcohol. The second time, the waiter didn’t know what I was talking about. When I clarified it was a piña colada without alcohol he goes, “Oh, You mean a piña.” Enough said.
7. Don’t Expect Everything to Taste the Same
Day four of Cancun, I took a taxi downtown and made a bee line for Walmart. I grabbed Nacho Cheese Doritos, Lay’s BBQ, and orange juice. Don’t ask me why I bought these when I could have bought them in the USA. Maybe I wanted a taste of home.
Interestingly, they tasted different than I expected. The Doritos tasted like they had been sprinkled with herbs, the Lay’s tasted sweeter than usual, and the orange juice tasted like orange sparkling water. I think it’s such a cool experience to taste the difference between countries even when the brand and the product are the same.