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Top 10 Questions About Travel in Mexico



Do you love warm temperatures, unparalleled beaches, and delicious food? If so, search no further. Mexico has it all! At Costco Travel, we get questions about Mexico every day. Here are ten of the top questions our members are asking.



Hotel Xcaret Mexico ©Experiencias Xcaret Hoteles

Is it safe to travel to Mexico?

Yes. Like most countries, Mexico has some areas that are safe and some that are unsafe. The U.S. State Department has issued a Level Two Travel Advisory for Mexico, recommending that travelers exercise increased caution when traveling. At the time of writing, other popular travel destinations with a Level Two Travel Advisory include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, The U.K., and more.

The regions of Mexico that Costco Travel offers (Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit and Riviera Maya) are exempted from any travel restrictions. For more information, please see the U.S. State Department’s Mexico Travel Advisory. - Opens a dialog

    Do I need a passport or visa to go to Mexico?

    If you are a U.S. citizen, you will need a passport to travel to Mexico, but you will not need a visa. Upon entry into Mexico, you will be required to fill out a Tourist Card, which you will need to keep safe until you leave Mexico. If you lose it, you will need to make an appointment with the Immigration Office to obtain a new Tourist Card and you may need to pay a fine of up to $60 (USD) per person.

      Is it expensive to travel to Mexico?

      One of the best things about Mexico is that there are resorts, sights and activities for nearly every traveler - from those looking for an affordable option to those looking for something luxurious and upscale. Costco Travel Buyers rate every resort offered on a scale of one to five, based on the level of services and amenities offered. Currently, Costco Travel offers resorts in Mexico rated from three to five out of five. Regardless of which resort you choose, our Buyers are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best value when purchasing through Costco Travel.

        The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun ©Palace Resorts

        Should I stay at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?

        Mexico is known for its wide selection of all-inclusive resorts, which offer meals, wine and spirits, amenities, gratuities and taxes included in one package price. This can be a great way to relax, knowing that everything is taken care of for you – especially for families. Keep in mind, though, that all-inclusive resorts will offer additional perks, activities or amenities for an additional cost.

        Travelers who want to venture off the resort and explore or prefer the flexibility of making plans in the moment, should consider resorts without all-inclusive plans. These resorts will still offer opportunities for on-property dining, often highly-rated. Some resorts even offer condominium-style units with kitchenettes or full kitchens. Perhaps a visit to the local Costco Warehouse is in order?

        Make sure to browse the hotel information on CostcoTravel.com or call 1-866-921-7925 if you have questions about what’s included.

          Should I stay at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?

          Mexico is known for its wide selection of all-inclusive resorts, which offer meals, wine and spirits, amenities, gratuities and taxes included in one package price. This can be a great way to relax, knowing that everything is taken care of for you – especially for families. Keep in mind, though, that all-inclusive resorts will offer additional perks, activities or amenities for an additional cost.

          Travelers who want to venture off the resort and explore or prefer the flexibility of making plans in the moment, should consider resorts without all-inclusive plans. These resorts will still offer opportunities for on-property dining, often highly-rated. Some resorts even offer condominium-style units with kitchenettes or full kitchens. Perhaps a visit to the local Costco Warehouse is in order?

          Make sure to browse the hotel information on CostcoTravel.com or call 1-866-921-7925 if you have questions about what’s included.

            The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun ©Palace Resorts

            Should I bring pesos or USD to Mexico?

            While US Dollars are widely accepted within the tourist-centric regions of Mexico and are great for tips while at the resort, consider exchanging some dollars for pesos if you have any interest in venturing off the resort and exploring local shopping and dining. Even if a local business accepts US Dollars, they may offer a lower-than-average exchange rate that will cost you more than if you had paid in pesos.

              Should I tip in Mexico?

              Tipping is a great way to reward friendly, attentive service. When traveling with an all-inclusive plan, your gratuities are included in the package price. However, you are still free to tip additional if you believe it’s warranted. If you are traveling without an all-inclusive plan, tipping etiquette in Mexico is similar to tipping etiquette in the United States: 15 – 20% for standard to exceptional service. At any resort, it’s customary to tip your bellhop $1 - $2 per bag, and to leave $3 - $5 daily for your housekeeper.

                Can you drink the water in Mexico?

                Water safety can vary depending on where in Mexico you are staying. While the tap water is typically filtered at both the municipal and resort levels, the best practice has traditionally been to rely on bottled water. However, in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic bottles, some resorts are now offering a reusable metal bottle at check-in and filtered water stations throughout the resort.

                  How can I avoid getting sick in Mexico?

                  Costco Travel offers resorts that obtain regular certifications of cleanliness. That said, avoid drinking water from the faucet and stick to bottled or filtered water.

                  Use caution when eating and drinking off resort property. Look for restaurants and bars that have been certified by Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism as “Distinctive H” (or “Distintivo H”), which is used to recognize establishments that meet the standards of hygiene and quality. If they have received this rating, you will likely see it posted near the entrance.

                  Make sure to also exercise caution while flying to and from Mexico. Bacteria can lurk on or within much of the plane, so it’s best to follow common cleanliness practices. Don’t eat or touch your eyes, mouth or inside of your nose unless you have washed or sanitized your hands. Wipe down surfaces while on the plane and wash your hands after you disembark.

                  Finally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations, as well as to consider additional vaccinations before traveling. For more information, please see their Vaccinations and Medicines advisory for Mexico. - Opens a dialog

                    Miles of beautiful white-sand beaches in Cancun.

                    What part of Mexico has the nicest beaches?

                    Like resorts, Mexico has a beach for everyone. Travelers will find different beaches in each region of Mexico. When deciding upon a hotel, check the Property Features section of its Costco Travel fact sheet to see if we consider its beach swimmable or non-swimmable.

                    Cancun is known for expansive, white-sand beaches that gently slide into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

                    Cozumel is a premier diving and snorkeling destination, with diverse wildlife populating its waters. Definitely consider arranging an excursion with your hotel.

                    Los Cabos is known as a land of contrasts, where the desert meets the sea. Most beaches in this region, while beautiful and dramatic, are at least somewhat rocky and not swimmable.

                    Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit’s beaches border the beautiful Banderas Bay. The Pacific Ocean’s waters may be a bit darker and colder than the Caribbean’s, but surfers will adore the rolling waves offered.

                    Riviera Maya’s beaches are similar to those of Cancun, but with less development, less crowding and more jungle immediately nearby. These beaches are great places to relax or let out your wild side!

                      Is there a seaweed problem in Mexico?

                      Many beaches on the Caribbean side of Mexico experience an influx of a type of seaweed called ‘sargassum’ in the months of April - August. This seaweed floats in mats along the surface of the water and will wash up on beaches from Florida to Argentina. While this seaweed has had an ecological benefit, a variety of factors have caused the amount of sargassum that washes up on the shore to increase in recent years. The sargassum is unpredictable and may affect a resort one day and not the next.

                      Most resorts have adopted new practices to deal with the problem, such as hiring workers and bringing in machines to clean the sargassum up or erecting barriers to keep the sargassum from making landfall. The governments of multiple nations are working together with tourism business groups to develop new, effective strategies to combat this problem. For example, Mexico’s navy has devoted six ships to assisting with sargassum cleanup at a rate of 80 tons per day.

                      Bottom line? Nature can be unpredictable and beaches can be affected. If you are traveling during a time when sargassum may be an issue, prioritize finding a hotel with great pools as a backup.

                        Share your experience! Include #CostcoTravel on social media.

                        BONUS: Where can I share pictures and videos of my Costco Travel vacation to Mexico?

                        Okay, so you probably already know the answer to this question. However, when sharing pictures and videos of your Costco Travel vacation to social media, make sure to include the hashtag #CostcoTravel to spread the word to your friends and fellow Costco members. With your permission, we might even use it in a future article or post!

                          BONUS: Where can I share pictures and videos of my Costco Travel vacation to Mexico?

                          Okay, so you probably already know the answer to this question. However, when sharing pictures and videos of your Costco Travel vacation to social media, make sure to include the hashtag #CostcoTravel to spread the word to your friends and fellow Costco members. With your permission, we might even use it in a future article or post!

                            Share your experience! Include #CostcoTravel on social media.

                            Hotel Xcaret Mexico ©Experiencias Xcaret Hoteles

                            Is it safe to travel to Mexico?

                            Yes. Like most countries, Mexico has some areas that are safe and some that are unsafe. The U.S. State Department has issued a Level Two Travel Advisory for Mexico, recommending that travelers exercise increased caution when traveling. At the time of writing, other popular travel destinations with a Level Two Travel Advisory include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, The U.K., and more.

                            The regions of Mexico that Costco Travel offers (Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit and Riviera Maya) are exempted from any travel restrictions. For more information, please see the U.S. State Department’s Mexico Travel Advisory. - Opens a dialog

                              Do I need a passport or visa to go to Mexico?

                              If you are a U.S. citizen, you will need a passport to travel to Mexico, but you will not need a visa. Upon entry into Mexico, you will be required to fill out a Tourist Card, which you will need to keep safe until you leave Mexico. If you lose it, you will need to make an appointment with the Immigration Office to obtain a new Tourist Card and you may need to pay a fine of up to $60 (USD) per person.

                                Is it expensive to travel to Mexico?

                                One of the best things about Mexico is that there are resorts, sights and activities for nearly every traveler - from those looking for an affordable option to those looking for something luxurious and upscale. Costco Travel Buyers rate every resort offered on a scale of one to five, based on the level of services and amenities offered. Currently, Costco Travel offers resorts in Mexico rated from three to five out of five. Regardless of which resort you choose, our Buyers are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best value when purchasing through Costco Travel.

                                  The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun ©Palace Resorts

                                  Should I stay at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?

                                  Mexico is known for its wide selection of all-inclusive resorts, which offer meals, wine and spirits, amenities, gratuities and taxes included in one package price. This can be a great way to relax, knowing that everything is taken care of for you – especially for families. Keep in mind, though, that all-inclusive resorts will offer additional perks, activities or amenities for an additional cost.

                                  Travelers who want to venture off the resort and explore or prefer the flexibility of making plans in the moment, should consider resorts without all-inclusive plans. These resorts will still offer opportunities for on-property dining, often highly-rated. Some resorts even offer condominium-style units with kitchenettes or full kitchens. Perhaps a visit to the local Costco Warehouse is in order?

                                  Make sure to browse the hotel information on CostcoTravel.com or call 1-866-921-7925 if you have questions about what’s included.

                                    Should I stay at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?

                                    Mexico is known for its wide selection of all-inclusive resorts, which offer meals, wine and spirits, amenities, gratuities and taxes included in one package price. This can be a great way to relax, knowing that everything is taken care of for you – especially for families. Keep in mind, though, that all-inclusive resorts will offer additional perks, activities or amenities for an additional cost.

                                    Travelers who want to venture off the resort and explore or prefer the flexibility of making plans in the moment, should consider resorts without all-inclusive plans. These resorts will still offer opportunities for on-property dining, often highly-rated. Some resorts even offer condominium-style units with kitchenettes or full kitchens. Perhaps a visit to the local Costco Warehouse is in order?

                                    Make sure to browse the hotel information on CostcoTravel.com or call 1-866-921-7925 if you have questions about what’s included.

                                      The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun ©Palace Resorts

                                      Should I bring pesos or USD to Mexico?

                                      While US Dollars are widely accepted within the tourist-centric regions of Mexico and are great for tips while at the resort, consider exchanging some dollars for pesos if you have any interest in venturing off the resort and exploring local shopping and dining. Even if a local business accepts US Dollars, they may offer a lower-than-average exchange rate that will cost you more than if you had paid in pesos.

                                        Should I tip in Mexico?

                                        Tipping is a great way to reward friendly, attentive service. When traveling with an all-inclusive plan, your gratuities are included in the package price. However, you are still free to tip additional if you believe it’s warranted. If you are traveling without an all-inclusive plan, tipping etiquette in Mexico is similar to tipping etiquette in the United States: 15 – 20% for standard to exceptional service. At any resort, it’s customary to tip your bellhop $1 - $2 per bag, and to leave $3 - $5 daily for your housekeeper.

                                          Can you drink the water in Mexico?

                                          Water safety can vary depending on where in Mexico you are staying. While the tap water is typically filtered at both the municipal and resort levels, the best practice has traditionally been to rely on bottled water. However, in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic bottles, some resorts are now offering a reusable metal bottle at check-in and filtered water stations throughout the resort.

                                            How can I avoid getting sick in Mexico?

                                            Costco Travel offers resorts that obtain regular certifications of cleanliness. That said, avoid drinking water from the faucet and stick to bottled or filtered water.

                                            Use caution when eating and drinking off resort property. Look for restaurants and bars that have been certified by Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism as “Distinctive H” (or “Distintivo H”), which is used to recognize establishments that meet the standards of hygiene and quality. If they have received this rating, you will likely see it posted near the entrance.

                                            Make sure to also exercise caution while flying to and from Mexico. Bacteria can lurk on or within much of the plane, so it’s best to follow common cleanliness practices. Don’t eat or touch your eyes, mouth or inside of your nose unless you have washed or sanitized your hands. Wipe down surfaces while on the plane and wash your hands after you disembark.

                                            Finally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations, as well as to consider additional vaccinations before traveling. For more information, please see their Vaccinations and Medicines advisory for Mexico. - Opens a dialog

                                              Miles of beautiful white-sand beaches in Cancun.

                                              What part of Mexico has the nicest beaches?

                                              Like resorts, Mexico has a beach for everyone. Travelers will find different beaches in each region of Mexico. When deciding upon a hotel, check the Property Features section of its Costco Travel fact sheet to see if we consider its beach swimmable or non-swimmable.

                                              Cancun is known for expansive, white-sand beaches that gently slide into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

                                              Cozumel is a premier diving and snorkeling destination, with diverse wildlife populating its waters. Definitely consider arranging an excursion with your hotel.

                                              Los Cabos is known as a land of contrasts, where the desert meets the sea. Most beaches in this region, while beautiful and dramatic, are at least somewhat rocky and not swimmable.

                                              Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit’s beaches border the beautiful Banderas Bay. The Pacific Ocean’s waters may be a bit darker and colder than the Caribbean’s, but surfers will adore the rolling waves offered.

                                              Riviera Maya’s beaches are similar to those of Cancun, but with less development, less crowding and more jungle immediately nearby. These beaches are great places to relax or let out your wild side!

                                                Is there a seaweed problem in Mexico?

                                                Many beaches on the Caribbean side of Mexico experience an influx of a type of seaweed called ‘sargassum’ in the months of April - August. This seaweed floats in mats along the surface of the water and will wash up on beaches from Florida to Argentina. While this seaweed has had an ecological benefit, a variety of factors have caused the amount of sargassum that washes up on the shore to increase in recent years. The sargassum is unpredictable and may affect a resort one day and not the next.

                                                Most resorts have adopted new practices to deal with the problem, such as hiring workers and bringing in machines to clean the sargassum up or erecting barriers to keep the sargassum from making landfall. The governments of multiple nations are working together with tourism business groups to develop new, effective strategies to combat this problem. For example, Mexico’s navy has devoted six ships to assisting with sargassum cleanup at a rate of 80 tons per day.

                                                Bottom line? Nature can be unpredictable and beaches can be affected. If you are traveling during a time when sargassum may be an issue, prioritize finding a hotel with great pools as a backup.

                                                  Share your experience! Include #CostcoTravel on social media.

                                                  BONUS: Where can I share pictures and videos of my Costco Travel vacation to Mexico?

                                                  Okay, so you probably already know the answer to this question. However, when sharing pictures and videos of your Costco Travel vacation to social media, make sure to include the hashtag #CostcoTravel to spread the word to your friends and fellow Costco members. With your permission, we might even use it in a future article or post!

                                                    BONUS: Where can I share pictures and videos of my Costco Travel vacation to Mexico?

                                                    Okay, so you probably already know the answer to this question. However, when sharing pictures and videos of your Costco Travel vacation to social media, make sure to include the hashtag #CostcoTravel to spread the word to your friends and fellow Costco members. With your permission, we might even use it in a future article or post!

                                                      Share your experience! Include #CostcoTravel on social media.


                                                      About the Author: The above piece was written by Aaron Bulger, Assistant Buyer for Mexico and Costa Rica vacation packages at Costco Travel. Aaron has been a Costco employee for 11 years, five of those years at Costco Travel.


                                                       
                                                       
                                                       
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