Are you going on vacation to Mexico soon? I’m sure you have a lot of questions. Such as; what budget do I need, do I need vaccinations, do I have to apply for a visa, can I drive a car and so on. In this article you will find all kinds of practical travel information and tips to help you prepare for your trip to this beautiful country!
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Budget Quintana Roo and Yucatán, Mexico
If you want to do a round trip through Quintana Roo and Yucatán, you can do so with a budget of € 50,- to € 70,- per person per day, depending on the desired luxury of your accommodation and restaurants. This doesn’t include the cost of plane tickets. You won’t need to save on food and drinks, activities, sights and accommodations with this budget. Do you travel by public transport, sleep in hostels and don’t go out to dinner three times a day? Then you might even be able to make ends meet with € 40 per person per day!
Tip: Wondering how I got these numbers? Read the full article about prices and costs in Quintana Roo and Yucatán.
The Mexican currency is the Mexican Peso and one Peso ($) consists of 100 Centavo (¢). There are banknotes with a value of $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000. Besides these notes there are also $10 notes in circulation, but these are not printed anymore. The coins used for payment in Mexico have a value of 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.
At the time of writing (June 2021), 1 euro will get you just over 23 Mexican pesos.
Passport and visa Mexico
As Mexico is outside the European Union, you need a passport to travel to this country. On arrival in Mexico, your passport needs to be valid for at least six months and your passport needs to have at least one empty visa page, so customs can stamp it.
We Dutchies are lucky! Tourists with a Dutch nationality may stay in Mexico for a maximum of 180 days, or six months, without needing a visa. If you want to stay longer than six months in Mexico, it is best to contact the Mexican embassy. They can tell you exactly what you need and what conditions you need to meet.
At present, it is not mandatory to take any vaccinations. However, vaccinations are recommended, namely DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A (Infectious jaundice). Malaria also occurs throughout the year, mainly in rural areas in the south and on the border with Guatemala. Wear protective clothing and use mosquito repellent. Sleep under a mosquito net as much as possible.
Note: Before you travel to Mexico, always check the GGD website and stay up to date with the latest developments.
Rent a car and drive in Mexico
Are you planning on renting a car in Mexico? Your Dutch driver’s license will suffice. You won’t need an international driver’s license. Not even to rent a car. However, it is wise to check what the conditions are to be able to rent a car beforehand, as this differs per rental company.
We rented our car from Europcar. To be able to rent a car, you need to have a driving license for at least one year. You can rent a car at city offices if you are 19 years old, at airport offices you need to be at least 21 years old and for a certain large rental car category you need to be at least 25 years old.
Check the terms and conditions before booking a car. Do you rent through another airline? The conditions can be found on their website.
We paid € 200,- for car rental for 16 days. That’s about € 12,50 per day.
Mobile internet and a SIM card in Mexico
Mexico has a good 4G network and in many hotels and restaurants you can use Wi-Fi for free. Don’t want to be dependent on other people’s internet? You can also buy a SIM card at a telecom shop or in the supermarket.
Telcel is the largest provider in Mexico and has the best range throughout the country. In 2019 we paid about € 5,- for a SIM card and it gave us the choice between different data packages. Look which package suits you best (GB and the number of valid days), put the SIM card in your phone and you’re ready to surf the internet! Can’t install the sim card? When you arrive at the airport, there are counters of phone companies where they can help you.
Power plug Mexico
The Mexican plugs have rectangular holes and can be earthed and ungrounded. To be able to use the sockets, you need a world plug, or an adaptor plug of type A or type B.
Time difference between the Netherlands and Mexico
Different time zones apply in Mexico. They run from UTC-5 to UTC-8. In Mexico City, Quintana Roo and Yucatán it is 6 hours earlier than in the Netherlands. They don’t use daylight saving time (summertime) everywhere in Mexico. Therefore, it is wise to check in advance how many hours’ time difference there is between the destinations you want to visit and your country.
Best travel time Mexico
December to May is the best time to visit Yucatán and Quintana Roo. The temperature is good, there is little rain and the sea temperature is lovely. A disadvantage is that the “whale shark period” runs from June to August. Are you planning to travel to Mexico for the whale sharks? Better go in June or July.