You decided to forgo the Ritz Carlton and settle into a more authentic experience when planning your beach vacation to Mexico. Now that you’ve been dreaming of off-the beaten-path beaches and ripe mangos for months, the time for your trip is here. We’ve created a fun list of tips from our personal travels to ensure your relaxing beach vacation in Mexico is exactly that.
1. Facebook Envy: It’s a lot of fun to post pics of you exploring your lovely spot on Facebook, making you the envy of all your friends. Try to not be so focused on creating Facebook envy that you only “see” your trip on Facebook. Put down the iPhone, turn off Hipstagram and start livin’ because travel is about experience not proof of experience.
2. A New Do: Though tempting, don’t get your hair braided by someone on the beach. Actually, that’s not just in Mexico, just don’t ever do it. Why? Not only will your new do scream, “I’m a tourist”, the potential for a sunburned scalp and pounding headache will put a damper on your RnR.
3. Retail Therapy? Like a cruise ship gift shop, something that’s obviously heinous to you on the first day can begin to look awesome on day four. Words of advice: resist the urge to buy trinkets. If you do, get a second opinion from a friend before purchasing and focus on items that you know you will use and that are made locally, like a bowl or a cutting board.
4. Authenticity: Sometimes restaurants in other countries offer an Americanized version of the menu for tourists. If possible, order from the local’s menu in the native language instead. The hamburger and fries on the other menu are probably not going to be what you expect, and you’re going to enjoy the local meal a lot more.
5. The Value of a Dollar: Whether it’s bargaining over the price of a cab or gifts to bring home from the market, pay what you think is fair and don’t worry about a 1-2 dollar difference. Your money could be supporting a lot of people, and you may make a friend in the process.
6. Shoulds Aren’t Welcome: Leave the make-up and fancy clothes at home and dare we say it, the need to plan everything and have everything go according to plan. Take a nap at 10 am if you feel like it. Opt for a leisurely day on a hammock over a must-see tourist attraction. Ditch the “shoulds” and let your body dictate your schedule. Do this and you’ll find a real rest from the everyday hustle.
7. FDA, Who? Eat street food. Buy local fruit. Be smart, but remember to have fun with food too by trying something new. Taste is another way to experience your destination and it would be a real shame to miss that Carne Asada taco on stone-ground corn tortillas your new amiga from the market recommended.