Hi guys, so for the last 10 days I’ve been in Ensenada, Mexico with the charity SolKids. I’ll speak more about my volunteering in another blog. In the meantime here’s a few tips if you’re planning a future trip to Mexico!

  1. Money, money, money (Pesos)

Before arriving in Mexico I changed all my travel money to US Dollars. You can exchange your money at a local ASDA or Post Office. This was good in some respects as you can pay for things in Mexico in Dollars. However, different places may uses different exchange rates to convert to Pesos. Many places ask if you want change in Pesos or Dollars, always pick dollars as the worth of the Peso once out of Mexico is next to nothing. 
$1 MXN = 3p or 5cent!
$100 MXN= £3.80 GBD/ 6 USD

I also used the “XE Currency” App and it was a lifesaver for working out what kind of prices your actually paying for things. It was free to download too! (No sponsor I swear!)

  1. Don’t flush the toilet paper

Just like any less developed country the sewage system in Mexico was not built to sustain everyone flushing their loo roll down the bog! No issue really, just a fact of the place and shouldn’t put you off visiting. 

  1. Try the Mexican food/drink

-Churros (cinnamon sugar stick)
-Molette (purple beans on toast)
-Fish/Meat Tacos (self explanatory)
-Talape (local white fish) 
-Margaritas (it ain’t no pizza thats for sure) 

  1. Buckle up! 

Mexico or at least Ensenada is filled with potholes. It’s as if the road has just been laid neatly on top of the bumpy natural land without being flattened first. I personally think it’s fantastic. Just buckle up or if using public buses, hold on. Most importantly though, just smile about it. I thought it like a free little roller-coaster ride during every journey to the shop. 

  1. Don’t drink the tap water 

Drinking the water in Mexico isn’t safe for anyone really, locals or visitors. They’re filtering isn’t ideal and will be make ya sick if you drink a lot! However, and that’s a big however. It will be safe and filtered in some places so some rules apply, some don’t.

  • You can have ice in popular restaurants (Mexicans eat there too and they would get ill if it wasn’t filtered) 
  • You can clean your teeth but obviously it varies where your staying
  • Bottled water is best...although what’s even better is having a reusable flask like mine. It meant I wasn’t being an environmental dingbat and my drink stayed ice cold in the scorching heat. (Not sponsored boys). It’s from moon if you want it though and comes in other colours and its my fave purchase. 

  1. They move on “Mexican time”

This isn’t at all a bad thing! If anything it teaches you to slow down and not be in so much of a hurry. Just if you’re going to business meetings or an organised event just be away everyone might not show up on the dot and that’s totally okay! Chill out and enjoy 

  1. Tip for tipping

In Mexico just like America you are expected to tip when eating out. This I expected but it is worth noting at supermarkets there are people whose job is to pack your shopping. They’re wage is your tip so remember and be kind else you’re being very rude! 

  1. Haggle

If you’re going to any markets in Mexico you will be expected to barter. Don’t be unreasonable but don’t feel bad for giving it a go. They wouldn’t accept anything they weren’t actually okay with so try and enjoy it. Give it an attempt when looking for a funky bit of tourist tat to take back home like me. 

  1. Learn some Spanish! 

Hello (hola)
Goodbye (adiós)
Please (por favor)
Thankyou (gracias)
How are you? (¿Cómo estas?)
Very good (Muy bien

If you forget, last resort is..
Do you speak English? (¿Hablas inglés?)

  1. Don’t let other peoples negative view put you off

I know a lot of people have negative preconceptions of Mexico and what it’ll be like. There are dodgy areas and bad people just like any country. Just keep your wits about you and don’t let it stop you taking a visit. If you were walking around London it’d be the same. Mexico was beautiful and full of culture, stunning beaches and charming people if you take the time to be open minded. I loved it so much and would return in a heartbeat. Wish I got the chance to see other areas too! Give it a go, take a trip and enjoy.

Keep Smiling,

Megs x


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