Travelling dummy seeks assistance

So, I’m going to spend a week at a resort somewhere in the vicinity of the mayan riviera in Mexico next week. I don’t know exactly where - a friend set it all up. He’s decided to take all of the people who have been important to him down there for a week, to celebrate his birthday. While he’s been a good friend for almost 20 years, oddly enough I don’t know a single other one of his friends. Heh. A week in Mexico with a bunch of people I don’t know. Ought to be fun.

But, I almost never take trips that last more than three days, and I haven’t been to Mexico in almost 20 years.

What should I take?

I’m a light traveller - if it won’t fit into one carry-on, it’s not goin’. Although it’s February, I’m thinking I can probably not worry about taking any real cold weather jacket. Jeans, T-shirts, shorts, swimming trunks, gimme cap, sneakers (are they still called that?) and loafers make up the apparel manifest. Can you imagine any need for a dress shirt or dress pants? I do need to take a prescription drug with me, but I’ll check out the ins-and-outs of that with the Mexican Consulate here.

Does anybody have any tricks, tips or mentions of other necessary items they’d care to offer?

Ay Carumba!

Sounds like fun. Should be interesting meeting his other friends.

Can you ask him what else you might need? On his birthday he might be planning to go to a nice restaurant. Some of the nice ones I have been to in Mexico require at least a shirt with a collar. Some say no shorts or jeans. Would hate for you to be the only one who didn’t have the right type shirt and cause them all to have to change plans.

You didn’t mention sunscreen and that stuff, but you could always buy that there. And if you ever wear hats, or ball caps, those are nice to have on a trip.

I usually wish I had my address book so I could send funny postcards to friends.

Do you have an up-to-date passport? Not sure you really need it for Mexico, but makes things easier.

Have a great time!

Hi; We have been to Mayan Riviera three times in the last four years…some words of advice: (there is also another thread on here which name escapes me who recently went there).

  • take the local buses whenever possible - for about $2 it will take you pretty much anywhere - the bus stops are usually in front of hotel on the highway.
  • tours - again, take the local buses and grab a guide at the site you want to see - it’s generally cheaper than tours where you have to stop at markets, lunch, etc. You will get much more time at the site you want to see and not have to hang out anywhere else.
  • if you have a choice, choose Xel Ha. Again take the bus or taxi to the site - for about $25 you can rent snorkels, fins, floatie, and porbably have lunch & a beer.
  • make sure, BEFORE YOU GET IN THE CAB, the price is agreed upon - you can usually find a board in the lobby of your hotel with recommended prices on it.

*if you get a chance to go to Casa Cenote, go. It’s run by texans and you can get lunch and a beer on the beachside patio for about $15.00 Take a snorkel and fins with you - they have a cenote in their backyard.

  • if you find out where you’re going, let me know…I’ll try to think of some other things.

*it can get quite cool at night - take a sweatshirt - also I would recommend a pair of long pants and a shirt - just in case. Some of the in house reservation restaurants require it along with, if you want to go into Puerto Adventuras … you would be more comfortable dressed like that.

Chichen Itza is a place I would highly recommend. If you are going to Coba, take the local bus or taxi - do not take the tour! They don’t give you nearly enough time.

Tours will run you between $75.00 U.S. and $100 per person.

It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to and the Mayans are wonderful: friendly, beautiful and very nice.

Oh, take natural mosquito repellant (they are eco friendly there)…also, I don’t know about your location however here we have Tim Hortons coffee shops - they have a coffee mug wihich is quite large and coincidentally, floats. Take it if you’re a beer drinker - you can always leave it for the bartender when you leave. It’s good for keeping beer cold in the pool!
One of the hotels in the area has an unofficialy website run by a local (Toronto) webmaster - search for "unofficial barcelo maya hotel) and it should come up. It will give you area information as well.

Be friendly, don’t forget to tip (no coins, please unless local $), and have a great time!!!

Buenos dias!

Thanks, y’all. Good tips, Canadiangirl.

I’ll take a stout jean jacket, and fold up some dress slacks and a dress shirt. I’d planned on just bagging most of my consumable toiletries, including sunscreen*, there.

So how much cash would one expect to want on hand for a week?

*[sub]Gahhh! I initially typed that as sinscreen - wouldn’t want too much of that, now, would we?[/sub]

No, you only need that in Vegas. But what happens there, stays there.

Depending on tours…take pesos and american ........pesos for local restaurants (it's generally cheaper because they round pesos up to nearest american ). I believe we took about 1000 70/30% american /pesos. i.e. one peso is 0.7 dollars therefore $1 american dollar.

The people are wonderful there and the local bus is great fun! They are little minivans that the locals take around to their jobs in the hotels…they’re usually jammed and sometimes to have to holler when you want to get off and they go like hell but it’s great. My husband went to Coba on one - he got to the ride the “jump” seat (a 10 gallon plastic bucket between drivers and passengers seat) - he tried to suggest he wait for the next bus but everyone laughed and said get on, there’s lot of room. He had to hang on to the dashboard to keep from tipping over and he was right close to the greatest vision when it came to driving (they have an odd driving thing there) - there’s the middle lane then the right lane, the left lane seems to be for passing except when you want to turn right then you get in the left lane, wait for traffic to clean then zoom all the way across - at least I think that’s how it works!

A friendly smile and a fun attitude will get you very far there!

I can answer this, because we were considering a trip down there before we settled on our Pacific Coast cruise. You don’t need a passport, but you do need at least a driver’s license plus a birth certificate. The latter must be issued by a government, not by a hospital. That’s for Americans, of course; for noncitizens it’d obviously be different.

We were in Ensenada on Wed, the 16th and the peso was 1.15 to the dollar. We were on a cruise, all food, some beverages, no alcohol included. In 5 days, I spent 275.00 in dollars and I bought the huge, tacky, glorious sombero, sandles, a blouse, hand blown glass, three leather purses, vanilla and Kalua, amongst the various odds and ends. Your spending mileage may vary.
Drachillix makes an excellent pack mule.



By the end of it I was wondering about paying a couple kids off the to carry it all. Yo quiero burro!

Have you gone yet? How was it?

Yeah, I went. Sure hated to come back.

The place we went is called Aventura Spa Palace, about an hour south of Cancun, by Playa del Carmen.

I’d never been to an all inclusive resort before - it’s a gas! Everything is already paid for, including drinks. And tips. The bellboys get the tourists before they understand about not tipping, so they’re a jovial lot. I continued to tip the bartenders in the clubs, but not at the other bars.

Six restaurants, all excellent food. So many pools, including an ocean-fed one, and spas that I’d be hard pressed to accurately describe them. There are all sorts of activities available, and you could easily spend an entire week within the resort (whose perimeter, I noticed, is guarded by Mexican soldiers).

But we ventured out to Playa del Carmen a couple of times. Very tourist oriented town, but fun for an afternoon. They have a (what?) aquarium with trained dolphins you can go swim with; they’ll pull you around and smooch and stuff. I didn’t do that, but we did rent a 90 ft. catamaran, the Rai’atia, to go snorkel the reefs. When you book a place at the resort, they’ll tell you that the north end is the quiet side and the south is rowdy. We stayed in the south, and, finally, after days of the pounding disco-salsa, when the snorkeling was done and the bar opened, the boat crew cranked up some Bob Marley - wonderful cruise back.

The all inclusive nature of the resort I think contributes greatly to letting go of the outside world. I really didn’t spend much cash besides my part of renting the boat ($200) - all of the dollar bills I handed out as tips probably didn’t exceed $65.

So I spent a week in Mexico with nine people I didn’t know. I came back with nine new friends - that aspect worked out very well, even allowing for the risks of fraternizing with a group of drunk married women. It’s very easy to adapt to an envirnment where you wake up whenever, wander outside, and someone from your group is always handy to go to breakfast, get some kayaks, wander to the pool, etc.

But coming back wasn’t great. We got back late Friday night and I was kinda bummed out Saturday morning. I got up, went outside, and the only person I could see was some lady down the street. She said, “Whadya mean go get some breakfast? I don’t even know you!”
Thanks for asking.