Cancun Travel Tips
You blocked off your schedule, booked your tickets, and reserved your room--now it’s time to get ready for a trip of a lifetime in Cancun. Wherever you are in the process, we’ve compiled the best insights, tips, and tricks to help you make the most of your trip. So read on, rest easy, and take a deep breath… you’re going to Cancun!
Do's and Dont's
Book airport transfers
From the airport, you'll need to find a way to get to your hotel. You can either pay a taxi company (and get overcharged) or schedule a Cancun airport transfer service beforehand. S ome hotels offer their own shuttle services as a benefit of your stay. Whether you go through your hotel or a third party, we strongly recommend booking a transfer beforehand and skipping the taxis. Learn more about **getting around in Cancun here.
Make purchases in both pesos and dollars
Currently, 1 USD converts to 18 Mexican pesos (MXN), even though you might be confused since both currencies use the $ symbol. In the Hotel Zone and other touristy areas, most businesses will accept both pesos and dollars. Whichever currency you prefer, it's a good idea to carry a small amount with you since some businesses won't take credit cards. However, we do recommend using pesos if you plan on traveling ***off the beaten path and away from tourist zones.
Negotiate your cab fare and other purchases
If a taxi has no set rates or prices on display, negotiate with the taxi driver before getting in the car to save money. If you're staying at a hotel, ask the concierge or front desk about typical taxi fares and quote those rates to the taxi driver.
Be careful when crossing
In Cancun, pedestrians don’t have the right-of-way, so make sure to look both ways before crossing the street, and use stoplights and crosswalks whenever possible.
Make sure your passport is valid
If your passport is due to expire within six months from the end of your trip, get it renewed before booking.
Learn some Spanish phrases
Knowing a few ***common phrases in Spanish can go a long way, including:
Where is the bathroom? "¿Dónde está el baño?" (DOHN-deh ehs-TA el BAHN-yo)
How much does it cost? "¿Cuánto cuesta?" (kooAN-to KWEHS-ta)
Thank you! "Gracías" (gra-SEE-ahs)
Get overcharged for calls and data
If your cell phone provider charges international and roaming rates, consider buying a pre-loaded SIM card for your trip. Available at the airport and in most convenience stores, SIM cards are easy to swap out and will give you the data and minutes you'll want to have while you're out and about. Just make sure you keep your actual SIM card somewhere safe during the trip.
Drink the tap water in Cancun
Cancun's tap water is safe for cleaning, but not for drinking. Stick to bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth to avoid getting sick.
Forget your passport
You won’t be able to cross borders or get on your plane without this document.
Going Through Customs
Mexico has specific rules about what you can bring into the country. Get through customs faster by following these simple guidelines.
You need the original prescription of your medication for proof.
You can bring a pair of binoculars, one telescope, two cameras or video cameras.
You’re allowed to have three cell phones, a GPS, a PDA, and one computer.
You’re able to bring two items of personal sporting equipment, three surfboards (with or without a sail), a tent, and up to four fishing rods and accessories.
If you’re bringing your kids, you can have up to five toys (in case of a set, every individual toy is considered an item) and one games console with five games.
If you’re handicapped or elderly, you can bring items with you that reduce your disability (crutches, wheelchair, and so on.)
If you’re 18 or older, you can have up to 10 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars, or 200 grams of tobacco. You can also bring six liters of wine and three liters of alcohol.
Pay attention to the flags on the lifeguard towers:
Black and red flags mean it’s dangerous to swim
Yellow flags mean swim with caution
Green flags mean it’s safe to swim
Best Time to Travel
The cheapest time to visit Cancun is from August to September (this is also during hurricane season, so be careful.)
The prime time to visit Cancun is from January to April. During this time of year the weather is ideal.
Spring Breakers show up from March - April, so be ready for a bit more noise and livelier parties in some resorts.
If you’re planning a wedding, make sure it’s between January - April when the weather is in the mid 70s to low 80s.
Arrive mid-week to take advantage of lower hotel rates.
We hope you found these tips and insights helpful! Still looking for the perfect hotel? Find your ideal hotel room at Cancun.com.