Mexico City Travel
what to pack
Local weather in February is typically mild and dry. Daytime tends to be 65- 70 degrees, but evenings can be much cooler (40s-50s). Plan to dress in layers, from t-shirts to sweater or a wrap. We will be walking a lot, so be sure to wear very comfortable shoes. Mexico City is somewhat conservative and you won't see many people in shorts or flip flops. Evening events are nice but not overly dressy. Some days we will go straight to dinner, so plan for day-to-night options.
BEFORE YOU GO
Call your Bank
Let your bank know that you are traveling to Mexico and will be accessing your account. If you don’t do this, most banks will block your card if you haven’t given a travel warning and you won’t be able to withdraw money or use your debit card. Same for credit cards. Also ask if there is a specific bank to use with lower or no fees.
Arrange Cell/Data Service
Talk to your cell service provider and understand international roaming charges.Most people choose to turn off all cellular data so as not to be billed high fees. In some cases there are add-on plans for full service in Mexico for a minimal extra fee. You will find Wi-fi service readily available in most places around the City.
If you don’t use it, you might want to download it and have your most important people do the same (family/partners/friends). This is a messaging app available with Wi-fi access that doesn’t charge for international texting and best way to be in touch. iMessage also works on wifi for free messaging between iphones.
If you don’t have it already, we recommend that you download and set up an account on the app Uber as an easy and safe way to call a car if you are on your own or out at night. Payment is connected to a debit/credit card so you don’t have to deal with cash.
On the Flight
You will be given an immigration form and customs form to complete before arriving. It will ask for your passport number and where you are staying (St.Regis Hotel Reforma 439)
At the Airport
First you will go through Immigration (look for the “extranjeros” line unless you have Mexican citizenship) to officially enter the country, say you are a tourist (turista), get your passport stamped. You will be handed back a white part of your form (FMM) that has been stamped. DO NOT LOSE THIS. It is your tourist visa and you must have it for your return flight or pay a fee and delay boarding.
Next, you will go to baggage claim to get any checked bags and give your form to a Customs Officer.You may be asked to then place your bags in a scanner to be x-rayed and hand in your form. The very last thing you will be asked to do is push a button. Green means you may keep going. Red means your bags will be searched. This is a random screening.
We will greet you on the other side of the sliding glass doors and take a private shuttle to your hotel. Expect about a 20-30 minute ride.
on the ground
We are 7,943 feet up. It will take time to adjust. Take it slow and stay hydrated! Some people suddenly experience shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms resembling flu. Recommendations: Acclimatize and take it easy. Spend your first day at high altitudes going slow. Avoid even moderate exercise until you get accustomed to the new heights. Do not smoke and avoid drinking alcohol. Smoking and alcohol consumption increase the risk of dehydration and decreased respiration rate during sleep and can worsen symptoms of altitude sickness. Drink extra water. Drink as much as you can to remain properly hydrated, at least three to four quarts. Your urine should be clear and copious. Avoid alcoholic beverages. The fast, deep breathing you must do at higher altitudes will tend to dehydrate you, an effect that alcohol intensifies. Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for headaches
Do not drink water from the tap. Bottled water is served in all restaurants, and ice is filtered. We will also have water along with us in our van. We also recommend “Sueros” an electrolyte drink available at pharmacies. Good for staying hydrated and excellent for hangovers.
Mexican Pesos. The current exchange rate is currently about 21 pesos to 1 US Dollar.There are several ATMS within blocks of where you are staying. Unlike beach resort towns and the border region, you may not use US Dollars, so don’t bother bringing them. We advise against exchanging money at the airport because of bad exchange rates. The best way to get pesos it to withdraw directly from an ATM once you arrive. We can walk you to an ATM. Depending on your bank you may receive a foreign withdrawal fee and an ATM Fee. You may use Visa/Mastercard Credit and Debit cards at most larger establishments. Smaller places are usually cash only. Small bills (100 pesos or less) are appreciated in most places. Do not flash your cash while walking on the street or at the ATM.