Ten Things To Know
(Reference: Year 2011. Credit for this article given to Mexican Direct)
Ten Things To Know before you get off that plane in Mexico.
The following comments are reflections of first hand experiences. They will help you
avoid the pitfalls and thoroughly enjoy your visit to Mexico.
Cell phones from United States, Canada or Europe will probably not work in Mexico unless
your cell phone is a 4 band model (EVEN IF YOUR PROVIDER SOLD YOU A PLAN SAYING
THAT IT WOULD!) Intermittent incoming calls will be the best service you'll probably get.
For those with 4 band phone models $2.00 per minute plus roaming charges are the norm.
Almost all of the Canadian and American 1-800 numbers are un-accessible from Mexico, so it is critical that you acquire regular area codes and phone numbers for all your important 1-800 contacts abroad.
A license is not required to sell real estate in Mexico nor is there a governing body which verifies or regulates the credentials of persons trading in real estate.
Persons who trade (act as sales people in 3rd party transactions) in real estate are not
bound by any legislation concerning "Full Disclosure to Purchasers" or a "Code of Ethics".
In other words, these practices are at the discretion of the individual sales people.
NOTE: There are some extremely professional Realtors operating in the Yucatan market.
Fortunately; you will know very quickly whether you are dealing with one of them or not!
A guaranteed car rental means nothing (even when booked through a major car rental
company). So be prepared not to get the car you reserved or perhaps not until tomorrow. If
you pick the car up at the airport there is a 10% additional tax charged. It may be better to pick-up the rental at the hotel. If using a gold card which covers the insurance on the rental, the rental company will still want to put a $1,000.00 lien on your card, which won't be released until five business days after you return the vehicle (just in case you're wondering why your card is being declined at the restaurant).
If you rent a car to drive in from Cancun, it's about a 4 hour drive, the road tolls are over $50.00
US, the gas stations don't take credit cards and there is only one place to get gas en-route
truck stop at the half way point, so gas up!
Unlike Cancun, very few locals speak English, so be sure to have a copy of our directions
so you can instruct the cab driver appropriately. If you have a few bucks to spend on an electronic "talking translator," the ES600T by www.languageteacher.com is a treasure. (about $250.00). Franklin makes a nice talking English Spanish translator for about $100.00 at most Radio Shacks.
The local pay phones do not take cash. Instead you will need a "pay as you go" telephone card sold at most retail outlets. Have at least two contact numbers for your agent, and verify the local dialing protocol.
Sometimes the area code is required even for a local call - try it out when you arrive.
Don't bother exchanging money at the banks before you leave, other than pocket change,
because there are bank machines and ITM's everywhere that will work with all the major charge/debit
cards. The rate is better than buying the currency at your branch.
Mérida and the beach communities are unbelievably safe and beautiful. Walking anywhere, at any time of day or night is totally safe. There are police everywhere who are very helpful and respectful of tourists but, if you can't speak Spanish and are looking for directions ... just forget it. Look at your map or to another "gringo" who hopefully lives there.
Similarly, locals are friendly and couteous in YUCATAN.
Bring a little calculator along so you can compare the costs on goods and services as required.
Most importantly! When I came to Mexico a good friend (who already owned a house here) gave
me some excellent advice . She said "Come to Mexico equipped with an unbelievable amount of patience." I cannot count the times I have referred to that philosophy, having never lost sight of the fact that I am a guest in their country, I conduct myself accordingly.
Differences in language, culture and social mores can be difficult when you underestimate
your preparedness. During your visit, an endless sequence of mysteries are provided as you go.
We know that you'll have a tremendous amount of fun, plus, become our friends during this
process. As you become oriented to the Mexican culture, you'll find a wonderful life awaits.