Use Little Money in Mexico
Via Pesos roughly means “by pesos” in Spanish. This implies how the traveler or backpacker in Mexico can get by on pesos – literally getting by with very little money. If one wishes to visit Mexico on a small budget, it has been shown as possible to do so. A great reference travel book on the topic is the 2007 text by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens (The People’s Guide to Mexico, Avalon Travel). First of all, it is usually a good idea to visit Mexico with little to no cash. It is suggested that the traveler carry only traveler’s checks and credit cards. This can be a security issue and more security issues will follow below. Also, getting by on as little as possible will help one blend in more with the local people/s.
Laundry and Water
It is possible while backpacking and traveling in Mexico (or most sub-tropical zones for that matter) to get by with very few changes of clothing. This also implies a reduced need for laundry and other services. However, underwear changes and washings will become necessary if one consumes the water in any form in certain areas of Mexico. This becomes obvious to the traveler who has experienced the joys of ‘Montezuma’s Revenge’ and/or ‘Backpacker’s Diarrhea’. Serious consideration needs to be given to treatment of local water before consuming. Even Halazone tablets may not be 100% effective. Boil your pot and drinking water if possible. Otherwise, the traveler will be using more laundry and underwear than anticipated.
How to Get Around and With Whom
Unless one is traveling as a group, there are ways to find other folks with whom to backpack and travel to Mexico. One website (Hobo Traveler) offers tips and a message board on making a budget trip to Mexico. One might wish to search “Backpacking in Mexico” while advance planning. The site is current and will offer messages from many potential travelling companions from around the world. Other sites and even blogs will offer testimonials (independent of Mexican government sites) praising the low cost aspects of travel to the country.
It has been mentioned elsewhere (see Franz and Havens) that there are many ways to get around when in country. Some of these ways may include traveling by RV Caravan or camping in a rental vehicle. Even better, it would seem, is to follow around a caravan in one’s rental vehicle. One may then enjoy the advantages of truly low cost travel and camping while having the help and security of fellow traveler’s nearby. But, this is not always convenient if one has one’s own itinerary and list of objectives. The choice belongs to the traveler.
By following or joining a caravan it is possible that one may enjoy safer travel in Mexico. While the government website TravelState does say that thousands of people go to and from Mexico safely everyday, there are precautions. One should not carry cash if possible and avoid other flashy items like jewelry and laptops. One should always report to one’s local embassy when traveling in Mexico. You may contact the US State Dept. at 1 (888) 407-4747 prior to departure and at (001) (202) (501) (4444) while in Mexico. In general, safe travel equals less costly travel.