Know Before You Go

I just got back from a whirlwind vacation in Mexico and while it was fabulous and wonderful, I’m only just starting to process photos and brainstorm blog post ideas. So no cool vacation post quite yet (check back in 2 weeks though) but I do have one post I want to write on topics that came up during my trip. While you might think of planning ahead for a vacation by packing, researching costs, and figuring in driving times, you might forget in the chaos of trip planning to remember some other key ideas. Here’s some things I overheard on my vacation that reminded me of what else you can research before your trip:

“Why are they speaking Mexican?”

XA-AAC ERJ-190AR Aeromexico Connect

I took a new airline for myself, Aeromexico, on my most recent trip. Being an international flight between Mexico and the United States, flight announcements were given in both English and Spanish, not Mexican. Remember to wait your turn, English isn’t the only language in the world, and flight attendants will give instructions in both languages.

“They had better give us free drinks”

Our flight was delayed before take-off and naturally we were all less than thrilled that our 4-hour delay was turning into 5. Thankfully we knew ahead of time about the 4 hour delay but the 5th hour was a special bonus because we were on the plane itself. Passengers started murmuring and threatened some sort of mutiny unless they got free alcohol on board the flight. It was clear they hadn’t researched the airline they were on because not only does Aeromexico offer free drinks during your flights, they offer on board meals as well. People thought they were being compensating when the cart came around and I wasn’t about to tell them it was all standard.

“What can we eat at this airport?”

welcome back to civilization

Don’t forget to research any and all airports you might be at during your trip. We left St. Louis and flew into Cancun and both Lambert-St. Louis and Cancun Airport have websites indicating where you can eat inside. In St. Louis we were given a meal voucher due to our delay and knowing where to go means beating all those other people with meal vouchers.

Another reason to check the website? Find out what terminal you are taking off from. We departed terminal 2 at both our airports so it narrowed down where we could eat and where to take a shuttle to. If you have an iPhone, the GateGuru app can be a blessing. Not all airports are on it but the ones that are will point out the hotspots and even top-rated dining inside the airport.

“How are you using an iPhone down here?”

iphone gateguru cap

GateGuru app cap


There are countless stories out there about people using iPhones in a foreign country and coming back to find huge bills in the several thousand dollar price range. My resort had wireless internet nearly everywhere which made my experience much nicer.

To use an iPhone in Mexico, go to Settings and choose General. Under Network, make sure Data Roaming is set to OFF, then turn off both Enable 3G and Cellular Data. This next step is optional but is great for peace of mind. Go to Usage, scroll to the bottom and select Reset Statistics. Now you’ll be able to see your data usage throughout your trip and can confirm it stays at 0 like mine did. Finally, go back to the main Settings screen and turn Airplane Mode ON and you’ll not only avoid huge bills, you’ll be compliant for your flight. Once I arrived at my resort I found the wireless network and was good to go.

“How many pesos in a dollar?”


Okay, this was me. During our stay, we gave the hotel our credit card to put aside should we make any charges to our room. The manager informed us they would put a hold of 5000 pesos on our card and we stared blankly back at him, not having a clue about the conversion rate. The manager quickly told us it was about $400 USD but we were a bit thrown anytime we had to make the conversion during our trip. Had I used my favorite currency converter, CoinMill, during my stay, I would have had some clue what dollar amounts I was dealing with. You live and you learn…and you bookmark on your iPhone so you know 5000 pesos = $423.82 as of today.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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