You can read about the first part of my Mexico City guide here. This guide is an example of how I planned my first trip to Mexico based on the uneasiness I felt when I first started to plan a trip to a country considered less safe for solo travelers. Often times, I would hear other travelers mention, is Mexico City safe?
Not all of my trips are planned this way, as it depends on who I am going to see, for how long, and where I am going. I encourage travelers who are going to Mexico City to plan what things they want to see and do so ahead of time. Mexico City is a huge city with many things to see. It can be overwhelming unless planned appropriately.
Here are some additional tips that I thought of after I returned from my trip.
I booked my trip for seven days — a total of one week. Looking back, the one thing I probably would have done differently is scheduling and the sequence of events. Seven days seems like a lot of time, but in reality (especially when you’re traveling) it’s not.
I had a lot of things I wanted to see, people I wanted to catch up with, and day trip locations to visit. When I lived in Europe, I became accustomed to booking travel arrangements and flights based off of proximity and a similar climate to Madrid, where I was living at the time. I guess for some odd reason, I must have forgotten I was not in Madrid, and that I don’t travel every weekend anymore. Earth to Leesa! Also, the altitude flying in Mexico City isn’t for amateurs. The side effects of being in high altitudes can be different depending on the person.
Looking back, I was a bit more tired than usual and my body was not as strong as it normally would be due to the altitude. For example, I went to Teotihuacán the second day after I arrived. The sun in Mexico is stronger than in Florida, which is where I live now. The sun combined with the altitude made me feel a bit more tired than I normally would feel. I am an active person and do not usually get tired from walking or hiking. In the future, I will look up the weather and geographical features of a city while I am scheduling my trip so that I can plan accordingly. Duh. I am not in Europe anymore and things are going to feel different than when I was traveling every other weekend.
When planning your trip, make sure that if you are visiting during a holiday to block off that time first. I knew that Good Friday was the Friday before I would return home and that I wanted to see the ceremonial procession in Taxco that day. So, I planned the trip around that day. I also had the help of Alex and Nayeli from Vibe Adventures. Also, as noted above, make sure you know the climate you are going to. Your energy levels could be affected without you knowing it!
Safety in Mexico City
Mexico City, like any city, has its safe locations and not-so-safe locations. It’s best to do your research ahead of time and always be aware of your surroundings. If I am on these types of trips, I am always aware, and always come up with a plan. I know this sounds silly, but always think of the “what-if” scenario (hoping that it will never happen). What if I lost my phone — then what? What if I got lost — then what?
Research and read about the places to steer clear of and the places that are not tourist friendly. Stay clear of the areas that locals tell you stay away from — there is a reason! Plan ahead. In my case, I wanted to learn about the local history. Therefore, I paid to have a guide. Research the company that you are going to hire as a guide. In my opinion, this was worth the extra money. I enjoy history plus I was also free from having to worry about watching my back.
If you remember from part one, I knew locals and have friends who live in Mexico City. I was able to link up with my friends on the first day that I arrived. They showed me some areas of town and that helped me assimilate to my surroundings before going off on my own. For those who are traveling solo and do not have the convenience and pleasure of knowing locals, be sure to have a plan and ask the conierage or others at your hostel or hotel about the places they have seen or come across. Most importantly, be smart about your travels but have fun too!
Mexico City is Safe to Travel and Visit
The biggest takeaway from my trip to Mexico City were these five things: references, location, vendors, scheduling, and safety. The next time I plan a trip, I will take all five of these factors into consideration before planning. In addition, I will not let the background noise of what others assume about a location interfere with my planning. Mexico City has been one of my favorite destinations so far. I was able to overcome the stereotypes of what people said and make my own opinions. In addition, I made new friends at Vibe Adventures and checked in on old friends on their turf.
Stay tuned for an articles from our team about Mexico City!