Moving to Mexico: Get Used to These 10 Things Quickly and Enjoy!


La Paz, Mexico – Photo Courtesy: Matthew T. Rader

Mexico is an amazing place filled with new, amazing experiences by the dozens. However, in order to actually enjoy living in Mexico, there are certain things you need to know so that you don’t end up experiencing some of your most embarrassing moments. Here we go.

1. Female Restrooms are Marked “M”

This is most likely something that you are not used to. Restrooms marked “M” are exclusively for ladies – because the Spanish word for ladies is “mujere.” So you do not want to barge into a restroom marked “M” thinking it is for males. Male restroom doors are typically marked with a “C” for “Caballeros” or an “H” for “hombre” so don’t go making this mistake. 

2. Always Carry a Filter Water Bottle Around for Your Water

The tap water in Mexico isn’t very great so you definitely do not want to drink straight from the tap. However, Mexico’s pretty hot so you would be needing a significant amount of water. So, instead of having to purchase water all the time, simply carry a water bottle along with you. After filling up the bottle, the heavy grade filtering takes care of the impurities and you’re good to go. 

3. Use the Bus Network

Mexico has a great bus network that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on using. Mexico is pretty big so getting around could pose quite a challenge. And although there are passenger flights, traveling on Mexico buses is an experience that you do not want to miss out on. 

They are super affordable and you get to see the beautiful countryside all the way. There are different tiers or classes with the higher classes being first (“primero”) and platinum (“platino”). Both the first and platinum classes have very comfortable seats that you would definitely love. 

4. Pay for Stuff With Pesos

Since you are now a Mexican resident, you should get used to spending time with currency as well. Although a lot of places would accept US dollars in Mexico, the exchange rate is going to horrify you. So a better option would be to change all of into pesos and get more value. You can also save up a lot of money simply choosing things wisely. For example if you feel like you need to relax a bit, try getting your very own foot spa that you can use whenever in the comfort of your own home.

5. Get Used to Riding Colectivos

Although you might have your own car, getting used to riding colectivos is a good idea. Colectivos are shared vans or minibuses and are by far the quickest and cheapest form of public transportation that you would find in Mexico. 

6. Get Used to the Heat

Mexico is pretty hot, as a matter of fact, the country is warm for the most part of the year. So you would need to leave that jacket at home most of the time and feel comfortable in shorts and cotton shirts.

However, certain locations like Oaxaca and Mexico City could get very chilly, especially in winter and at night due to their high altitude. Your jacket would definitely come in handy here. 

7. Get Used to the Spicy Food

Mexican food is really spicy and could be quite unbearable, especially if you’re not used to it. You need to take it slow, start out with little quantities of spice until you can handle the heat well, then you can embark on “spicy” adventures. 

8. Get Used to Tipping

In Mexico, it is common courtesy to tip. Leaving at least 10 percent of your bill for the waiter is common courtesy and this applies in cafés, restaurants, and even when you get your bar tab at the end of a night of drinking. 

9. Get Used to “Mexican” Time

If you have appointments with people, don’t be upset if they are late. You would soon come to realize that Mexicans treat time as very flexible and do not take punctuality very seriously. 

10. Experience the Various Cultures

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Mexico has a single culture. There are diverse cultures and you would need to get used to this fact as well. Freelancing in Mexico is becoming more popular these days and many people stay there for good! 

Enjoy your trip!