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FutureStarrLiving in a Van Alone in Mexico
If you're thinking about living in a van alone in Mexico, here are some tips from my own personal experiences traveling throughout the country.
It's essential to be aware of your environment and keep a watchful eye on the streets. You can also avoid certain areas by asking locals about them.
When living alone in a van, it is essential to take safety measures. This includes avoiding areas where crime is common and making sure your residence is situated in an area known for safety.
Additionally, be mindful of road rage incidents if you're driving at night.
It is also wise to limit alcohol intake. Dehydration in Mexico can be a serious issue and lead to serious health complications.
Be wary of petty theft when visiting Mexican towns and cities. These criminals tend to operate with impunity.
One of the best ways to prevent petty theft is keeping your valuables locked away in a secure location. For instance, don't put expensive jewelry into a backpack.
If you're uncertain where to store your belongings, speak with the residents or ask your accommodation staff for guidance. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
When looking for a secure place to deposit money, look for ATMs located inside banks or airports. Never trust random ATMs!
Be wary of carrying large sums of cash around with you, as this could attract criminals looking for easy prey.
It is wise to hide your money in multiple places, such as a hidden bank or safe. Furthermore, having at least one debit card handy allows for easy withdrawal of funds if needed.
When living in a van alone in Mexico, it's essential to be an informed traveler. Following these tips will guarantee you have an enjoyable trip without worrying about security concerns.
Traveling alone in a van can be an enjoyable way to discover Mexico, but there are some things you should take into account. Safety should always come first when considering this route.
Mexico often gets a bad rap in the media, leading many people to feel unsafe about traveling there. But this perception of danger is overblown; many experienced travelers have had safe and trouble-free trips to Mexico without incident.
Another thing to keep in mind is that safety conditions differ by region. For instance, it would not be wise to visit Ciudad Juarez or other frontier towns near Chihuahua's border due to the potential threat of kidnapping.
Avoiding dangerous situations requires caution when choosing who you socialize with. This can be done by declining any offers that don't feel right or secure.
Online, there are plenty of helpful resources to keep you informed about your trip and the safety conditions in each area. One such app is iOverlander, an app that relies on community contributions for up-to-date and localized travel advice.
If you're seeking extra support while traveling solo in Mexico, join an overlanding group and connect with other travellers. Not only will this give you insight into their adventures, but it may also provide tips that make the journey safer.
Finally, it's essential to purchase travel insurance before leaving the country. While this can be a hassle, the expense is well worth it in order to safeguard both your belongings and yourself against any unexpected accidents or illnesses.
If you're thinking of living in a van alone in Mexico, there are several options for accommodation. Hostels, Airbnb rooms or even renting out a home with friends are all viable options.
Hostels are the go-to accommodation option for solo travelers in Mexico, offering a wide variety of them across each city. Not only are they colorful and comfortable, but they're also great places to meet other travellers.
Overnight camps in Mexico offer another option for van travelers traveling alone, similar to campgrounds in the US and Canada but with full hook-ups like electricity, water, and sewer. These establishments can be found all across Mexico.
Some campgrounds will let you park your RV for free or at a reduced rate if you book ahead. These can be an excellent way to stay for free while exploring the country.
Camping grounds can be found all around the United States, and most are well managed, secure, and clean. Before making a reservation at one of these establishments though, make sure to read their rules thoroughly.
One important note is that in order to drive an RV, you must possess a valid drivers license. Without one, getting around could prove challenging.
Uber is the ideal transportation solution in major cities. Not only is it safe, reliable and cost-effective compared to regular taxis, but it can also save you money in the long run.
Women traveling to Mexico need to be wary of strangers offering rides or asking for money. Furthermore, having travel insurance is recommended.
Living in Mexico as a van dweller provides ample food and drink choices. Street foods like tacos are the obvious pick, but there's also plenty of complex dishes like mole or almejas rellenas (fresh clams baked with butter and other ingredients).
There's also an array of drinks to sample, such as licuados - refreshing smoothies made from fruit juice and milk that can be found everywhere in Mexico. Aguas frescas are another must-try, along with alcoholic drinks like tequila or mezcal.
Saving money on food and drinks in Mexico can be done through shopping at local markets. From tiny stalls to bustling complexes in major cities, these markets are the best places to stock up on affordable yet delicious dishes as well as bargain clothing items and electronics.
For drinks, purchasing a "Garafon" is recommended; this large, refillable water bottle is easy to transport and more eco-friendly than single-use plastic bottles. Plus, it makes tracking what you're drinking much simpler.
Another great idea is to invest in a Mexico guidebook to make the most of your stay there. A guidebook will give you an extensive overview of what to expect, assist with planning your itinerary, and offer recommendations for activities you may want to do beyond exploring your chosen city. For instance, Rough Guide's Mexico guidebook has received excellent reviews.
If you're considering living alone in Mexico, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding money and other expenses associated with this lifestyle. Most notably, be prepared to pay your rent and utilities in cash as banking and payment processing systems aren't as developed there as they are elsewhere (e.g., USA or Canada).
On a bi-monthly basis, you should expect to pay for utilities like electricity, water and gas. You may need to purchase a SIM card for your cell phone and internet at around $30 (550 pesossos).
When it comes to food, local markets offer great deals. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased at low costs, which supports the local economy.
Additionally, cooking your own meals at home can save money on groceries. Not only is this an economical way to experience local cuisine and meet people from Mexico, but it's a fun and exciting way to learn about their culture!
Cooking on a budget can be challenging. If you're new to traveling in Mexico, hiring a housekeeper might be beneficial; this will save time and money on laundry and cleaning, which are often large expenses there.
Another alternative is joining a travel program like WorldPackers, which offers free accommodation in exchange for working a few hours each day. This is an excellent opportunity to give back to the local community and make some new friends along the way.
It is essential to be wary of scams in Mexico, particularly for foreigners. Be wary of anyone asking you for personal information or financial assistance over the phone; never give out your bank account number without being verified first.