#1 – Restroom Doors Marked With an “M” Are For the Ladies The Spanish word for women is “mujeres.” So, gentlemen, if you see a door marked with an “M,” do NOT assume that it is the men’s room. Instead, look for a door marked with an “H” (for “hombres”) or a “C” (for “caballeros”). It seems like a simple enough thing, but going into the restroom marked “M” is almost habitual for English-speaking men, and so this tip still trips me up once in awhile. At least three different times I’ve rather embarrassingly found myself barging into the wrong restroom! #2 – Don’t Lose the Paper Slip (FMM) You Get at Customs part on the bottom When the Mexico immigration officer hands you back your stamped passport, pay attention because there is likely something else hidden inside it. Most visitors to Mexico will fill out a little section at the end of the immigration form which is actually on break-away paper. The immigration officer will tear it off and stick it in your passport. This is your Multiple Immigration Form (FMM). Hold onto it because you’ll be asked for it when you leave the country (or risk paying a fine)! This is such an important thing to know before traveling to Mexico, so don’t forget it! #3 – Immigration Is Cracking Down on Longer Stays Until a few months ago, Mexico would give just about anyone 180 days in the country more or less automatically. This is one of the reasons Mexico became such a popular destination for digital nomads. Not anymore! Recently, Mexico’s immigration service (INM) has started cracking down – hard. Now at the airport they will ask you for exactly how many days you need and, if its longer than a month or so, may require proof you’re actually leaving. Have copies of accommodation reservations and outbound flight tickets on hand. I’ve heard many horror stories of nomads coming with plans to stay for 6 months, only to be given 30 days – sometimes even 10 – to leave the country. Also know that INM has started conducting random checks of people who appear non-Mexican – on the street, at bus stations, at popular nomad spots. This seems most common in Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Technically you’re supposed to always have your passport and FMM on hand. I’ve gotten by with photos on my phone, but your mileage may vary. #4 – N clear – but don’t take a sip! The tap water in Mexico is definitely 100% not ok to drink pretty much anywhere, so never drink straight from the tap. But Mexico is hot, so you really NEED to drink a lot on your vacation (water … we’re talking about drinking water here, you party animal). Many tourists end up spending a lot of time chasing down something to drink, and often get price gouged by enterprising vendors hawking bottled water. Buying bottled water quickly adds up, and the plastic kills the local environment. So what are you to do? One convenient and eco-friendly solution is to simply pack a water bottle with a travel-grade filter so that you can confidently drink the water everywhere you go. The most popular and trusted name in this space is The Lifestraw Filtered Water Bottle. Lifestraw has been used by thousands of travelers around the world. You just fill up the water bottle and let the heavy-grade filter remove bacteria and parasites as you drink. #5 – Go Beyond the Beach Resorts hidden gem in Mexico This is one of the most important tips for traveling to Mexico. Look, there is nothing wrong with enjoying popular sites like Tulum beach along Mexico’s Riviera Maya. But, with that said, so many visitors simply stick to the highly-touristed coastal areas (the Tulum ruins, for example, are massively overcrowded at times) and perhaps throw in a quick stop in to do some things in Mexico City. And, in my humble opinion, that means they miss a lot of what Mexico has to offer! That’s why one of the most important travel tips for Mexico is this: get off the travel lemming path and explore Mexico’s towns. Valladolid, Mexico is one of my favorites, and easily accessible from the Riviera Maya. Mexico is a big country and there is a LOT more to it than just the beaches.