Our travel to Mexico
In 2011, when our first-born Kacper was about to finish one year, we decided to go on a 4-week-long travel expedition to Mexico. For the first time since the Great Change, that is the first time with a child!
Before the expedition, we had many fears – whether to go so far with the child, is Mexico with kids a safe enough country also in terms of diseases? Is it acceptable to take a child so far for our own passion?
These doubts have long dragged us. Today, in retrospect, I know that it was a great decision and I urge all the fresh parents for similar trips. Do not be afraid, go away, pursue your passions and let the children watch and learn how to live a full life from you!
Why is it worth going to Mexico?
Mexico is one of the more civilized countries in Latin America, it is rather cheap and easily accessible (by plane). It’s quite exotic for us Europeans, yet culturally similar enough to feel comfortable while travelling. In Mexico Spanish is spoken, so knowing English and another Romani language, you can try your luck and communicate. In addition, the Latin alphabet makes traveling much easier. In big cities, there are all the comforts available, therefore no need to worry about articles for children. There are no malaria areas in Mexico, so it is also safe in terms of children’s health.
Juan invites us to tortillas
We have a friend in Mexico – Juan and his family. Juan replied to my short email very quickly and enthusiastically, writing a lot of advice and ideas for a trip to Mexico. He offered accommodation, transport and several joint trips. Juan lives in Queretaro with his wife and two children, so we were welcomed in a child-friendly home.
Flight to Mexico
Cheap deals are not the best option when traveling with a child. First of all, last-minute offers save money, but take time, which is quite unfavorable with children. Last-minute offers are also difficult to plan. For us, it is important to have only a few transfers and to depart from the nearest airport. What also matters are normal departure and arrival times.
Arrival and jet-lag
We flew to Mexico City, from where we caught a bus to Queretaro, to Juan. First two days we have recovered after arriving to different time zone – when traveling with children, one must remember about jet-lag, which lasts 2-3 days. During this time, children naturally wake up in the middle of the night and do not want to sleep. It is extremely tiring for parents and hosts.
In the meantime, we have seen the city center of Queretaro – the old capital of Mexico, the recently opened pyramid in Pueblito and the lovely decadent town of Bernal. We also watched the butterfly sanctuary in Anangueo and visited the picturesque towns around Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Pozos.
Mexico City – Couchsurfing
We soon moved to Mexico City. Our host from Couchsurfing hosted us there. We spent four days in the city visiting the city and the surrounding area.
Visiting Mexico City we were pleased with our decision to bring a pram for Kacper. It was a narrow trolley, which fit on the metro gates, as well as was easy to fold and pack into buses or taxis.
To reach Cancun we bought a flight for the three of us. A 24-hour travel by bus with our toddler would be very tiring. Our year-old Kacper was very lively and noisy and of course in diapers, which is somewhat uncomfortable on buses.
In Cancun, we were a guest at Rocio Couchsurfingu, who gave us a whole small house away from the tourist part of the city. It took us over an hour to reach the house from the beach and transportation was a great adventure in itself. Once we got lost and wandered overnight on the streets of Cancun to 9pm. I was proud of Kacper that he didn’t complain about it a word.
Merida – flamingos and arrest
Kacper’s birthday was approaching. On this occasion, we went to Merida and from there rented car to visit Celectun park with pink flamingoes. This was a wonderful day, but at the end of it we were sent to the Mexican detention center. Why?
Well, from the one-way street (driving in the forbidden direction) a bicycle with two passengers passed and Andrew slightly hit him. The driver demanded 100usd as compensation. We did not want to agree, so he called the police. We got arrested in the late evening. The car was taken to the police car park. In the end, a representative of the Herz rental company came to us and arranged the matter (it seems that he paid it himself). Now we know how important it is to buy a car insurance when travelling.
Our impressions from that journey:
Traveling with one-year Kacper is pretty cool – he quickly adapted to rough conditions, sleeped in a car, bus or on plane, and then got up with a smile and joy. He ate local food, the same as us, however we had spare formula from Poland. We have not experienced any diarrhea, although Kapcer chewed on some Mexican soil and pebbles occasionally.
Our brave one-year explores the streets, sidewalks, squares and areas in which we are staying (restaurants, hostels, house of Juan). He learns new conditions of the area, such as uneven streets of the Mexican towns, where he regularly falls over. He likes this “freeing” – he is still smiling, approaching others to play around with everyone. There is no language barrier, nor skin color or wealth matter – as long as other person smiles back.
All this means that such trips are invaluable experience for our family – the help with family relations, they expand our horizons and teach that there is so much more in the world!
Please, check also our Guide on How to Travel with Kids to get more practical tips.
Photo gallery from Mexico: