Cancun: What You Should Know Before You Go

*waves* Long time no see! I hope everyone had a great travel year in 2017 and I hope that you have some cool and fun places lined up this year. Now that we got the pleasantries out the way, let's just jump right into this post.  

I recently took a trip to Cancun (non-solo adventure) and while there I noticed a few things that might be of help to those of you who are planning to visit soon or sometime in the future.   Here are a few things you should know before you go.

The wifi sucks

Okay okay. Let me clarify because I might be a little biased with this one simply because of my own experience, however, use this tip as a heads up.  Our hotel included wifi, i.e. we didn't have to pay extra for it, but boy did it suck.  (Was I back in Cuba?) Now is this the case for all the hotels in Cancun, not sure, but if you get there and you are having a hard time connecting, then you heard it here first. Nothing wrong with disconnecting from the outside world for a few days, right?  I know, I know, what's happening on social media is an everyday itch that we all need to scratch, besides, we need to post our fire photos so everyone can see how amazing our vacation is going (said sarcastically).  Tip: check with your phone company and plan as data might already be included in your plan and you won't need to rely on wifi.  Of course, you can always add an international plan prior to your visit. 

Alternatively, hang out at the beach and pool and just enjoy the world around you.  

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Skip the timeshare presentations

You will get virtually harassed from the time you clear customs at the airport to sign up for a timeshare presentation in exchange for discounted excursions and activities. And you just might get calls in your hotel room from the presenters on site. Unless you truly interested, skip it. The $20-50 you might save won't be worth the hours of your vacation time wasted listening to something that you aren't interested in. Simply say no thank you and keep it moving.

Visit the islands

If you didn't know, off the coast of Cancun, lies Isla Mujeres and Cozumel. If you have never heard of these places then I encourage you to google them ASAP (like right now).  Talk about beauty!  White sands and clear blue water.  What more could a girl ask for?  Now I always told myself when I get the chance to visit Cancun, Isla Mujeres was a definite stop. And while I made every attempt to make that happen, the weather didn't want me to be great. Unfortunately the day we went to catch the ferry to the island, the wind caused the water to be choppy and it wasn't running.  The days ahead weren't looking too great either, weather wise, so it ended up being a bust. However, even though I didn't make it I would still highly suggest it.  It's beautiful.  Sidenote:  Beware of the hagglers.  I heard they can be pretty persistent - read: annoying.

When our plans fell through, we opted for a fun photoshoot on the dock and in the water. When life hands you lemons! 

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Don't rely on Google maps. Ask your hotel staff

Unfortunately I make a rookie mistake with this one. Heading to the ferry to go to Isla Mujeres, I pulled up Google maps to see which beach was closest to our hotel since there are ferry stops on 3 different beaches in the hotel zone. Google maps quoted a 7 minute drive, so we opted for a taxi to take us there. Even the taxi driver was laughing at our mistake, and of course, still took our money. (Stupid Americans, he probably thought lol.). The beach we needed was literally a 30 second drive away, so just a few minute walk. When I asked the bellhop for a taxi, I simply should've asked about our destination.

Sign up for a tour

If you want to venture outside of your hotel and the hotel zone, I would highly recommend signing up for a tour.  This can easily be done prior to your trip or you can wait and arrange everything once you arrive in Cancun.  Although I had a Plan A for the former, we ended up doing the latter.  Since our ferry ride to Isla Mujeres didn't work out, we arranged for a tour to Tulum and CobΓ‘ to see the ruins, with a stop in Playa Del Carmen, for less money and more locations than had I went with my Plan A. Even though we stumbled upon the tour that we choose (we were there simply to take the ferry), there are plenty of tour options being offered at your hotel, specifically if you are staying in the hotel zone. Otherwise you can just search the internet on your own and sign up for any tour you see fit.

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Don't be scared to say 'no thank you'

Depending on where you are staying in Cancun, if you are in the hotel zone, get used to saying no thank you. From the time you are on the beach to the time you head out on the main strip for dinner, no thank you will be your best friend.  Everyone is trying to make a buck selling things, from jewelry to food, and as far as nightlife, everyone is trying to get you to come into their club.  Of course if this is your thing and what you are looking for, by all means go for it.

Overall: 

Cancun was definitely worth visiting.  The beaches were beautiful and just as I had seen in pictures, which always piqued my interest in visiting.  Tulum has become a social media gem in the travel world.  I absolutely plan to go back and visit Tulum exclusively.  The little time I spent there had me very intrigued about what this place offered, and my gut is telling me good things.  Cancun had been on my list for a long while, and now that I've crossed it off I'm excited to explore Tulum a lot more.

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Viva la Mexico! And happy travels!

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Cancun travel tips