If you're planning a trip to Cancun, you need to make sure you have all the required documents. You need to have a tourist card to enter the area which you can obtain on your flight or cruise after showing valid identification such as a current passport. Tourist cards may also be issued prior to departure, as long as you have a valid passport.
Make sure you keep this document with your passport as you will need it to leave the country. If you lose your tourist card, you may end up paying a hefty fine. Mexican officials may also request proof of this document throughout your visit to ensure you are visiting the country legally. The tourist cards will be valid from 30 to 180 days, depending on your country of origin.
Travel Documents for Minors
If you're minor, you should carry a valid passport or birth certificate. Minors who are traveling alone also require a notarized letter signed by their legal guardian or parent granting them permission to travel. Custody documents may also be required for minors who are traveling with one parent.
The standard current in Cancun is 100 volt AC which is identical to Canada and the US. However, you should bring along an adapter because three-prong outlets are not always available.
The Mexican peso is the national currency, although US dollars are accepted at most local establishments. You will receive a better exchange rate if you exchange your money into pesos at a money exchange (casa de cambio) or local bank. The exchange houses located in the downtown area of Cancun also offer better rates than the ones found in the hotel zone. Cancun contains many banks which are usually open Monday to Friday until approximately 5 pm and Saturdays until 1 pm.
Most establishments will also accept traveler's checks, although some money exchanges will require you to take them to a local bank. Major credit cards are also accepted in the larger hotels, shops and travel agencies. However, many of the smaller local businesses will not accept them so you should always carry a small amount of cash. Fortunately, Cancun offers many convenient automatic teller machines throughout the resort.
Spanish is the official language of Cancun, but most local people in most of the tourists areas speak fluent English. You should have no trouble if you didn't pay attention in your Spanish classes, although most locals will appreciate your efforts if you attempt a few words in their native language.
Remember to purchase adequate travel insurance before you visit Cancun. You want to ensure you're covered in case of an accident or injury. A plan available through AIG Travel Guard can provide you with coverage for unexpected medical expenses while on a trip.
In addition to essential travel documents such as your passport and tourist card, you should pack other important items such as sunscreen. The Cancun sun can get very hot and you don't want to spend your entire vacation nursing a nasty sunburn.
You should also bring along any medication with you in case you become sick after eating the Mexican food or drinking contaminated water. Cancun may not carry your specific medication or it may be sold under a different Spanish name.
Your health insurance may not travel with you. Take Travel insurance provided through AIG Travel Guard. Travel insurance starting at $30
A concealed money belt is also a good idea. It never hurts to be prepared, and you will feel safer carrying your travel documents, cash or traveler's checks hidden from view. Although Cancun is quite safe, you need to protect yourself from prospective thieves.
Last but certainly not least, remember to bring your camera so you can bring home beautiful photos of your memorable Cancun vacation! You may also want to include an underwater camera, given the large variety of colorful tropical sea life in the area.