Traveling to Mexico with my daughter made me nervous even though I have been to Mexico many, many times. I researched, read blogs, asked friends and in the end just had to hope for the best and go for it. My biggest concern was the food. I can say that Annie, our daughter, ate her way through Mexico like a champ and no issues. Below I will list some things I found helpful, some things I didn’t, and a few other things I learned on the way. Please check out the pics. In summary, we all had a blast. Annie loved her time on the Rancho, meeting her family, dancing to the music of the gas trucks that drove by, chasing the animals, eating beans and getting her very official Junior Aviator Logbook. Hopefully she will have many more flights to log in the not so distant future.
What was helpful:
- TAKE a car seat. You can check it with your luggage or take it as one of your carry-on bags. I was nervous about luggage getting lost, so I just attached it over the carry-on and drug it all over the airports. There is no additional fee for taking one. Double check with your airline about car seats, strollers, etc. Some might charge fees or only allow one to be checked.
- Take hand-sanitizer. We know traveling isn’t the cleanest of events. So after Annie’s crawling around on floors, we sanitized. It was a lot easier to let her roam than to try and keep her off the floors.
- Take a portable changing pad. Outside of the airport in Mexico, there really aren’t changing tables in bathrooms like there are in the states. So sometimes it was me, the kid, the changing pad and a floor that was in desperate need of some Fabuloso.
- Take enough food/formula in your carry on to last a day and a half in case luggage is lost or food is spilled in travel. We didn’t have ours lost, but the TSA employee didn’t tighten lids back, and I didn’t check, so we lost some milk. That was kind of a disaster because it got other things wet. So double bag the liquids. You can take formula, snacks, etc. TSA will just pull you aside to scan those things.
- Take infant Tylenol and Benadryl. Annie got a cold while in Mexico. It was so much easier to use a medicine with what I was already familiar.
- As you probably already do, take an extra set of clothes or two in the diaper bag. We took Annie in her pajamas and during our layover changed her into clothes. She wore a t-shirt for the first time of meeting her grandparents in Mexico. It was also good to have some diaper baggies to dispose the stink without leaving behind a big whiff.
- Remember to sterilize veggies and fruit if consumed raw. You can buy the sanitizing drops at an abarrotes or bigger stores. If boiled veggies and fruits to mash, then no need to sterilize.
- Like adults, use the bottled water.
- Take bug spray and sun screen or buy there. I chose to buy the “no-tear” options here in the states to take with instead of trying to find kid friendly ones in Mexico.
What was NOT helpful:
- I took a stroller, but never used it. Streets in Mexico are not really adapt for strollers or wheelchairs for that matter. If you MUST have one, take an umbrella stroller. Or try a baby carrier.
- No need to take diapers for entire trip. You can buy name brand diapers in Mexico like Pampers or Huggies. I thought it interesting, even the name brand diapers were sold for boys or girls. Not just the unisex ones sold here in the states.
- I took way too many bottles, utensils, etc. Just take a few. Yes, might have to wash more dishes, but it beats the added weight to suitcase.
The only “real” struggle was the fact that there was no A/C. Annie is used to sleeping with air conditioning. We tried a fan, but that kind of dried her out. After a couple of nights, she got used to it. I am not sure if there is really a way to prepare or cope. If staying at a hotel, try to find one with air climate control per room.
Ok wait, the major struggle was before we even headed to Mexico. Trying to get Miss Annie’s passport picture was a trip in and of itself! We eventually had to lay her down on top of a white poster board in the middle of the CVS store. As Annie now says, “Ay yay yay”!
We decided to save money and have Annie be a lap rider. On American Airlines, children under 2 can sit on a parent’s lap for no charge of a ticket. At the time, I couldn’t do that online. Since Annie still needed a boarding pass, I called in to add her to the reservation. There was a small fee for international travel, but not the price of an actual ticket. Remember, rules with flying change often and from airline to airline. Call to double check on infant travel. Take a look at TSA’s travel with infants policies to make sure you know the ins and outs for airport travel.
We also traveled with an original and a copy of Annie’s birth certificate just in case it was needed or passport was lost/stolen. Thankfully, we never needed to use the birth certificate. We also took a copy of her vaccine records. Sometimes countries want to know about immunizations.
Good luck and buen viaje…