As I head plan my next trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico.  I started thinking about the reasons clients would be skeptical to travel to Mexico.    They would always ask about “safety” and with so much sensationalism of any type crime of in the media, there is a common misconception that traveling to the Riviera Maya is unsafe. While other parts of Mexico may be dangerous, The Riviera Maya and the neighboring town of Cancun aren’t nearly as bad as the media makes them out to be.

To put it, The Riviera Maya is a tourist spot, which means the locals are eager for your business and are pretty serious about keeping some of the dangerous elements of Mexico out. The Riviera Maya is a breathtaking place that is just begging to be explored.

That said, there some things you should know to make the most out of a Riviera Maya experience.

Watch Out for the Heat

While the Riviera Maya offers truly stunning natural landscapes, the whole region can become overwhelmingly hot and humid from June on through till October. The summer months may be peak vacation time, but they can also put the unprepared tourist at risk for heatstroke. On the subject of heat and summer, mosquitos are out in full swing during this season, which means an increased chance of contracting conditions like the Zika Virus, Chikungunya, and Dengue Fever. So, if you’re planning to visit The Riviera Maya during summer, pack some bug repellent.

Rules on Food and Water

The subject of food and water is a hot-button issue for first-time travelers to The Riviera Maya. For one, you shouldn’t drink the tap water in Mexico, as in some instances it will make you sick. Instead, you should also ask for bottled water while in restaurants, since they’ll likely serve unfiltered tap water by default. Street food is a potential danger as well, as there is no telling whether or not a street vendor properly prepared the meal or adequately cleaned their cooking space. In these instances, it helps to have the ‘golden cage’ of a hotel or resort to escape to from time to time.

Feel Safe to Explore

While it helps to use a resort as a home base during your trip, you shouldn’t rely on it. Resorts and tour operators tend to try to convince you that you need to use their expensive tour guides to explore The Riviera Maya safely.  While this is true for certain things, I find that it is super easy to explore on your own. Mexico is one of the few places where I feel comfortable going out on my own.  So instead of pre-packaged tours, consider taking a taxi and go off of resort property to get a genuine taste of Mexico. The Riviera Maya is not the dangerous, crime-ridden place the news reports it to be. If you take a chance and explore the Riviera Maya on your own, you’ll quickly discover all the raw natural beauty this fantastic place has to offer.

Have you ever been to Mexico? If so? Where did you go and what did you enjoy? If not, what is stopping you from going?

As countries start their slow reopenings, our wanderlust and desire to venture beyond our immediate neighborhoods will grow, too. Yet, we still must be hyper-conscious of the current situation.

With enhanced safety and health measures, thoroughly trained cleaning staff, distanced group arrivals, sanitization packages and more, renting a villa is an ideal option to enjoy an intimate vacation with your family, safely away from the crowds. 

Here are 10 luxurious villas in Mexico and the Caribbean where you’ll enjoy not only the sun and the beach, but also relaxation and peace of mind.

Interested in renting a villa for your next trip?

Contact us @ 1.800.817.8310 for more information about the processes to book a stay at one of these or the many other villas in our collection.

After months of quarantine, we’re anxiously awaiting the moment we can get back out there, and more than anything, we’re yearning for immersive experiences that allow us to truly appreciate the destinations we’ve missed. But is it possible?

In the era of social distancing, here are five tips to consider when planning immersive travel:

Take a road trip.

Taking a road trip allows you to explore areas you typically wouldn’t. While driving, you’ll immerse yourself into remote places and smaller towns you’d normally bypass when traveling by plane. Road trips are also great for social distancing given there are less people around than in those big city destinations. Trust me, I miss cities like New York City and London, too, but road-tripping cross country, or even within your own state, is the perfect option for immersive travel while remaining much further than six feet apart.

Things to consider:

  • The shorter the road trip, the better because less stops mean less exposure (whether considering bathroom breaks, hotel stays, or anything in between).
  • Limit the number of people in your car (if possible). The less people traveling, the more space you’ll have, and you’ll be less likely to come into contact with germs.

Explore the outdoors.

Piggybacking on #1, exploring the outdoors comes naturally on a road trip. But, if a long road trip isn’t ideal, consider flying to a smaller destination with day-long road trip opportunities. And, don’t worry, if being in the “middle of nowhere” isn’t exactly your style, many smaller cities offer amazing outdoorsy options just minutes away from the city’s center, allowing you to immerse yourself into the destination by exploring all that nature has to offer … and staying away from crowds.

Try out the local food.

It may sound counter intuitive to social distancing, but contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sacrifice this part of your experience — you just have to get creative.

Food is the heart and soul of nearly every place and every culture, and to truly immerse yourself in any destination, it’s imperative to satisfy your taste buds. Plan ahead and do your research to find out which local restaurants are offering take out or curbside pickup options. Then, pack a picnic tablecloth, lay down the back seats in your car, and enjoy a picnic from the parking lot. It may not be ideal, but it’ll create fun memories nonetheless!

Things to consider:

  • Support local businesses! Choosing to eat at local joints not only supports family-owned-and-operated businesses, but it allows you to experience the destination from a local’s perspective.
  • If you aren’t on a road trip, you can also plan a picnic in your hotel room. For al fresco dining, utilize your balcony or the hotel’s outdoor patio area.

Choose a destination you’re comfortable with.

Who would’ve thought that the most immersive experiences may actually come by traveling to a destination you’ve already visited? You’ve done the touristy things, you’ve seen the popular sites, and with social distancing in place, now is the perfect time to experience your favorite places on a more local scale. Go for walks without a specific end point in mind, meander into random hole-in-the-wall shops, and order from restaurants that are off the beaten path. Doing so will not only allow you to stay away from the crowds, it’ll help you get to know the destination on a more intimate level. Not to mention, you’re already familiar with the area, so there will be less stress. Navigating all the new rules and regulations is stressful enough, why not return to a place you already know you love?

Consider traveling solo.

Traveling solo isn’t for everyone, but if you’re not completely opposed, consider giving it a try. For starters, it’s the perfect solution for socially distanced travel, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to immerse yourself into a destination. How? Because you naturally have to pay more attention to your surroundings. And by doing so, you begin to notice the little things, you look up from your phone, you actually speak to people, and you step outside your comfort zone.

Things to consider:

  • If completing a full vacation alone seems daunting, consider doing a day trip alone instead. A friend and I once traveled to London together, and I did a solo day trip to Bath on the same day she did a solo day trip to Paris. Although we loved having a friend to return to, we both agreed it was our favorite part of the trip.

 

 

Content courtesy of Ensemble Travel Consortia