Touring Mexico can be fun and exciting, as well as safe. However you want to keep in mind the following tips to help you avoid unnecessary setbacks.
Always carry small bills and change. You will find that a lot of places will not be able to change 500 pesos (about $50) or more. So make sure you have bills and coins of 50, 20, 10 and 5 pesos.
Taxis & Transportation
Taxis are an economical choice of transportation. However, you should always ask how much before getting in. You can ask “Cuanto es… (al centro, al mall, al restaurante (restaurant name), etc.) If your Spanish is bad and don’t have a Spanish-speaking friend along, get the hotel or restaurant or the establishment you are visiting to call a cab for you.
Tipping is very important to the Mexican economy. Many people live almost exclusively from tips. At the restaurant it is customary to tip between 10 to 13 percent. If you are driving, then you will see street performers and window cleaners at stop lights. You may tip them 5 pesos or little more. More than that is not necessary. If you stop at a gas station and the gas attendant cleans your window or checks your levels, you should tip them about 10 pesos.
Avoid areas that are known to be dangerous. Every city and country has parts that are known to be not safe. That is certainly true of Mexico. Stick to areas that are transited by tourists. Centro (city center) of most cities is generally safe. Avoid going out at night alone. Avoiding driving at night. Use common sense and be respectful.
DUCK! If you are close to or over 6 feet tall then duck when you enter through doorways and as you pass store fronts. Many door frames and over hangings tend to be on the low side. If you get distracted then you may end up hitting your head a lot.
Getting Attention – If you want to get the attention of someone in Spanish, don’t use Señor or Señora (sir or ma’am) unless they are significantly older than you. It is more polite to use Joven (ho-ven) or Señorita (sey-nyor-eeta), which coincides with ‘young man’ and ‘lady’. Even if they are older in age, they will appreciate and respond better if you use those terms. Or for an older man, you can also use caballero (cah-bah-yeh-roh), which means ‘gentleman’. You will earn a lot of respect if you direct yourself using these terms.