Top Five Travel Tips for Cancun and the Riviera Maya

(upbeat music) – Thank you for joining us, this is Travel Top Five.

We’re talking about our top tips for when you’re visiting Cancun and Riviera Maya.

We each have our top five, and we’ll be going one at a time giving our best tips, so the number five. I’m sorry, let me introduce. We got Jackie here, – Hi! – And this is Tara, and I’m Philip. – Hey! – Okay, Jackie, what is your number five tip? – My number five tip will be to bring sunscreen or any type of toiletries, just because the stores at the resort will overprice these items, and it’s just better to bring it with you, because that way you’ll save a lot of money. (laughs) – You are absolutely correct.

They really jack up the prices for that stuff. – Last time I was at a Riviera Maya resort, sunscreen was, no joke, $15. – Ouch! Ouch, ouch, ouch! – Just bring it! – Mine can be a little bit related to that as far as pricing goes. When we go on vacation, my wife and I, we love to get massages, and if you’re on the property, you’re gonna pay  150, 180, $190 for a 15 minute massage.

However, if you’re staying close to one of the smaller towns in the area, something like Playa Mujeres or a– – Plato Carmen. – Plato Carmen, and Puerto Morelos, Akumal, those areas, they will typically have little spa areas where you can go.

In Plato Carmen, one we like is called Magic Hands, but you’re talking about spending 50 bucks for a two hour massage, as opposed to spending 160, 170 for a 15 minute massage. Huge value, and they do a great job, so look into that. What’s yours, Miss Tara? – Let’s see, my number five is gonna have to be to be sure and ask your travel agent about discounted air. If you are flying from a major gateway, like Dallas, Austin, Chicago, your travel agent will more than likely be able to get some discounted air packages, especially if you’re flexible on your dates. One thing to ask your travel agent about. – Cool, alright, I’ll start on number four. My number four is, at this agency, we talk about Cancun and Riviera Maya, I’ll bet 99% we sell is going to be all-inclusives.

We just sell a ton of all-inclusives, so this is specifically, especially for that. Pace yourself, pace yourself in everything. When the food’s all included, it might be easy to give in and just hit the buffet, and just overeat, and make yourself sick. Also, you talked about sunscreen and stuff? Take it easy on being out in the sun. There’s nothing worse than having a four or five day vacation, and day one, you blister yourself where you can’t be in the sun the rest of the time you’re there and you’re miserable. Take it easy there, use sunscreen, moderation, and the number one point of moderation is gonna be the drinking, the alcohol at the all-inclusives.

You know, sometimes talk about Montezuma’s Revenge. If you ate three dinners and a whole bottle of tequila, that’s not Montezuma’s Revenge, that’s just revenge in general. Take it easy on the alcohol, the food, the sun. – And stay hydrated! – Yes, absolutely, stay hydrated! – Which is kinda a really nice way to get to my number four. – Okay, shoot! – Many people traveling to Mexico for the first time don’t necessarily know this, but drinking from the sink is not safe. Do not drink water from the sink. You will have plenty of bottles in the room, all throughout the resort.

The cocktails will be made with safe drinking water, but do not drink water from the sink. – I do not, when I brush my teeth, I do not used the tap water. I use the bottle water, too, just to be absolutely certain. – Just to be safe. – Definitely, number four? – My number four is swim in a cenote. A very cool thing about the Yucatan is they have cenotes all around there, – That’s a good one! – which is kind of like a sunken hole. It’s like a underwater cave, and the Mayan culture had the belief that it refreshes your soul, and gets you closer to the gods. It’s a very cool experience, so be sure to ask your travel agent what cenote they suggest that’s closest to the resort that you’re staying at.

– I agree, it’s a great experience. – It’s beautiful. – It’s cold, but it’s a great experience. – It is really cold! (laughing) That’s part of the experience. – Throwing a little bit of a curve ball at you, but you should offer number three also. – Okay, my number three! Okay, so if you’re celebrating a honeymoon or an anniversary, be sure and tell your travel agent, because a lot of times they’re able to throw in some extra complimentary amenities that will be included if you’re going within 30 or 60 days from your honeymoon or your anniversary. Things like a spa certificate, or a candlelight dinner for two on the beach, something special like that. Be sure and tell your travel consultant if you are celebrating something.

– Number three! – So my number three is, some people have expressed concern about the safety recently in Mexico, and I would have to say that there’s nothing to worry about. The resorts are really safe. The all-inclusive resorts have one of the best safety programs, I guess. It’s just, it’s really safe, so there’s really nothing to worry about. – I don’t know how many times I’ve been there. Like, 30, 40, 50 times I’ve been down there.

I have never felt unsafe. – We take our kids every year. – Yeah, I don’t remember ever feeling unsafe there. I can’t say the same about Dallas, or you know. There’s been times in Dallas, like, uh oh! But, so far, no issues in Mexico. My number three, timeshare. Avoid the timeshare. Not a good idea to make major financial decisions on vacation, when you’ve been drinking and stuff. Avoid it in general. The other part of the timeshare thing is that it’s just a way of life now, it’s unfortunately with us. They’re gonna, probably, hound you about timeshare.

Politely say, I’m not interested, please leave me alone. If it gets worse than that, you can go to the front desk, ask for the manager, ask them, say, please leave me alone. The reason I bring this up is whenever our clients travel, we always call them back when they get home and say, how’d the trip go, what worked and didn’t work? By far the number one complaint we get, I mean, it’s not even close, is timeshare, is being bugged by the timeshare. Just politely say, please leave me alone. If that doesn’t work, go to the front desk, ask for the general manager. Ask them to leave you alone. If that doesn’t work, contact us. Text us, email us, if you have to, call us. We’ll try and get involved and get it taken care of. These people, the hotels don’t want to have them bother you to ruin the vacation. The problem is it is such a huge money maker. Really, a bad financial deal for the people who are buying a timeshare. Such a huge money maker, but the people who sell it are really incentivized to go after it pretty hard.

– Yep, that was my second one, too. (laughing) – It’s your turn, it’s number two, so you got the same thing! – Just watch out for them, seriously. They will try to get you to come to their presentations by telling you, we’ll give you a spa certificate, and it’s just not worth the time, it’s really not. They’ll even give you a call sometimes in the room. Just politely say no thanks and have fun, and don’t even deal with them. – Some people in my family like to go to those presentations just to get the free stuff. I would hate that, because it’s a couple of hours of your vacation. But, yeah, just don’t sign the dotted line.

Let’s say that, no one has ever uttered the words, I wish I had bought that timeshare, ’cause now I’m back in the US and I can’t find it. If you fell in love, you absolutely have to have a timeshare, it’s on the resale market. People have gotten home, realized it’s a bad deal, and try to dump them on the resale market. Don’t do it in the destination. You probably shouldn’t do it at all, but certainly at the destination, don’t do it. Okay, we’re down to, that was your second? – Number two.

– Yeah, it’s me for number two. I looked for one, I couldn’t find mine. But, anyway, a lanyard. They have these lanyards, like five bucks or 10 bucks is a lanyard, and it’s waterproof, the little holder is waterproof. It’s big enough to where you can fit things in it like your room key and some money. It’s perfect for when you’re in a resort if you don’t want to carry around all your stuff.

One thing, you’re in the pool, your stuff, maybe your wallet is over there, trying to keep an eye on it. I just throw my room key, some money in it, and go. I can get in the pool, go to the swimming pool, and all that stuff, and not have to worry about where my stuff is. You can find them on Amazon, five bucks, 10 bucks, waterproof lanyard. Works great, a little pouch, holding stuff in there. That way you don’t have to carry your stuff around. – That’s a good idea. – What’s your number two? – My number two is to head south. If you’re staying at least four nights in the Cancun area, I strongly suggest heading to my favorite part of the Cancun, Riviera Maya area, which is going to be about an hour and a half to two hours south of the hustle and bustle of Cancun.

Down there you have Akumal and Tulum. Akumal is, in the native Hawaiian language, it means the place of the turtle, so you can swim with turtles all year round there. There’s also, down there, the Tulum ruins, which is my favorite archeological site. The views from those pyramids is impeccable, so yes. I just strongly suggest to head south and see all the wonders that it offers down there. – Let me jump on that, because it is interesting that, our agency is guilty of it too, sometimes.

We do, kind of, yeah, you shouldn’t go down there, because it’s gonna be an extra 45 minutes in the car. It’s, like, an hour and a half total, round trip, and you got some fantastic resorts down there. Do keep an open mind, and if you are gonna go down there, there are some specials that you can get, the non-stop transfers. So all of the sudden, it’s the same amount of time almost to get down there with the non-stop transfers if you do the regular transfer in going to the northern part of Riviera Maya. So, yeah, I agree with you. – That’s true. – 100% agree. Okay, so now we all did our number twos. Is that right? – That was number two, yeah. On to number one? – We all did number two. – I think I’ll start with my number one. My number one, like I said, we do so much of the all-inclusives.

These resorts will advertise no tipping required, don’t worry about tipping. I think you need to tip a little bit, and here’s why. You give a few bucks here and there, it really does, number one, it helps people out, but, number two, you’re gonna get some really great service, even above and beyond. What I’ll typically do at the bar, or when they’re bringing drinks around, I’ll tip every other time that I get a drink. When the bar gets crowded, it’s amazing how all of a sudden you’re the one who they wait on. – They remember your name and your drink. – Absolutely, another thing that’s fascinating is, a lot of times when I go down there, I ask for $2 bills when I go to the bank, and they think they’re lucky. It’s kind of a funny thing there, they say a $2 bill’s lucky, so that really does boost things up a lot. Typically, I’ll give a couple bucks at breakfast, a few bucks at lunch, maybe four or five bucks at dinner. It isn’t as much tipping as we do in the US, but do some tipping, and certainly at the bar do some tipping, and your service will go up even more.

– Completely agree. – How about you, what’s your number one? – Okay, my number one is the whale sharks. Every about June through August, the whale sharks migrate to the Cancun area. They are the largest fish in the sea. I know it sounds like a scary name. They’re extremely friendly. They eat plankton, so that’s right, they’re vegetarians. If you give this tour a try, I promise, it’s something you’ll never forget. Yeah, swim with the whale sharks. It’s a very cool, different experience. – We did that recently. We did this, I guess, last year. It was fantastic, it was amazing. That’s good one. How about you, what’s your number one? – Kind of a little bit of what Tara had mentioned previously, but I really think anyone going to the Riviera Maya, Cancun area should venture out of the resort.

Like she said, there’s so many things to do outside. If you’re not staying at Playa del Carmen, go to Playa del Carmen. If you’re not staying in Cancun, go to Cancun. The Tulum ruins, of course. My personal favorite is an ecological park, Xcaret. It is amazing, it’s so much fun. We can definitely provide you with the resources to book these things and let you know who to contact if you’re interested in all of this. – I am probably the worst at that. I need to do that more. Every time I go, I say this is the time I’m gonna go out and do a lot of things, and I get there, and I get a drink under the shade. – It happens! – I’m just like, I’m staying here.

I’ve got to do that more! I’ve done some of them. (laughing) Anyway, that’s our top five. Thank you all for watching, and go to Cancun, Riviera Maya, have a great time. Thank you!.

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