Have you recently been dreaming of doing a long-haul holiday? Maybe Instagram has inspired you? Thousands of holiday-makers are making plans to hit the beaches once again this year to one of our favourite destinations in the world. This prototypical paradise is perfect for adventure seekers, beach seekers and people looking for relaxation. If you want to make the most of your trip, we’ve put together 10 top tips from travellers and experts which you’ll want to know before you get there.

1. Book offseason at the resorts

Cancun, Mexico
The weather is warm all year-round in Cancun and the busiest tourist time is between December and April. Spring Break also occurs around March so bear this in mind when booking, especially if you’re heading for relaxation. The best time to travel for people who want to avoid crowds and peak prices is in September to November. If you travel throughout September to November you might see a few more periods of afternoon showers, but this is the best time to take naps, bar hopping or shopping. If those aren’t your kind of things, Cancun offers plenty of rainy-day activities. Either way you won’t be stuck in your hotel rooms. The hotel district offers dozens of shops, bars and amenities to keep you entertained until the sun comes out again.

2. When To Go? Hurricane Season & Rain

People always tend to be worried about the weather over anything else. Will it rain? Will it be sweltering hot? Cold? No one is to know for 100% sure what the weather will be like, but fortunately, we do have a very good guide to go off. The Hurricane Season begins in the Atlantic on the 1st of June and ends on November 30th. Yet most hurricanes occur throughout July and October. However, the odds of a hurricane are rare and the hotels are very well prepared if a storm was to strike. The Cancun area has only been hit by two major hurricanes: Gilbert on September 15, 1988 and Wilma on October 21, 2005, 17 years apart.

There’s a little more rain in the summer months, between June and October, but it’s usually just an hour or two in the evening – the rest of the time it’s blue skies and sunshine. Our best advice? Make sure you take out adequate Travel Insurance. Overall in general, January is deemed as the coolest month and July being the hottest with passing showers.

3. Learn Some Spanish

Not only will you get a friendly response but you’re also showing a sign of respect to the country that you’re in. Of course this is not mandatory, but you also feel pretty awesome when you’re speaking another language, correctly! It’s also handy to bring some dollars with you aside from your pesos as it’s polite to tip. Like most countries, Mexico amongst many other cities and resorts depend heavily on incoming tourism to keep money coming in.

4. Take Plenty Of Sun Cream

I know this seems like an obvious one right? Yet we couldn’t recommend it enough. I would recommend you take more than you usually would to mainland spain. If you catch a day where the weather is overcast,  be sure to still apply the sun cream. Even if it’s passing shower and you happen to be out and about, you can still catch a tan due to the weather being so humid and hot. More importantly, protect your skin from cancer.

5. Mexico is NOT a scene out of “Breaking Bad”

If you’re a diehard fan of Breaking Bad like myself, you might have thought Mexico is about huge drug cartlels and meth. It’s not. The stigma around Mexico has scared some people off from travelling to Mexico. Whilst there are certainly some towns that pocket violence, main hotel zones are generally very safe and are away from those sort of towns and villages.

6. Attend a Turtle Release

Turtle Release, Mexico
Who isn’t a fan of Turtles? We can’t think of anyone who isn’t! If you’re arriving during the right time of year you might notice a roped-off area on the beach, indicating turtle hatchlings. Adorable! Hotels have turtle-release parties several times a week — most often in August and September. The best time to view this is to head out at dusk to watch the little green sea turtles and loggerheads fight their way out to sea. Mexico have a duty of care to these turtles and take great pride in looking after their wildlife.

7. Bring plenty of Linen and Cotton Clothing

Depending on what time of the year you’re travelling, if it’s within the summer, linen and cotton will be your saviours trust me. Mexico is hot all year round, but the humidity and temperatures within the Summer can be rather uncomfortable if you don’t come prepared. These natural fabrics help the skin to breathe. So the next time you see a local walking around in full-length trousers and wonder how the hell he or she hasn’t passed out already, you now know why. Plus, their body has already adapted to the climate so they’re used to this weather. Synthetics such as polyester, on the other hand, actually trap your body heat.

8. Don’t like Tacos? No Problem

Whilst you can definitely find Tacos on the menu, you shouldn’t stop there when there are also tortas, tamales and mole poblano to sink your teeth into. Each region of Mexico boasts its own local specialties. In the Yucatán, for example, you’ll find Mayan-influenced dishes, like cochinita pibil — pork slow roasted in banana leaves with bitter orange marinade — and lime soup. As a fussy eater, this doesn’t typically make my mouth water, but Mexico is a must if you’re a food lover.

9. There’s more to drink and buy than just Tequila

Tequilia is amazing, don’t get me wrong. Whilst Tequilia and coffee are very popular across Mexico, tourists looking for souvenirs or something slightly off the wall to bring home can definitely find that in the local markets.

10. Do NOT drink the local water

This tends to be a common warning for travellers heading to Mexico, but in fact, it should be a warning to any country. Drinking water in a different country can can make you feel sick no matter where you go, yet even residents in Mexico don’t trust their own tap water. Whilst some people will say tap water is relatively safe to drink, try and stick to bottled water. If you’re eating or drinking out in Mexico, be cautious of ice beverages and try to avoid using the tap water to brush your teeth with. In case of accidental ingestion, be sure to pack an anti-diarrhea medicine like Immodium to slow diarrhea enough to allow you to make it through a flight, bus ride or even during your evening meal. You could also pack a small bottle of Iodine tables which can be used to purify the water if you’re overly cautious.

11. Travel Insurance

Since you’re not just going to be a 2 hour flight away from home, I would strongly recommend you take time choosing your Insurance policy. If you’re the type of person that thinks “I don’t need travel insurance, i’ll be extra careful!”, then you’re really quite daft. Since you’re heading long-haul as well, if you already have insurance in place, I would double check the policy. Travel Insurance doesn’t just cover you if you need to go to hospital, you’re covered for so many things depending on the type of insurance you take out. AXA Insurance is one insurance product that is a well-known, trusted and reputable brand if you need a good, recommendation.

If in the unfortunate circumstances you or a loved one ends up in hospital you’ll want to make sure that your insurance policy claims that it will settle hospital bills whilst yourself or a loved one is in hospital. Some insurances don’t tend to pay whilst you’re out there, instead, you will settle the bill and when you return home you can put in for a claim and they will then send the money to you.