Summer In Mexico: The Next Big Adventure

costa-maya-mexico

The plane tickets are booked. In early June the Root of Good family packs up and hits the road for a summer in Mexico.  Just another crazy thing you can do when early retired.

We’ll be chasing the kids up and down pyramids and mountains, into the crystal clear water, and then relaxing in the shade until the smell of grilling meats lures us to the explosive colors of the local markets.

 

Logistics

The adventure begins when we fly into Mexico City in early June.  We depart on a non-stop flight from Charlotte instead of Raleigh, so we are taking an afternoon Greyhound bus halfway across North Carolina the day before.  It’ll be boot camp for all the buses we plan on taking between cities in Mexico.  Except the Mexican buses are ten times nicer than the Greyhound buses here in the US.

mexico-summer-2015-route-map

The plan is to spend a week and a half in Mexico City, then head north to San Miguel de Allende for a couple of weeks.  After that, we head south to Oaxaca for another couple of weeks.  Once departing Oaxaca, the route blurs a bit.  The final destination is Cancun, with possible stops in Villahermosa, Campeche, and Merida for a night or two each.  This is all subject to change if we find a compelling reason to stay in some places more or less than planned (nicer accommodations or more local attractions are two reasons).

In the next post I reveal our trip budget for just over $1,000 per week.  And reveal how we saved thousands of dollars on this trip from travel hacking flights and hotels with credit card bonus offers.

Gear

Since we’ll be gone for almost two months and hopping on and off buses, planes and taxis throughout our journey, I need to evaluate our luggage needs.  We have a range of wheeled suitcases that could work but it would be a huge chore to carry these things more than a block or two.  We already have two small backpacks that can double as suitcases for the two older children and we can use them for daypacks while we’re out exploring each day.

I’m looking at travel backpacks for me and Mrs. Root of Good so we can carry our stuff more easily on this trip and similar trips in the future.  The Mad Fientist shared his backpack choices in his globe-trotting multi-month trip summary, so that’s probably a good place to start the search.  He went with a 43-liter Kelty while his wife went with the Osprey Farpoint 40 liter pack.  I haven’t bought a travel pack like this since I was a teenager so I guess I need to go to a sporting goods store or outdoors outfitter to try a few types on before committing to anything.

For portable electronics, I have a couple of old smartphones and my current Samsung Galaxy S3.  I don’t think any of them work on overseas wireless networks, but we can use them for offline navigating via Google Maps or the Maps.Me app.  We also have a T-Mobile prepaid phone with hundreds of minutes on it that might work in Mexico in a pinch.  To our surprise, it worked perfectly in Canada (although at high international rates that chewed up the minutes pretty fast). Do we want to carry the extra few ounces of weight for an emergency phone?

We have two 15″ laptops that weigh between 4.75 and 5 pounds.  I’m debating between taking one or taking two with us.  Since there will be five of us, it would be nice to have two “full size” entertainment and productivity devices.  But do we really want to carry an extra five pounds of electronics in order to have a full size second device?

A better solution for the second (and possibly third) entertainment device is a 6-7″ tablet like the Amazon Fire HD 7 in the $100-150 range.   I like to read, so I might also go for a 6″ tablet for me or a dedicated e-reader like the Kindle (for $79).  I don’t really want to load up on special purpose electronics that won’t get much use at home, but cutting down on the weight will be nice.  Although I might fall back on good old paperback books since I really enjoy the analog experience.  I don’t think second hand or new English language books will be that hard to come by, and there might even be books at the apartments we will rent or at community libraries.

In an ideal world, I’d like to take a really sharp kitchen knife with me.  Since the friendly TSA agents typically frown on things like that in carry on luggage, I’ll probably skip it.  Another food-related gadget that I would love is a multi-purpose tool or pocketknife for those times when you really want to cut up some fresh fruit from the market while on the go.  Mmmm mangos mmmmm.

Concerns

We’re traveling with three kids including a three year old.  Many of the concerns revolve around the kids and how they will deal with the sometimes adverse conditions on the road.

For the kids, I’m concerned about whining, picky eaters, heat, and mosquitoes.  Any one or two of those in isolation isn’t that bad.  Three or four, taken together, can turn a fun trip into a not so fun one.  I don’t like the heat and mosquitoes that much either, so we plan on spending more time in regions that have nice weather and less time in the hot and humid locales.  If it is hot and buggy, air conditioned hotel rooms and bug spray will become very important.

tired-kids-mexico

Their first taste of Mexico. It was hot.

I addressed the security concerns of traveling in Mexico in this post.  People think Mexico equals gang warfare, kidnappings and severe violence spilling blood in the streets.  That’s about the exact opposite of what most of the country is like most of the time.  Getting sick from drinking the water or food poisoning is a concern (also addressed in a future post).

Exhaustion is another concern, so we’ll be taking slow travel to heart.  While on our five week road trip to Canada last year, we all decided we had enough fun for one summer half way through the trip and returned home early.  The two year old will be three this year, making the trip much easier for us.  But will we make it?  Stay tuned to find out!

 

Why?

Top goals of the trip are relaxation, good food, and adventure.  Oaxaca has been on my radar for a while since some consider it the food mecca of Mexico.  I have to visit to verify the accuracy of that claim one huarache stand at a time.  We like to cook at home, and I hope to learn a few new tricks while eating my way across Mexico.

San Miguel de Allende (SMA) gets good press as a cool little expat town with good weather.  Unfortunately we are visiting during the hottest time of the year, but it’s still very moderate compared to our North Carolina summers.  I want to investigate SMA to see just how relaxing it is there.  Jeremy and Winnie at Go Curry Cracker had a great time in their $1,000 per month three bedroom house, and we hope to find a similarly nice place for our two week stay.

We chose Cancun as the final destination on the trip because I couldn’t find a return flight from anywhere closer to Mexico City (other than Guatemala City).  I booked tickets using frequent flyer miles and had a hard time finding return flights home for the five of us in July, so we compromised on location instead of trip length.  I’ve always wanted to visit the Yucatan peninsula (for more than a day like on our cruise to Mexico last year), and this was an easy way to make it happen while saving money and frequent flyer points.  Having the time to be flexible paid off big time in this case.

Fifteen years ago Mrs. Root of Good and I spent six weeks traveling around the northern and central parts of Mexico on a shoestring budget ($700 each for six weeks).  This time, we are returning with more money and more kids for round two of our Mexican adventures.

 

 

What’s the longest trip you’ve ever taken?  Was it too short or too long?

 

 

75 comments

  • Now THIS seems like a great project to find fabulous Mexican food – unlike Quebec City LOL! I am envious!

    • Yes it is. Don’t be jealous, come on down!

    • Be brave and go down side streets if you really want to find great (AND CHEAP!) Mexican food. In Cozumel, Merida or Cancun you can spend $15 on a meal at a fancy-schmanzy restaurant on the main drag — or take a side street for a couple of blocks and eat like a (Mexican) king for $3.

      Enjoy!

      • That’s how we operated last time. I think that’s a good trick in many touristy areas. And so many times, the “world famous” places are pretty average and not much different than the no name places next door or around the corner for 1/2 the price or less (and without lines).

  • This is awesome! 🙂 Hope you have fun! Can’t wait to read about your adventures. I’m Mexican and still feel like Mexico is not safe. A lot of it is media though. My hubby won’t go unless it’s Cancun until it’s safer.

    • I think you mentioned your family is in Monterrey. That’s sort of borderline “safe” according to our US Dept of State travel advisory. Basically it says violence is decreasing but still happens sporadically. We won’t be going back to Monterrey (yet) but hope to some day. Hopefully not in the summer because it was hoooooot last time we were there (like 100+ degrees). I’ll have a full safety and security run down on our trip and our destinations in early April, but basically everywhere we’re going has been deemed “safe enough”.

  • Wow… all I can say is AWESOME. I have not been on any extended period trips (longer than a week). But this sounds great. I definitely want to travel using some of the GCR methods of renting an apartment for an extended period of time. They seem like much better experiences and much cheaper than hotels! Can’t wait to hear about the trip!

    • We are planning on apartment stays of 1+ week in a few cities. Definitely the way to go, although monthly rentals seem to be the sweet spot where you get huge discounts. One cool little house we are looking at is $500 for 1 week or $700 for the whole month for example. I’m thinking about spending more time there if we end up booking this particular house.

  • I spent a summer living in Cuernavaca in college. We spent a lot of weekends traveling around Mexico. One of the greatest summers of my life. Super jealous that’s how you’ll be spending it!

  • Nice, my wife and I did a similar trip in 2008 starting in Cancun and traveling to Merida, San Cristabol and Oaxaca by bus. The first class bus (ADO) was very nice. The crime fear seems overblown to me. We also went down to Guatemala which probably is a lot more dangerous but a fascinating place. Have fun!

    • We loved the buses. It’s like first class on a plane except on the ground. And about 1/100 the price.

      We could have flown out of Guatemala City, but I figured I would save that for a future trip.

      • Yes, who would have “thunk it” that buses could come in different classes?!

        Years ago, I traveled across the channel from Cozumel and then bussed it to Merida. What a hoot at the bus station to see modern buses (including a/c, reclining seats, onboard movies and plane-type restrooms) parked along beat-up “livestock” specials on which you stand a good chance of being seated next to a cage of chickens!

        Can you guess which bus I took? 😀

        • 2nd class chicken bus, right? 🙂 Or those must be third class, because some intercity second class in Mexico is still pretty decent (basically greyhound equivalent, possibly without a bathroom and maybe with extra blaring movies on the overhead TV). I’m tempted to go 2nd class if we aren’t riding for more than a few hours if the cost savings are there (and it doesn’t stop at every little village along the way).

          But I’ve definitely been on those buses that carry livestock. A total WTF moment, and much wilder than the time I saw a dude get on the bus in Raleigh with stolen electronics and someone else chasing him to get it back.

  • The trip sounds awesome! I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures. I went to Mexico City for a business trip for 4 days but didn’t see much of the area. I am not sure whether I want to go back there for a holiday and would be interested in reading about your experience.

    • There’s some cool things to see (and eat) in Mexico City, but many of the real gems are outside the city. The weather is generally very nice in the city though.

  • I love the Yucatan region. Merdia is a wonderful city with a big market. If you have time when you get to Cancun, consider taking the ferry over to Isle Mujeres – http://www.isla-mujeres.net/home.htm. Sleepy little gem of a place that is more laid back and much less touristy then Cancun. Have a great trip!

  • Will you be posting more about the costs/point used for the trip? At some point I will be doing the same with our family of four. I have heard good things about Oaxaca as well. My wife has family near Cancun, so we may have a similar routre to this as well. I will definitely be interested to read more about it!

    • Yes, the next post is all about our travel budget, how we saved money on the trip, and travel hacking listing the specific cards and pts we used to get free/cheap flights and hotels. Should come out on Monday. Stay tuned! 🙂

  • For offline navigation, I’ve used osmand (http://osmand.net/). It does offline walking directions which I couldn’t get with google maps and they seem to have maps for everywhere. It theoretically does offline driving directions too but I have been a pedestrian/public transit user for my oversees travels so I can’t vouch for that part of it.

    • Offline walking and/or public transit GPS would be great (well, public transit in Mexico City only since the local buses elsewhere probably aren’t indexed by google or other mapping providers). Did you go with the $5.99 paid version or the free version?

      • I downloaded one of the APKs (aka the free version). At this point it’s probably been useful enough that I should be nice and support them somehow. I just need to figure out how to get money in the google app store I guess.

        • Right – I don’t want to have to figure out how to link a credit card for 1 purchase, then unlink it so there won’t be any subsequent unintentional charges.

          I’ll give the free version a shot and see how it looks.

  • Sounds like a fantastic trip! If you’re not ready to look like a real backpacker, you could try a regular suitcase that converts to a backpack like this one from Rick Steves:
    http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/catalog/index.cfm?fuseaction=product&theParentId=8&id=346
    I’ve had one for years and traveled all over Europe with it. Good luck!

    • Thanks, I’ll take a look. I had a bag with a similar design and the straps ripped out of the bag (while we were in Mexico actually). Any problems with that if it’s packed full?

      • Nope! It always seems to be the bag I can stuff just one more thing into. But, I don’t have a lot of heavy stuff like hiking boots or a laptop. If you will be carrying a heavy pack I can see why you would want a more traditional bag.

        • I’m not sure how heavy our bags will end up being, but between ~4 days of clothes, a 5 lb computer plus 1 lb of computer gear, toiletries, a travel guide, and stuff for the youngest kid, it can add up. The goal is to travel with 2 backpacks (1 per adult) and 2 large-ish bookbags (1 per older child).

  • Wow, this looks awesome! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures 🙂

  • I was just in SMA on Friday night for a party. Eat at La Parada, a Peruvian restaurant. Good prices and GREAT food.

    Chiapas and Oaxaca are still on my “must see ” list but I’ve not made it down there yet. Looking forward to your report on Oaxaca.

    Enjoy!

    • Thanks for the tip, it’s on the list!

      Oaxaca has been on my “must see list” for a while, so hopefully it will live up to my hyped version of it.

  • I can recommend you look into Queretaro for your way to/from SMA. I’ve been twice for work and the number of aerospace and automotive companies in the area keep it pretty nice.

    • I’ll check it out. We’ll be passing through and probably connecting buses there to San Miguel de Allende, so a short stay will happen for sure. I’m hoping we can pack light enough that we can stop on the way to places, get out of the bus station and check out the cities along the way.

  • michaelrecycles

    Sounds awesome. Yucatan is a different world. I’d shift more time over there. Chichen Itza is probably on your list, but also check out Uxmal. We only spent a couple days in Merida and wish we had longer.

    • michaelrecycles

      Forgot to mention, Yucatan also has countless cenotes where you can cool off.

    • There’s always a next trip. 🙂 Cancun has pretty cheap fares from Raleigh and short flights, so I can definitely see us heading back at some point if we want more. Hopefully when it’s not as hot. It was brutal when we were there in September last year. That picture of my kids slumped over pretty much summarizes how they felt. So my expectations are a little low and we might have to stick to mornings and evenings out and about and mid-day in an air conditioned hotel room for a siesta, movie theater, pool, etc.

  • I’ll echo the comments that this looks awesome as heck! And I’m really looking forward to the deets on travel cost while in Mexico. We’ve got a 2 year old with one on the way. I’d love to try something like this in 4-5 years when it’s more like a 4 and 6 year old. Still the chance for intense whining on the trip, but it should be easier from a not managing a two year old in unfamiliar locations standpoint.

    • I think there’s a big difference between 2 and 3. And between 3 and 4. 4 is probably the sweet age where everything is still new and awesome to them but they can handle being without food and sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Here’s another saying I just made up: “If there’s whine, there’s always wine.”

      • Yeah, that’s the step I’m looking for before we do much serious traveling. Right now if there’s a change to the routing then nobody’s happy hah!

        And to go along with your saying when there’s tears there’s always beers!

    • You might be surprised by your two year old. We’ve been travelling with ours since he was 4 months old and now he is in the midst of the terrible twos but we still find the adventure and excitement of new places are enough to overcome any tantrums. We try to plan travel around nap time and keep a routine going. Although I am a little worried we might have ruined any chance of him ever being happy with a static life. That said he was an absolute champion on the 6 hour bus ride from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara last year, of course those luxury Mexican buses help make travel with kids simpler.

  • Oh, I am so jealous. I lived in Mexico for a while in Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos. I am sure you have explored a lot of the stuff, but if you haven’t already visiting Teotihuacan outside of Mexico City is great. Chapultepec Park will be great for the kids (Central Park of Mexico City). La Zona Rosa in M.C. is the hub for fashion, food, etc. Not really that expensive.

    If you can get to Taxco it has some of the best and inexpensive silver in the world. I only mention that because exploring some of the mines is fascinating.

    And if you can visit Chichen Itza and/or Coba for some fascinating history and ruins (if you hadn’t notice I am a fan of the ruins).

    Good luck and looking forward to future posts.

    • I lived in Cuernavaca for a summer and it’s definitely nice (or it was anyway). Not sure if we’ll make a stop there this time around. Also visited Teotihuacan, Chapultepec, Zona Rosa, Taxco on previous trips. We’ll have to show the kids some of those places though.

  • BTW, Cenotes are pretty easy to find. You can always do one of those tours, depending on how you get to Chichen Itza, Coba, etc. A good chunk of them combine things together including a dip in a Cenote, but it isn’t hard to find them and/or hire a driver to take you. Lots of fun and they do have life jackets for your kids.

  • My husband and I just spent a week in Oaxaca and loved it. We managed to see quite a bit in that time but that was without kids. Check out our blog — pictures and descriptions of places we visited. We are on an extended stay (3 months) in Mexico and just loving it.

    • I just checked out your blog. Looks good! We’re definitely planning on visiting Monte Alban ruins while in Oaxaca. I didn’t realize it’s just west of town until yesterday.

  • Having spent a few months in the Yucatan, I would strongly recommend Merida over Cancun as a base. Or if you are going to be on the East of the Yucatan, then either island mujeres, playa del Carmen or Tulum.

    Merida is the most ‘real’ of those places. Tons of activities that are fun for visitors, but are put on for and by the locals – dancing every night in the various plazas, lot’s of baile folklorico, easy day trips to Chichen Itza, and various other less known ruins. Maybe take a few days to go up north to Rio lagartos, then isla mujeres, and skip Cancun itself to go to playa del Carmen or Tulum and some cenotes in the area.

    Seriously, any of those places is a nicer base than Cancun, unless you want the mega resort experience.

    • Thanks for the advice! We’re pretty wide open in terms of where and what we are doing in the Yucatan. There’s a cool hotel that we can get for free using very few points right in the zona hotelera in Cancun, so there’s that (and it might be the total “big resort” feel, which is okay for a few days and a decent way to close out the trip!).

      I’m really concerned about the heat in general in the Yucatan since we have young kids with us. July is probably the worst month for that unfortunately. I think Merida will be a stopover for us for a few days though.

  • This sounds awesome! What a fabulous trip for your family–it’ll be something your kids will always remember. We’ve never taken a trip longer than a week or so since our jobs just don’t allow for it. Definitely looking forward to having the option once we’re retired! We’ve always wanted to be able to do slow travel, but it just hasn’t been a practical possibility for us.

    A quick note on the packs–Mr. FW uses an Osprey as his hiking/biking pack and I have an REI brand pack. REI sales, and especially their “garage sales” where they put out super discounted stuff, could be great sources. Looking forward to hearing more about this adventure!

    • While we were working, this kind of trip would have been nearly impossible for sure!

      Thanks for the tip on the packs. I figure I’ll hit REI and some of the other outfitters to see what’s available and if there are any sales. I’m also thinking craigslist might be worth a look since I sold my old external frame pack on there for $60 a few years ago. I think it was from REI.

  • How wonderful – it sounds like it will be another great vacation! I was SO excited to read your previous journeys up to Canada and seeing some sights that I’ve seen through your pictures..I forgot which side of the picture I was on! Reading through your post, then all the comments, started a seed in my mind: if I stick with my job, I qualify for 4 weeks of vacation next year, and it would be perfect for taking a whole month to explore our neighbor to the south. Thank you for the inspiration, as I had never even considered it an option before – I want to go to Mexico to see all the ancient sites and cities, but it just never sank in that it is possible to get from one place to another easily/safely/frugally (I guess I am one of those “Are you sure it’s better than it sounds down there?” people..I must get over this!) Thank you!!!!

    Like another commenter, I look forward to the costs post, as well as all the travel ones. 🙂

    • It’s like 80% better than you hear and 20% as bad as you hear. 🙂 Mostly good though.

      It’s definitely a frugal dream since virtually everything a long term traveler needs is cheaper down there. The only thing I recall being more expensive from my last long term trip 15 years ago were durable goods like washers, dryers, and cars plus electronics. Other than replacing a broken gadget, I probably won’t be buying any of that stuff. 🙂

      Definitely stay tuned for the costs post because it’ll have a lot of detail on what you can get by with. We’re about to book a sweet place in San Miguel de Allende for $60/nt that is actually a main house and a separate apartment that sleeps 8. 2 kitchens, 2 living rooms, etc. Considering we dropped double that for a 1.5 star Super 8 motel in Jersey while visiting NYC (which was really really really nice for a Super 8 FYI), this place looks like a palatial mansion.

  • Sounds great and it will be a lifetime memory the two month adventure for the family. I’ve stayed over a month in the Caribbean back in the 90s, it was fun. Now as an adult, the most I’ve stayed somewhere is 3 weeks in Asia. Good luck and enjoy feeling rich with the great exchange rate.

    • I love having a split second reaction of “oh, that’s kind of expensive”. Then dividing by 15 to convert from pesos to dollars and once again grow amazed by the low prices.

  • Not that you need a reason, but what is the driver for locations?

    My kids are in Spanish Immersion school now, and I would love to do something like this with them! Love your blog, and makes me want to get back down to Triangle area. Hard to see myself where you are in Northern VA where houses seem to all be 600k+

    Keep up great content!

    • As for the destinations, we wanted to visit some new places we’ve never been (Oaxaca, SMA, Merida, Cancun) and also revisit some more familiar places (Mexico City, Teotihuacan).

      I’m hoping the kids pick up some Spanish while down there, and they have already started on Spanish language lessons on Duolingo. I’m fairly proficient, but also started practicing Spanish too.

      Low fixed costs like housing definitely helps big time to undertake journeys like this. If we had a huge mortgage, property tax bills, car payments, etc we wouldn’t feel as comfortable spending $$ on long term travel knowing we’re also paying to maintain this expensive lifestyle back home. Of course, we would still be working to pay for that expensive lifestyle, so we wouldn’t even have time to travel. 🙂

  • Hello Justin,

    Ah, do we envy you guys! Great plan, should be great fun and I’m looking forward to the follow up posts.

    As for your questions, our longest trip was in 2014, we did the Netherlands for 6 weeks and another 3 thereafter in the USA (road trip). How did we do this? “Parental Leave”, which was gracefully sponsored by the lovely Canadian government. We took our then 7-10 month old along with us (obviously). Had no major issues actually, flights and travels all went fairly well (few exceptions though, the twisting road to the Oregon cost did cause several throw-ups along the way unfortunately, not the best experience ever).

    As for the duration, it was way too short. This trip is what actually made us consider early retirement and upon return we started our quest to FIRE. Now we just need to get there and then travel some more. I’ve added the link to our”Traveling” post on our blog for your entertainment.

    Cheers, Mr. FSF.

    • Wow, you guys do some serious travel! Great pics. And I have to add you’re much more adventurous than us when it comes to traveling with kids! Kudos for making it happen.

  • Oaxaca ….so jealous..

    Used tmobile overseas this summer…worked great…unlimited 3g/text for free…as well as 20 cents a minute (with existing plans)

    http://www.t-mobile.com/optional-services/roaming.html

  • Long-time lurker but just had to comment because I’m about to move to Queretaro (and we’ve traveled kind of a lot in Mexico) and your trip sounds fantastic! Just a couple of things:

    if your kids start to melt, you might think about going from Oaxaca to San Cristobal de las Casas (it is at elevation, so it’s cooler there) before making your way to the the Yucatan

    also, we traveled in the off-season last year, and on certain bus routes they offered discounted bus tickets if you book in advance (we booked 2 days in advance from Puebla to Oaxaca and it was like 40% off)

    Buen viajes!

    • Thanks for the tip. Maybe we’ll stop by San Cristobal on the way to Cancun. We’re not big fans of heat, and partly the reason we’re escaping North Carolina in June/July.

      I’ll have to check those bus ticket discounts. I noticed the 1st class/luxury lines have decent websites and different promotions going on. So far I can’t seem to get tickets priced for June, so they must only sell 60 days our or so.

      FYI, I had to remove your url since the domain wouldn’t resolve and gave me a 404 error (which sent this msg to spam!).

  • How do you plan to keep the kids occupied when traveling for hours at a time or on days when you don’t feel like leaving the house? You had mentioned wanting to travel light. Do you plan on taking toys? Multiple tablets so they don’t fight? We are planning an extended trip as well and my brain is dead for ideas. We have a three year old with no sibling to distract him. Thanks for the info!

    • I’m not sure if we’ll have 1 tablet per kid, but we will definitely have my Samsung Galaxy phone and 1 laptop. I can see getting 1-2 more tablets or e-readers (and they tend to be light weight too). We might also buy books if the kids get bored, or borrow from the selections at the houses where we are staying.

      For toys, we might bring a frisbee and a small ball but probably not any toys. I’m open to ideas and haven’t really thought about it a lot.

      There’s also the constant entertainment of simple errands. Going to the store or market to grab something becomes an adventure.

  • Sounds Awesome! Type of thing I would love to do in ER or hopefully sooner when my debt emergency is paid off.

    To your question my longest vacation was 7 weeks in 2007 in a RV trip around US for my parents 30th anniversary with them, both my sisters, brother in law and my wife. Yes 7 adults, 7 weeks, 1 – 32 foot RV.

    It was definitely too short!! Longest I’ve managed since then is 15 days. We have another 15 day coming up this Summer

    Have a great time, looking forward to reading more.

    • Wow, that’s a lot of people in one RV! And a lot of time on the road if you traveled all the way from east coast to west and back.

      Sounds like fun though!

  • This looks like an interesting trip.

    One option for phone you might look into is Cricket Wireless. They have unlimited calling to Mexico in one of their plans. It might be worth seeing if you can call “from” Mexico. If so, get their ZTE Grand X Max + phone/tablet = phablet and you have both a phone and a tablet. It is 6″. You could just sign up for 1 month and then cancel the service. Just one idea.

    The trip certainly should be an adventure.

  • You might want hit Puebla if you are a foodie. Puebla is a high altitude city (read cool in summer) and is historically considered the heart of gastronomy in Mexico- Oaxaca being a much more recent addition in this category. You might like San Cristobal de Las Casa too because of the high altitude climate for summer. I try to stay “high” in Mexico in the summertime as I don’t care for the energy sapping heat, nor the bugs . Have fun!

    • We stayed in Puebla for a while on our last trip down. Definitely had some mole poblano dishes while there and it was delicious. I’m with you on the weather. We’ll have 6 weeks at high altitude and just 1 week in the hot areas. I’m a little concerned it’ll get hot on some days since we won’t have air conditioning for those 6 weeks at high elevations.

  • The border towns are the dangerous areas – stay away from those and you’ll be OK 🙂 Because you’ll be gone so long, look at taking your T-mobile phone (make sure it’s unlocked), and just buy a SIM card when you land in Mexico City – you’ll be able to make “in-country” calls very easily, and relatively cheaply. You won’t know your number ahead of time, but that’s not usually a big deal.
    As to my longest trip: 4 weeks in Europe – with a backpack (an Eagle Creek interior frame with a built-in cover to convert it to soft-sided luggage – I still have it and use it 15 years later)

  • I took a cross country trip via interstate 10 almost 2 years ago. The trip lasted only 2 weeks. That was not enough time. I only got to stay in Phoenix for one day. Also I was only in Los Angeles for four days. That wasn’t enough either.

    • Sounds hectic! I’ve mapped out a cross country round trip and can’t fit it into a summer since it’ll be so much driving and not enough down time and relaxing.

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