I can’t believe it’s been 9 days since we’ve been home from our summer vacay to Cabo. Stay tuned for a full recap of our getaway in a separate post, but I really wanted to share some of my travel tips for anyone planning on travelling to Cabo in the near future.
This was our first time so it was an interesting learning experience!
Cabo Travel Tip #1: Schedule a Shuttle To and From the Airport in Advance
If you’re not planning on renting a car for your trip, a shuttle is the best route for airport transportation. I had called the Resort for a recommendation and their recommendation was for a private car service at a whopping $195 one way for 2 people…uh, no thanks! I did a google search and found the Los Cabos Shuttle Service and a shared ride for 2 of us was $30 each way. That’s more like it. We were part of a van pool but lucky us, we were the first drop-off, woo hoo! On the way back to the airport on our departure date, we got an accidental upgrade to an SUV that’s usually used for private car service but because the driver of the van got a speeding ticket at the airport, they took away the permit for the van. That van was suspended from being on airport property so the SUV was the only option. Apparently in Mexico, the penalty is placed on the vehicle rather than the driver. Sucks for them, great for us! …UNTIL, a family of 4 joined our car with a million pieces of luggage so we had to move bags to the front seat, the middle row, back row AND the trunk was so full the driver was not able to see through the rear view mirror. I sure hope they tipped him well. Funny how people feel like the onerous is on the other party to bring the right car to them…really?! How about a “thank you for the nice ride?!” and learn how to pack a little lighter will ya?!
Cabo Travel Tip #2: Don’t Stop in the Airport!
Our friends and the shuttle service warned us that when we pick up our luggage from baggage claim, we are to walk straight out of the airport and the shuttle service will be waiting for us outside. There are a lot of guys trying to stop you along the way out (which is actually very short). If you’re too nice and engage, you’ll be caught in a timeshare sales pitch for the next 90 mins to 3 hours. It’s happened to others, it could happen to you. Just keep walking, avoid eye contact (j/k) and get outside the doors of the airport to your ride. BTW, there’s a bar with food to the left of the exit. If you can’t wait to get to your Resort or Hotel, go ahead and indulge!
Cabo Travel Tip #3: Bring Small Bills
The main currency in Cabo is Mexican Pesos, however they are such a popular travel destination for Americans, they use and accept dollars as well. I had asked a friend prior to leaving if I needed much cash and she said just small bills for tipping and souvenir shopping. Everything else I planned to pay with a credit card to keep it easy. When I arrived, I noticed the currency exchange station at the airport and again, texted my friend to ask whether I should exchange some American dollars for pesos. She assured me it was not necessary and she was right. Besides, it’s such a pain to try and convert the currency in your head every time you pay. Most places have pricing marked in both U.S. Dollars and Pesos and most places are able to give change in dollars if you pay in dollars. I would definitely bring lots of $1 and $5 bills for tipping and small souvenir purchases. I went through my small bills very quickly and found myself exchanging for smaller bills at the hotel several times.
Cabo Travel Tip #4: Bring Your Own Pool Floats
I was so happy that we did this. It made our pool experience so much better. Other guests were asking us if our swim floats were ours and I was happy to say, yes they are. We also caught many kids eyeing our floaties jealously. I would be one of those people if I didn’t have my own. Most of the resorts will allow you to bring your own. We also learned about this through some friends who go to the same location repeatedly and told us they were allowed to bring floaties. Now, I had planned to double check with our resort prior to leaving to make sure it was ok and to check that they had a air pump but I never got a chance to and we just took our chances. It paid off. I would check if I were you, just to be safe. Also make sure you order your floaties in advance so you have them in time for your trip if you’re not travelling during the summer seasons when floaties are readily available. Otherwise, make sure you stop by your local Target or Walmart to grab your goodies. For your convenience, I have linked the ones we brought below.
Cabo Travel Tip #5: Bring a Waterproof Phone Pouch
I purchased these waterproof pouches for our phones in advance and I’m so glad we did. It came in a pack of 2 and it completely allowed us to use our phones in the water without worry. Alexa did a water test on them before we left. The company recommends it and it’s always a good idea just in case you get a faulty one. I highly recommend getting these waterproof cases because if you have young kids or you’re doing fun water activities, you want to be able to capture the moments on your phone. Unfortunately, they didn’t allow us to bring our phones with us on our dolphin experience (that’s how they got us to purchase photos for an exorbitant amount of money!) The neck strap makes it really convenient too, especially when we were on the speed boat ride. Just holding it in your hand is not always sufficient or advisable.
Cabo Travel Tip #6: Bring a Hat
The Mexican sun can be intense so I would highly recommend everyone in the family bring a hat of some sort. I brought a floppy straw hat with me and Alexa brought a baseball cap. I wish I brought a baseball cap too but I made do. This will protect your head when you’re playing in the pool and not actually getting your hair wet and/or when you’re walking around town. For the girls who end up getting braids during their stay (which most do), the braids expose your scalp which opens you up to possible sunburn on your scalp – ouch! The hat will be your savior…BRING A HAT!
Cabo Travel Tip #7: Take the Bus
I had no idea that taking a cab would be so costly! We planned to meet some friends in town who were also in Cabo at the same as we were. It’s about a 20 minute drive. Our Resort was literally a straight shot into Cabo San Lucas. It was a $35 cab ride for the 2 of us!!! I was literally appalled when they told me. “What?! We’re in Mexico”, I exclaimed. “Why is it so expensive?!” Their explanation is that Cabo is the most expensive vacation destination in Mexico…wish someone would have told me that. I swear I thought I was going on a semi-budget holiday – WRONG!!! So, this is when we learned about the bus. I don’t mind public transportation. We use it all the time when we travel – the Metro in Paris, the bus and train in Chicago, the Subway and Bus in New York. It’s only $2 one way per person so $4 round trip. Actually, I think it’s less for children but only one bus driver was honest and actually gave us change. Everyone else kept the change (rude!) So technically, it’s $2/adult and $1.50/child. We did this a couple of times to save money since $70 USD round trip is A LOT OF MONEY!!! Just a little warning…there isn’t always an actual bus stop except for in main areas in town. Along the resort route, just press the button near your hotel and they’ll stop. If you’re unsure, make sure you tell your bus driver where you’re staying. That was my biggest concern, missing our stop, but we never did…pheww!
Cabo Travel Tip #8: Take a pic at the #CABO sign in Town
If you’ve never been, the town of Cabo San Lucas is pretty small and not all that exciting. There is a mall called the Puerto Paraiso. This is where all the resort shuttles drop tourists off. Most of the stores in the mall are stores you find at home so I wouldn’t bother with too much shopping. Besides, it’s NOT cheaper so don’t waste your money. On the back side of the mall is the Marina which then takes you to the beach. There are shops and restaurants and this is also where you can book tours and excursions for less than through your Resort because you can negotiate. Seriously, keep saying no and the price will keep dropping. Just outside of the mall before you get to the marina, there is the #CABO sign where everyone stops to take a picture. If you’re lucky, there won’t be a lot of people, otherwise you’ll have to wait. It’s the obligatory souvenir pic.
I hope you found these travel tips helpful. I will discuss in more detail our experience in another post, but these tips would have helped and did help me so it’s my duty to share them with fellow travelers. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I will be sure to get back to you.
Have a great time!