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Tips for a first timer...

Liberty, Missouri
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120 posts
17 reviews
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Tips for a first timer...

Traveling to Playa Del Carmen. (Sandos Playacar) This will be our first trip out of the States. Would like any and all tips that you can give to help make for easy travel and a wonderful stay. All comments are appreciated.

Eliot, Maine
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721 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Tips for a first timer...

i'll give you a couple, others will chime in. First off when you arrive and after you go thru immigration there wiil be an area that is called the shark tank, they will appear to look official, and will say they have trasportaion, information. free gifts, just walk past them and say no, they are timeshare people and will waste your time. Go thru the doors, your outside and your transfer person will greet you. After your at the resort awhile venture into town, its safe and freindly....Enjoy

Liberty, Missouri
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120 posts
17 reviews
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2. Re: Tips for a first timer...

Thanks! Do you have to stop at all once you are in the airport? Do they have to look through our suit cases at all once we arrive?

Vermont
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218 posts
34 reviews
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3. Re: Tips for a first timer...

The main thing I didn't know our first trip is that on the way home, if you have to change planes (this is US info), you have to re-check your bags! I just figured the buggers would follow us home the same way they followed us to Cancun.

If you've purchased liquids, you take them in your carry-on when you leave Mexico, then put them in your checked luggage before you change planes.

We didn't have any liquids the first time, so didn't think we needed to do anything. But once you leave the "secure" area, you have to be escorted back to get your bags if you didn't do it right away...then your bags have to be searched. This almost caused us to miss our connection, so I hope this tip helps.

Eliot, Maine
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721 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Tips for a first timer...

As you exit, the last check will look at your papers, theres a red and green light if it turns red they check ,if green just keep walking , dont even ask. It's random.

Eliot, Maine
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721 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Tips for a first timer...

One more , checkout the list on the right side of the main page, tons of info..

Boston
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786 posts
52 reviews
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6. Re: Tips for a first timer...

Definitely avoid the timeshare shark frenzy as you leave the airport. ALL transfer vehicles are OUTSIDE the airport. Don't even make eye contact. Just wheel your bags right outside.

Keep all your important travel documents in your safe for the entire trip.

Don't lose your customs receipt you get on the plane before you land in Mexico. You will need this for reentry to the US. If you lose it , you will have to go to a separate window and pay a fee.

Fill out your immigration form on the plane carefully and thoroughly. Most of the immigration guys/gals are okay, but some of the older dudes can be a pain if you forget to check off something..Ugh

Make photocopies of your passport, photo ID and any credit cards you bring. Keep a set at home for a family member to retrieve for you as well as a copy in your carry on luggage

Most important, relax and enjoy your stay in PDC...its just the best!

St Paul, MN
Destination Expert
for Playa del Carmen
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12,872 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: Tips for a first timer...

In addition to the timeshare sharks at the airport, Sandos has their own in house version. They steal valuable vacation time in my opinion. I would recommend a smile and a no gracias.

You are going to love Sandos Playacar, especially if you have kids. You can walk the beach all the way into Playa del Carmen and enjoy some of the beach bars and music. In the evening a trip into Playa is a must to stroll the pedestrian only 5th avenue, lots of street entertainment and beautiful lights. There are a lot of taxis, about every two blocks on the side streets that will wisk you safely back to your resort for 50 pesos or $5 usd, 24/7. Some of the entertainment along 12 calle doesn't even open until about 11 PM.

Please look at the right hand column for tips about Playa del Carmen.

Full moon on the beach Feb 18th, will you be there for the full moon? Carnival will also be coming to Playa just before Ash Wednesday March 9th this year, they usually have parades and bands down 5th avenue for about 6 evenings. The exact dates are not known yet.

CO
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5,477 posts
9 reviews
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8. Re: Tips for a first timer...

All kinds of tips listed on the right under Top Questions...airport tips, travel and how to use the forum tips y mas

United States
Destination Expert
for Copper Harbor
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2,549 posts
267 reviews
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9. Re: Tips for a first timer...

It's very important that when you leave the red/green bag check area that you do not hand your passport to anyone. Maybe if they had a machine gun i would but otherwise, no matter how official looking, don't do it.

Don't be afraid to say "No gracias" smile, and walk on.

oz
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4,451 posts
164 reviews
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10. Re: Tips for a first timer...

SUN BLOCK LOTS AND LOTS OF SUNBLOCK !!! Also dont forget the part in your hair (if you have a part) and lip balm that contains spf. Dont forget to drink water (bottled) but most important ... Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things;) Have a great trip ! If you are checking your luggage dont forget to carry on a bag with your swimsuit and a days worth of clothes just in case your checked bag gets delayed.