There are some details to take care of before attempting to cross the international border into any country of course, but each is different.
And until this time, I was only really familiar with crossing between Canada and the US.
I’d flown into England my graduating spring from high school but it was a school thing so we just did what our chaperones told us to do! When I went to Mexico a few years later with a youth group again it was the chaperones that took care of most of it.
Last year crossing into Baja California we went with experienced friends who told us the ropes, and my chaperone Everette took care of most of the details while I filled out forms and managed the kids. No vehicle permit is needed for Baja.
So this crossing into mainland Mexico was really a first time Karen-do-it-all sort of thing.
BC vehicle insurance covers us traveling across our big country of Canada and anywhere in the USA but it’s no good in Mexico or any other country. So I purchased Mexican insurance online and got it printed off.
It isn’t mandatory, and I don’t need any proof of it when crossing the border. But most Mexicans don’t have their vehicles insured, and if you experience an accident you can be pretty confident somebody will be coming after the gringo for some moola. You don’t want to travel in Mexico without vehicle insurance.
Traveling across international borders with under-aged children without their other parent can sometimes be a problem since we live at a time of custody battles and temptations to snatch-and-run. Just in case I needed it, Everette sent me a notarized letter with permission to travel as far as Mazatlan for the next 7 months, giving dates of entry and exits and which border crossing. I printed that off, too.
Entering the land of pesos everything seems expensive when rung up on a till, but it’s really cheaper living down there. Currently the exchange is 12.50 pesos to 1 US dollar. Those $1700 groceries would be about $136US.
I’d need 300 pesos per person ($25) for a tourist visa, plus pesos for the toll highway Mex 15 to Hermosillo, and to purchase gas along the way. In Mexico I’d get pesos from an ATM machine. Before the border crossing, however, I visited a Cambio (cambio means change) to exchange my money.
I had heard that you needed to pay for the vehicle permit with $US so I stuffed my wallet with that, too. I normally don’t carry that much money around, but crossing the border into Mexico was going to make for an expensive day.