Close this search box.

Travel Tips

Hints, tricks and helpful advice for a stress-free Vacay!

Ensure your Isla Mujeres adventure is as smooth as the island’s breezy shores. From packing essentials to savvy local tips, we’ve got you covered.

Island Travel Tips Snapshot

Prepping The Essentials: Passport, Pesos, and Phone

Booking Ahead: Reserve Your Spot Before Landing

Shopping List: What to Procure for Paradise

Packing List: To bring or not, that’s the question

Luggage Lowdown: Tagging & Tracking Your Bags

On-Island Insights: Navigating Isla Like a Native

isla mujeres lg p 14a

Prepping Your Travel Essentials: Documents, Money, and Phone

Passport: Double-check your passport’s expiration date. It needs to stay valid throughout your stay in Mexico, not just until you arrive! If it’s on the brink of expiration, it’s time for a renewal sprint. For a full rundown of what papers you’ll need, check out our Cancun Airport Guide.

Debit Card: Keep those savings accounts safe! Ensure they’re not accessible via ATMs. Pro tip: keep your debit card balance just enough for daily adventures and transfer funds as needed. Some savvy travelers even set up a dedicated travel account. Think of it as your vacation piggy bank.

Credit Card Backup Plan: Bring an extra credit card and store it in your room’s safe, for emergencies. You never know when your wallet might decide to go on its own adventure.

Documents: Snap pics of your important documents and cards, but store them in your digital vault (aka online storage) with a password, not on your phone. Alternatively, go old school and keep hard copies in your room’s safe. Better safe than sorry!

Travel Insurance 101: Smart at all times, but a must during hurricane season (September & October). Buying flight insurance? Don’t play the guessing game – read the fine print carefully. Shop around for insurance; different companies shine in various areas, from medical mishaps to lost luggage and unexpected trip twists.

Mobiles: Grab your provider’s international travel plan or opt for a Mexico e-SIM card (turns your phone into a local data ninja). Check out Maya.net, Airalo.com, or Ubigi.com for options. If you skip this step, remember to TURN OFF ROAMING, or your bill might give you the kind of shock you didn’t come to Isla Mujeres for.

WhatsApp: It’s the Swiss Army knife of communication in Mexico, used for everything from chit-chat to business deals. Download it to blend in like a local.

MapChicks Isla Mujeres App: Your digital treasure map to Isla Mujeres. Don’t navigate the island without it!

Reserve These Before You Set Sail for Isla

Accommodations: Gone are the days when you could just waltz off the ferry and snag a room with ocean views. Today, it’s all about the early bird getting the best nest. Book your stay in advance, especially during peak seasons. Even the hostels are playing hard to get!

No Ubers at the Airport: Sorry. Pre-book your transport from the airport to Puerto Juarez ferry dock for a smooth start to your Isla adventure. More of a bus buff? Click here for the lowdown on airport buses.

Golf Carts: Reserve one online to score the best deals and ensure you’re not left cart-less. Peak season tip: some folks book these babies months ahead for holiday and carnival times.

Tours: Dreaming of swimming with whale sharks, becoming a certified scuba diver, or reeling in the big one on a sport fishing trip? Book these special tours in advance, especially if your Isla escapades are on a tight schedule. And remember, Mother Nature can be fickle – double-check those refund and reschedule policies.

Island-Ready Shopping List: What to Procure for Paradise

When you shop through our links, we get a little thank-you commission from Amazon (1-4%, maybe more). It’s like tossing a coin into our virtual wishing well, and it helps keep our lights on. Thanks for your support!

Waterproof Pouches: Protect your phone, cash, and cards from unexpected splashes or beach bumming.

Accupressure Motion Sickness Bracelets: For those not-so-smooth sailing moments. They’re like little miracle workers on your wrists.

Tumbler Cups: Keep those tropical drinks chilly and say ‘adios’ to single-use plastics.

Travel-Size Antibacterial Gel & Wipes: Stay clean and fresh, whether you’re dining al fresco or just need a quick cool down from the island heat.

Lightweight Rain Poncho: For those surprise showers. Or, improvise with a large plastic bag – Isleño style!

Anti-Theft Beach Bag/Backpack: Tote your beach goodies securely and lock it to your beach chair when in the water. Doubles as a plane carry-on.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Love the reef, love your skin. Do a patch test first, especially on kiddos. Here, it might cost more than a fancy cocktail. 

Rash Guard Shirts with UV Protection: For those who burn easily or have had a bit too much fun in the sun already. A must for the kids!

GPS Tags for Bags: Hopefully, you won’t need it, but oh-so-handy when you do.

Compression Bags: Who needs regular travel bags when you can squish in more souvenirs? It’s like a magic trick for your wardrobe. 

Reusable Shopping Bags: No plastic bags here! Great for groceries and even better for souvenir hunting.

Belt Bags (Rebranded Fanny Packs): They’re not just for the ’80s anymore. Perfect for hands-free island exploring.

Towel Clips: Why? Because they’re cute. Keep those towels in place, or get creative with curtain malfunctions.

Ear Plugs: For those nights when the island party beats a bit too loud, or when roosters decide to start their day before the sun does.

Flashlight & Fan: For when the electricity takes a siesta so you stay cool and can see where you are.

Foot Hammocks for Planes: A little slice of first-class luxury, even if you’re not in first class.

Lotion Sticks for Planes: Combat the airplane’s dry air and arrive looking dewy and island-ready.

Travel Kleenex Packs: A must-have for those public bathroom adventures. Don’t get caught short!

The Best Hat Ever: A one-size-fits-all, color-bursting, roll-up hat with built-in UPF50+. It’s the crown jewel of sun protection.

Packing List: Island Style

Isla is all about ‘casual with a twist’. T-shirts and shorts are your go-to, but throw in something snazzy for those starlit dinners. And remember, layers are your travel BFFs.

Essentials to Pack

The Obvious: Flip-flops for beach hopping, tropical threads, bathing suits (bring two), and cover-ups. Add a light jacket, sweater, or hoodie for those surprise chills during winter. Double up on sunglasses (because losing one is practically a vacation tradition) and don’t forget a hat for that chic sun protection.

Toiletries: All the usual suspects plus hand sanitizer, mosquito repellent (your summer night’s knight in shining armor), Pepto-Bismol or Tums for adventurous eating aftermaths, soothing after-sun lotion with Aloe Vera, SPF lip balm, and high SPF reef-safe sunscreen. Sure, you can find these on Isla, but who wants to shop for necessities when there’s so much fun to be had?

Tech Gear: Chargers are a must. Converter if needed, Isla uses 110V (same as the U.S. and Canada). Staying somewhere quaint and vintage? Pack a 2-to-3 prong adapter for those charming but older plug points.

Prescription Prep: Bring your prescriptions, doctor’s signature and all. And remember, you can’t bring your medical marijuana. Keep it legal and easy.

Carry-On Cleverness: If you’re checking bags, pack a swimsuit, sandals, shorts, a top, and essentials in your carry-on. You don’t want to be stuck wearing jeans if your bags are delayed. Plus it will be handy to change into once you arrive – the heat and humidity will hit you like a brick wall the second you exit the airport.

Kid Stuff: Traveling with little adventurers? Check out Traveling with Kids  for all the tips.

Old-School Entertainment: Bring a deck of cards. Because sometimes, unplugging and playing a hand or two is the best way to make new friends.

Things You Should Leave Behind: Travel Light & Right

Expensive Jewelry & Watches: Isla’s laid-back vibe doesn’t mix well with high-end bling. If the thought of losing it makes your heart sink, it’s better off safe at home.

Rings on the Run: Those precious wedding and engagement rings? If they’re prone to slipping off and making a swim for it, better lock them up in your room’s safe. But if it’s a wrestling match to get them off, they’re probably safe on your finger.

Stiletto Struggles: Isla’s sidewalks are the natural enemy of high heels. Picture yourself as a flamingo on ice – that’s you in stilettos here. Opt for wedges for that height without the hilarity (or hazard). If you’re living it up in a swanky all-inclusive, tread with caution and grace.

Overpacking Overkill: You’ll find the island’s boutiques calling your name with irresistible tropical threads. Pack light to make room for those impromptu fashion finds.

Synthetic Clothing Sweats: Trust us, synthetics in tropical heat will turn you into a walking sauna. Stick to cotton to keep cool and comfortable.

Hair Straightener Hiatus: Embrace your curls! Isla’s humidity laughs in the face of straighteners. Go with the flow and let those curls and waves run wild and free.

Luggage Lowdown:

Tag Smart: Inside and out, label your bags with your last name, first initial, mobile number, and hotel name. Skip the home address – it’s about where you’re going, not where you’ve been.

GPS Tags: Modern problems require modern solutions. Slip GPS tags in your luggage, backpack and purse for high-tech piece of mind.

Ribbon Trick: Tie a bright ribbon to your bag. It’s a beacon for spotting your luggage among a sea of sameness.

No Leaks: Protect your stuff from the dreaded shampoo explosion with zip lock bags.

Freshness Hack: Long flight? A couple of dryer sheets in your luggage keeps your clothes smelling like they’ve just been sun-kissed.

During Your Trip: On-Island Insights

Don’t forget to swing by our Handy Contacts page for all the nitty-gritty on health & safety, emergencies, tech support, and more. Consider it your island survival guide!

Stay Hydrated, Stay Happy: Keep bottled water close by and load up on Electrolit drinks. Tuck into one before bed, especially after a day of sun, sea, and sangrias.

Feeling headachy?: You might just be dehydrated. A bottle of Electrolit will have you back to your beachy best in no time.

Currency: Sure, US dollars work, but pesos will stretch your wallet further and save the locals a trip to the exchange.

ATMs: For pesos, bank ATMs are your go-to. Those in stores or on the street? Not so much. Dive deeper into The Money matters…

Tap Water: It’s fine for brushing your teeth, but not for drinking (it has a very high mineral content that can be upsetting to sensitive tummies). Stick to bottled water to keep your vacation vibes flowing smoothly.

Fruit & Veggies: Give them a quick rinse, then a 10-minute soak in Microdyn.

Taxi Tips: Check out the posted prices at the taxi stand near the ferry. On the street, agree on the fare first with a friendly “Cuánto cuesta ir al…?” More on Getting Around…

To Haggle or Not to Haggle: Some shopkeepers love to barter, others not so much. Be polite, friendly, and only start the game if you’re serious about buying.

Internet Isla Style: WiFi and mobile networks here take a more relaxed approach, just like island life. For those unavoidable Zoom calls, turning off your camera might just save your connection.

Isla Etiquette: Tread lightly, leave no trace. Respect the tranquil spirit of the island, and embrace the culture and nature.

isla mujeres lg p 24a
Isla Mujeres Pubelo Magico

Plan Ahead

Explore Our Directories

isla sleep dir

Sweet Dreams

Looking for the perfect place to drop your bags?

isla service dir1


Isla's Services: From Welcome to Wow!

isla do dir


Isla Activities: Sun, Fun, and Unforgettable!

isla food dir

Foodie Bliss

Eating your way around the Island

isla events dir


Isla Traditions, Festivals and Cultural Events

Majorly Resourceful

Tropical Treasures

Did we mention to download MapChick’s Isla Mujeres App
BEFORE your trip? Do it. Do it Now!!