How To Be Mindful Vacationer

Happy New Year

Instead of writing warm and fuzzies (well I guess that would be warm and sunnies) encouraging you to come to the Riviera Maya and Yucatan on vacation, I thought I would offer recommendations to inspire you to take action this year on several fronts.

Be part of the solution

We recently received an inquiry from a client who wanted a beach with absolutely no trash on it. I get it, a beach full of garbage is unsightly. And most likely anywhere you stay, you will have a clean beach.

There are, however, things you can do during your stay to help with the problem. Please stop using plastic straws, single-use bags, and plastic, single-use water bottles. Plastic, as you have probably heard, is polluting our oceans and endangering the wildlife.

If you head to the beach, bring back everything you take with you. Don’t leave trash around. Consider participating in a beach clean up or pick up trash, if you see any, and put it in a trash can.  7 Easy Things You Can Do On Vacation To Make a Difference.


The exotic animals of the area are thrilling to see and a treat to interact with. Many animals are wild, and no matter how friendly you may think they are, they are still wild animals. Use common sense and caution. If you are going to touch an animal and there is a guide, ask permission first.

Monkeys love to pull hair, steal sunglasses and they can bite.  

Also be leary if you see racoons and tejons, as seen above.  Especially in Akumal tejons have been fed and by local residents so these critters seem friendly.  They are still wild and can bite.   

If you see someone on the street of Playa del Carmen or Tulum with a macaw, iguana, jaguar kitten, or other animal offering photos with that animal, do not pay to pose with the creature. Most likely the animal is owned without proper licenses, has been taken from its an environment and could be drugged. The “owner” is hustling you for a few bucks. Your money is better used for animal welfare programs here in the Riviera Maya or in your neighborhood. 

Mother Ocean

Be mindful when you are finning around… don’t kick, stand on or touch the coral while snorkeling or diving. Wear biodegradable sunscreen. And certainly don’t touch the marine life. Read more on the best sunscreens.

Protect yourself from car rental scams

There is a great article on car rentals, insurance and scams by Hannah and Adam from their blog “Getting Stamped“.  I encourage you to read it.

True story, gather ’round…  I once loaned my rental car to a family member so he could run to Tulum on a Monday morning. I warned him, jokingly, not to get into an accident because he was not on my rental policy covered by the standard liability insurance already included in my Cancun car rental policy. Forty-five minutes later he called to say he was in a crash. He totaled the car, and fortunately unharmed.

I had put the rent on my American Express.  American Express would have covered the damages, but only after we paid the rental car agency $6,000 for the cost of the car. Many car rental companies will not deal with credit card insurance. So we had to pay out-of-pocket. The burden was then on us to get the paperwork needed to file a claim with AmEx. Getting the paperwork from the rental car agency took so long that we gave up on filing a claim with AmEx and ate the cost.

I know insurance can be more expensive than the rental car in some cases. However, if you have an accident, you will save yourself from stress and frustration and be happy you had it.  

Travel Smart

Photo credit: K5News-ATL and AP

It does not need to be hurricane season to need travel insurance. If you are escaping your cold and wintery home, it is more likely you could get snowed in and miss your flight to sunny Mexico, or get stuck in a destination on a layover. Travel insurance can protect your trip, your luggage, and your vacation rental costs. Some travel insurance companies will provide coverage for unexpected situations such as a death, medical emergency or job loss. You’ve worked hard for your vacation time, don’t lose it because life got in the way.

Curious how much your travel insurance would cost for your next trip? Check out this travel insurance company  and get a custom quote online. It could just be the peace of mind you are looking for. It sure has saved us on many occasions.

Note to divers, Travel Insurance does not cover any diving related incidents. Please refer to DAN (Divers Alert Network) for your dive insurance.

Love your vacation but be considerate

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

– Gustave Flaubert

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