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5 Tips you need to know when traveling to Mexico via car

Puerto Peñasco México

It’s so easy to travel to Mexico by car that you almost feel like you are just driving to another state. So easy in fact, that you may forget you are traveling to another country, with completely different laws.

We often travel to Puerto Peñasco Mexico from our home in Scottsdale Arizona by car, and have a few tips from our lessons learned. Also known as Rocky Point, Puerto Peñasco is a Mexican fishing and resort city on the Gulf of California. 220 miles from Phoenix, the 3 hour and 40 minute down Route 85 is almost entirely arid desert terrain. Large stretches of highway in some spots go dozens of miles between rest stops, so you should plan out your trip accordingly.

01 Buy Mexican Auto Insurance

Your regular US auto insurance most likely does not cover accidents in Mexico. You need to carry Mexican auto insurance to drive legally in the country, as liability coverage is mandatory. Where do you get it? We found a place on the way in Gila Bend. How much does it cost? About $20 a day

02 Be aware of fuel and data

If you have less than a 1/3 a tank don’t pass up that next gas station. There are cell dead zones, download your music and maps into your phone/ GPS app.

Rest stop at Gila Bend! Stop at the dinosaur gas station for fun prehistorica sculptures made of scrap metal. The Space Age Restaurant offers a space themed casual family dining experience.

03 Data, Data, Data...

Review your cell phone data plan when traveling internationally. I have Verizon, and although I do not have to pay extra to use my phone in Mexico, there is a daily cap on your data:

.5GB before your speeds get reduced to 3G, which is basically like being cut off from the 21st century.

Your Google map will devour that .5GB in no time with its map calculations. Preload maps on wifi, you can load the route while on wifi, and if you don't leave it, your phone wont need more data while you drive, use this tip with the next…

04 Turn your phone onto airplane mode unless you need to use it.

If you preload your GPS map, you can still use GPS while in airplane mode. Put your phone into low data mode.

Disable all unnecessary apps from updating in the background. Check your social media on wifi.

We all know you need to check in but all those auto start videos will kill your data before you know it.

05 Corrupt Police

Unfortunately, with all the traffic passing from the US to Mexico, you will occasionally run into law enforcement trying to get their cut of the tourist revenue. In the town of Sonoyta we were caught in a speed trap and asked to pay $125 cash directly to the officer to go on our way.

Our Dope Life Continues.


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