I have been incredibly thankful to all the individuals I have come to form relationships with who had to move to Mexico already. These people have helped me discover so many things that I would have otherwise simply run into blindly. However, in the past two days, there are two different issues which I ran into that I hadn’t heard many others talk about, so I figured I should share them.
The first is baggage fees. I’m sure that this is an obvious one for those who travel a lot, but I did not travel from the age of 7 until the age of 24. A lot changed in those years with airlines. Additionally, I had never traveled internationally. I have made 3 trips to Mexico in the last year and a half, but each time I only took a carry-on and one checked bag at the most. I never had to deal with baggage fees.
Yesterday I called American Airlines to inquire about round-trip vs one-way tickets and decided to ask about baggage fees as well. I had looked at the scale listed online, which said 1st is free, 2nd is $30, and 3-5 is $100. According to the man I spoke with, on a flight to Mexico, 3-5 are $150. While $150 more in fees is something I can handle, if I had found out at the counter, I would have freaked.
The second is card permissions and PIN numbers. Apparently, I can only have Mexico permissions on a card for three months at a time. Since I had never stayed more than a week, I had no idea about this. So make certain you have the correct numbers ready and know the date you need to call them by.
When it comes to PIN numbers, make sure it is only four digits. I chose eight because I thought it made my card safer. According to some folks who have moved to Mexico, it only makes it impossible to use your card. Now there are some people who said theirs works by just entering the first four numbers, but others said that was a no-go for them. So my thought is that it is better to be safe than sorry on this one; especially since you may be counting on using an ATM and most banks will not let you change your PIN anywhere except inside a branch of the bank.
So, here are my two bumps in the road for today. If I come across more, I will share them, and hopefully they will help someone who otherwise would have been left in a not-so-great situation.