9 Reasons You DON’T Want to Travel in Mexico with Your Kids

Mexico. The land of sunshine, good food and music. But ripe and flooded with crime. News reports of Bad Stuff happening in Mexico is all over the place. We ourselves travel with our 3 small children (aged 2, 4 and 6 and one with Down syndrome) for months out of every year, and have done so for the past 4 years.

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We think we have an idea as to why exactly you wouldn’t want to take your kids to Mexico. If you travel around Mexico with your kids, you are in danger of them:

  1. Making Friends

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Traveling around Mexico, your kids are almost guaranteed to make friends. Lots of them.

And those friends will speak languages other than your own, will hail from cultures different from yours.

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  1. Learning About Different Places

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When you travel, you learn. Traveling around Mexico and your kids will learn first hand about the pyramids of Teotihuacan, about coastal sea life, water, desert ecosystems, elevation hazards, mountain life and indigenous cultures.

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Try as you might, there is simply no way around it.

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  1. Appreciating Real Food

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If you travel around Mexico, your kids are likely to become adventurous food eaters and potentially, food lovers.

meriah nichols guadalajara mexico-18They will develop an appetite for fresh, unprocessed foods.

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  1. Learn Spanishmeriah nichols mexico-13

Kids are like the proverbial sponges.

They soak up what’s around them, and if that happens to be the Spanish language, they’ll soak up Spanish.

Micah, aged 6, is well on his way to being proficient and Moxie (who has Down syndrome) and Mac-Q both know about as much Spanish as they do English.




  1. Enjoying Clothes

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Mexico has a plethora of colorful, handmade clothes that kids can enjoy wearing and dressing up in. Does your daughter want to be a princess like mine does? Mine can wear beautiful skirts, dresses, sashes, and woven shirts on a daily basis and not be “weird”. So too, can my sons, and as a result, they are all much more engaged in the care and assemblage of their wardrobes.

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6. Appreciating Music

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Traveling in Mexico is a long lesson in mariachi and banda. The kids develop an appreciation for the musical forms – they think the accordion is cool. They also savor music that isn’t mainstream USA – which opens the doors to even broader musical experiences.

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  1. Relaxing

meriah nichols mexico-33 (2)So much in Mexico is laid back, with different time schedules and ways in which things work.

Kids learn to relax and just have fun here. They learn to chill out and not sweat the small stuff

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 8. Learning How to Swim!

meriah nichols mexico-17Is it unavoidable? No.

You probably could avoid it.

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…but why would you want to?!

9. Life Skills

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People bargain in Mexico – and by traveling and bargaining with you, your kids also learn. They also learn how to assess situations, how to be careful when they need to be, how to be friendly without divulging too much information.

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With a gun crime rate for the entire country of Mexico that’s about the same as that of the city of Phoenix, Arizona, visiting Mexico is less dangerous for the average American than visiting New York City, Washington DC or Miami. And with the additional dangers of making friends, learning languages, cultures, and developing an appreciation for music and real food to boot, we can well understand why you would want to keep your child away.

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is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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  • Thanks for sharing your experiences traveling with your kids and hubby through Mexico! I really enjoyed reading about your adventures and I can’t wait to read more!!! Keep up the blogging:-)
    Xoxo from Germany, Janine

  • We’ve traveled all around Mexico and Baja with our six year old since he was two, and run into the same problems! Another problem is that he has no desire to go to Disneyland 🙂

  • BEAUTIFUL! We spent 10 winters doing just what you are doing. My experience was the same. My goal was to show my son that the world is so much more than our little community could offer which is spiritually diverse but not culturally diverse. We live in a small Colorado town that is pretty middle to upper middle class, educated Anglo Americans…… Our Mexican friends live on far less material comforts with far more everyday joy, tranquility and bliss in their lives. Our first trip, my son Abe was 3 in a back pack trekking through Copper Canyon. My son at the age of 8 traded surfing lessons for guitar lessons, spoke Spanish fluently and could navigate in the Puebla on his own…. something I may not have let him do here in the US! We home-schooled him 4 months of the year, he scored the highest in his class on the state testing exams so our public school was happy to let us do this as long as he returned in March to take the State Tests because he actually raised the class average! Abe is a musician and actually played in a Mariachi Band; “Mariachi San Luis” in college, his guitar we watched being made in Paracho, his 17th birthday present! Our last trip was 5 years ago when we brought my husband (who was dying from a 3 year struggle with cancer) to say goodbye to our beautiful Mexican friends & home. At 25 Abe is an incredible man; intelligent, self reliant, confident, inquisitive, creative, friendly, polite, respectful, tolerant, kind and compassionate…… I am so proud of him. It was the best thing we ever did for our son and for us too!

    My first trip driving into Mexico, Abe was 5 years old: We stopped at the Tuscon AAA to get our car insurance and the women in there scared the shit out of me! They said my son would be kidnapped, my husband killed, our vehicle stolen and only God knows what could happen to me! Never drive at night, never get off of the toll road, don’t trust anyone……. We were heading towards the boarder as the sun was setting and I had a full blown anxiety attack! (Even though I had already backpacked with my baby on my back through Mexico and was never treated with anything but kindness and compassion!) We pulled over and my husband said we could stay over in Nogales for the night and enter Mexico in the morning if it would make me feel better…. well Nogales did not make me feel any better so I said no, let’s go. We made the wrong border crossing and found ourselves in old town, small streets, going right through the heart of the Mexican city. Hundreds of people were on the street, it was twilight, vendors cooking food, people happy, children playing….. and all the young banditos who were contemplating doing harm to my family were carrying white teddy bears and red roses…. What’s this? We realized that it was valentines day and there were vendors on every corner selling them! We had a good laugh! From then on we trusted our instincts, always took the libre road(often at night) learned to speak Spanish so we could communicate fully with these beautiful people. We made lifelong friends, who enriched our lives for decades!

    I haven’t been back in 5 years, it was a difficult journey through cancer and has taken the last 4 to recover both emotionally and financially from my husbands passing….. BUT I hope to again, as those years my family traveled through Mexico changed my life. Thank you for reminding me of my great experiences, sharing with the world yours, and I hope you will keep on going!
    With all Sincerity,

  • Very cute write-up and turn on the fears so many Americans have for Mexico. Mexico is a wonderful place and it’s a shame that so many American kids won’t get the same exposure and experiences that your children are enjoying.

  • I just love all your pictures, As Mexican woman i really love and appreciate all your coments and experiences about my beautiful country..Thank You !

  • Im deeply thankful for what you try to do with this, Mexico is all this and more but we have been a really dangerous country for the last 6 years, as a citizen and a resident nothing will please me more than to give you the best trip of your life, as almost all mexicans want, but I would advise you to really check if the place you are traveling to is safe, there are places with no law at all as there are places with a lot of police presence to keep them safe, check on the net, pages like borderlandbeat and some mexican newspapers still tell the truth, most mexican newspapers from the bordering states are terrorized by narcs and the government to censor all the horrible news, check twitter for “balaceras” or check the city trends like mtyfollow here in my hometown, I wont tell you not to come here, just be safe, move on daylight, dont wonder arround and talk with friends, we are living a kind of war that we never experienced before and the upcoming elections may not help at all, the main problem here is that the know returning to rule party (PRI) broke hell for 12 years to punish us for electing its rivals, they used all the power they had to stir things up and let loose some nasty drug cartels to make hell for everyone, now that they returned to power they calmed down some of them but since the “presidente” is in a really bad spot right now they might unleash the demons once again to punish us for not letting them do as they please, everything that happened here the las years is politic, the war on drugs is just one front, everything comes down to a party fighting the others to control all once again.
    please be safe, you will enjoy it even more.
    thanks again

    • thank you for your comment – and I agree, being sensible is very important. I hope things settle down with the government… I hate seeing this happen to your country.

  • Dear Meriah,

    I enjoyed so much reading the experiences you and your wonderful family have had during the time you have been traveling in Mexico and want to give you a heartfelt thank you…. in this moments in which normal news about Mexico are terrible talking only about violence, cartel fighting, drug cartels and so on, to read your post comes as a big breath of fresh air.
    Mexico is all what you mention and much more,… México is about friendly and helpful people, cultural richness, archaeological sites by the thousands, food, flowers, color, fiesta, music, happiness, joy, spirituality, creativity, art, friendship and a very long etcetera.
    Even when there are some areas in Mexico where not even locals, not to say people from other countries, shouldn’t go the HUGE rest of the country and the remaining 99.9% of its people always welcomes all our visitors, no matter where they come from or the language they speak; they will always find in Mexico a friendly hand to help in anyway and in every way they can, like Rose says, longlife friends, people you can rely on.

  • I want to thank you for this!! My husband and I had a child born here in mexico and we raised our child here in Mexico she is bilingual and her appreciation of life being raised in Mexico has turned out to be an amazing door opening and great for her mind body n soul! She now lives in the USA and can appreciate so much more! We actually crossed the border with her when she was an infant. The USA officials asked what are you bringing from Mexico we said our Baby!! Go into secondary! Hehehe! She is a citizen of world! Exposé your Children early to travel and other cultures they Will be able to use this as adults!
    Thank You!

  • I love this page and I feel the message is 100% accurate. Anyone who questions Mexico should do the research and see that Mexico is a wonderful experience for children

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