YUCATAN STUDY ABROAD
| Pre-Travel | BC to
Atlanta | Atlanta Airport | On the
Plane | Mexican Airport | The
| Traveling in Mexico | Returning from
Mexico | Flight Home | Going Home
| Back |
The Mexico trip is scheduled for October 10-16, 2005. Specific dates
and times will be posted as travel arrangements are confirmed.
I. Pre-Travel Guidelines & Preparations:
- Before doing anything, make yourself a checklist! (passport,
documents, clothes, shoes, etc.).
- Don't pack everything you own! The airline has restrictions on the
number of bags and the size of luggage. Also, restrictions are very severe
regarding the size and number of carry on items (i.e. backpacks). One
suitcase, a small backpack and a fanny pack should be sufficient.
- Remember to leave room in your luggage for items you purchase in Mexico
- Start packing and organizing at least a week before you go!
- Leave significant valuables at home. This means expensive watches, rings,
and other jewelry.
- Do not pack valuables (including cash, credit cards, travelers checks.
videocameras, or any camera for that matter) in suitcases or checked
baggage. Theft is not unknown and suitcases and other checked baggage is
exposed to higher levels of x-rays than regular airport security.
- Put luggage i.d. tags on your checked items. Write in ball point pen so
that if items get wet the ink won't run. Also, place some identifying tape
or other marking on your checked baggage. This is helpful since a lot of
bags look alike.
- When in airports, never leave bags unattended.
- Electrical current is the same as in the U.S. Therefore, no adapters are
necessary for hair dryers, etc.
- If you are on prescription medicines, make sure the containers are
This applies to vitamins, herbs, etc. Failure to do so many cause problems
- Formal clothes are not necessary. They will just take up space in your
luggage. The hotel has only limited clothing requirements for eating areas.
- Take an adequate supply of such things as chewing gum, film, cigarettes,
band aids, eye solution, toiletries, etc. Many of the items are available,
but will be much more expensive.
- Bring Imodium A-D or like product! Mexico is famous for its intestinal
evacuations caused by bacteria in the water. You can pick this up from
washed vegetables, ice, etc.
- Bring a plastic folded rain poncho (obtained at K or Wal-Mart).
- Bring aqua shoes instead of flip-flops. Some water areas can be slippery.
- Bring comfortable walking shoes with soles that grip. We will be doing a
good bit of climbing and walking. Sand at Tulum can be slippery.
- Money. Since your major expenses are prepaid, there is no need for large
amounts of cash beyond entrance fees, bullfights, etc. The currency you
bring should be in denominations of $20, $10, $5, $1. The current exchange
rate is 9.3 peso dollars to 1 U.S. In other words, a peso dollar is worth
about a dime. U.S. dollars are generally preferred, but not always
accepted-such as at some of the sites. The ins and outs of monetary
exchange, flea market bargaining, etc. will be explained during class
- Jeans. Plan on wearing jeans or long pants to and from Mexico. The reason
is that airplane air conditioning can get quite cool.
- C-D Players. Leave them home.
II. Going from Bainbridge College to Atlanta:
- Students will meet at the Bainbridge College campus to travel to the
airport. It is likely that college vehicles will be reserved for the
- We generally stop at a restaurant along the way where students can
purchase coffee, a snack, or breakfast.
- We will likely be parking our vehicles at
the Park & Ticket lot on Camp Creek Parkway. A shuttle will take us to the
airport for check-in.
III. At Atlanta Airport:
- International flights say you must be at the airport two hours before
departure. We must do our best to adhere to this.
- Since our flight is an early one, it
should be about on time.
- The flight time is about 2 hrs. and 20 min.
IV. On the Plane:
- Seats are assigned at check-in and every effort is made to seat folks
- Since this is a charter flight, little in the way of food is
served. Normally, soft drinks, coffee and sometimes snacks are provided free.
- We will be filling out required entrance documents to be presented upon
our arrival. Bring a pen! Don't lose these documents! You need some of them to
leave the country.
IV. Mexican Airport:
- Step 1: Check in at immigration. Present documents, passports, etc.
- Step 2: Collect luggage.
- Step 3: Clear customs. In so doing, you must push a button. If the light
is green you go through. If the light flashes red, your luggage is subject to
routine search. This is usually quick and they are looking for illegal drugs,
- Step 4: We will be met by representatives from Royal Travel Services who
will escort us to the bus for the hotel. Porters will attempt to carry your
luggage. If you need assistance, let them. Give the porter $1.
VI. The Hotel:
- Since we will be arriving early in the morning (their time), we may not be
allowed to check in for a few hours. If breakfast is still being served, we may
be able to eat, have juice or coffee.
- Later in the day we must meet briefly with a representative from Vacation
Express to confirm our departure time on Friday.
- When you check in you will be given a plastic i.d. bracelet, towel card
and room key. If you lose any of these there is a substantial
penalty! This will
be explained to you and you will be required to sign a paper attesting to the
fact that you are aware of this.
- Telephoning home: Do not do so from the hotel! It is very expensive this
way. Use a public phone, it's far cheaper. The telephone number of the hotel
will be on the travel documents mailed to you by Travel In Style. It might be
wise to prearrange calls to you from the states.
- The class web site has a page of hotel information.
VII. Traveling in Mexico
- Site visits will be by private van. No restroom facilities are onboard.
Bathroom facilities at Tulum and Coba are not public in the sense we know them.
Therefore, there is a small charge in peso coin (This is a custom inherited from
- Visits to areas in Cancun are by public bus. 50¢ U.S. is the fee each time
you get on.
VIII. Returning from Mexico:
- We will be taken to the airport in the afternoon.
- Once we check in you can exchange Mexican money for U.S.
- Smoking the airport terminal in Mexico is permitted.
- You can also do some last minute shopping in the terminal, but don't
expect to find many bargains.
- Don't buy things you can't take into the U.S.
IX Flight Home:
- The flight home is about 2 hrs and 20 min.
- On route you must fill out a customs declaration. This is a list of
items you purchased and what they cost. If you bought things on the street or at
a flea market you won't have a receipt. For things you buy at a mall - get a
- Once we arrive in Atlanta, our next step is to clear immigration. This can be rather quick or slow,
depending on how many other international flights have arrived at the same time.
- The next step is to obtain our luggage and clear customs. You will
present your customs declaration at this time. Your luggage is subject to search
and your declaration should match the contents of the luggage.
- The next step is to transfer your luggage to a belt and then proceed to
the main terminal and await our luggage.
X Going Home:
- From the airport we will transfer to the vans.
- We will make a gas stop and perhaps grab coffee or something to eat along
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