Saturday, November 19th, 2016
New King Bed for Master Suite...
The problem with living so far away from my vacation home, is that I have to ask my good friend Cristina to do all of the shopping. This week she purchased a new king-size bed for the master suite. Prior to the king, I had a queen-size bed. I thought that guests would enjoy the coziness, but all I heard were complaints that the bed was too small. I thought that couples love to sleep in each other's arms. Turns out...they don't.
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
Insure Your Health...
The worst things that can happen to you on your vacation to Mexico are: (1) for you to have all of your money and identification stolen, (2) for you to wind up in a Mexican jail, or (3) for you to suffer Montezuma's Revenge.
601 Seibal is in a very secure building on a very secure resort. Nothing of yours will ever be stolen there. To help with your piece of mind, a safe with an electronic code pad was installed last month. You don't need it, but there it is.
Whether you wind up in a Mexican jail or not is entirely your choice. As a diplomatic courtesy, Mexican authorities will notify the nearest US Consular Agency, which is in Nuevo Vallarta, when they have an American in custody. If you go to jail, you won't be placed into general population with the rapists and murderers. Enjoy the experience as best you can, because it should make for a terrific story, once you have paid the mandatory fine and are freed.
This entry is about item #3, Montezuma's Revenge, aka traveler's diarrhea. The name of this ailment refers to Moctezuma II (1466–1520), the ruler of the Aztec civilization who was overthrown by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in the early 16th century, thereby bringing large portions of what is now Mexico and Central America under the rule of the Spanish crown. The cause of this ailment is bacteria in 80% of cases, and viruses and protozoans sharing the blame for 20% of cases. The primary source is contaminated drinking water.
The solution to help prevent Montezuma's Revenge could be something as simple as a personal water filtration system. I recommend the LifeStraw brand, which removes 99.99% viruses, 99.9999% bacteria and 99.9% protozoan cysts to 0.02 microns. Check out the other purification systems for travelers here on our Items To Take page in the Purify Your Water section. You won't be sorry!
Saturday, March 12th, 2016
Condo Insurance Renewed for Another Year...
This week I renewed the insurance for the condo. It's kinda nice that we are not on the beach, because the insurance is so much cheaper--by more than half. A full year costs $564, down from last year's $691, even after hurricane Patricia. The hurricane damage in Nuevo Vallarta was quite minimal.
I asked the insurance agent what he knew about buying insurance for rental cars while vacationing in Mexico. He said that it was best to do it through the rental car company, because the traveler's insurance that he could provide, would only insurance a vehicle with American plates, not one with Mexican (as are the rental cars).
If you ever do want to consider traveler's insurance for medical costs or other incidentals, familiarize yourself with the options, starting with Allianz.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
My Car Rental Cost...
My car rental cost $18 per day. How? I used SixT, a little know rental outfit at the Puerto Vallarta airport. The car was a Chevy Aveo--good on gas, reliable, and easy to park. The SixT rental office is off-site. You can call them in advance to make sure they have someone there to pick you up...but that didn't quite work the last time I tried it. So, I just use the airport overpass to cross the highway, located outside to the east of the terminal building, and then I start walking south toward Puerto Vallarta until I reach their location.
When I travel, I carry a bagpack with my computer and a small carry-on. There aren't exactly side walks in most of Mexico...so if you have more bags than listed...ask SixT to pick you up at the airport. Make sure you have their office telephone number programmed into your phone in case you can't find their driver, which is what happened to me the last time I tried an onsite pickup.
You don't need to pay the super high rates that the biggest auto rental companies charge. Try SixT or Fox for a reliable low-cost car rental.
Monday, February 8th, 2016
My Airline Ticket Cost...
Yep...my airline ticket cost $89, with a one day lead-time from purchase to flight. How? Airline miles from my Alaska Airlines Signature Visa card. If you don't have a credit card that gives airline miles...by all means, get one asap. Sure...there is an annual fee of $79, but I think it is totally worth it. I fly down to 601 Seibal twice a year...to make sure everything is clean, functional, ready for guests, and of course to get some needed sunshine. When considering the annual card fee of $79, split by 2 bi-annual trips...you could argue that the true cost of the ticket was actually $128--which is still pretty good!