Not to undermine your impeccable planning skills, but when it comes to preparing for The BPM Festival – you might not be as ready as you think. With just a little over 3 months to go before thousands of revelers transform the beautiful beaches of the Yucatan peninsula into a 10 day non-stop fiesta, it’s time to tie up those loose ends you might be missing.
#1 – Get A Ticket. A Real Ticket.
If you haven’t ordered your wristband yet, no worries. There will be more opportunities to purchase your 3, 7 or 10 day ticket to paradise in the upcoming months. Mind you however, there will only be limited amounts available.
If you want to have the best chance at guaranteeing your place in the sun, I highly recommend following The BPM Network on ALL of their social media outlets. Announcements will be made about ticket sales and availability through their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Shortly after the announcements are made, tickets will disappear so don’t take your eyes off those feeds!
Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable so if you were planning on buying from a stranger on Craigslist…think again! The purchaser must pick up the tickets from Will-Call only using a government issued photo ID and the credit card they bought the tickets with.
#2 – Speaking of Photo IDs – Get A Passport… Right MEOW!
In the United States, it can take up to two months to receive your passport in the mail after you apply, and that’s without complications. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation to obtain a passport before you visit your local post office, passport agency or embassy. Necessary documentation includes things like a birth certificate, your driver’s license, and a social security card.
If you have a passport already, take a good look at it and make sure it won’t expire until after you arrive back in your home country. An expired passport is the best way to guarantee your trip to Mexico never happens so don’t be THAT guy/girl.
#3 – Book Your Travel Options
When it comes to your flight and hotel – I implore you, do not wait until the last minute. There are plenty of beautiful places to stay in the area but they will sell out as quickly as the festival does.
The BPM Festival website is encouraging travelers to use their Orbitz travel portal for booking your arrangements instead of releasing discount codes as they have done in previous years. This is certainly one option but if you’re a thrifty traveler like myself, you might be able to save more by booking a flight and hotel package together through Bookit.com or your friendly neighborhood travel agent.
And please…buy traveler’s insurance. Just trust me on this one. You NEVER know what will happen out there so expect the unexpected.
-Tips for booking your Hotel/ Resort/ Condo
Most important tip – Everything is cheaper the earlier you plan, so try to book as soon as you have the money.
Do your research! Read reviews from people who have actually stayed at the places you’re interested in booking. Save yourself the heartache of making the same mistakes others suffered through. Real people are usually more reliable than the companies themselves as they are less biased.
Also look for the place on Google Maps and estimate the distance from your bed to the nightlife. If it’s more than a 15 minute walk from Mamita’s Beach Club or the other popular parties of the week, you might want to get a little closer. Mexico is beautiful but it is also dangerous for tourists. You don’t want to venture too far from the crowds alone so book something close and avoid that.
-All Inclusive Resorts – Make sure they are actually all-inclusive. Many resorts claim to be everything you need and more but when you read the fine print much of what you expected is not included. Some places may limit you to rail drinks or domestic alcohol. Others may limit your number of meals. Call the resort you are interested in and ask a representative what they mean by “all inclusive” before you commit.
-Condos or Private Homes – You can definitely save a ton of money by opting to rent a home you can share with 20 of your closest friends. It may not come with the room service of a hotel but if you’re just in town to have a good time you may not need all the excess luxuries. For this option, my advice to you is to make sure the community is gated and to do a little research on the owners.
The last thing you need during your vacation is to find yourself in the middle of the hiding spot for a Mexican cartel. Yes… These things do happen. Always better to play it safe than sorry, because in this case you could end up with a Missing Person’s photo of you on the news. Most places are fine, but the added security of a gate and a nice community will help you sleep easy when you actually do sleep.
#4 – Research Tourist Attractions and Activities. The Chichen Itza is Calling Your Name.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to party for 10 days straight as much as the next person but in a place this culturally rich – you will be seriously missing out if that’s all you have planned. From the ancient ruins of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known to the breathtaking natural wonders hidden in every crevice of the Yucatan, there is so much to see and do.
If you do choose to visit the Chichen Itza, expect the trip to take up most of one day. The site is over 100 miles from the Riviera Maya and can be a little overwhelming in size when traveling without a guide. If you’re on a time constraint, ask a guide on site to show you around.
The site is open everyday from 9am to 5pm. Entrance usually costs around 145 pesos ($10.78) for tax and 59 pesos ($4.39) for a ticket. If you want to bring a camera it’s about 45 pesos ($3.34) extra. A small price to pay to visit one of the 7 wonders of the world.
If you don’t want to travel so far from the festivities, you can also try snorkeling off of one the nearby beaches. Akumal Beach in particular is known for their vibrant underwater life, home to active coral reefs, sea turtles and even manta rays.
For a little more money you can also consider a guided Cenote Dive Tour. Mexico’s underwater caverns are some of the most spectacular hidden treasures in the world and for the small price of about $150 you can cave dive safely with an expert guide and all the necessary equipment.
Do your own Googling though to discover more activities that interest you before you arrive. You might find yourself crossing a few bucket list items while you’re there.
#5 – Start Saving Your Money
This trip will be expensive. No matter how many corners you cut and coupons you clip – you never know what will come up while you’re there. For most people the flight and hotel alone for 11 to 13 days might end up costing around $2000. My advice is to always round up from whatever you think you might spend. Consider food, drinks, travel and emergencies before you arrive. Emptying your bank account before the end of the trip will put a damper on your fun time.
Always leave a little wiggle room. If you think your trip will cost a total of $2600 then save $3000. It may seem obvious to some but many of you may find yourselves in a pickle when you miss your flight and have to spend $200 to reschedule or when your luggage doesn’t arrive and you have to buy a whole new wardrobe in Mexico.