San Ysidro Border Crossing: Must-Knows
You’re ready for your vacation to Mexico, bags are packed and your car is heavily laden with everything you need for your trip. You’ve planned where you’re crossing the border, at the San Ysidro Border of course! But are you sure you’ve thought of everything? Probably not, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog…
As you most likely know, the San Ysidro Port of Entry is the largest land border crossing. According to the very reliable Wikipedia there are over 70,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians crossing each day making it extremely busy. In fact, it is the busiest crossing in the world so make sure you’re prepared. Here’s what you need to know to make crossing the San Ysidro Border a breeze:
Before Crossing the San Ysidro Border
Pack the essentials, as they say in the Boy Scouts, BE PREPARED, here’s a list of the things you should have in your vehicle before your road trip to Mexico:
- Mexican tourist cards, otherwise known as Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM)
- Medical Insurance Documents
- Mexican Auto Insurance Documents
- Mexico Vehicle Permit
- Your Driver’s License
- Proof of Car Ownership
And because you can never be too prepared…
- Sun Screen
- Bug Repellent
- First Aid Kit
If you’re traveling with pets:
- International Certificate of Good Health
- Proof of Vaccination
- Proof of Ownership
Once you have all of your documents in order and you’ve packed the essentials it’s time to start planning your trip. Plan your route to the San Ysidro border and find a time to get to the border crossing that suits you but also a time where the border is not at it’s busiest if possible. There are a handful of sites you can use to check border crossing waiting times, be mindful that crossing the San Ysidro border can sometimes take up to two hours. Check out the Customs and Border Patrol wait time app to find a time to cross that works best for you.
Remember: Your American vehicle insurance is not valid in Mexico, so you must buy Mexican Auto Insurance before your travel.
Crossing the San Ysidro Border
At the Border Crossing
You will be called forward and a border agent will check your documents and send you on your way! You will sometimes be asked questions or for further verification, but if you have the correct documents you should have no trouble at all.
Border agents do not always need to inspect every vehicle, so as you pass, if you get a green light you can continue on your way.
As we said earlier, it could take up to two hours to cross the San Ysidro border, so make sure you have plenty of in-vehicle activities planned for while you’re waiting at the crossing. If you’re traveling with children the license plate game is one of our favourites, it’s educational and keeps them quiet! Here’s how to play:
- Print off a list of all the states for each child (and adults too if you fancy it!). Alternatively, you could print off a map and this will help the children to learn about where each state is and understand how far people have traveled.
- Get the children to cross off each state when they identify it on a license plate
- First one to get all 50 states wins!
Learning some basic Spanish during the journey to Mexico is another educational activity and will also prepare you for driving in Mexico when you arrive. Print off some flashcards so you can test each other. You can Google the signs, such as Alto meaning Stop or Curve Peligrosa meaning Dangerous Curve. Having this knowledge can be vital when driving in dangerous areas, you will be able to spot the signs and understand what they mean.
Make sure you have plenty to drink and eat so everyone is happy and well fed! There are places to eat near the crossing, you can go for a quick and easy McDonald’s (heads up this McDonald’s does not have its own restroom!). Alternatively, you could try Jack in the Box for a delicious milkshake. These two are probably the closest eateries to the San Ysidro crossing but if you’re willing to travel a little out your way there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat before you join the crossing queue.
After Crossing the San Ysidro Border
Once you’ve passed the San Ysidro border agents you’re free to go explore Mexico. Make sure you’ve planned your trip well and know which roads you’ll be taking as some country; back roads can be unsafe. We recommend you stick to toll roads otherwise known as “Cuota” roads, these are generally much safer and faster. We also suggest that you do not drive at night, it’s much safer to drive in the daylight as it’s so much easier to see hazards on the road such as animals and pedestrians.
Topes, or speed bumps as we call them, are extremely hazardous in Mexico so make sure you watch out for them! If you see a yellow highway signs with a horizontal black line with circular bumps you need to slow right down as these signs indicate there are speed bumps ahead. They are particularly troublesome as they often vary in size and height so you never know what to expect.
You can read more safety tips for driving in Mexico here.
As a top Mexican Auto Insurance provider, we really know our stuff about traveling to Mexico by car. If you haven’t yet bought your Mexican Auto Insurance, get a quote now using our quick and easy online form.
Get Mexican Auto Insurance Quote
Driving to Baja for a Summer Vacation?
You Must Get Baja Auto Insurance
What is Baja Auto Insurance?
Baja Auto Insurance is exactly the same as Mexican Auto Insurance. It is essentially Auto Insurance that is underwritten by a Mexican Carrier meaning that it will be recognized by the Mexican authorities.
So if you’re looking for Baja Auto Insurance, you really just need Mexican Auto Insurance which you can get right here from XBorderAuto!
Get Mexican Auto Insurance Quote
Why do You Need Baja Auto Insurance?
The Top Three Reasons:
- Your US or Canadian Auto Insurance is not recognized by Mexican authorities. So, if you’re driving to Baja it is vital you have a minimum of Mexican liability cover that is underwritten by a Mexican carrier.
- If you have an accident and you do not have Mexican Auto Insurance you could go to jail, have your car impounded and be severely penalized for violating Mexican law.
- Depending on which Mexican State you have an accident in you could be liable for more than $300,000 if there is a fatality.
Get Your Quote
If you’re driving your own vehicle to Baja, Mexico, you are legally required to have Mexican Auto Insurance. Mexican Auto Insurance will give you the comprehensive cover you need to protect you and your vehicle during your trip to Baja.
Only Mexican Insurance policies are recognized in Mexico, so even if you have a US or Canadian Auto Insurance policy it will not be recognized while you’re in Baja or anywhere else in Mexico.
Whether you’re going on vacation, a business trip or simply a short weekend away to Baja… You must buy Mexican Auto Insurance to ensure you are protected during your trip.
Get your Mexican vehicle insurance quickly and easily online today from XBorderAuto.
How do You Buy Baja Auto Insurance?
XBorderAuto make getting your Baja Auto Insurance simple with our online form.
Unlike most Mexican Auto Insurance providers our service is almost entirely online, this means no long waits on hold to sort out getting your insurance quote. Then having to wait some more to go ahead with buying your insurance. Being an online insurance provider also means we have less overheads which allows us to offer you Mexican Vehicle Insurance at a great price!
Get Your Quote Now
Our online form is quick and easy to complete, just enter the number of days you need to be covered for and enter your vehicle details (Make, model and actual cash value) to get your free quote. You will receive your quote immediately. You can then buy your Mexican auto insurance online straight away for your Baja vacation.
How do You Make a Baja Auto Insurance Claim?
We know it’s hard but in the unfortunate event of an accident try to remain calm. You must remember that you and the other people in your vehicle are the most important. Make sure that no one is hurt before doing anything else. Remember, have the confidence that you are protected by your Baja Auto Insurance.
Once you have made sure everyone is safe, you must report your Mexican Auto Insurance claim immediately to ANA Seguros. Call them on 01-800-911-911-9 and if it is possible report it to the Mexican Authorities. Keep your policy available at all times.
There are a variety of documents and information that you need to take note of in case of an incident. Make sure you visit out Mexican Auto Insurance Claim page to get the full details of everything you NEED to know.
What to Do on Your Baja Vacation?
Make sure you make the most of your trip to Baja. Get to know THE best places to go in Baja, after all, it is quite a long journey! And remember, get your Baja Auto Insurance before you drive to Mexico.
Baja is an amazing place offering beautiful scenery, wildlife and the most incredible food. Plus, there are plenty of beaches for you to relax on, from the serene bay of Balandra beach to the party beach of Tijuana! Read the full article on our favorite places to visit and the best things to do while vacationing in Baja Mexico, or read our quick summary here:
Wine and Cheese Tour: Ensenada, Baja Mexico
One of our absolute favorite things to do is relax in the sun drinking amazing wine and chowing down on some incredible food. So, inevitably, the Ojos Negros Valley wine and cheese route is top of our list. Located not far from Ensenada, this beautiful valley is home to artisan cheese maker La Cava de Marcelo where you can take a guided tour.
Take a taxi or book a trip from your hotel so you can fully enjoy the experience.
Visit Playas de Tijuana Beach: Tijuana, Baja Mexico
Discover the hustle and bustle of Tijuana beach. Popular with the locals this vast beach is full of color, culture and city-life. Simply sit on the soft sand or stroll down the boardwalk and take everything in.
There are plenty of places to eat and drink, showers and amenities so you can happily stay for a day or even for an entire week!
Shop at El Popo Market: Tijuana, Baja Mexico
Escape the tourist traps with a visit to El Popo Market. This busy, authentic marketplace is crammed with everything you can imagine! From fresh food to traditional pottery. This is the perfect place to buy all your trinkets and souvenirs to take back home. You will experience true Mexican culture, with the air filled with fragrance and dried spices, you are surrounded by colour and noise. Soak up this true taste of Mexico and ‘shop til you drop’.
Relax at Balandra Beach: La Paz, Baja Mexico
This tranquil beach is located just outside of La Paz. The calm waters and the golden sands are surrounded by a rocky, mountainous terrain, making Balandra beach seem even more secluded. Take a walk through the cool, clear water at low tide to view the spectacle of the Mushroom Rock. The sea never really comes up very high, usually only knee deep, making it a great place to take children.
Watch the Water Show at El Parque de la Bandera: Ensenada, Baja Mexico
Get ready for a lively, vibrant show when you visit El Parque de la Bandera. You will be mesmerized by a fantastical display of music, lights and ‘dancing’ water. Starting at around 8pm almost every night you can join the crowd of excited bystanders waiting for the show to start.
Before the show be sure to take a walk down the esplanade and around the marina to look at the boats and the wildlife, you can sometimes even see the seals relaxing on the rocks.
A great evening out for the whole family to enjoy.
Explore Santa Maria Beach: Cabo San Lucas, Baja Mexico
Located right at the very end of the Baja peninsula, Santa Maria Beach is the perfect location to soak up some sun and relax.
This is also a fantastic beach for snorkeling, with an abundance of little fishes to swim alongside and you may even be lucky enough to see the Gray Whales breaching just offshore.
Remember, stay safe while visiting Mexico, do your research and if you’re planning on driving your own vehicle to Mexico make sure you purchase Baja Auto Insurance before you travel.
Prepare for your roadtrip to Baja by getting your Mexican Vehicle Insurance online, quickly and simply, with XBorderAuto today.
Get a quote for Baja Auto Insurance today and find out how much it will cost to insure your vehicle for your Baja vacation.
Get Your Quote Now