With travel limited at the moment, one of the few ways to leave the country is to plan a trip of three months or longer. With office jobs currently allowing their employees to login from anywhere, many Aussies are looking into a remote working holiday.
Not sure where to go? We’ve already looked at five destinations to go to on a super long holiday. Now, we’re taking a deep dive into one of those countries: Mexico.
This article about a remote working holiday in Mexico will look at:
- Visa requirements
- Where to go in Mexico
- Government travel advice
- COVID cases
- Reasons to work remotely from Mexico
Please note: Travel restrictions and advice can change at any time. Stay up to date with international travel advice on Smartraveller.gov.au.
Visa requirements for Mexico
One of the big draws more Mexico as a remote working holiday destination is that you don’t need a visa for stays up to 180 days (roughly six months).
On this type of stay, you’re allowed to undertake ‘simple business matters’, but if you are working in Mexico for Mexican companies, you may want to look into a business visa.
On a visa-exempt stay, you must have a valid passport for at least six months after you leave Mexico, have proof of a departure flight and have enough money to support yourself while you’re there.
Where to go in Mexico
Mexico is one of the most popular places in Central America for tourists with good reason. If you’re there for a remote stay holiday, you might want to travel around the country a bit before settling down, but here are some places to consider.
The nation’s capital is the first stop for many visitors and, for lots of digital nomads, it’s the place to set up base. It has all the mod cons of any major city, but living expenses tend to me much lower than major cities in Australia.
If you want to meet other like-minded people, a suburb like Condesa might be a good option for a remote working holiday. Coffee shops with strong Wi-Fi are easy to find, as are longer-term options like co-working hubs.
It’s also the most cosmopolitan part of Mexico, so you should be able to get along with English and a few hastily learnt Spanish phrases.
Located on the western coast, Puerto Vallarta is visitor-friendly but not completely Americanised like many other tourist towns on the opposite coast.
Oceanside working doesn’t get much better than this, although you’ll no doubt be distracted by the stunning sunsets (but, hopefully, you’ll have downed tools for the day by then).
Puerto Vallarta has everything you need, including one of the best restaurants you’ll ever find, Pancho’s Takos. Puerto Vallarta is also one of Mexico’s most LGBTQ+ inclusive places.
Guadalajara is the second biggest city in Mexico, with a population of around 1.5 million. If Mexico City is a bit too big for you, a trip to the west may be in order.
Coffee shops, offices and stable Wi-Fi are easy to find, and you’ll find the city to be a great blend of Mexican tradition and modern convenience.
For travellers, it’s also a great base. Unlike Mexico City which has limited day-trip options, Guadalajara has plenty, including beaches, lakes and pyramids.
San Miguel de Allende
For the more creative digital nomads, a stay in San Miguel de Allende may be up your alley. Popular with retirees, immigrants and other long-term visitors, the town is beautiful and has a lovely slow pace of life.
Because of the large international population, you’ll find quite a variety when it comes to shops, cafes and chain stores. It has quite an old population too, but the architecture, clean streets and safety of San Miguel de Allende make it a draw for many.
Not far from the spring break haven of Cancun, Tulum is a much quieter and authentic Mexican beach experience.
Tulum has a strong wellness, vegan and spirituality vibe. It’s also a bit more expensive because of this so if you’re heading to Mexico for the low cost of living then maybe visit, but make plans for a base elsewhere.
Government travel advice for Mexico
Smart Traveller recommends against all forms of international travel at the moment due to the pandemic, but it also has specific warnings in place for Mexico.
Some of the most prominent of these include:
- A high risk of violent crime after dark, especially outside major cities.
- Pickpocketing and bag-snatching are common in tourist areas.
- Northern areas of Mexico, especially near the US border, are high profile sites for drug cartels.
COVID cases: Mexico vs Australia
An important consideration when you travel is how well a country is coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
In simple terms, Mexico has had more COVID-19 cases and deaths than Australia, but it also has a much greater population. There are around 127 million people in Mexico and 25 million in Australia. So, roughly five times as many people.
According to Statista, in the week leading up to 30 August 2021, Mexico had 94,653 cases and 4,207 deaths. By comparison, Australia had 5,697 cases and 13 deaths.
Even taking the difference in populations, and the fact that Australia is currently in one of its worst times of the pandemic, the numbers in Mexico dwarf those at home.
For more up-to-date figures, please visit the Statista website.
Reasons to go on a remote working holiday in Mexico
Although there are risks to being in Mexico (like anywhere in the world), there are huge benefits to taking a remote working holiday there.
The first is the cost of living. Accommodation, food and almost everything else is a lot cheaper in Mexico than it is in Australia. If nothing else, you can afford to work fewer hours to enjoy what’s going on there.
The country is undeniably beautiful and incredibly diverse. From massive cities with glittering cathedrals to ancient pyramids, quaint towns, stunning beaches and hypnotic deserts, there’s so much to see and do.
For people who want to learn a second language, immersing yourself is one of the best strategies. Want to become fluent in Spanish? A long holiday in Mexico is a great way to do it.
And, of course, the food in Mexico is incredible. You won’t look at a shopping centre chain restaurant the same way when you come back.
Where can I go?
Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.
- Keep up to date with the ever-changing travel restrictions and airline policies with Skyscanner’s COVID-19 travel advice page.
- Find out about some of the beautiful ruins you can find in Mexico, like Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza and Palenque.
- Not ready to go overseas yet? Travel from your kitchen with this recipe for Mexican cauliflower tacos.
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