Whilst my holiday has actually started, (I’m in San Francisco as I type this) I wanted to write a short post about the admin that is required for America and Mexico.
You don’t technically need a Visa for the USA if you are a New Zealand passport holder, instead you apply for what is a Visa Waver. New Zealand is one of the countries that is included and you can apply for it here. It gets processed instantly but you should do it a minimum three days in advance, it lasts two years.
You do not need a Visa for Mexico.
It is never recommended that you travel without travel insurance, but for the US it’s extra important as healthcare is all private so it costs a fortune. I personally always use Southern Cross as I get a discount for having my NZ health insurance through them and I’ve had to claim in the past and they paid out very quickly.
I had booster shots before I left as I needed them anyway, you need Hep A & B, typhoid fever, tetanus and diphtheria. They’re all standard shots that you should be up-to-date on but I recommend you check before you go, better safe than sorry. My doctor also gave me antibiotics, nausea medication, anti diarrhea medication, electrolytes and malaria medication. Most of these are for Mexico! However I have decided to not take the malaria tablets, my doctor gave them to me to be extra cautious but you can’t go in the sun when you take them and that’s 90% of why I want to go to Mexico!
Zika virus IS in Mexico, although it’s not considered a crisis. Zika virus if you are not pregnant is no threat. You will simply get very mildly ill. However we will be wearing bug spray!
We’ve taken cash and some on card, we plan on using cash for food (easier for tips and splitting the bill) and card for shopping. Cash is used a lot more here than card, and they have smaller bills down to $1 which makes tipping easier. The exchange rate isn’t fantastic at the moment but still better than the old days of 50c for a NZ$1! Added bonus you can use American dollars in Mexico so we wouldn’t need to exchange money.
Good to get some of the boring but critical information out of the way. These are little nit picky things that need to be covered off and checked before you go for peace of mind.