To Mexico City With an Infant – Part 1

Traveling is something that neither one of us wanted to give up when we had a child. In our love-hate relationship with Chicago, the hateful days land primarily in the forever greyness between the end of winter and the real end of winter. For those of you who cheat at life by living somewhere without slush, it’s like the stressful 15 minutes between pulling pecan pie out of the oven and not searing your mouth with goodness.

So, we escaped five days of April to Mexico City and did some learning about traveling with an infant.

Why Mexico City (with an infant)?

  1. We travel cheap. The Mexican peso fell with Trump’s premature ejaculations about walls and trade, although it’s been on the rise again as Mexico finds out he’s shooting blanks. 18.75 pesos to the dollar makes tacos and beer about $1.25 a piece.
  2. That means a nice Airbnb apartment in a nice part of the city is about $70/night, fees included. A comfy, private place is better for spending time feeding babies, putting them to sleep or hiding the screams when they can’t. Our wonderful Airbnb is here.
  3. Chicagoans have a lot of business and families in Mexico City. Direct flights from O’Hare are cheap and only four hours. I’ve also read that United isn’t beating up people on the tarmac anymore, so there’s that.
  4. Uber rules in Mexico City. $4 will get you about anywhere around downtown. Useful when the subway is constantly crowded and baby’s nap-time comes painfully sooner than you thought. Because this is probably why you’re searching the net about Mexico City: Few people use car seats in Mexico City. It’s ok. 18,000,000 kid-loving people somehow deal with it every day. Just hold ’em tight.
  5. Everything you may need for an infant or yourself is a walk away. The commonly-touristed areas are beautiful, tree-filled and clean.
  6. It’s also surprisingly peaceful during Holy Week when many people leave for the weekend to celebrate back home in the countryside. Most days, the only thing cracking the morning silence is sad whining that lets us know we didn’t put enough in the bottle.
  7. After countless travel recommendations from friends and pledges that the city is very safe, we’ve found it to be true. Having lived in St. Louis and Chicago, it’s a low bar I know, but we’ve rarely felt safer using our passports.
  8. People are super friendly. Especially to babies. It’s a very child-driven culture. You’ll find people happily parting the sidewalk for your stroller or stopping to talk to the niño. However, few things are more scary to a tired infant than an unknown and determined grandma-in-the-face.

Our Mexico City infant travel tip picture book.

 

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Apparently, it never hurts to ask your Airbnb host for a crib. Ours is also served with wine.

 

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You can’t drink the water, but you can bathe in it.

 

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Always tortilla soup for the win.

 

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Parque España in the Condesa neighborhood. Peace and quiet and shade.

 

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Fish tacos at El Pescadito in Condesa: Three versions: Fried Chile Relleno, ground marlin, and plain with fixin’s from the topping buffet.

 

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Zócalo on the Plaza Mayor – thousands of people less than usual, yet still a high level of danger for grandmas-in-the-face and distraction saturation. Uber-escapes are plenty and cheap.

 

 

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Noon-time napper. Hat required.

 

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You don’t pay for the chips, but you would if you had to.

 

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Loading up the days with peaceful picnics in the parks. Here in the largest urban park in the Western Hemisphere – The  Chatapulpec Forest. Home of countless Aztec-planted trees, world class museums and miles of shady trails.

 

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Listening to the Mozart Requiem on Good Friday in the Audiorama inside the Chapultepec Forest. Bring a book. Bring a stroller. Stay a while.

 

 

Stay tuned for Part Two.

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Having traveled extensively in the past with an artist and educator schedule, I now spend my non-working hours calming a tired infant, searching for the best sazerac and getting the most out of our urban garden. As we inevitably write more about traveling with children, we'd love to read your comments about how you create the perfect comfort/adventure balancing act. Thanks for reading!

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