I would like to visit Mexico this year but am unsure of the best time to go. I don't like the heat, so thought October might be a good time? Would it be best to fly to Mexico via Los Angeles or Houston? There are also so many things to see, I am having trouble deciding which tour I would like to do. Could you recommend some "must see" sights and a reputable tour operator? And will I need to get visas, etc?
New Zealand citizens don't need a visa to visit Mexico for up to three months, so you won't need to think about that.
When it comes to Houston vs Los Angeles, it depends which part of Mexico you end up deciding to visit - obviously locations closer to the Californian border are easier accessed through LA, while for areas like Cancun it would be better to travel to through Houston. And of course, the price - just see what is the best deal on offer when you're ready to book.
As far as sights and the best time to visit, I've talked to our friends at Viva Expeditions, who cover South America, Antarctica and Cuba, and they sent me a few resources to look at.
Mexico is a great year-round destination, so there's no real bad time to visit - it just depends on where you're going and what activities you're into.
At sea level, the weather is usually warm, which is perfect if you like the beach. At higher elevations, the weather gets cooler in winter months. There's a rainy season between May and September, while the dry season lasts from October to April. Hurricane season is usually from June to November and this can affect the weather on the Caribbean coast, Gulf coast and Pacific coast.
Mexico City has spring-like weather - hot or warm during the day, but cooler overnight. Winter can get quite cold, with the coldest months in December and January and the warmest in April and May.
If you don't like the heat, it might be best to avoid the Gulf coast - it's generally hot all year round and is also quite humid, with the most rain falling between June and October. The Caribbean coast is also quite warm for the whole year and gets extremely hot and humid from June to September. Viva Expeditions recommend visiting March through May and September through October.
Overall, November to April was recommended as the best time to visit Mexico, but if you want to avoid crowds and save money, the rainy season is also an option - the wet weather varies from place to place.
The Mexico City to Cancun tour Viva Expeditions offers showcases the highlights of the country, including the Teotihuacan Pyramids and Guadalupe Shrine, the World Heritage city of Oaxaca and colonial San Cristobal.
What can I do to feel less hungover after a long flight? And don't say "stop drinking".
OK, but can I just say, stop drinking towards the end of the flight? That's a good start and you don't want to be too dazed and confused when you arrive in a new destination anyway. Especially if you're going to the US - I definitely wouldn't want to be drunk while entering that country at the moment!
If you're going to be drinking on a flight anyway, avoid pre-loading at the airport bar beforehand. Mostly because you're unlikely to take on any of my good advice if you're already incapacitated. Once you're in the air, try to avoid mixing your drinks - a decent tip in any situation really - and avoid darker drinks like whiskey, dark rum, red wine and bourbon. These beverages tend to cause a worse hangover. Also be sure to alternate your alcoholic drinks with cups of water - flying is dehydrating enough without adding alcohol into the mix.
Remember that your tolerance will be lower than usual at a high altitude - and don't try to beat David Boon's 52-cans-of-VB-in-one-flight record.