World ? Caribbean & Central America ? Mexico

Mexico: General Tips

Veteran travelers usually carry some essential items to make their trips easier. Following is a selection of handy online tools to bookmark and use.

Airplane Seating & Food. Find out which seats to reserve and which to avoid (and more) on all major domestic airlines at www.seatguru.com. And check out the type of meal (with photos) you'll likely be served on airlines around the world at www.airlinemeals.com.

Visa ATM Locator (www.visa.com) and MasterCard ATM Locator (www.mastercard.com), for locations of PLUS (Visa) and Cirrus (MasterCard) ATMs worldwide.

Foreign Languages for Travelers (www.travlang.com). Learn basic terms in more than 70 languages and click on any underlined phrase to hear what it sounds like.

Intellicast (www.intellicast.com) and Weather.com (www.weather.com). Weather forecasts for all 50 states and cities around the world.

Universal Currency Converter (www.xe.net). See what your dollar or pound is worth in more than 100 other countries.

Travel Warnings (www.travel.state.gov, www.fco.gov.uk/travel, www.voyage.gc.ca, www.smartraveller.gov.au). These sites report on places where health concerns or unrest might threaten American, British, Canadian, and Australian travelers. Generally, U.S. warnings are the most paranoid; Australian warnings are the most relaxed.

Using the Telephones -- All phone numbers listed in this book have a total of 10 digits -- a two- or three-digit area code plus the telephone number. Local numbers in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey are eight digits; everywhere else, local numbers have seven digits.

To call long distance within Mexico, dial the national long-distance code 01 before dialing the area code and then the number. Mexico's claves (area codes) are listed in the front of telephone directories. Area codes are listed before all phone numbers in this book. For long-distance dialing, you will often see the term "LADA," which is the automatic long-distance service offered by Telmex, Mexico's former telephone monopoly and its largest phone company. To make a person-to-person or collect call inside Mexico, dial tel. 020. You can also call 020 to request the correct area codes for the number and place you are calling.

To make a long-distance call to the United States or Canada, dial 001, then the area code and seven-digit number. For international long-distance numbers in Europe, Africa, and Asia, dial 00, then the country code, the city code, and the number. To make a person-to-person or collect call to outside Mexico, to obtain other international dialing codes, or for further assistance, dial tel. 090.

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