When it comes to traveling Mexico many people think they need to rent expensive cars or fly from place to place but the reality is combi travel in Mexico is extremely easy and very cheap. It can be intimidating your first time because of the confusion in trying to find the correct routes, drop offs, pick ups, and pricing. Creating a map of combi routes gets quite difficult as the routes change quite frequently making it near impossible to stay up to date. The thing to remember however is most combi drivers and locals are more than willing to help you out even if you need to use a translator app or maps on your phone.
Most places in Mexico the locations and stops are all written directly on the combi bus to make it easy to figure out where you are going. You’ll pay anywhere from 7 to 12 pesos unless you are going a longer distance to another city or location. Where I am there is the main hub downtown right outside the old market where you’ll find buses going in all directions. Worst case just ask someone or show them where you are trying to go and they will point you in the right direction.
When it comes to longer distance travels I prefer going with the larger autobuses for comfort even if it is a little bit more expensive. The plus side to the ADO autobus stations is most of them have free WiFi if you need to do any research or get some work done. Often times traveling by the larger autobuses you’ll have people get on the bus selling delicious food and snacks along the way which can make the travel experience a bit less grueling.
When it comes to local travel, combi buses will save you a lot of money in the long run and it’s a great way to learn Spanish, chat with locals, and find unique places to explore. One thing to keep in mind though is sometimes you get packed into the bus like sardines which some people might not like. For me personally it’s part of the experience and often times you’ll find yourself laughing and smiling with the locals as you’re packed in. Usually I find myself sitting there in peace listening to other conversations, picking up on their words and communication to improve my own Spanish.
If you’re still a bit nervous about traveling by combi in Mexico turn it into a personal challenge for yourself and over coming it will lead to higher travel confidence, opening up new doors and experiences along the way. If you’ve got some time in a certain city spend the day just riding around on random combis, exploring, trying new food, drinks, or anything else you find interesting. Worst case you can always take the combi back to your original location or a taxi if you truly get lost. You’ll quickly find the people of Mexico are very welcoming and helpful if you get into a sticky situation, just reach out and ask someone for help.
At the end of the day combi travel in Mexico is very reliable, safe, affordable, and I highly recommend it for your overall experience here in Mexico. It might take a few minutes longer to get where you’re going but when traveling the journey tends to be more fun than the destination. Don’t be scared of a new experience no matter how challenging, at the end of the day you’ll be rewarded with a boost of confidence.