Tips & tricks for one day trip from San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico border crossing by foot. For full text, please disable AdBlocker.

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Before You Go to Tijuana:

Bring documentation: U. S. citizens can visit Mexico for 72 hours or less without visas, but they need proof of citizenship when they return, A passport or government-issued photo ID and birth certificate are most common. If don’t have a passport, Rushmypassport.com can help you get or renew your passport without having to run around or stand in line around to get it done.
Permanent Residents should bring their green cards and passports.
Citizens of other countries need valid passports and a valid I-94, multi-entry visa or visa waiver. Visit the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative website for more details.

Take cash: You’ll get better prices in the shops. U. S. dollars are fine. Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted in Tijuana. Use ATMs only for emergencies; they’ll give pesos that you’ll have to figure out what to do with if you don’t spend them all – and may incur foreign transaction fees.

Know how you’re going to get around Tijuana: Read the Tijuana transportation guide and plan ahead.

Time your trip: It can take more than three hours to get back into the U. S. from Tijuana on Saturday evening. Leave by mid-afternoon, or go on a less-busy day.

Wear comfortable walking shoes. Walking is the best way to see Tijuana.The last time I went, I walked 8 miles. That’s probably more than you will do, but you get the idea.

Leave expensive jewelry and designer clothing behind. You may get better prices from Tijuana shopkeepers if they think you don’t have much money, and there’s no point in inviting thieves.

While You’re in Tijuana:

Cell Phone Roaming: As soon as you get to the border crossing, put your phone on Airplane mode to avoid international roaming charge.

Beggars: Baja Mexico’s tourism department says giving beggars money won’t help the problem. They suggest that you contribute to a charity that helps needy people instead.

Young Girls Selling Flowers. Pickpockets may try to distract you by trying to sell you something while at the same time lifting your wallet. Cute kids are even easier to give into, but stay alert.

Say no: Tijuana shopkeepers want your attention, and they all have a way of getting it. Some resort to stereotypes (serape and sombrero), others to politeness (“just let me show you something”) and yet others to humor: “Give me a chance to rip you off.” A firm “no” works with all but the most persistent.

When you’ve gotta “go”: Some Tijuana shops have restrooms and so do some shopping complexes. There may be a small charge to use them.

Food and drink. It’s still true that you need to be careful about eating and drinking in Tijuana. Stick to bottled water and drinks, avoid drinks with ice, skip the street snacks and eat only well-cooked food, just to be safe.

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