Living in SoCal? Here's the Best Way to Maximize Your Next Trip to Mexico

Advisor - Hannah Taylor
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Hannah Taylor

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city night view of buildings in Mexico
Curator’s statement

Living in San Diego for nearly 9 years now, I've always heard about flying out of Tijuana. Prior to living in California, I had only been to Cabo once and throughout my first few years traveled to Tijuana for a quick trip but nothing where I became super familiar with the area. Until my bachelorette trip, how do I do Mexico with my girls but not break the bank? Flights out of Tijuana into Cabo are only $70 round trip? SOLD. Since then, I've traveled through CBX into Mexico three separate times and it truly is the hidden gem of the south. Let me share with you why and some best practices...

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Where to stay

Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos

Set on a palm-lined street in Cabo, this luxe resort boasts eight outdoor pools and four restaurants.

Fora Perks
  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Welcome Amenity

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Montage Los Cabos

Beachfront resort with breezy rooms near the Desert Park Natural Reserve.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort

One of Cabo’s finest, with its distinctive Baja design and complex of pools and alfresco common spaces overlooking the sparkling Sea of Cortez.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Step by Step on How to Save on your Next Trip to Mexico

picture from airplane window cloud and sky
  1. Get on your flight scanner and put in your home airport versus Tijuana airport, and the flights will speak for themselves. There's almost $500 worth of savings for some flights. Just for driving 20 miles south and paying a small fee to enter from the US border.

  2. Purchase your flight, then purchase your Cross Border Express tickets (CBX). Parking can be paid for in advance or as you arrive, there are plenty of lots, but Lot A is their prime location. CBX is the entrance point from San Diego - Otay Mesa, where you will park your car and start heading towards the border

  3. Upon arrival of CBX, you head to the computers to fill out your Immigration form; this is just to make note of where you'll be staying and for how long

  4. Head towards the kind ladies in purple to scan your passport, CBX ticket and present your immigration form

  5. Start your walk across the border! Once you walk through the 3-4-minute entrance, you'll arrive through customs to present your documents once more before heading into the Tijuana Airport

  6. If you ask me, security at the TIJ airport is unmatched. It's super quick, super easy and I'd rather do that than the mess they have going on at SAN right now (hopefully those renovations change that though!)

  7. Head to your gate! You've made it.

Day trips

The best airlines to fly out of TIJ are Volaris, Viva Aerobus and AeroMexico. Those are the airlines with the most options for non-stop flights each day. Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Cabo, Mexico City, (hopefully Tulum soon!) are all destinations you can get to from Tijuana.

Customs as you get into Tijuana is really the only line that you will find yourself in during your CBX experience from San Diego into Tijuana Airport. I've left on a Friday around 12pm, no lines. But for Holiday Weekends it can be about 15-20 minute wait, but besides that I've never seen a longer line than that, which is *chefs kiss* considering how long customs at SAN takes!

Places to eat & drink in Mexico

2 glasses of margarita and lemon

VIPS is where you'll want to grab that mimosa or margarita upon arrival if you want to sit and relax. There's a Subway, Johnny Rockets, Dominos, you know, all the classics. There is also a VIP lounge for $40/person. Every time I check it out, it's packed, so I recommend just grabbing a drink and hanging out at your gate.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Amanda Blakley guide, Family-Friendly Guide to Mexico City

Advisor - Hannah Taylor

Travel Advisor

Hannah Taylor

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico.