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How to Relocate Your Household & Pets to Mexico

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  • Francois Bertrand

    The last InterNations event was just great: I had some very nice chats with fellow expats (even Canadians like me) in Mexico City.

If you are wondering how to relocate to Mexico, you are in the right place. This guide will cover many of the steps and requirements you will need to think about before making your big move. We will go over the shipping and storage of your belongings, the vaccinations you might require, and how to bring your beloved pets with you.

So, what does it take to relocate to Mexico? For most of us the hardest part of moving to the Latin country will be deciding what we need to pack up and take, and if you can do it by yourself or if you need assistance from a moving company. As a first piece of advice, try to make sure to give yourself at least three months to ensure you have time to follow the steps of the relocation process.

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Moving and Shipping Household Goods

Do you need information on how to move your household items and your personal belongings to Mexico? First, you should consider how much time you will have in order to sort, donate, and pack. You will need to decide if you can do it on your own or if you need a shipping company to do it for you. As most seasoned expats will confirm, moving and shipping your goods can be challenging and time-consuming, and using a company takes the stress out of this process.

Below are some of the options you have when shipping your belongings to Mexico.

  • Do it yourself: This is the least recommended option. Packing everything yourself, hiring moving vans, and driving the distance can make this an exhausting and ultimately a very expensive option.
  • By boat: This is a slower option. Items can take weeks to arrive. However, a plus side to this is that you can look at properties and find a new home while you stay in temporary accommodation. With this method, you can either use a company to pack, or you can do it yourself.
  • By plane: This is the most expensive option, but it is also the fastest. Your items can be with you in a matter of days, allowing you the peace of mind you need to start settling into your new life.

What to Pack when Moving to Mexico

The most important things to bring with you are  documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and visa-related paperwork. These are the hardest things to replace, so it is advisable to take them in your hand luggage.

Fragile Goods

Moving fragile goods can be difficult and time consuming. It is important to ensure that they have sufficient padding and are correctly wrapped in order to prevent breakages. This an important reason for opting for a qualified and insured company, as they will guarantee your goods arrive safely at destination.

For the less important and more easily replaceable things, you might want to consider selling, donating, or giving them away before you leave. Know that Mexico is a fast-growing economy, therefore finding items you sold back home, like chargers, headphones, TVs and clothing, will not be a problem

Electronics and Media

If you enjoy spending time watching media on DVD or Blue Ray, and have a collection you can’t leave behind, it might be beneficial to bring your player with you as these items tend to have regional locking and might not run on a new device.


If you are moving your bed with you, it may be a good idea to bring your own sheets as the sizing between Europe, Asia, and the Americas can vary. You could also try selling your old bed and purchasing one in Mexico to make buying linen in the future easier.

Sentimental Belongings

Ensure you safely pack and move these goods with you. Do not leave them behind as the cost of shipping one box from storage can be more expensive than moving it with your bulk shipment. Shipping will also be difficult to organize when you are in another country.

Custom Regulations for Mexico

As everywhere else, you cannot bring any drug paraphernalia weapons, explosives, or other dangerous items. The Mexican border has very thorough screening processes. You also have restrictions on food and plant products: You cannot bring in dairy, fruits, or meats, among others. The reason is that if any of these goods bring pests, they could potentially decimate crops and stock in Mexico.

Mexico Customs Allowances

  • 200 cigarettes, or 25 cigars, or 200g of tobacco
  • 3 liters of beer or other liquor
  • 6 liters of wine

If you are entering with over 10,000 USD (220,000 MXN) in cash, you need to declare it. You will also have to prove where this money came from.

Prohibited and Restricted items in Mexico

The following items are prohibited or restricted:

  • narcotics;
  • live fish;
  • predators of any size;
  • images representing children in a degrading or derogatory way;
  • used clothing and shoes, which are not part of your personal items;
  • firearms and ammunition.

Before travelling, it’s best to check the Mexican customs website for a complete list of prohibited items as regulations can change.

It can also be a good idea to make an itemized list of everything you are importing to make the declaration at customs easier. Also, having large quantities of any one item (e.g. shoes, handbags, jewellery, etc.) could result in having to pay import fees.

Home Goods Storage

Using long- or short-term storage spaces can significantly simplify the moving process. Why and how? Because sometimes you might not want to ship everything with you immediately, especially if you want to take your time to find a suitable home at your destination.

There are plenty of affordable long-term storage options in the market, so you do not have to ship everything straight away. When you arrive in Mexico, and start house-hunting, it may be a good idea to arrange a short-term storage space. Then, when your boxes arrive, you can send your goods there directly, avoiding unnecessary stress.

Some of the top storage companies in Mexico are:

  • U-storage;
  • Mex storage;
  • Minibodegas Mexico.

Vaccinations and Health Requirements for Mexico

How do you know what vaccinations you need in Mexico? As it currently stands, there are no Mexicanvaccination requirements. However, the CDC and the WHO recommend getting the following shots:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza

While this might seem like a lot, you have probably already received most of these as part of your country’s routine vaccinations. If you have any doubts, check with your healthcare provider.

Immigration Vaccination Requirements for Mexico

There are currently no health requirements for Mexican immigration. However, it is recommended to take out either permanent or temporary health insurance, as accidents can happen. In this way, you will have access to any treatment you may need from Mexico’s excellent private health system.

Be aware that some parts of Mexico can have malaria. If you start developing a fever, make sure you go to a healthcare center immediately, as this could be life threatening if left untreated. Also, keep in mind that Mexico is categorized as having a risk of Zika (ZIKV) virus transmission, which is spread via mosquitos. It is recommended to use mosquito spray, even during daytime hours in order to reduce these risks.

Connect with like-minded expatriates

Discover our welcoming community of expats! You’ll find many ways to network, socialize, and make new friends. Attend online and in-person events that bring global minds together.

Moving to Mexico with Pets

If you are a pet owner, finding out how to move to Mexico with pets will be a top priority. You will be pleased to know that you can move to Mexico with your pets with relative ease. In comparison to many countries, relocating here with animals requires much less documentation. However, while the Latin country is indeed pet friendly, only cats and dogs are recognized as pets or mascotas, as they are known in Spanish.

Pet Relocation to Mexico

So, what do you need to think about when taking your cat or dog to Mexico?

  • The microchip must meet AVID 9 or AVID 10 standards or be ISO. Moreover, it has to be implanted prior to the last rabies vaccine.
  • The certified rabies vaccine must be issued at least 15 days prior to traveling. While many countries use multiyear vaccines, in Mexico you will need to have yearly boosters.
  • A veterinary surgeon’s health certificate for each pet, which must be typed and on letterhead. This can be done when you take your pets for a check-up or their vaccinations.

Be aware, that you are only allowed to bring two pets into the country. This limit is per person. This means that if you are a couple, you are allowed to import up to four pets. Keep in mind that if you have over three pets, you will need to pay extra fees.

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  • Francois Bertrand

    The last InterNations event was just great: I had some very nice chats with fellow expats (even Canadians like me) in Mexico City.

  • Barbara Melington

    With InterNations, we had the chance to find a good bi-lingual school for our children in Mexico. They are gonna grow up as true 'third-culture kids'!

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