We are fast approaching Christmas and New Years – one of the busiest times of the year for Puerto Vallarta – and I thought I’d offer some advice on how to deal with the crowds.
Due to the population increase during the holidays in Puerto Vallarta, everything we do takes longer.
Planning ahead and taking more time to do things, with an extra side of patience is needed to get through the holidays with your sanity.
Year after year I have found myself in huge line-ups outside of numerous bank machines in Puerto Vallarta trying to withdraw money. It seems that during this busy season the ATM’s can not keep up with supply quick enough to support the demand for money needed for the holiday season.
However, the ATM will not state it is out of money and you won’t know this until after you stand in line for 25minutes, then complete all your input into the ATM only to receive a message like “unable to contact your bank” OR “your transaction can not be complete.”
At this point if you are like me you will immediately be overcome with anxiety as you run around like a mad woman in search of the next closest ATM.
You will know you’ve found it by the familiar looking line-up of frustrated people waiting outside in single file to use the machine. During this 25 minutes of waiting you will most likely run over all sorts of scenarios in your head that could possibly be wrong with your banking situation back home and convince yourself you’ve got money!
After a second failed attempt to withdraw money and your third line-up at another ATM you will undoubtedly hear the other people in line start talking about being in the same situation. At this point you will be sweating from running around, and now the thought of using your bank card for a third time and the possibility of your bank shutting it down completely for suspicious activity has entered your head!
Finally, if you are in luck you will gain access to your funds which only took a frustrating hour and a half to withdraw and can now return to the restaurant where your anxious family has been waiting for you to pay the bill because the restaurants Credit Card machine was down.
All this to say my friends, plan ahead for the crowds during high season and the effects they have on Puerto Vallarta. Max out on your ATM withdraws and never run yourself down to having no pesos in your pocket before re-filling.
When you do go to the ATM go early in the morning, and if you happen to see the armored cars and security men with machine guns standing around an ATM its your lucky day! Stay there and wait for them to finish and be the first in line to use the newly stocked with cash ATM and get your money.