American Express -- Sun Travel American Express, 3100 N. Mesa St., Ste. B (tel. 915/532-8900; www.suntvl.com), offers American Express services Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 2pm.
Babysitters -- Front desks at major hotels often can make arrangements on your behalf.
Dentists -- Contact 1-800-DENTIST (tel. 800/336-8478).
Doctors -- Call El Paso County Medical Society (tel. 915/533-0981).
Drugstores -- Walgreens Drug Stores has a 24-hour prescription service at 1831 N. Lee Trevino Dr. (tel. 915/594-1129).
Emergencies -- For police, fire, and medical emergencies, call tel. 911. To reach the Poison Center, dial tel. 800/764-7661 or 915/544-1200.
Hospitals -- Full-service hospitals, with 24-hour emergency rooms, include Sierra Medical Center, 1625 Medical Center Dr. (tel. 915/747-4000; www.sphn.com), just northwest of downtown, and Del Sol Medical Center, 10301 Gateway W. (tel. 915/595-9000; www.delsolhealth.com), on the east side of the city.
Newspapers & Magazines -- The El Paso Times (www.elpasotimes.com) is the city's only daily English-language newspaper, and an El Paso edition of El Diario de Juárez (www.diario.com.mx) is published in Spanish daily. El Paso Scene (www.epscene.com) is the city's free monthly arts-and-entertainment paper. El Paso Magazine (www.epmediagroup.com) is a monthly magazine focusing on arts, culture, and regional issues.
Post Office -- The main post office, located downtown at 219 E. Mills Ave., is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm, Saturday from 8:30am to noon.
Safety -- While El Paso has among the lowest crime rates of any major U.S. city, it is far from crime free, and drugs and auto theft are two preeminent problems. It's important to keep aware of your surroundings at all times and ask at your hotel or a visitor center about the safety of a given neighborhood, especially after dark. Note: When visiting Mexico, it is important to remember that Ciudad Juárez is one of the world's most active drug-smuggling centers, and 2008 was an especially bad year for drug-related violence. However, crime against tourists has remained rare.
Taxes -- In the city of El Paso, the total sales tax is 8.25% and 15.5% for lodging.
Time Zone -- El Paso is in the Mountain Standard Time zone, like nearby New Mexico but unlike the rest of Texas, which is in the Central Standard Time zone. Set your clock back 1 hour if you enter El Paso from the east.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.