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Sayulita is a perfectly safe place for a family vacation. However, as Sayulita grows, so does the risk of petty theft. Thus, take the appropriate precautions as you would in most other vacation areas in the world:
In Sayulita (and all of Mexico) there is no better way to say "thank you" better than a little cash in the palm. Most of Mexico's personal service industry relies on tips to help make it from paycheck to paycheck. A small tip from you can go a long way with a working father whose sole income supports his entire family. A tip (and its amount) is always very subjective but here are a few general suggestions
(All prices are in Mexican pesos):
Life is slow and laid back in Mexico and especially coastal villages like Sayulita. People take their time doing things and "mañana" is an expression that does not necessarily mean tomorrow, only "not today." When you arrive to Sayulita, please leave all of your hasty and grand expectations behind. Enjoy the village and the peacefulness it offers to residents and visitors alike. Unlike the USA or Canada, getting mad and/or raising your voice does not bring about positive results; it simply shows your lack of understanding of the foreign culture and will make people shy away from you. No one will want to help you if you behave in such a manner.
Though most Sayulita residents speak a little English, your vacation will be greatly enhanced if you practice some Spanish before arriving. There are hundreds of websites offering quality services and courses to help you with learning Spanish at any level. You can also enjoy some fun Spanish lessons while in town. Check out local Spanish Classes here.
When getting around town in Sayulita, the words please, thank you, how much, when, where, and I'm sorry are a few expressions that will really help you. Remember, no one in town is hard of hearing. Repeating a phrase in English very loud only makes YOU look like the person who does not understand the conversation.