After multiple warnings from the U.S., here are some safety tips if traveling to Mexico

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  • Published on March 20, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Travel Advisory

With the kidnapping and murder of Americans in Mexico, there are certain safety and security tips you should know if you aren’t changing your travel plans.

When it comes to spring break, folks aren’t too willing to shift their travel itineraries or their idea of having a good time. Many college students have flocked to the area immediately adjacent to the southern border, oblivious to the travel and security threats posed by Mexico. They appear to have little fear or concern.

In a new warning issued last week, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico said, “Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during spring break.” The mission cited issues such as violent crime, drugs, unrestricted alcohol, and sexual assault as some of the country’s most pressing problems.

According to FOX News, the mission also cited a travel warning issued by the U.S. State Department in October 2022, which advised against visiting the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas while advising Americans to think twice about visiting another half-dozen states.

However, they’re still linking up to party. Some spring breakers appeared to be aware of the dangers in Mexico, while others appeared to be willfully ignorant or unaffected.

With the kidnapping and murder of two Americans on March 7 in Matamoros, Mexico, searches on Google about the dangers of visiting Mexico have reached a “breakout” level. Concerns about traveling to Mexico have been heightened by the incident, which has received considerable media coverage at a time when the influx of tourists — including an estimated quarter of a million college students — is at its highest.

As the ridesharing service Uber recently secured a court judgment for the ability to operate in the city, searches relating to the safety of Cancun have also been rising.

We recently reported that tensions flared up after several taxi drivers were caught on camera verbally abusing and threatening Uber drivers. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico promptly issued a security notice for the state of Quintana Roo in response to this development.

Trips to Discover sought the opinion of two travel specialists who are intimately connected with both Mexico and international travel safety to find out how worried American tourists should be about visiting the country at the present time.

Cross Border Coverage owner Zach Lazzari cites annual reports of violence against U.S. tourists to argue that the country is safe for vacationers.

Lazzari emphasized that despite the awful nature of the recent killings, travelers should continue visiting Cancun and Guadalajara. “Cancun is largely insulated as a resort destination, and the cartel violence that caused these killings isn’t targeting tourists in general,” he said.

Keep in mind that Mexico is a sizable country with both secure and risky areas. It’s important to note that the majority of Mexico’s top tourist spots are found outside of the regions where the U.S. Department of State warns its citizens to avoid traveling. Yet, just like when vacationing elsewhere, including the U.S., tourists must be attentive, use good judgment and exercise caution.

“Visiting Cancun is plenty safe, but spring break does escalate the energy and potential for conflict, Lazzari added. “Drugs and alcohol factor into the equation as well. I recommend avoiding the late-night scene and clubs.”

The United States Department of State categorizes the different states of Mexico into four distinct warning levels. American citizens are strongly discouraged from visiting six states, asked to rethink visiting seven others, and told to take extra safety precautions in another 17. Detour previously pointed out that only Yucatán and Campeche have the “exercise normal precautions” mark.

The occurrence on March 7 is not indicative of the general level of safety in Mexico, Paul Green, founder of the travel and relocation advisory firm My Mexico Move told Trips to Discover.

“Many popular destinations for Americans in Mexico have an exercise increased caution advisory, which is not uncommon for countries around the world,” Green mentioned. “It is important to note that these advisories do not necessarily mean that a particular destination is safe or unsafe. It simply means that travelers should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings.

Most states in Mexico have a state department travel warning that is identical to the “exercise increased caution when traveling” classification given to the Netherlands, the UK, France, and even Sweden.

If you’re planning a trip to a state or country that has issued a travel advisory of level two or level three, it’s essential to understand the reasons behind that decision. The outlet also consulted with professionals to find out what threats travelers face in Mexico and how they may minimize those risks.

Roadside encounters with military checkpoints and police are common, thus Lazzari advises tourists to learn some basic Spanish in order to converse with the people, police, and military personnel. Inquire with them about the most secure ways to reach your location. For your own protection, you should only travel by automobile during the day, stay only at hotels that provide safe parking, and avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables.

In addition, Green advises travelers to be respectful of local customs at all times and to invest in comprehensive travel insurance before setting off.


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