Thursday, July 29, 2010

Traveling safely in Mexico

Mexico is a popular tourist destination among Americans, and is a relatively affordable and convenient destination to visit. While most travelers never experience problems while visiting the country, it is important to take some precautions when visiting Mexico.

• First and foremost, research your destination before your trip. In light of the recent tensions between the drug cartels, it is important to make sure the areas to which you are traveling are deemed safe. Certain areas with high volume of drug related crime should be avoided.

• Before traveling to your destination make sure to make at least two copies of your passport and travel documents. One to leave with a friend or family member staying in the United States, and one to bring with you in case your passport is lost or stolen. Also be sure to take your bank or credit card Company’s international telephone number along, should your card be lost or stolen. Before leaving the United States, make sure you inform your credit card company or bank that you are traveling abroad, or chances are they may temporarily deactivate your cards as a security precaution.

• While in Mexico it is important to try to blend in, or at least to not have the appearance of the stereotypical American tourist, with the baseball cap and white sneakers, as this type of appearance draws attention to thieves and pick-pocketers. Also, it is important to avoid using ATMs in deserted locations or at night. Remember to put withdrawn money away immediately.

• For women: It is especially important to be mindful of travel safety. It is a good idea to wear a purse with a long strap that drapes over the shoulder and diagonally across the body and zips. This type of purse stays close to the body, and makes it difficult for pick-pocketers to break into. Also, it is important to always ignore cat calls from local men. Even negative responses are perceived as an invitation to continue and possibly advance further. One helpful phrase you can use against harassing men is “estoy esperando a mi esposo,” which means I am waiting for my husband.

• Always act as if you know where you’re going and never stand on the streets looking at maps and guide books appearing lost. And remember, trust your instincts. If they tell you venturing to a certain place is a bad idea, it probably is.

3 comments:

  1. I would honestly say that you are pretty safe going to Cancun. I have been tracking the stories of violence and they re really criminals taking out other criminals. Tourists are solid safe.

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