Mexico is a beautiful country, known primarily for its stunning beaches on both coasts. It’s also one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. However, as with anywhere, there are some risks and things to be aware of before traveling.
An estimated 40 million tourists visited the country in 2017, but there has been increased attention on the violence in the country, due in large part to gang violence.
Many people still plan trips there, but some may wonder if it’s safe to go. For the most part, travel experts say yes, but there are things to think about and do to prepare before leaving. Travelers should have a plan for what they’ll do if they need family members to send money to Mexico in case of an unexpected situation, and what to know if they’re caught up in a dangerous scenario, as unlikely as that might be.
The following are some things travelers can keep in mind, specifically, before heading to Mexico.
Mexico is a large place, and while some areas aren’t considered very safe, others are. The current threat level in Mexico is a two according to the State Department, which means that travelers should be aware of risks.
However, certain states in Mexico are rated level four. These include Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas. A level four rating is the same as what’s seen in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s important for travelers to avoid those places because the State Department warns of widespread violent crime.
The biggest health issue most travelers face in Mexico is called Montezuma’s Revenge. Montezuma’s Revenge is simply a case of traveler’s diarrhea. To avoid this, and other health problems while you’re on your trip, first and foremost don’t drink the water. You might already know to drink bottled water but think about ice as well.
Some ice may be purchased from factories or made from purified water, but if you want to be on the safe side, just avoid it.
When you’re eating, the street vendors can offer some great options, but look for carts that seem to be crowded with locals because they are usually the options that are going to be the freshest and the best. Be careful with fruits and raw vegetables as well.
Travel insurance can be good to have no matter where you’re going, and this includes Mexico. One feature to look for when choosing insurance is what’s called “Cancel For Any Reason.” This may be included with some travel insurance policies, or it might be an add-on. This lets travelers cancel up to 48 hours before their trip and get a 75% reimbursement.
This is good if something unexpected comes up personally, or you start to feel uneasy about your trip for any reason.
Finally, when it comes to personal safety, the guidelines for Mexico are no different from anywhere else including many cities in the U.S. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, and try to avoid walking alone at night. It’s also better to call a cab or have one called for you, as opposed to flagging one down.