You may not even be aware that there is a Mexico travel warning currently in effect. After all, Mexico is certainly still a very safe travel destination. Especially considering how many citizens from the United States visit this nation every day without any incidents. Every day visitors from all around the planet are enchanted by Mexico. Drawn like magnets by the magic natural beauty, extraordinary culture, and exquisite scenery of this fabulous country south of the border. Though your chances of experiencing any serious problems in Mexico are very sparse, there are many things which you can do to protect yourself while enjoying a wonderful vacation in Paradise.
Information About the Mexico Travel Warning
The current travel warning was issued by the US Department of State on April 14th 2008, and expires on October 15th 2008. Violence related to narcotics trafficking has prompted this warning. U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Mexico are advised to exercise caution when they are in unfamiliar areas and to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Though there is no evidence that U.S. citizens are specifically being targeted, Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in some violent attacks.
History and Precautions
Dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped in Mexico in recent years. Many of these cases remain unresolved. U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours. It is preferable for U.S. citizens to stay in well-known tourist destinations and tourist areas of the cities with more adequate security. Tourists should always provide an itinerary to a friend or family member who is not traveling with them. U.S. citizens should avoid traveling alone. Visitors in Mexico should refrain from displaying large amounts of money, expensive-looking jewelry, or other valuables.
Keeping it in Perspective
This travel warning may sound grim, but don't call the travel agent and cancel your vacation to Mexico just yet. This is the lowest form of travel information that the State Department issues. In fact, it is the exact same warning that's been issued for the past three years. Mexico needs and wants tourism, and the country is doing a much better job protecting foreigners.
Tourists are Still Very Safe
Most of the violence in Mexico is directly related to the drug cartels and the authorities who are trying to eradicate them. Keep in mind that there is absolutely no evidence of any innocent US citizens being randomly murdered in drug violence. Though much of the violence occurs in border towns, even Tijuana is much safer than the most dangerous cities in the United States. If you stay in the major tourist destinations and don't purposely place yourself in any danger, your vacation will most likely be wonderful and without any incident.
Ways to Protect yourself in Mexico
Use common sense and precaution during you vacation to Mexico. Many spring break vacationers and other travelers may want to let loose, but keep your wits about you and be responsible. Public drinking may be tolerated, and even encouraged in many Mexican tourist destinations, but public intoxication can easily lead to a spectacle and arrest. Also, travelers should be aware that it is not permitted to bring a firearm with you to Mexico. The possession of a firearm and even ammunition can result in jail time in Mexico. Never drive with a firearm in your vehicle. This is one of the items that military checkpoints are specifically searching for when they stop your vehicle.
More tips for staying safe in Mexico:
- Stay in well traveled areas.
- Avoid driving at night and traveling alone.
- Don't drink and drive.
- Don't purchase or use any illegal drugs.
- Don't seek out the most remote camping locations, or surfing beaches.
- Tourists who are drunk in public are also an easy mark for criminals.
- Do not carry all your money with you.
- Don't display obvious wealth with flashy valuables.
- Do not put all your credit cards in one place.
- Don't carry enormous amounts of cash.