Mexico continues to be one of the most popular vacation destinations for U.S. travelers. The country’s beautiful beaches, excellent food, remarkable history, rich culture, stunning natural scenery, and, of course, the great weather, place traveling to Mexico for vacation at the top of many bucket lists.
However, is it safe to visit Mexico for vacation? More and more prospective travelers are asking this question considering the fact that the U.S. State Department has advised people to reconsider traveling to various areas of the country due to an increased level of criminal activity and kidnapping.
Still, approximately 28 million Americans safely travel to Mexico each year. According to Carlos Barron, a 25-year veteran of the FBI and founder of U.S. Traveler Assist, a security and safety company that provides advice and service to American travelers, staying safe while traveling in Mexico is all about using your common sense.
First and foremost, make sure that you’ve done your homework when it comes to choosing your holiday destination in Mexico. Mexico City is considered fairly safe provided you take precautions. Another favored destination, Merida, on the Yucatan Peninsula, is considered to be as safe as traveling to cities in Europe.
Other great destinations that are considered safe for travelers to Mexico include Puebla, San Miguel de Allende, and Campeche, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Further, Guanajuato in Central Mexico, the coastal town of Tulum, and Todos Santos, a surf town in Baja California Sur offer tons of natural beauty and a nice alternative to the touristy Cabo San Lucas.
Have fun being a tourist
When visiting the tourist areas of Mexico, even those that are rated as safe destinations, follow some common-sense rules, and you just may have the best vacation of your life:
- Make copies of important travel documents
- Keep a list of emergency numbers
- Do not drink the water
- Drink in moderation and never accept drinks from strangers
- Leave your valuables at home
- Do not dress in flashy or expensive clothing
- Make sure to always lock your hotel door
- Use registered taxis and, if driving, stay off the roads at night/avoid public transport
Staying in one of the many all-inclusive resorts that Mexico has to offer is probably the safest way to enjoy a trip to Mexico. You have everything you need to enjoy your vacation without having to leave the property and, in the major tourist areas, many resorts have shuttles to and from the nearest airport so they’re easy to get to — no need to rent a car or take public transportation.
Getting in the mood for your trip
Before visiting Mexico, do your due diligence when planning for your trip. The country’s Secretary of Tourism has given the designation of “Pueblos Magicos” or Magic Towns to 11 small towns or cities that have something special to offer visitors — from nesting turtles, amazing Mayan ruins, and colonial history to pre-Colombian architecture, and the rugged beauty of the Pacific coastline.
Once you arrive in Mexico, take all the recommended safety precautions to ensure that your trip is one to be remembered. But, before leaving on your Mexican holiday, how about reading a book about Mexico City to get you in the mood for adventure!