How To Stay Safe When Traveling To Mexico

When it comes to finding an affordable, yet still exotic and exciting, place to vacation, it is hard to top a quick trip across the border to Mexico. While Hawaii may be a more famous destination, Florida may be more widely advertised and filled with more internationally known attractions, and California may be more talked about, none of those locations can truly hold a candle to Mexico in terms of providing some of the best and most beautiful scenery that can be seen and experienced with even the tightest of vacation budgets. Mexico is blessed with vibrant cities, temperate weather, and gorgeous coastlines.

The one thing that people are usually most concerned with when contemplating traveling to Mexico though is their safety. Mexico has gained a reputation as a place that tourists need to watch out for themselves and their family members, and while there is evidence that tourists are sometimes targeted by pickpockets and muggers, nothing really exists indicating the danger is greater in Mexico than in any other tourist destination either inside or out of the United States of America. It is still a good idea when traveling, especially on foreign soil, to be as safe as possible. Here are some safety tips that can be taken when traveling to Mexico.

Safety steps to take before leaving for a trip to Mexico:

1. One of the best places to check for safety alerts and other information related to international travel is the website of the United States State Department. All international travel concerns and public safety announcements will be at one time or another posted there.

2. If traveling with a credit card or bank card, a traveler should also pack the international contact numbers for those financial institution in case they need to report them stolen. In case of loss or theft, these numbers should not be packed in the same wallet or purse that the credit cards are stored in.

3. When at all possible, leaving unnecessary valuables behind is a great safety strategy when traveling any where. Obvious flaunting of wealth or expensive jewelry and even electronics is a great way travelers can make themselves a target for potential theft.

4. Digitally scanning travel documents, including passports and other identification, and then emailing the images to their own email accounts is a great way to have a backup of these vital documents. If these papers were lost while traveling, they would be easily reprinted or at least accessible by merely logging into that email account.

5. While traveling with credit and debit cards is safer than cash, it can be more than inconvenient if these cards are ever stolen or lost. It is a good idea if the traveler also brings along actual cash and/or travelers checks to act as a backup plan should the cards turn up missing.

6. Knowing who a traveler should share details of their travel itinerary with is important in preserving a high level of safety. Travel details should never be shared with people met while traveling, but at the same time the most accurate travel itinerary possible should be left at home with friends or family before a traveler leaves so that should something happen someone knows where and when the traveler is supposed to return.

7. A good way to preserve the safety of both cash and travel documents is to purchase a money belt that allows these to be carried beneath the clothing of the traveler. While many people purchase what is popularly referred to as a fanny pack to accomplish this, these are not nearly as secure or easy to hide.

Safety steps to take once you cross the border into Mexico:

1. When withdrawing cash using a bank card, a traveler should choose an ATM in a well lit area and in popular locations like shopping malls or hotel lobbies. Once cash is extracted from the ATM, it should be immediately put away so as not to draw the attention of anyone in the vicinity.

2. One of the best resources a traveler can make use of to find out if there are areas that should be avoided is the manager and other employees of the hotel where they are staying.

3. Though it is common to have a great deal of cash on a traveler’s person when traveling, for day-to-day use it is best to only carry the required amount of cash needed for that day’s activities.

4. When a traveler enters an open market or shopping area where there are large crowds, they should be aware that this is the location that many pickpockets wait at to to target their victims. Pickpockets often work in pairs, so it is important not to be completely distracted by one person while their partner continues to operate.

5. One of the best ways for a traveler to stay safe while traveling is if at all possible to not advertise the fact that they are a tourist. When a traveler walks through the street looking at their guidebook and carrying a camera around their network, they are advertising to anyone with bad intentions that they are not familiar with the area and can be taken advantage of.

Staying safe on a trip across the border into Mexico is not difficult. Despite what some people will say, the country is very safe and it is very common for a traveler to never experience any interaction with anyone who is targeting them for theft or pickpocketing. Many of the methods a traveler can use to stay safe in Mexico are the same methods that most people use when they are in their own country or city. The most important thing to remember is that the less conspicuous a traveler is, the less chance they have of becoming a target of anything or anyone that can take advantage of or exploit them.


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