Crime, violence, and protests can be a discouragement on anyone’s travel, but please do not worry. You don't have to cancel your travel plans to Mexico because the news stories report conflict.
Most of the recent attention-grabbing news is due to conflicts between drug cartels and the Mexican authorities. As our guest and a tourist, you are in little danger of trouble. It is important for you to be smart, and follow common logic for safety precautions.
Mexico is a tranquil, soothing destination. To avoid the risk of being a victim of crime, follow these important safety tips:
- Research your destination. The US State Department's Website has information about Mexico as well as current warnings and public announcements regarding safety issues for travelers.
- As you're packing, think twice about taking valuables with you. If they're not essential, you should leave them at home.
- Scan your passport and travel documents and e-mail a copy to yourself. This will give you easy access to documents should they be lost or stolen.
- Create a list of your bank/credit card's international telephone numbers: (the 1-800 numbers used in the United States do not work in Mexico).
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home, and do not share details of your travel plans with others you meet while traveling.
- Take some travelers checks (or a small amount of cash), for emergency purposes.
- Blend in as much as possible. Try to be discreet.
- Choose ATMs in malls or stores, if possible. Avoid using ATMs at night or in deserted places. When you withdraw money from an ATM put it away immediately.
- Carry only the cash you need for that precise outing in your pocket or purse. Carry your passport, credit card and extra money inside your clothes in a money-belt, or leave them in your hotel safe.
- Exercise particular caution when in crowds, markets or on public transportation. Pickpockets can be very crafty and sometimes work in pairs as one person will distract you while another takes your wallet.