Travel Safely in Mexico: 10 Tips to Plan your Trip

published on October 10, 2019 by

As you get ready for your vacation across the border, it’s time to think about how to travel safely in Mexico!

So, your vacation is booked and you are counting down the days until you are face down in the sand with a margarita at arm’s length. That’s when you stumble upon an article about some unseemly criminal activity across the border. Your excitement momentarily shifts into travel anxiety. Relax, we have all been in this situation! Travel inherently comes with an element of risk, but there are many steps you can take to ensure that you and your family stay safe while you explore.

Many tourist destinations around the globe (not only Mexico) are hotspots for crime. There will always be those who prey on travelers as targets for theft and scams. The best way to ensure your safety is to educate yourself, practice awareness, and exercise caution during your trip. To help put your mind at ease, we have outlined 10 tips to stay safe while you enjoy your upcoming Mexico vacation:

1.    Research your destination beforehand.

Research your Destination

Before choosing a resort in Mexico, investigate the safety of the destination you wish to travel to. You can read other travelers’ online reviews, call resorts ahead of time to ask about the area, or visit the US Government’s Travel website where warnings and public safety announcements are always available.

2.    Store digital copies of your ID, passport, and important travel documents on your phone.

Store Travel Documents Digitally

Take photos on your phone or scan/email your travel papers to yourself before you leave the country. If you are a victim of theft during your stay you will still be able to cross the border with the digital copies.

3.    Leave valuable belongings at home.

Leave Valuables at Home

Recently engaged? It is best practice to leave that big rock securely in your jewelry box at home. Expensive jewelry, designer handbags, and anything that is visibly valuable to passers by is likely to attract the wrong element. Leave them at home to avoid being a prime target for theft.

4.    Store your bank and credit card phone numbers digitally.

International Support Numbers

Store the international support numbers for your bank on your phone or somewhere in your luggage. In the event your wallet is misplaced or stolen, you can report it as quickly as possible.

5.    Buy a money belt to hold your money and passport under your clothes.

Keep your Money Safe

The best way to deter pick-pockets is to simply not have a pocket full of cash available to them. If you carry a purse, consider purchasing a discreet money belt to hold your most valuable belongings. These can be easily worn underneath most garments. With your cards stored discreetly under your clothing, your most important items will remain safe.

6.    Bring cash and refillable gift cards in lieu of debit or credit cards.

Keep Your Money Safe

Consider leaving your credit and debit cards at home, and instead ask your bank about their refillable gift card options. Many banks offer refillable cards specifically designed for travelers. These are usually available for a small fee. If a travel card is not an option, consider just bringing credit cards and cash, this way at least your bank account information will be left at home. If you do bring a large amount of cash, avoid carrying it all at once. Spread it out among your group, use money belts, and leave any bills you won’t need for the day back in the hotel safe.

7.    Avoid ATMs.

Travel Safely in Mexico

ATM security concern is another reason to bring cash and opt for a refillable gift card to protect your banking info and credit cards. If you do need to make a withdrawal, try to find an ATM in a bank, shopping mall, or store where there is heavy security. Always use ATMs during daylight hours.

8.    Try to blend in with the locals.

Blend in with the Locals

Since tourists are often targets for theft, make every effort not to look like one. It can be tempting to wear your flashiest vacation garb and constantly tote your camera around your neck, but it is wise to refrain from doing so.
In order to travel safely in Mexico, your family’s security should be at the top of your mind during your outings.

9.    Stay alert in large crowds.

Travel Safely in Mexico

Pickpockets work best in crowded areas with lots of people moving around, so stay alert and try to blend into these areas. Again, try not to draw attention to yourself and keep your valuable belongings in money belts around your waist. If possible, try to walk around crowds of people as opposed to passing directly through them.

10. Avoid over-indulgence in alcohol.

Travel Safely in Mexico

Another reason many tourists fall victim to scams while abroad is because they tend to indulge more than locals. Yes, you are on vacation and you should let loose and have fun, but it is important to keep safety at the top of your mind. Implement a “buddy” system for your family or group, and perhaps choose one person during each outing who will be a “designated driver”. Even if you aren’t driving, having one group member choosing to stay sober and alert is smart. If you are traveling alone, exercise even more caution with alcohol. Avoid the use of any recreational drugs, as they are illegal in Mexico.

Hopefully, these tips have helped you feel more comfortable about how to travel safely in Mexico. If you are ready to book your vacation, browse our Mexico timeshare rentals to find your perfect resort stay!

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