Traveling Safely in Mexico

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Cathedral in Zocalo Square, Mexico City (Photo: Adalberto Rios Szalay/Sexto Sol)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on January 21, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: destination, health and safety, holiday, Mexico, Michelle Addo.

From its large-scale beach resorts and bustling cities to its beautiful forests and tiny villages, Mexico is one of the most popular travel destinations around. However, this vast country is not known for being one of the safest options for vacationers. Despite this reputation, travelers can still have a fun-filled holiday! Sticking with these simple tips will help you have an enjoyable and safe vacation.

Do Your Research
Researching your destination prior to departure is a good way to learn about the history of Mexico and which places to visit. It can also warn you of any current travel precautions or health warnings. Websites such as the U.S. Department of State, WorldTravelWatch, and Visit Mexico have information about the country and provide a plethora of emergency numbers and addresses. Travelers can also check international news sites to learn about any relevant happenings such as riots or protests.


Do Not Travel Alone
While many people love to go on solo vacations, in Mexico, it is best to stick to the buddy system. Travel with a friend, partner, or group. One should also be accompanied when walking late at night or early in the morning.

Try to Blend In
When visiting any country, it is best not to call attention to yourself. This is especially true in Mexico, where pickpockets are commonly found in tourist areas. Keep extra cash, credit/debit cards, and identification in either a money belt hidden under your clothes or locked in your hotel's safe. Also, try to be discreet when using maps or taking pictures.

Be Careful of Taxis
It is best to call taxis instead of hailing them in the street. Authorized taxis (called Taxis Autorizados) are the best option besides airport or hotel taxis. These cabs are found at authorized stands throughout the country's cities. Additionally, agree on the taxi fee with the driver up-front.

Ask the Locals
Locals know best. If you have concerns about a neighborhood, or are generally unsure about an area, ask your hotel manager, desk clerk, or another person familiar with the location if there are particular areas you should avoid.

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