Mexico has a bad reputation. It often gets pigeon-holed as being unsafe with crazy stories of kidnapping, kidney-stealing, drug-lord shoot-outs and more. Are these are all hyped-up crime stories perpetuated by the media? Or should we be concerned when traveling to Mexico?
With beautiful, white sand beaches, amazing seafood, and relaxation to be had by all, many are missing a beautiful part of the world because they are feeding into these stories and bypassing a trip to this gorgeous county. Do a quick google search and you will find that the keywords “Is Mexico Safe?” pops up faster than any other country.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Mexico. Now truth-be-told, we traveled to the Cancun area – the Riviera Maya to be exact – a very popular tourist destination. I booked the ticket because it was a quick trip to a tropical destination and a gorgeous resort, but I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have safety concerns. So I did a little research.
Is Mexico Safe? What do the statistics say?
While the media often portrays Mexico as the most dangerous place on earth, it is statistically quite safe. According to NationMaster.com which uses U.N.-based data, Mexico doesn’t even make the list of the 36 nations with the highest murder rates. Mild-mannered nations like Sweden and Switzerland top Mexico for murders on NationMaster.com. Places we think of as idyllic Caribbean retreats have double, triple, even quadruple the murder rates of Mexico.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, has less crime than several US cities – like Washington D.C., Chicago, and New Orleans, yet we don’t hesitate to take our families here, do we? Unfortunately, crime stories of Mexico gets sensationalized and our fears get perpetuated.
So, as long as you take the right precautions when traveling to Mexico (heck, traveling anywhere), your biggest danger may be a sunburn…or a hangover….
6 Safety Tips When Traveling to Mexico
1. Research Your Destination: If you are planning a trip to Mexico, you can look-up your destination on the US Department of State website. This could pertain to any country you are traveling to. Don’t go by your neighbor’s opinion of Mexico, look it up yourself.
2. Leave Your Valuables at Home: The less you take with you, the less likely you are to lose them. If it’s a beach destination, chances are you are not going to want your fancy jewelry.
3. Have the Hotel Arrange Transportation for You: Your concierge will know what reputable taxi and transportation services there are, so allow them to help you make travel arrangements.
4. Utilize the Hotel Safe: Our concierge made a point to show us how to use the safe in our room and asked us to please put anything of value in it every time we left the room (that included our laptops, kindles, iPads, jewelry, purses, etc.).
5. Consider an International Calling Plan for Your Cell Phone: If you want to be able to stay in touch with people, you can easily add on an international plan for a few days at a minimal cost. Our resort had free wifi and with iPhones it was very easy to communicate with iMessage and FaceTime at no charge.
6. Use Common Sense: As in traveling anywhere, don’t discuss your room number with strangers, keep a low profile, and be aware of the people around you. Teach your kids these safety rules as well.
Quite frankly, these safety tips could pertain to traveling anywhere, not just Mexico.
I personally believe you are missing out on a terrific vacation by not going to Mexico. Besides the tranquil settings, you will encounter some of the most loving people in Mexico. Every time we travel there, I feel like I have made a few new friends. It’s not an unsafe country to visit.
You don’t want to miss out on this beautiful view, do you?