Tropical days, sunny beaches and hot nightlife make Mexico an enticing getaway, but for many would-be travelers, an important question looms: how safe is Mexico for Americans? No one wants a paradise vacation to turn into a nightmare, and knowing the safety level of the country you're going to visit can help ease extra stress that comes with traveling. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power, so learning precautions and general advice before departing can help Americans feel safe visiting Mexico for vacation.
General safety is of course a top priority when traveling. Mexico is a bustling city, but its safety requirements and procedures are not the same as the United States. Taxis that are not regulated can sometimes be driven by criminals, for example. Also, the legal system is different in Mexico. There are extremely rigid penalties for bringing weapons over the border into Mexico, even something as small as a pocketknife.
When considering rental services in Mexico, be sure to use good judgment. Many fun tourist activities, including mopeds and water craft expeditions, are not insured and may be in bad condition.
While the ocean may be beautiful, many American deaths happen each year because of drowning. The water tends to be rougher in Mexico, with a strong current and a high possibility of riptides. Staying aware of current conditions and exercising good judgment will help keep you safe in the water.
Gang and drug-related violence has been escalating recently, causing concern for many Americans wishing to travel to Mexico. While common sense is your best weapon against getting into bad situations, avoiding some of the hot spots for violence is a good idea. Resort hotels are frequently very well-maintained with adequate security, and the areas surrounding them often populated with tourists. Venturing off to strictly local areas is not advised, as an American with little idea of Mexican customs can be a walking target for trouble. Acapulco and Matamoros, both popular destinations, have been targets of gang activity and violence, so visitors to this area should be extra alert.
Although the potential for trouble is there, Mexico is overall a safe place for Americans to visit. Using common sense is the best defence against trouble, and following local law can help keep your vacation running smoothly. The United States Embassy and Consulates General can provide help if a problem arises, and keeping a list of numbers and locations of these offices handy can help you be prepared in case of an emergency. Overall, Mexico can truly be a memorable getaway, and should not be excluded for being unsafe for Americans.