The following story was provided by Mexpro.com, a website owned by International Insurance Group Inc., the leading provider of Mexican car insurance.
The Mexican Ministry of the Interior (Segob) recently issued a statement advising migrant workers who are returning to Mexico from the U.S. this holiday season to gather together and travel in convoys. The Mexican government also said that it would provide military escorts to protect the convoys from attack by criminal gangs. In light of this recent news, some may question the safety of foreigners traveling in Mexico. This is the beginning of the famous “snowbird” season, when many Norte Americanos pack up their RVs and head south to warmer, cheaper climates to spend the winter months. Here are some points to keep in mind when making your decision.
1. There is always safety in numbers. No matter where you travel to, whether it be across the United States, up to Canada or south to Mexico, it is always safer to travel in numbers. There are many caravan services that have been operating for decades, specializing in organizing caravans for RV travelers through Mexico. If you are concerned about safety, why not team up with a caravan? It’s a great way to meet people and can get you discounts with group rates at RV parks.
2. Most violence takes place at the border towns. Once you make it across the border zone, you enter into the tranquillo side of Mexico. Research where you are heading to see if there have been any travel advisories issued for that particular area. Mexico is a huge country, and 90% of it is perfectly safe for travelers. Stay away from places where violence has been recurring, such as Nuevo Leon and Monterrey, and head to more interesting, laid-back and violence-free locations, like everywhere else!
3. The Mexican government doesn’t want any more bad press. The good news for tourists is that due to the bad press, the Mexican government is losing tourist dollars daily, making them take more protective measures to ensure the tourist dollars keep rolling in. Toll roads and major highways are flush with military checkpoints and guards, there specifically to keep travelers safe. Stick to the toll roads if you can, and drive during daylight hours. Mexican nationals who are traveling down from the U.S. can register with Segob’s Programa Paisano, a special governmental agency that protects the rights of Mexican’s who travel in and out of the country.
4. Typically, tourists are not targets. Strange as it may seem, tourists are not typically the targets of attacks. This may be for multiple reasons. One is that typically Mexican nationals traveling down from the U.S. are bringing cash since they don’t have bank accounts. They also tend to bring gifts for family members. Tourists usually have bank cards that can be quickly canceled and other touristy items not necessarily useful to robbers. The other reason is because of fear of American retaliation. If American tourists are targeted, the punishment is sure to be fierce and swift. Either way, it is still a good idea to take every precaution to be safe.
5. Don’t be flashy. While number 4 is typically true, it can turn into an untruth if you are the type of tourist who travels wearing gold jewelry, diamonds, and dragging along every type of electronic gadget you can find. Don’t turn yourself into a target. Dress down and travel light. It’s always better to look like you wouldn’t be worth robbing. This is Mexico, and you are on vacation, so enjoy being laid back and not having to dress to impress anyone!
All this being said, travel to Mexico can still be a safe and enjoyable experience, as long as you take precautions and know what to expect and what not to expect. Prepare for the worst by getting travel insurance. Mexpro.com has a host of travel insurance options, such as Mexpro Assist, that will provide you with legal and travel assistance and insurance no matter where you are, any time day or night. Cover all your bases and you won’t have to worry. Don’t let the bad press scare you away from your vacation. You can still have a great Mexico experience and travel knowing that no matter what happens, you will be covered.