Mexico is a popular tourist destination for Canadians, Americans and countless other countries in search of the warm tropics and unique Mexican culture. While odds are good that a trip to Mexico will be a safe one, more people are growing concerned with the increased violence. As such, we thought a few tips are in order to help those planning their vacation to Mexico to be as safe as possible.
Transportation in Mexico can be a little tricky and pose a number of risks to your security. First and foremost, flagging down a cab on the street should be avoided at all costs. The odds are higher that you will be taken advantage of and could be put in a situation where blackmail takes place. Only accept rides from those taxis that operate with large hotels or restaurants.
2. ATM Withdrawals
If making a withdrawal at an ATM, only do so if at the resort you are staying at, or at a national bank. Avoid withdrawing at night, and keep a limited amount of cash on hand to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
3. Drive-Through ATM’s
Under no circumstances should you use a drive-through ATM while in Mexico. Only use those that are in well-lit areas and located in an area that affords safety.
4. Never Discuss Travel Itinerary
As a rule, you should never speak about your travel plans while in public, and that includes the report unless booking an excursion. As an added level of safety, do not mention your room number, or flight information as this could be shared with those who are looking to commit crimes against tourists.
5. Limit Information when Booking Your Hotel
When registering at a hotel, do not give your full name but instead use an initial, or book using “Mr and Mrs. This is especially wise if you are a woman and travelling alone.
6. Check Hotel Safe
Many hotel safes set the code to 0000. This is never a wise choice and many thieves know this. Therefore before using the safe, check the code and change it to one that is uncommon.
7. Always Bolt Hotel Door
Whenever in your hotel room, whether relaxing, sleeping or taking a shower, make sure your room door is locked and bolted. Check the bolt to make sure it is in working condition and secures the room properly.
8. Travel with Small Flashlight
When travelling it is always a good idea to travel with a flashlight. This is even more important when in Mexico due to the grid not being as maintained as those in Canada or America. In the event the power goes out, you can then use the flashlight to locate the telephone and call the hotel front desk.
9. Do Not Party With the Locals
This can be a very dangerous practise. While it is nice to interact with locals, in Mexico, that can get you killed. Never go to bars or other local establishments with anyone you recently met as an added level of caution.
10. Lock Patio Door
Always ensure that the patio door to your hotel room is locked. This includes while bathing, sleeping or out of the room for social activities.