Tips When Traveling To Mexico

By | May 6, 2023

Tips When Traveling To Mexico – I never want to share safety information to discourage travel. Mexico is a beautiful country and I’ve had almost entirely positive experiences there. For the last few years, I’ve spent 3 months living and working in Mexico with tour groups, friends, or expat bloggers.

So while I was lucky and didn’t experience any major security issues (other than stolen credit cards), I learned a lot of security tips by helping organize tours or through local expats.

Tips When Traveling To Mexico

Pretty basic for any city life. Walk home in pairs. If you’re going to the pubs, find your friends while it’s still light and go together. And always check in with people that they got home all right.

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Find expat groups on Facebook by searching for “Expats of ___” any city in Mexico you plan to live or travel to. These people will be able to provide very up-to-date safety advice for a specific location, even recommend reliable taxis that you can call when you need a ride.

The most common crime we dealt with in my time in Mexico was the spring break getting drunk, taking a cab home and getting robbed. Taxi drivers have been known to lock the doors until you give them more money or they may even pull over and refuse to take you to your destination until you give them your money.

There’s no denying that many crimes in Mexico target drunken tourists. If you’re heading to Mexico with plans to party, why not go during the day?

It’s safer to drink at a beach club during the day and go back there during the day.

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I don’t want to make you afraid of taxis. You can go to Mexico and not have problems with any taxi drivers. However, they have been known to insist on more money before leaving you, stealing your money if you are drunk, etc. As a general rule, I avoid taxis whenever possible.

My third time in Mexico, I didn’t take a taxi once. We were close enough to walk or bike to everything. Staying in a central location might be worth the additional cost to skip the taxis.

If you are staying at the resort this is probably unnecessary. But if you plan on living in a city for awhile, buy something small to take with you.

While I was staying in an apartment in downtown Playa del Carmen, there was an increase in crime. All the expat ladies carried some form of personal protection, be it a whistle, pepper spray or one of those types of rings.

Tips For Mexico Travel

Just go to an ATM at a bank in Mexico. ATM robberies are common and street ATMs are easily tampered with!

While I was in Playa del Carmen, there were a series of robberies where a person on a scooter grabbed a pedestrian’s shoulder bag and drove off. Carry your purse on the opposite side to avoid this easily!

Going alone with a drug dealer into an alley is an easy way to get robbed, tricked, or seriously injured.

If you’re walking alone at night, let someone know when you’re leaving and when you’ll be arriving. Turn it on and share your live location with them too. Take care of each other.

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I know I shouldn’t say “don’t pee in the street”, but you’d be surprised how often it happens.

When I was working spring break in Cancun, it was a common issue for guys to leave a club drunk and decide to pee somewhere outside unobtrusively. But if the cops saw this happening, they would take advantage of the situation and take the drunk tourist to jail overnight, knowing they could get money from them to avoid arrest. And if they didn’t have any money, the police knew their friends would come when they arrived to rescue them.

My first season in Mexico, this happened to three different guys staying at our resort. So be smart and obey the laws.

Whenever you travel to ANY country, don’t carry everything in one place. If you keep everything in your bag and lose it, you’ll have a headache of inconvenience.

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Whereas, if you only lose one card and the rest are safely stored at your hotel, then it won’t be difficult to cancel that single card. Call your bank immediately.

If you’re not sure if it was stolen or simply somewhere in your luggage, many banks have a “freeze” option; so if you find your card, just unfreeze it.

Whenever possible, leave your passport at the place where you are staying. I’ve never been asked for ID in a bar or club in Mexico. Check ahead if you’ll need one for anything you have planned for that day/night. But if you don’t, leave it locked. Many passports get lost overnight in Mexico City!

Have some cash stashed somewhere or access your cards online. You can still use ApplePay in places like Tulum if your cards go missing.

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When my cards were stolen in Mexico, my parents sent me money via Western Union. There are ways to get cash if you lose your cards, but it’s highly inconvenient.

You cannot drink tap water in Mexico. And honestly, it’s best to always travel with Imodium or an antidiarrheal.

Sometime you might get sick from ice in your drink or fruits washed in tap water etc. It’s part of traveling to other countries.

Unfortunately, driving at night (especially as a tourist) is not recommended. Non-local license plates and rental cars are more likely to be targeted by organized crime.

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This blog post does a great job explaining why driving through Mexico at night is unsafe. Plan day trips. And if you need to get around at night, use a local taxi driver. You can find reliable taxi drivers from expat groups on Facebook.

I absolutely adore my new Victorinox suitcase. And honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long to get a suitcase with a lock built into the design.

Again, this safety tip applies to any country. Having a paper copy of your passport will make things easier in case you lose yours and need a replacement.

Having a physical document with your hotel address or flight information can save your life in case your phone fails.

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I was once lost in Egypt with no memory of my hotel address and a dead phone. I couldn’t find anywhere to charge my phone, it was a disaster and incredibly stressful. If you have the hotel’s name and address written down, you can show them to a taxi driver, even if you don’t speak the language!

You’ll need access to the maps if you get lost, and you can call for help in an emergency.

Always travel with a portable charger, and even better, buy one that is solar powered! That way, if you have a long day outside without access to a plug-in, you can charge your phone and battery if both are depleted by the sun.

Especially for my fellow bloggers, sharing “wow I’m traveling alone in this beautiful Airbnb…” and showing everyone online where they can find you is never a good idea.

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I post my stories a day late because it really happened to me abroad… people showed up trying to find me. And while your intentions were good, other people may not have the best of intentions.

I love Mexico. And I wouldn’t spend a month a year there if I didn’t. Hopefully, this blog post doesn’t scare you, but it does allow you to be a more informed traveler. Have fun and stay safe!

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Hello, I’m Emily Rose! In 2018 I sold all my stuff and moved out of my suitcase to travel full time and work around the world! Catch up on the best travel works, photos to fuel your wanderlust, and epic adventures! For decades, Mexico has been a favorite summer destination. No wonder, as it has affordable prices, tropical beaches and cuisine and a variety of activities!

Throughout Mexico you will find many different cultures, places and even foods as it is a diverse country. From the tip of Baja California to the Yucatan Peninsula, you could spend weeks exploring the country and still not experience everything it has to offer the traveler.

Mexico enjoys warm temperatures all year round, with summer a perfect example of 80 degree sunshine. Mexico’s sunshine is everything, so don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses – and remember to drink plenty of water.

Use insect repellent to ward off those pesky mosquitoes. I recently discovered an all-natural spray that protects you from bugs and the natural elements – check out “Cactus Juice”!

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