Tips to stay safe while travelling in Mexico
Crime and personal safety
Drug-fuelled gang violence can be a problem, particularly in areas close to the US-Mexico border. Tourists have occasionally been injured in the crossfire from shootouts, which can occur in broad daylight with innocent bystanders injured in the crossfire from gun battles. While violent crime isn’t widespread across Mexico, it’s strongly advised to check the for travel warnings and, once you’re travelling, to monitor media reports about local areas that you’ll be visiting.
There’s nothing that says ‘foreigner’ like wearing shorts and thongs while carrying a camera around your neck. Simply standing out from the crowd can make you a target for thieves — avoid wearing expensive jewellery and watches while sightseeing. Don’t flash your iPad or iPhone around and ensure you’re very discreet with your money. Pickpockets often work public transportation routes, so when you’re on a bus or train keep your bags in front of you and stash other items inside pockets that are close to your body.
Kidnapping and Extortion
A rampant criminal activity in Mexico involves kidnapping for ransom, and this includes targeting ‘wealthy’ tourists. In most cases, the victim is released once the ransom is paid. There are also ‘express’ and ‘virtual’ kidnappings. An express kidnapping is where the victim is detained and forced (by threat of violence) to withdraw money from a series of ATMs. Virtual kidnappings aren’t really a kidnapping at all — the criminals obtain personal information about their victims (for example, by watching hotels and bribing the staff) and then place a telephone call where they pretend that a loved one is being held for ransom. In reality, the victim’s travelling companion may simply be out shopping or sightseeing.
Eating and drinking
Insects and Illness
NOTICE: While the Information is considered to be true and accurate at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. We strongly recommend verifying the travel advisory of your destination prior to departure.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as at the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. Photography Credits: T photography, ChameleonsEye, Gerardo C.Lerner, Shutterstock.com.