5 Tips to keep you safe in Mexico
1. Mexico Safety on the road
Especially after dark there is a risk of being robbed trying to stop a cab on the street – not only in Mexico. Also take care when you are invited to city tours. The travel guide should always be able to show a „SECTUR“ identity card.
Basically, in Mexico you should only use registered cabs at official sites (“sitios”) or from your hotel. It might be wise to avoid rides in a hire car as well as walks at night in dark areas. You should leave your passport, driver’s license, plane ticket, jewlery and cash in the safe boy of your hotel room. Only take a copy of your documents out to the street. You should also carry only necessary amounts of money and valuables with you.
When Mexicans drive in larger cities, they usually close the car’s safety lock from the inside, so that when stopping at a red light, the car doors cannot be opened surprisingly from the outside. Also try to avoid being approached at red lights by street hawkers, artists and beggars – it might be difficult to avoid that, but ignoring them might be an appropriate strategy.
We have also observed that Mexican drivers in big cities during night don’t stop even at red lights when the crossroad is free. This driving behavior should be expected not only by other drivers, but also, in particular, by nocturnal walkers.
2. Theft in Mexico
Frequent thefts might occur when using the subway or public transportation in Mexico City. Therefore, handbags, photographic equipment and valuables should always be worn on your body. There has also been an increase in credit card copying crimes.
When visiting a restaurant in Mexico, NEVER hang your bag over the chair rest just like at home. Always keep your bag on your lap or hung on your arm, or use belt pockets.
When visiting the bathroom in restaurants, ladies should never hang their handbag on wall hooks on the door of the toilet cabin, if the door is open upwards. This also applies to airports, bus stations and the entire public sector.
3. Poverty in Mexico
Mexico is a beautiful country, but poverty is a still a problem in many places. We believe that it is not necessary to use the golden Rolex or the family jewels in front of people living in a difficult situation.
Therefore it might be wise to leave your most valuable items at home and travel the world with inexpensive accessories that do not tempt anyone and whose eventual loss will not hit you hard.
4. Beggars in Mexico
Those who decide to give beggars a few pesos will immediately find themselves surrounded by a begging crowd of people from which there is hardly any escape. Even if the sight of begging children is heartbreaking -in most cases, they are sent by their families to this work, And often their income is immediately converted into beer and tequila by their father.
If you want to give these children something, you might offer them food. It’s the only thing that might help these children personally, as it is certainly consumed and will not be delivered anywhere.
5. Mexican Drug War
The drug war in Mexico is known as armed conflicts fought by police and military units against the Mexican drug cartels and also between the drug cartels themselves.
However, these conflicts are mostly limited to the Mexican states bordering the US, as it involves controlling transit routes for drug smuggling, and possibly to the state of Guerrero due to old conflicts.
The touristic areas of México are further to the south of the country and usually they are not affected by the drug war. However, you should inform yourself about critical areas at your Foreign Office before travelling.
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