with the bold text in the example below: The Skychi Travel Guide : 5 Tips for the Novice Traveler to Mexico

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

5 Tips for the Novice Traveler to Mexico

Yesterday, I received a call from my son in response to the article (Mexico: Chimamanda Adichie admits being guilty of “The danger of a single story”). I wrote questioning the State Department warning that Mexico is unsafe for travel. My son reminded me that I am a seasoned traveler who speaks Spanish, so I would feel comfortable traveling to Mexico. He proceeded to tell me stats of the drug cartel and deaths of Americans in Mexico. We had quite a lively debate for twenty minutes on the safety of Mexico as a country. His research stated that primarily the unsafe areas are in northern Mexico near the border towns. He defended his position and the State Dept.'s position by saying that 120 deaths of Americans is too many. I concur that death of one tourist is too many.

As flight crew members working flights to northern Mexico, security measures exist to safeguard pilots and flight attendants from being kidnapped. Airlines provide warnings to flight crew not to travel alone in certain areas of Mexico. During layovers to El Paso, Texas flight crews were warned by the airline not to cross into Juarez, Mexico a border city.

There is good reason for the warnings, especially for novice travelers. However, the State Department has modified the warning to include areas for which there are no travel advisories to Mexico.

Golf Cart on Isla Mujeres
Golf Cart on Isla Mujeres

These are a list of  12  popular tourist destinations that are safe for the novice traveler  or any traveler to Mexico.

1. Cabo San Lucas

2. Oaxaca

3. Cancun

4. Playa del Carmen

5. Riveria Maya

6. Tulum

7. Merida

8. Chichen Itza

9. Chiapas

10. Campeche

11. Mexico City

12. Tabasco

Isla Mujeres Boat Trip
Isla Mujeres Boat Trip

Now to put on my first time traveler hat. Here are five tips for the Novice Traveler to Mexico:

1. Contact a travel agent that specializes in Mexico who can share personal experiences and make recommendations for example Apple Vacations Reps are very knowledgable.

2. Read TripAdvisor and ask questions in the forums.

3, Talk to family and friends about their trips to Mexico.

3.  Sign up for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) which a free service by the U.S. Government for U.S. citizens to register their contact information. It allows the U.S. Government to assist you in case of emergency.

4. Follow the guidelines of the Safe Trip Abroad by the U.S. State Department as well as  Tips for Traveling Abroad.

The U.S. State Dept. says, "Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day.  The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality.  Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes."

Do you have other tips to share with first time travelers to Mexico?

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