If you’re looking for a sunny, warm destination to travel to, consider Mexico. But, is it safe to travel to Mexico?
With its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, Mexico is a great place to relax and enjoy yourself. And with so many tourist destinations to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Sure, the resort hot spots along the coast are popular, but there is so much more to Mexico than that. Mexico City is a world-class destination bursting with arts and culture. Oaxaca has become one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, thanks to its booming mezcal industry and top-notch culinary scene. Mexico is an amazing country to backpack around, road trip, or just vacation in.
There’s an endless variety of things to see and do, and the locals are some of the friendliest people on the planet. Yet the country gets a bad rap in the media, being constantly tagged as unsafe. Drugs, corruption, cartels — the list goes on.
But don’t let these negative stereotypes keep you from experiencing all that Mexico has to offer.
The current state of Mexico and its tourism industry
Despite the current state of Mexico, it is still a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists. The tourism industry has taken a hit in recent years, but there are still plenty of reasons to plan a vacation to Mexico.
The beaches are still as stunning as ever, the food is delicious, and the culture is fascinating. Mexico is a country full of adventure, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.
There are still many safe areas in Mexico, despite the violence that has been publicized in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of State, “nearly all” of the country is safe for travelers, with the exception of a few areas near the border with Guatemala.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
The recent spate of violence in Mexico has many would-be travelers wondering if it’s safe to visit.
The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. While some areas of the country are relatively calm, others are embroiled in dangerous turf wars between drug cartels.
The best way to stay safe when traveling to Mexico is to do your research and plan your trip carefully. Avoid traveling to areas that are known to be dangerous, and be sure to stay in well-populated, tourist-friendly areas whenever possible. Use common sense when out and about, and always be aware of your surroundings. If you do find yourself in an unsafe situation, the best thing to do is to stay calm and call the police or military immediately.
With a little caution and planning, you can still enjoy a fantastic trip to Mexico.
Is Mexico safe for solo travelers?
Solo travelers can feel safe in Mexico by taking some common sense precautions and being aware of their surroundings. While learning Spanish will certainly help, it is not a requirement for staying safe. Find a few useful phrases below.
Just use your best judgement, keep your belongings secure, and don’t hesitate to travel in groups or share taxis if it makes you feel more comfortable. With a little planning and caution, you can have a great time exploring all that Mexico has to offer without any safety concerns.
Is Mexico safe for solo female travelers?
Solo female travelers can safely explore Mexico by taking the same precautions they would at home. This includes being aware of your surroundings, staying in well-lit and populated areas, and avoiding wearing flashy jewelry or using electronic devices in public.
Additionally, if you are bothered by catcallers, it is best to ignore them. Although they may become aggressive, pretending you don’t hear or see them is usually the best way to diffuse the situation.
Tips for staying safe while traveling in Mexico
Mexico can be a safe and enjoyable place to visit. So if you’re planning on traveling to Mexico, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to stay safe.
- First, be aware of your surroundings and don’t flash valuables in public. Pickpockets are unfortunately common in tourist areas.
- Second, avoid using ATMs in isolated areas or after dark.
- Third, only use licensed taxis and make sure the driver uses the meter.
- Fourth, avoid traveling alone if possible – it’s always safer to travel in pairs or groups.
- Fifth, try to blend in as much as possible by dressing like a local and not standing out too much.
- Sixth, keep your belongings close to you at all times.
- Finally, always trust your gut – if something feels off, it probably is.
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Mexico!
The importance of research before traveling to Mexico
When we travel, we often don’t take the time to research our destination. This can lead to problems, especially when traveling to a country like Mexico.
There are many things to consider before traveling to Mexico, such as the language barrier, currency exchange, and safety concerns.
While many people in the tourist areas speak English, it’s always helpful to know some basic phrases in Spanish. This can help you communicate with locals and get around more easily. I added a few below.
It’s also important to be aware of the currency exchange rate before you travel. Mexico uses the Mexican peso, which is different from the US dollar or the Euro. You’ll need to make sure you have enough cash or traveler’s checks to cover your expenses.
Be sure to research your destination before you travel and plan accordingly.
Here are a few more frequently asked questions about safety in Mexico
Is the tap water safe in Mexico?
In most places, the tap water in Mexico is not safe for human consumption. While Mexico’s purification and treatment systems have improved, it’s still best to avoid drinking tap water and drinks with ice (unless the ice is made from filtered water). You can get away with in in Puerto Vallarta, but in most other regions you’ll want to avoid it.
While it may be fine to shower, you should likely avoid brushing your teeth with tap water, just to be safe.
Since single-use plastic negatively impacts the environment, bring a water filter.
Are taxis safe in Mexico?
Safety is the top priority when it comes to taking taxis in Mexico. In general, tourist areas have safe and reliable taxi services.
However, it is always best to be cautious and take a few extra steps to ensure your safety.
Make sure you only get into an authorized taxi, and if possible, have your hotel or accommodation call one for you.
It’s also important to note that not every city has metered taxis – so be sure to ask about the fare in advance if there isn’t a meter. Ask your hotel/hostel staff or a local about prices upfront. They can give you a rough idea about the costs.
And as a rule of thumb, avoid getting into random taxis off the street – opting instead for Uber or Didi (the local version of Uber). Both are safe options.
Is renting a car safe in Mexico?
If you’re planning on renting a car during your next trip to Mexico, there are a few things you should keep in mind. For starters, always follow the speed limit and rules of the road.
However, it’s not uncommon for police officers to stop vehicles for minor infractions in hopes of receiving a bribe. Additionally, it’s best to avoid driving at night as this is when carjackings are most likely to occur.
While every region is different, the Yucatán Peninsula is generally considered the safest place to rent a car and explore off the beaten path.
See also: Road Trips in Mexico: The Best Routes
Can I walk around at night in Mexico?
Most of the popular destinations in Mexico have tourist zones with a majority of attractions and restaurants. These are generally safe to explore at night, though you should make sure your valuables are secure and that, whenever possible, you travel in a group.
Even in non-tourist zones, there will be plenty of people out and about in the evening. Mexico has a night culture so lots of people are out and about in the evening meaning there’s less chance for crime. But always double-check with your accommodation on arrival to see if there are any areas you shouldn’t go to at night (or during the day).
What to do if something does happen while in Mexico
Usually you won’t need this, but… if you find yourself in a situation where you need help while in Mexico, there are a few things you can do.
First, try to remain calm and assess the situation.
If you can, try to find a way to escape or get to a safe place. If you can’t, then try to find someone who can help you. If you’re unable to escape or get help, then the best thing you can do is to try to negotiate with your captors. This may not always be possible, but it’s worth a try.
You can also try to make yourself as valuable as possible so that they see you as worth more alive than beaten up (or dead).
Of course, none of these things are guaranteed to work, but they’re all worth trying if you find yourself in a dangerous situation while in Mexico.
In general, keep your common sense and stick to our tips in this article.
Mexico safety tips
Eat like the locals
If you’re feeling unsure about where to eat, go for the restaurant with the longest line. The locals know best, so trust their choices!
If a food stall or restaurant looks clean and well-kept, it’s probably safe to eat there. On the other hand, if you can’t decide where to eat, go for the taco stand with the longest line. People usually only wait in line if the food is worth it. Locals know the best places to eat, so you can trust their choices! For the vegans, check out our guide to vegan travel in Mexico.
See also: How to Avoid Food Poisoning in Mexico
What to wear when traveling in Mexico
Some people like to show off their jewelry, expensive phones, or laptops, but this can make you a target for criminals. Try to fit in by not wearing jewelry and keeping your phone out of sight unless you really need it.
Don’t take any drugs
Recreational drug use in Mexico fuels the country’s cartel problem. When tourists buy drugs, they’re directly supporting these cartels and putting Mexican citizens at risk. So if you’re visiting Mexico, it’s best to steer clear of illegal drugs.
Spending your money
Don’t take too much cash with you. And you can pay higher spendings with your credit and/or bank card.
Carrying around all your cash in one place is asking for trouble. Spread it out (keep some in your wallet, some in the hotel safe, and some in your backpack) so that if your wallet gets stolen or you get robbed, you’ll still have money elsewhere.
Using ATMs in Mexico
Only use ATMs that are inside of a bank. It’s much more common for robberies to happen at outdoor ATMs, and skimmers can be placed on them as well (to steal your PIN). To stay safe, only use the indoor ones.
And it’s good to have 2-3 friends with you, who can watch you and look around while you get your money.
SIM card for Mexico
A working phone is key in the event of an emergency. If you’re from the United States, you may be able to use your cell phone service while in Mexico at no additional cost. If not, consider picking up a Mexican SIM card when you arrive. You’ll get better coverage and be able to access maps whenever you need them. They’re cheap too, costing around $10 USD.
Learn some Spanish Phrases
Learning some Spanish before your trip can be really helpful! Not only will it make it easier for you to blend in, but you’ll also be able to communicate more easily if you need help. Just learning a few useful words and phrases can make a big difference.
The following are common phrases used when traveling abroad or even within your own country. These will come in handy when dealing with taxi drivers, tour guides, hotel staff and locals in general.
Hola (hello) and hasta luego (see you later)
“Hello” in Spanish is “hola“, but there are a few other phrases you can use as well.
For example, “¿Qué tal?” (How is it going? How are you?) or just plain old “buenos días” (good day) will do the trick too.
Farewells are just as important, so make sure you know how to say them properly.
A simple “adios” will suffice in most cases, but if you want to be more formal you could go for something like: “Hasta la vista” (See ya later), “Nos vemos pronto” (We’ll see each other soon) or “Chau/Adiós” (Bye).
Buenos días, buenas tardes, buenas noches (Good morning, good afternoon, evening)
When you learn Spanish, one of the first things you learn is how to say “good morning,” “good afternoon,” or “good evening.” Mexicans will usually say “buenas tardes” (good afternoon) starting at noon and all the way until sunset.
As a way to say good-bye, you can also add “¡buen día!” (good day) during the day time or “¡buena noche!” (good night) during the night time.
Lo siento (I’m sorry) and disculpe (excuse me)
One of the most helpful basic Spanish phrases to know when traveling is how to say “I’m sorry” or “excuse me.”
Saying “lo siento” is a good way to apologize for bumping into people, knocking things over, or just in general. “Disculpe” can be used when trying to get someone’s attention.
However, if you need to squeeze by someone, it would be more appropriate to use “con permiso“.
No entiendo (I don’t understand) and ¿habla Inglés? (can you speak English?)
A phrase that can be useful to know in Spanish, especially when you are still learning, is “I don’t understand.” You can follow this up by asking, “Can you speak English?”.
If the person you’re talking to doesn’t know how to speak English, they will probably try to find someone who does.
Cómo está? (How are you?) Estoy bien (I’m fine)
Learning some basic Spanish phrases for travel often starts with “how are you” and “I’m fine.” These are both useful phrases to know, as you’ll probably say them to taxi drivers, store owners, waiters, and anyone else you interact with while traveling.
Why you should consider Mexico as a travel destination
If you’re looking for a fabulous travel destination, you should definitely put Mexico on your list!
With its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, vibrant culture and delicious food, there’s something for everyone in Mexico. And it’s not as expensive as you might think – in fact, it can be very budget-friendly if you know where to look.
So don’t hesitate, book that ticket to Mexico and get ready for an amazing adventure!
Before you depart, buy a travel insurance.
We never think that something might go awry on our trips. But sometimes it does happen. While it’s not fun to contemplate, bad things can occur while you’re traveling. That’s why I never leave home without travel insurance policy in hand. You shouldn’t either – especially if you’re headed to Mexico.
For just a couple of bucks a day, you’ll get a safety net that ensures financial ruin won’t befall you should some unforeseen and unfortunate event take place. Don’t cheap out on your health and safety by forgoing this coverage.
The risks simply aren’t worth it.
Mexico is a vibrant and lively destination, perfect for foodies, road-trippers, resort-goers, party animals, and everyone in between. It’s a fun place to let loose and soak up the sun.
Just make sure you follow the tips above so that you can enjoy your trip safely and avoid some of the more common pitfalls. While the country is not nearly as dangerous as the media makes it seems, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
By following the advice above, you’ll be able to stay safe while making the most of your visit.
Extra Travel Tips and Tricks for your Mexico trip
Book Your Flight
Kayak is a great way to find cheap flights! It searches websites and airlines from all around the world, so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Book Your Accommodation
Hostelworld is a great resource for finding hostels. If you’re interested in staying somewhere other than a hostel, Booking.com often has the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance protects you in case of illness, injury, theft, or cancellations. It’s always a good idea to have comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong on your trip. I never travel without it!
Some of my favorite companies that offer great service and value are:
SafetyWing (a good option for everyone)
Always use a VPN
It’s important to keep safe while online no matter where you’re traveling. Using a VPN is the best way to protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi while traveling. We recommend ExpressVPN – get 3 months free when subscribe with our link.