Updated: Jan 6
This article will give you tips for being safe on the beach, at the club and on the streets.
We will NOT be discussing anything COVID related* You can find that info from other official sites.
In the past there has been a lot of hype about traveling to Mexico. The real truth is that bad things can happen anywhere you go. The Riviera Maya is one of the safest places in Mexico but there are some general guidelines that one should follow to stay out of trouble and avoid problems on vacation. Before taking a trip to Mexico or anywhere else in the world you should take the time to do your research. If you are booking tours, reserving a rental car or even a hotel, you should know what you are getting into. If you follow these simple rules and guidelines you will have an amazing experience in Mexico!
Before you leave home:
Scan all of your important documents such as passport and credit/debit cards and send them to your email. Once at your hotel lock up your passport and cards in the safe. Don't carry them around with you.
Take your time doing research; Trip Advisor is a great site to check out travel agencies, hotels and tour providers. Plan your week before you go and you can prepare accordingly. Check out our article, How to Pack for the Caribbean for more about this!
Think twice before taking your expensive jewelry and electronics. Don't be afraid to survive a week without your laptop or tablet. Vacation is vacation!
Learning some common phrases in Spanish is a great idea and could really help you in a moment of emergency.
Pack the appropriate sunblock for your skin and be sure not to forget mosquito repellent!! Those guys are hungry and love fresh meat! (Both should be biodegradable.)
Be sure to lock your luggage and/or wrap it at the airport. Take your valuable with you in your carry-on.
General and public safety:
Don't look like a tourist and do your best to blend in. You don't need to wear a sombrero and leather sandals, but a camera around your neck, Hawaiian printed shorts and flip flops will certainly give you away. It’s common that people may feel vulnerable when in a foreign situation or land which makes them easy prey.
Keep your valuables, extra cash, passport, etc. in the hotel room safe and make sure it will secure properly. (Sometimes the safes have problems.) Be sure to keep your room key in a safe place and not laying out in plain sight where it could be easily captured and taken for ransom.
Be careful what you eat and drink in a foreign land. Health and safety regulations might not be the same as you are accustomed to.
A good rule of thumb, when traveling anywhere, is to be aware of your surroundings. It’s not a good idea to discuss your travel plans or your hotel info, especially your room number where someone might overhear.
In the same respect, don't announce on your social media that you will be away from home! You are just asking to come home to an empty house!
At the beach:
Never take valuables of any kind to the beach! Don't leave your bag unattended. I've heard stories of bags being robbed and people being mugged, not to scare you...
Always follow the colored flags that warn you of the water conditions. If the flag is RED, stay out of the water, well, it is there for good reason.
Try to stay within sight of a lifeguard. Even if you are an amazing swimmer, the sea is still stronger than you.
In Cancun, for example, the east side of the hotel zone is the ocean and to the west is the Nichupte Lagoon. You do not want to swim in the lagoon! Why? There are crocodiles. Enough said.
After swimming in the ocean you should shower as soon as possible and wash thoroughly your swimsuit. From April through August there is a chance that you might be affected by sea lice. It sounds worse than it is. It is a rash caused by the larvae of migrating jellyfish but showering greatly helps to reduce any reaction.
At and after the club:
Just like at any bar or club in your hometown, you must keep an eye on your drinks and don't take drinks from strangers. You don't know what might have been added and chances are it wasn't an extra shot. Know your limits, don't drink too much. The consequences are limitless.
Cancun, Playa del Carmen & Tulum have an awesome party zone but you will have problems with the police if you are acting like you've been wearing your drunk pants far too long.
When you go out, go out with your posse, your crew, your gang, your flock, your herd, clique, mob, squad, team, basically there is power in numbers.
Don't invite strangers back to your hotel room and please don't leave with anyone alone. Your friends and family want you to return after your week of fun and sun!
No matter what, if someone offers you drugs, this might sound corny, but say no! There have been instances that tourists have been " set up" just to extort money from them. This is something that happens too often and definitely not only in Mexico. Be smart and don't take candy from strangers!!!
When it comes to the streets:
If you plan on renting a car, try not to be out at night, that’s prime time for bandits to strike. Staying on main roads, toll roads and well-traveled roads might be tricky at times but is good practice for avoiding unfortunate situations. You've seen scary movies right?
Crossing the street can sometimes be a mission. Cars have the right-of- way; people don't, so look both ways, TWICE!
Watch your step! The sidewalks in the hotel zones are immaculate; however some in other parts of town they are not. Stepping in a hole and getting hurt is a great way to end vacation fun time.
Don't walk down the street with your phone in your hand. It's very easy for someone to snag it a run! This applies to bags/purses as well.
After dark stay on well-lit, well-traveled streets. Stay off side-streets and neighborhoods you aren't familiar with.
When dealing with money:
Don't carry too much money when you leave the hotel, resort, hostel, Air BnB, etc. Take only what you want to spend and leave the rest, including the plastic in the room safe.
Only use the ATM in the daytime and try to use them in a safe location like a bank or convenient store. You should try to avoid the ones on the street.
If you choose to carry a wallet keep it in your front pocket or on you where it can't be easily grabbed in a crowded situation. The bus can get pretty packed at times and is an easy opportunity for a pickpocket.
When it comes time to pay, don't pull out a wad of money and don't let anyone see how much you have on you.
For women it is recommended to wear a small purse that can be worn across the chest instead of hanging off of one shoulder. This makes it harder for a run-by robbery.
Follow the link to read the article, Dollar vs Peso, for tips about $$$
If you have any safety tips to share send them to us!