traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

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jazman12
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traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by jazman12 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am

Traveling to playa del carmen next month and just seen news reports of violence in the area is escalating to the point that the state dept. has issued a travel warning to US citizens and restricted travel for US govt workers. MDY and I are traveling with friends who are not concerned and feel it is expected to have a heightened concern for violence around the world these days so they are inclined not to cancel the trip. I will use some caution by not bringing jewelry (good luck with my DW on that one!). I will delete all financial apps on my phone so I will not be able to make financial transactions. I will limit my cards to one credit and one debit card (with limited funds in account). I called the card company and asked for enhanced security procedures for unusual purchases during this period as well. When we travel on excursions to surrounding historic sites we will carry cash only. We have also registered with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Any recommendations on something else I should consider?
thanks...
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Alexa9
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:43 am

They are warning people not to take ferries in that area. I would guess the police are on alert now since tourism is such a big industry. Some people this wouldn't bother at all and some would be paranoid the whole trip. I would be somewhere in between. Up to you. I'm not sure of the anti-American sentiment and cartel activity in some of these areas.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/th ... e146aa31b4

https://nypost.com/2017/07/14/family-wa ... an-resort/

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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:44 am

Kidnapping insurance
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TheExMexican
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by TheExMexican » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:08 am

I have never been to Playa del Carmen, but have recently traveled to Puerto Vallarta and a few spots just north of there. I wouldn't cancel the trip, but there a few things you can do to increase your safety.

* Limit your alcohol intake and do everything in your power to do the same for those in your group. (i.e., don't get drunk!). If you're going to buy any drinks at all, do it from the hotel/resort, and make sure you watch them either open the container (beer) or mix the drink. Most reputable places will do this without you having to ask. Just like home burglaries - make it easy for the crook to just move on to some other target. This is probably the best single thing you can do to stay safe.

* Don't wander out after dark.

* Don't hail taxis in the street - pre-pay for a taxi for the airport ride to your hotel (almost every airport in mexico has an 'authorized taxi' stand in the terminal just outside of where you come out after clearing customs), and once at the hotel, have the front desk/concierge, etc., arrange a taxi for you. Uber works great in other cities, and in my experience has been better than everything else but the high end black car-type taxis -- don't know about Playa del Carmen, though.

* Leave your passport at the hotel - either in your in-room safe or the hotel safe (in some hotels, these are like safe-deposit boxes at banks, where you get one of two keys required to open the box). Same for any electronics you may take with you - put them in the safe while you're not in your room.

Enjoy!

TheExMex

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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Hillview » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:51 am

Honestly given the US advice I would not go. I travel internationally for work (mexico, brazil, south africa, india, kuwait) with the US advisory for that specific area I don't see why one would go there for holiday. If you DO go what PP said and I would verify the physical security of the resort (what is the room and beach and entry security protocol, I'd call). I'd arrive and depart during the day (no night / evening / super early flights). I would not plan to leave the resort. Make sure you have travel insurance that includes emergency evac. To me it just does not sound relaxing.

sailfish2
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by sailfish2 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:23 pm

TheExMexican wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:08 am
If you're going to buy any drinks at all, do it from the hotel/resort, and make sure you watch them either open the container (beer) or mix the drink.



TheExMex
Given the recent issues with tainted/bootlegged alcohol in Mexico, watching the bartender make a mixed drink would still not alleviate concerns in my opinion. http://www.wfaa.com/article/news/natio ... -497445410

I'd recommend buying your liquor at duty free at the airport, or at a reputable national brand name store. I would then drink only beer and wine when out and about, unless you're at a really reputable high end restaurant.

Bfwolf
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:38 pm

I would do exactly what the State Department warning recommends. Exercise heightened caution, avoid the 5 Playa neighborhoods it says to avoid, and don't take the ferry.

I only avoid a place altogether if the State Department says avoid all non-essential travel to the country.

GCD
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by GCD » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:51 pm

You can read up on security measures while traveling and take whatever precautions at whatever level of paranoia you desire.

Personally, I follow State Dept. recommendations. I'm more conservative when travelling with my kids.

If you want a different perspective, read what foreign country state departments recommend about travel to the US! It's funny how violent the Europeans think America is. Maybe they're right...

BigMoneyNoWhammies
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:57 pm

There are various levels of warning issued by State, levels 1-4, with the highest being the worst. Mexico is at a 2, which is not uncommon. Germany, the Maldives, and India all have this same level of warning currently and I wouldn't hesitate to travel to any of those nations. I'd avoid the specific neighborhoods in that region that are under threat by the drug cartels that prompted the warning, but absent heading there you're likely not at any more risk than any other time while traveling in Mexico, which perpetually has this rating. Unless the rating is a 3, which recommends you reconsider travel, or a 4, which is flat out do not travel (ex. Afghanistan and North Korea), I wouldn't be hesitant to visit.
Last edited by BigMoneyNoWhammies on Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigMoneyNoWhammies
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:59 pm

GCD wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:51 pm
You can read up on security measures while traveling and take whatever precautions at whatever level of paranoia you desire.

Personally, I follow State Dept. recommendations. I'm more conservative when travelling with my kids.

If you want a different perspective, read what foreign country state departments recommend about travel to the US! It's funny how violent the Europeans think America is. Maybe they're right...
Great point. You would be amazed and astonished at some of the dire warnings that come from the foreign equivalents of the State Department about how dangerous travel to the US is.
Last edited by BigMoneyNoWhammies on Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by samsoes » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:01 pm

Be sure your Will and other estate documents are in order.
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by PoppyA » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:08 pm

Yes

Their idea of justice is different than ours.
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bligh
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by bligh » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:18 pm

Yes. We are concerned too. We booked a non-refundable trip to Playa Del Carmen for May of this year.

We are still planning on going there but have modified our plans to stick to the resort, the tourist areas (5th Avenue) and beaches. If we decide to do a trip we'll use an organized tour operator instead of a cab.

Generally I feel the travel advisories are issued out of an abundance of caution. You'll mostly be fine, as long as you don't put yourself in risky situations. Honestly, the ferries and other travel would most likely be safe too. Basically the travel advisory is about right, you can go there, have fun, but have your guard up. You aren't going to a Syria here/, but this isn't Tokyo either.

Use good judgement, common sense and don't be as trusting as you would normally be in the US. Atleast that is my plan. :)

ddurrett896
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by ddurrett896 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:19 pm

jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
I will use some caution by not bringing jewelry (good luck with my DW on that one!).
Not important – easy to replace.
jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
I will delete all financial apps on my phone so I will not be able to make financial transactions.
Not important – easy to replace.
jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
I will limit my cards to one credit and one debit card (with limited funds in account
Not important – easy to replace.
jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
When we travel on excursions to surrounding historic sites we will carry cash only.
Not important – easy to replace.
jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
Any recommendations on something else I should consider?
Don’t go – I’m a risk taker but going to Mexico right now is like swimming across a river filled with alligators. If you still go, KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL!

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Artful Dodger
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:25 pm

Also note the consular office is scheduled to reopen today. As noted above, if you go to the state dept site you will see the city wide alert has been reduced to several specific neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen. The rest of the area (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Tulum, Cozumel, etc) is not affected. The alert does mention the ferry situation, but I would think with the recent bomb, and the suspicion of ferry company involvement, there would be heightened security. I don't know.

We just returned from 10 days there late January / early February, and it was our 4th trip in 3 years. We always feel safe walking around, though we are usually in the main tourist areas. We probably experience a little more variety than most U.S. tourists because we stay in apartments or in town hotels vs the all inclusive resorts. We took the ferry twice this last trip, so the news of the bomb (s) was disconcerting. But, we live outside a major U.S. metro (St. Louis) with a normal U.S. city crime rate, and so the news there is crime outside of the U.S. doesn't surprise me. I wonder if other countries list our cities that are noteworthy for a high crime rate on their own watch lists.

I certainly wouldn't travel to known high crime areas. The warning site on the state dept page lists several level 4 states and says do not travel there because of the crime. But Quintana Roo is at level 2, as is Mexico in general, and by the way, most of the major tourist areas of Europe.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm

jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
Traveling to playa del carmen next month.... MDY and I are traveling ...?
thanks...
PS - What's a MDY?

GmanJeff
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:56 pm

Why go to a country with those kinds of risks, when more pleasant and safer alternatives abound in other countries and in the U.S. itself (e.g. Hawaii)? The only reason I can think of is that it's relatively cheap to travel there, but the trade-off is arguably not a good one.

ji.isaacs
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by ji.isaacs » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:59 pm

I would recommend not going.

An ex-pat acquaintance living in Mexico has left the country. We here in the US are not aware of everything that goes on there, and can't rely on even local papers to truthfully report. Listen to our state department.

Who cares if you have kidnap insurance? Is that something you'd really like to use?

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MP123
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by MP123 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:03 pm

Sounds like a nice relaxing vacation... :shock:

tylerherman
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by tylerherman » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:04 pm

I was there a month ago and felt safer than most cities in the States. Your probably far more likely to die from terrorism in NYC or Washington DC than anywhere in Mexico.

You’re probably also more likely to get struck by lightning and win the lottery in the same day than getting blown up by a terrorist but hey keep watching that cable news and fear everything outside the safety of your couch.

SouthernCPA
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by SouthernCPA » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:06 pm

It can't be any worse than going to New Orleans and I go there all the time...

tunerunner
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by tunerunner » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:21 pm

We are going to Cancun in May - we tend to pay more to stay at higher rated (more premium) all inclusive properties. This will be our third time - we ventured off the resort last time we were there and although we came back with a great story, I don't think we will be doing the same thing again :wink:

That being said, if you are just planning to stay at the resorts or go to other touristy areas I wouldn't worry - most resorts have secured entrances and with all the tourism there its surprising you don't hear of more issues.

I'm not a huge hard liquor person but we drink our fair share of beer and wine and there have not been any reported issues with any non-spirit drinks that I am aware of.

Enjoy the sun and get some R&R...that is what you are there for.

birdy
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by birdy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:37 pm

I love to travel. Just got back from 3 weeks in Bangkok, Thailand. As for Mexico, I personally would not go there right now. I have followed the problems occurring (fake liquor, people being doped, bad security, kidnappings) and decided that the problems occurring are not worth it for me. Too many other tourist friendly options to bother with Mexico.

birdy

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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Tycoon » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:42 pm

birdy wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:37 pm
I love to travel. Just got back from 3 weeks in Bangkok, Thailand. As for Mexico, I personally would not go there right now. I have followed the problems occurring (fake liquor, people being doped, bad security, kidnappings) and decided that the problems occurring are not worth it for me. Too many other tourist friendly options to bother with Mexico.

birdy
Exactly
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bligh
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by bligh » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:42 pm

Artful Dodger wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:25 pm
The warning site on the state dept page lists several level 4 states and says do not travel there because of the crime. But Quintana Roo is at level 2, as is Mexico in general, and by the way, most of the major tourist areas of Europe.
+1.

Thanks for pointing that out. The travel advisory just asks for an increased level of caution. As you point out, that is the same level as it is for UK, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy and Germany.

I think the state department's advisories should not be ignored, instead they should be followed. They are saying its safe to travel to Playa Del Carmen, just be a little more cautious. So do that.

I would say always exercise caution when you are traveling. Nationally or Internationally. Research where you are going and figure our what the risks are. Learn a little about the culture. You are out of your neighborhood and out of your zone of familiarity.

mayday23
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by mayday23 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:50 pm

tylerherman wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:04 pm
I was there a month ago and felt safer than most cities in the States. Your probably far more likely to die from terrorism in NYC or Washington DC than anywhere in Mexico.

You’re probably also more likely to get struck by lightning and win the lottery in the same day than getting blown up by a terrorist but hey keep watching that cable news and fear everything outside the safety of your couch.
There were 25K homicides last year in mexico. Maybe 300 "terrorism" deaths in the US last year? A bit more than the 50 lightening deaths we average each year.....You're comparing big manzanas to tiny oranges.

To the OP, having a credit card stolen would be the least of my worries. Top of the list would be murder or kidnap and i'd probably prefer the former. Good luck and stay alert.

eyeball
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by eyeball » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:54 pm

we just got back from a week in mexico. it was awesome. we stayed at a resort in playa del carmen and had no issues and felt very safe. if you are planning on staying on the resort property the whole time (which we did since we have little kids) i wouldn't worry about it. leaving the safety of the resort and traveling into the surrounding towns is always going to be more risky.

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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:56 pm

There is no right answer. I would not go and would not bring my wife/kids. Others do. Some clearly feel that parts of the US are much worse than Mexico. Perception is reality.

Until I've seen all the awesome places to see in the US I don't think it is worth the risk.

If you go and have a great time and come back with no issues, that doesn't change the statistics. You just weren't part of the statistics. It matters to the people that become part of the statistics.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

simpleman1
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by simpleman1 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:58 pm

jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
Traveling to playa del carmen next month and just seen news reports of violence in the area is escalating to the point that the state dept. has issued a travel warning to US citizens and restricted travel for US govt workers. MDY and I are traveling with friends who are not concerned and feel it is expected to have a heightened concern for violence around the world these days so they are inclined not to cancel the trip. I will use some caution by not bringing jewelry (good luck with my DW on that one!). I will delete all financial apps on my phone so I will not be able to make financial transactions. I will limit my cards to one credit and one debit card (with limited funds in account). I called the card company and asked for enhanced security procedures for unusual purchases during this period as well. When we travel on excursions to surrounding historic sites we will carry cash only. We have also registered with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Any recommendations on something else I should consider?
thanks...
Yes, please take all U.S. State department travel advisories and warnings seriously:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:27 pm

Specifically mentions Playa del Carmen


https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/mex ... 598452001/

Gnirk
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Gnirk » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:34 pm

Personally, I will not travel to Mexico. Period. There are too many other interesting places to go without a major risk of being kidnapped, drugged, or killed. Besides, I can’t run very fast any more.

Shallowpockets
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:39 pm

Bombs on the ferries. Don't take the ferries. No sense in going to Cozumel for the day. Stay in your resort. No need to leave. PDC is a town gone haywire over the years. A hooting hollering debacle of drinking and pub crawling. That's your danger. Unless you are of that age group, the college age group, you don't need that.
If you are at an all inclusive resort you don't need anything outside the resort. The only thing to do would be an excursion and they usually pick you up right at the front door.
So, yes, you should be concerned, be aware, but if your trip is already booked you may as well go. Next time you can look elsewhere.
Last year was first year in 5 we did not go to Riviera Maya. That was due more to being indecisive and missing our usual good deal than a safety issue. I would go again.
Tourists are not the targets. They may get caught in a crossfire type situation. May e things will escalate like in Acapulco. Then all bets are off.
It is a shame because I have been going down there since the 70s. On my own and to resorts. Once drove my motorcycle down there. The beaches are superb and the people are very nice. I wish them the best.

TravelforFun
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:44 pm

Just got back from Cancun, 1 hour from Playa del Carmen. Everything seemed fine, there were tons of American and European tourists everywhere. I wouldn't be too overly concerned.

TravelforFun

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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by shunkman » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:16 pm

TheExMexican wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:08 am

* Leave your passport at the hotel - either in your in-room safe or the hotel safe (in some hotels, these are like safe-deposit boxes at banks, where you get one of two keys required to open the box). Same for any electronics you may take with you - put them in the safe while you're not in your room.

Enjoy!

TheExMex
At the hotel I stayed at in Playa, the in-room safe fell off the wall the first time I tried to use. Even after it was "repaired" I still would not trust it or use it. And I got burned by a Santander Bank ATM in Playa. Don't trust any of the ATMs even the ones connected to a bank.

I have traveled to Mexico at least six times and I love the culture, the people, and the outdoor activities. The border and tourist areas are where most of the problems. Sadly, I will not be going back until things improve.

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jazman12
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by jazman12 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:05 pm

Artful Dodger wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm
jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
Traveling to playa del carmen next month.... MDY and I are traveling ...?
thanks...
PS - What's a MDY?
A keystroke error MDW (wife)
Act soon... time is running out

alter
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by alter » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:26 pm

I'm in the same boat. Booked a trip to Playa Del Carmen at end April/beginning of May.

I'm still planning on going. regardless of reports of a few murders, its still safer than going to Chicago downtown, etc, where I live.

I'm actually still planning on taking the ferries to Cozumel too even though it got bombed a couple weeks ago..... I just might avoid that one ferry line (Barcos Caribe, I believe) since that is owned by someone in the government, who presumably has a beef with the cartel. Apparently there are other lines. I'm still planning on venturing outside the resort grounds to 5th avenue, etc.

Honestly the cartels and other cartels don't get along, or cartels and police,etc, just like a lot of murders in Chicago are gang on gang related. They are not actively going out and targeting Americans there, though some might get caught in the crossfire.

Oh, regarding the liquor thing. I think that was mostly an attempt to save money buy buying imitation liquor. I'm only planning on drinking beer and wine, which are not worth anyone trying to pass off a cheap imitation of. Just don't drink the tequila if you're worried about that.

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Will do good
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Will do good » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:35 pm

tylerherman wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:04 pm
I was there a month ago and felt safer than most cities in the States. Your probably far more likely to die from terrorism in NYC or Washington DC than anywhere in Mexico.

You’re probably also more likely to get struck by lightning and win the lottery in the same day than getting blown up by a terrorist but hey keep watching that cable news and fear everything outside the safety of your couch.
+1

Arabesque
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Arabesque » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:44 pm

Well I really wasn't paying attention when my college senior told me she was going to Mexico over spring break. I was wondering how she afforded it, but figured she had been working so hard academically for so long that I wouldn't fuss. Because of this thread, I figured out where she went and why she could afford it.

I am upset for three reasons. Years ago when I was working in Singapore, I desperately wanted to go to Indonesia. I didn't because I didn't feel good about taking my kids to a country with State Department warnings. Will I ever get there now? Two I also will worry now. If only I had stayed away from the stock market and Bogleheads. Finally why did she wait until I payed for 4 years of college? :moneybag

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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:46 pm

jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
I will limit my cards to one credit and one debit card (with limited funds in account).
I recommend that you take several credit cards and keep some of them in the hotel safe with your passport. If you are robbed, or if your credit card is usurped by local merchants, you need backup. Your liability for credit card fraud is limited.

If you have two different accounts with debit cards, you should also have two debit cards with you: use one and keep the other one in the safe. Do limit the funds on the accounts accessible with the debit cards. Some banks allow debit card access to both checking and savings accounts; limit your potential losses in both.

Notify your credit and debit card issuers about your travel plans.

You are the most vulnerable when you are arriving to a new country. You are stressed after a flight, you need to get to the hotel, you need to get the local currency. You are tired and hungry, and your decision making ability if weakened. Potential robbers know it and watch out for it. Wear a money belt until you get to your hotel.

I've visited Play del Carmen in 2000. At that time it was a beautiful safe place. One of the local attractions is scuba diving in cenotes.

Bon voyage,

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bengal22
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by bengal22 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:48 pm

Artful Dodger wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm
jazman12 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:36 am
Traveling to playa del carmen next month.... MDY and I are traveling ...?
thanks...
PS - What's a MDY?
I looked this one up:

MDY
Acronym Definition
MDY Month Day Year
MDY Master of Arts in Diplomacy
MDY Market Dividend Yield
MDY Minimum Detectable Yield

I assume he has a Master of Arts in Diplomacy so he will take that on trip.

I spent 6 months in Matamoras, which is more dangerous than playa del carmen. Just don't go anywhere by yourself or away from crowds of tourists and you will be OK.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

Good Listener
Posts: 540
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Good Listener » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:54 pm

No way for me unless on business essential travel and with a bodyguard. If for pleasure, why risk it?

Sandi_k
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Sandi_k » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:13 pm

We were there in 2016, and enjoyed our trip very much. We found the PDC forum on Trip Advisor to be of great use. We learned a lot from reading them, and planned our trip accordingly. What we decided as a basis of the research:

1) Do not get a rental car. The police are so corrupt there that they regularly pull over rental cars and ask for a cash payment on your "ticket." It's so "normal" that many rental car agencies apparently have a laminated card for use, that says in Spanish "I want to pay my traffic fine at the police station." - so they know that you cannot be shaken down on the spot. We decided we'd rent a guide for the days we wanted to explore.

2) Get a good local guide. We used "Your Private Tour" off of TripAdvisor, and it was EXCELLENT. There was a driver and a guide, in an AC-covered Ford Transit van. They picked us up on site, and drove us to Tulum first thing. We then went to a cenote for a snorkel excursion, they arranged a private lunch on the beach, and then another snorkel with turtles excursion - all in one day. We paid cash to the tour owner - Jay Fletcher - who's an expatriate American.

Jay Fletcher
Your Private Tour
TOURS OF THE RIVIERA MAYA
www.yourprivatetour.com
info@yourprivatetour.com
011 52 1 984 134 4882

We stopped en route to Tulum to hand off the cash for the day trip to Jay - he won't deal with CCds or checks - which felt a little weird. But he does this to avoid a business kiosk, he said, because all the businesses on 5th Ave. have to pay protection to the cartels. By doing it this way, he keeps a lower profile.

We also made sure to tip our guides at the end of the day.

Other than that, we wandered 5th Ave., fought off a cold, and hung out at the swimup bars at our hotel - the Mahekal Beach Resort. Lots of good food, and a low profile. Be careful, not flashy, and you'll be fine.

golfCaddy
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:27 pm

I would take the State travel advisories extremely seriously. I would be far less worried about having my wallet stolen,than murder, kidnapping, or being assaulted.

golfCaddy
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:30 pm

One example, of how safe Mexico is, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Igua ... kidnapping.

2comma
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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by 2comma » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:41 am

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
If I am stupid I will pay.

TravelforFun
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by TravelforFun » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:54 am

2comma wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:41 am
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
That quote has been on my travel blog for years. I once had a guy tell me, ‘I don’t need to go there, I can see it on YouTube.’

TravelforFun

mancich
Posts: 314
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by mancich » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:04 am

Been to Mexico 3 times - twice to Cancun, once to Riviera Maya. Never a hint of a safety issue, but plenty of stomach "issues" :P
Seriously, you'll probably be fine by staying on a nice all-inclusive resort, but if you're really concerned, there are plenty of other places to go that have great weather and (perhaps) a safer environment.

Shallowpockets
Posts: 524
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:19 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:54 am
2comma wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:41 am
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
That quote has been on my travel blog for years. I once had a guy tell me, ‘I don’t need to go there, I can see it on YouTube.’

TravelforFun
It is funny you should say that. One time someone was asking about travel. They did not seem like they really wanted to go, and I posted about just staying home and watching YouTube travel videos.
I got censored by the moderators for snarky comments.

GCD
Posts: 513
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Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by GCD » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:25 am

2comma wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:41 am
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
Meh. That statement is in itself arrogant and anti-intellectual. I get the sense of it. I enjoy travel myself and do find it enlightening. But...

To say that you need to personally physically experience something in order to have an accurate opinion of it is not true.

The reverse is also not true. There have been any number of atrocious, demeaning comments made by British royalty about Africans after they had traveled extensively there. Travel seems to reinforce bias and prejudice in some people.

Travel is what you make of it, like anything else.

clutchied
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:11 pm

Re: traveling to mexico, should I be concerned?

Post by clutchied » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:30 am

tunerunner wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:21 pm
We are going to Cancun in May - we tend to pay more to stay at higher rated (more premium) all inclusive properties. This will be our third time - we ventured off the resort last time we were there and although we came back with a great story, I don't think we will be doing the same thing again :wink:

That being said, if you are just planning to stay at the resorts or go to other touristy areas I wouldn't worry - most resorts have secured entrances and with all the tourism there its surprising you don't hear of more issues.

I'm not a huge hard liquor person but we drink our fair share of beer and wine and there have not been any reported issues with any non-spirit drinks that I am aware of.

Enjoy the sun and get some R&R...that is what you are there for.


We went to Cancun last May and had a great time. We rented a car and went all over the place. Valladolid, Chichen Itza, Isla Mujeres(took the local ferry), selvatica... etc. It was a blast! Driving the freeway from Cancun to Chichen was a little disconcerting(take pesos they wont' let you out of the pay gate unless you have them). We were at the toll gate for the freeway and some guy was stuck there because he didn't have any pesos to get through (they won't take dollars). People would pop up on the side of the road out of the jungle every once in awhile and you'd see abandoned bicycles and carts 50 miles from anything... We were doing probably 110mph most of the way but were being passed. We followed someone who was going faster and he was pulled over and then promptly passed us again 5mins later (bribe paid?).

Isla Mujeres was a highlight; we rented a scooter and went all over the island and bought fresh fruit on the side of the road. Took a snorkel boat out and had a great time. We came back to their home base and they had caught some fish and grilled it up right there.

We really had a great time but it feels pretty wild outside of the resorts.

We did not take our kids and probably won't.

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