Monday, October 13, 2014

Tip of the Day: ALL TRAVELERS: Be Cautious, Deliberate, Suspicious When Traveling to México

Very few foreign diplomatic missions maintain or release reliable statistics on incidents in which their nationals have been involved, often claiming privacy restrictions.

That being said, as in the case of the treatment of rape victims, critical information to foreign travelers that can be traced is easily omitted  from a news item, acknowledging that knowing when and where violent acts occur is critical information to citizens traveling abroad.

The Australian, British and Canadian governments have all been extremely cooperative to media organizations in the past and continue to be, all in the interest of helping their compatriots and preventing future acts of violence against their citizens.

COMMENT: Fortunately, there is lots of data available on the pitfalls of traveling to México in the absence of caution and suspicion:

https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=15151


http://www.bringandrewhome.com

http://tijuana.usconsulate.gov/tijuana/warning

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/mexico-travel-warning [effective 10/2014]

Having worked in México extensively for the better part of  ten years and in speaking Spanish as a valuable asset, I have developed my own personal list of what NOT to do:

1. Obtain international medical treatment and medical evacuation coverage by going to the below website:

http://www.insuremytrip.com

I also highly recommend that in opting for international medical treatment in México you also opt-in for repatriation of your remains in the event you die while abroad. Roughly 6,000 US citizens die abroad every year; nothing should be left to chance;


2. If you are taking any personal property over $500 in value to México, I strongly consider that you insure such property through:

http://www.safeware.com


3. Register your itinerary to México by going to:

http://www.travel.state.gov

If you're reluctant to register your travel to México, consider this:

What if family members become seriously ill back home?

How will embassies and consulates in México reach you in an emergency?


4. Read ALL FOUR of the links I've provided you ABOVE. Failure to do so may put your welfare at risk;


5. ALWAYS carry a mobile phone that works in México that is NOT a smartphone;


6. Go to either of the links below and register your travel:

http://www.travel.state.gov OR

http://www.http://www.international.gc.ca/international/index


7. I DISCOURAGE taking your US or Canadian-registered vehicle into México;


8. NEVER withdraw Mexican pesos or US dollars from a STREET-installed ATM, particularly at night;


9. AVOID all Mexican law enforcement agencies;


10. Obey ALL Mexican laws. If you're a consumer of recreational drugs, DON'T;


11. Avoid any establishment in México loosely described as a "clip joint";


12.  NEVER hail a taxi. Ask the concierge at your hotel for the name of a driver you can use during your stay. Tip him/her generously;


13. Regardless of your gender, AVOID prostitutes, escorts, etc.;


14. This is important! Stay at a four-or-five star hotel, NEVER carry more than $100 in cash and use the two-key safe deposit box system in the hotel lobby;


15. NEVER use "in-room" safes; they always have a "back-door" for staff;


16. Never donate to the poor; and


17. Be predictably CAUTIOUS and SUSPICIOUS AT ALL TIMES.

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