Monthly Archives: February 2011

Safety Tips for Travelers

18 February 2011

In light of the recent slew of violence reports from Mexico, USA Today consulted security expert Gregory Bangs who specializes in protecting clients abroad from crime and kidnapping, about whether travelers should defer their trip to Mexico.  Bangs says travelers are generally safe if they stick to areas that are not high in crime.  He also points out that big tourist zones like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and other resort destinations excluding Acapulco, have not seen any crime waves.

Bangs shares his tips for staying safe:

*Use official taxis. Avoid street taxis, and rent one through your hotel or have a restaurant call one.

*Don’t make yourself a target by wearing expensive jewelry/watches, extravagant luggage, or by announcing you’re an American with a logo baseball cap or T-shirt.

*Check with a concierge for safe jogging routes

*Stay on the beaten track

To read the full article, and safety tips in detail, go here.

Canadian Travelers Still Heading to Mexico

16 February 2011

A recent shooting in Mazatlan which left a Canadian citizen injured has reignited concerns about travel to Mexico for Canadian citizens.  Despite this, travel agents and airlines spokespeople say they have not seen a decline in business, and have in fact seen an increase in certain areas such as Cancun.

From the article:

Darlene Munroe, an agent with Xtravel.caLtd. based in Chestermere, said travellers are asking a lot of questions about Mexico, concerned about escalating crime and violence.  “People have a lot more questions than they normally do. But we tell them as long as they don’t do anything foolish, and they use common sense, they won’t get in harm’s way,” she said.

Regular travelers to Mexico, like Reta Kurta of Calgary who took her ninth vacation to Mexico this year (to Ixtapa) says she does not have qualms about security.  She says, “When you hear about all that’s been happening there, safety is always a concern.  But as long as you don’t leave your resort at night, you stay with your tour operator, and you don’t go looking for drugs, you’ll be fine.”

Read the full article here.

Spring Break Travel: Safety and Mexican Beach Destinations

15 February 2011

Beachside in Cancun, Mexico. (Photo by Price Travel Mexico)

As Spring Break planning season begins to take way, some universities are telling students considering travel to Mexico to be careful.  Said a university spokesperson for Michigan State University, “The safety of our students is always a primary concern. For nonsanctioned trips, we recommend that students check in with the U.S. Department of State for appropriate warnings and travel warnings.”

MSU itself runs a study abroad program to Mexico during spring break, in which students volunteer at various nonprofit agencies in different parts of Mexico, including Cuernavaca, Puebla, Mérida and Oaxaca – cities which the university has deemed safe for travel.  Though the U.S. State Department urges travelers to stay away from Acapulco, a formerly popular resort and beach destination, assistant director of the Internationalizing Student Life program at MSU Carlos Fuentes says that the majority of students who head to Mexico for spring break focus on Cancun, the Mexican resort town most popular with college students and made popular back in the 90’s by MTV.

Bailey Krestakos, an MSU student who traveled to Amealco, Mexico for a spring break program last year, says the experience was positive, and though her group took precautions, she never felt like her safety was compromised.

“I think that you have to be aware of where you’re going and pay attention,” Krestakos said. “I do think it’s a mistake to have perceptions about an entire country based on what you see in the news.”

Read the full article here.