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US Issues Safety Advisory and Warnings for Spring Breakers Traveling To Mexico

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Laurie baratti

by Laurie Baratti
Last updated: 6:05 PM ET, Wed February 28, 2024

This week, the State
Department reposted
an alert message issued by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico for U.S.
citizens planning spring break travels south of the border, encouraging them to
exercise “increased caution”. 

Embassy’s message
, posted on Monday, warned, “Crime, including violent
crime, can occur anywhere in Mexico,
including in popular tourist destinations.  It added, “U.S. citizens
should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break
locations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark.”

The Embassy
advised that travelers always be vigilant of their surroundings and, “maintain
a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities
occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations.” It also
noted that prospective travelers should review the State Department’s Mexico Travel Advisory for state-specific information. 

However, before
becoming too alarmist, vacationers should also remember that, “Each year,
thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during spring break,” and, “the vast
majority travel safely,” according to the advisory message. 

The Embassy
addressed many of the most common tourist-related concerns about Mexico travel
overall, including warnings about the potential for violent crime and sexual
assault; consuming drugs, counterfeit medications or unregulated alcohol; risks
of drowning and medical emergencies abroad; guns and ammunition; getting
arrested or running afoul of immigration laws. 

Spring breakers partying on the beach.

Spring Breakers partying on the beach. (Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/likoper)

It also outlined several
tips and strategies that travelers should use to maintain their personal safety
if they do travel to Mexico, including resort areas. For instance, to always
watch your drinks and stay with a group of friends in bars and clubs, avoid
swimming in strong currents or after consuming alcohol, using taxis and
rideshares from trustworthy sources, and enrolling in the State
Department’s Smart
Traveler Enrollment Program
for up-to-date information on safety conditions
and to help the embassy contact you in an emergency. 

While the State
Department’s official Mexico travel advisory maintains a Level 2 “Exercise Increased
Caution When Traveling To” status for 29 of Mexico’s 31 states—which encompass
popular tourist spots like Puerto
, Los
and Cancun—well-known
travel journalist Peter Greenberg told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 news that these are the same
levels of caution as a year ago. 

He advised taking
these warnings seriously, but also paying attention to the particular details
of the advisories and the areas they apply to. “The states that they’re saying
do not travel to are states that are like Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo, Laredo.
Americans don’t vacation there unless they happen to be drug dealers.” 

“You have to understand
that the State Department… out of an abundance of caution, seems to be painting
with a rather broad brush. All the things they’re telling you to be worried
about about Mexico are the same things you should be worried about if you’re
going to Cleveland.” 

He continued, “Most
Americans, when they’re on Spring Break, never leave the resort areas anyway.
So, you need to put this in the proper context and then make a decision.”


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