How safe is it to travel abroad? It seems lately that we are bombarded with stories from the media about disasters and political unrest from all around the world. Customers regularly ask us if, considering recent news of murder, drug trafficking and robbery in (insert name of country here), it is really safe to visit. While I’m the first person to say that one needs to exercise caution, I am also the first to say that there are millions more stories that we don’t hear about safe and pleasurable travels to these same locales. Take Mexico for example. The media continues to report on the increase of drug related violence in Mexico. The Department of State issued a travel warning for Mexico in September, educating readers about danger zones for drug trafficking and violence in the state. However the very same warning also notes that millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year.
So how do we make an informed and rational decision regarding a particular destination? Start on the web by visiting the Department of State Current Travel Warnings. The above referenced department travel warning for Mexico says resort areas and tourist destinations do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in border regions and areas along major drug trafficking routes.
Then, when traveling, whether abroad or at home, travel smartly. It’s always wise to do your homework. A good guidebook should list available phone numbers for police, fire and ambulance services for your destination. You should also be able to get up to date information on any local safety issues from your hotel.
If you prefer to avoid the more popular tourist routes and destinations do your best to limit your travels and site-seeing to daytime hours. Don’t flash money (consider keeping your cash and cards in a security wallet) or expensive jewelry. And above all else, if something doesn’t feel right to you, trust your instincts.