Many college students are wrapping up mid-term exams and headed to warmer climates for spring break vacation and Mexico is one of the top destinations to visit. Although, the US State Department is warning travelers about some of the potential dangers of visiting certain parts of this country due to rampant crime and violence.
According to the updated warning from December 2016, “U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states.”
No advisory is in effect for popular spring break destinations like Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum. However, the State Department suggests that US citizens should be vigilant when traveling south of Felipe Carrillo Puerto or east of Jose Maria Morelos. These areas are known for poor or non-existent cellular service, which could make communication during an emergency extremely difficult.
When a travel warning is issued. The State Department has a responsibility to keep the public informed and updated on any events or risks that could affect American travelers abroad.
A travel alert is sometimes issued when the government wants the public aware of a short-term event that could affect a traveler’s safety or security. These events may be a political election, for example, that could lead to demonstrations or protests.
Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Those planning to visit another country should consider enrolling in STEP, a free service that provides real-time updates on travel risks in a particular region.
Change of mind protection. Travelers that want the option to change their mind about upcoming travel plans can learn more about the Cancel For Any Reason benefit, an upgrade that is available from some travel insurance plans. This benefit has some eligibility requirements.