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Old 02-24-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Travel advisory to Mexico

My husband said he saw on the news, that the US issued a travel advisory last night on traveling to Mexico. Has anyone else seen this, is it something I should worry about, I am traveling 4/25.

Thanks
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Old 02-24-2009   #2 (permalink)
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If you look at the advisory it is mainly speaking about the border areas along AZ, CA and TX. You have no worries here.
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Old 02-24-2009   #3 (permalink)
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The travel advisory:

MIG: Mexico Travel Alert

Playa has always seemed safe to me. That being said, anywhere tourists congregate in great numbers, thieves, etc will be there as well.

Best advice I can give for any vacation, go have a good time, but please pack your brain and common sense.
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Old 02-24-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Well the problem there relates to the word issued, I think. The US renewed or updated the travel advisory for Mexico already in place, the other day (which does in fact focus on border towns, as noted above). I would be interested to know, if someone knows or wants to try to research it: when was the last period for which the US did not have a travel advisory in effect for Mexico? My initial guest would be years ago, if not decades ago (though maybe there were some brief stints when none was in effect).

I'm not trying to be pedantic, but rather to highlight that for many people, probably every previous time they've come to Mexico there was also a travel advisory in effect. I've seen travel advisories for Australians or the Japanese about coming to the US, too. It seems to me to be pretty standard for countries to issue travel advisories for their citizens about other countries, including other countries we wouldn't think of as being dangerous.

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Old 02-24-2009   #5 (permalink)
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I understand the desire to down-play any threats but there is a real concern these days. I have traveled much of the world and have spent time in places far more dangerous than Mexico. That being said, there have been some very disturbing events in Mexico and in the Riviera Maya in the past months.
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Old 02-24-2009   #6 (permalink)
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I understand that concern, too.

That said, again, someone from Japan or Australia could say the same thing about the US (and perhaps about Chicago as a particular destination in the US). But my bet is that not many Americans who may be concerned about recent events and security here would turn around and agree that those Japanese or Australian tourists may want to rethink their plans to come to the US, because of such security concerns (even when there was worry about their particular destination).

So for me, there's no "downplaying" going on, just a sort of reality or perspective check.

Steve
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Old 02-24-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lks1165 View Post
My husband said he saw on the news, that the US issued a travel advisory last night on traveling to Mexico. Has anyone else seen this, is it something I should worry about, I am traveling 4/25.

Thanks
WOW!!! I wouldn't go. I would go somewhere safe like New York city.
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Old 02-24-2009   #8 (permalink)
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I understand that concern, too.

That said, again, someone from Japan or Australia could say the same thing about the US (and perhaps about Chicago as a particular destination in the US). But my bet is that not many Americans who may be concerned about recent events and security here would turn around and agree that those Japanese or Australian tourists may want to rethink their plans to come to the US, because of such security concerns (even when there was worry about their particular destination).

So for me, there's no "downplaying" going on, just a sort of reality or perspective check.

Steve
I get it and agree with you.

I just don't want to miss the opportunity to use the forum to alert visitors to "real" activities so they can better protect themselves.

I have always found Playa to be incredibly safe. I am always traveling with my head on a swivel but find myself relaxed while in Playa.
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Old 02-24-2009   #9 (permalink)
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I get it and agree with you.

I just don't want to miss the opportunity to use the forum to alert visitors to "real" activities so they can better protect themselves.

I have always found Playa to be incredibly safe. I am always traveling with my head on a swivel but find myself relaxed while in Playa.
I'm just curious what anyone would do any differently?

Most of these issues are drug-related. Anyone putting themselves into that "circle" anywhere is putting themselves at risk, whether or not there's an updated advisory or not.

How is the average (non-drug-culture-seeking) tourist going to change their vacation to "protect" him/herself?
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Old 02-24-2009   #10 (permalink)
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I'm just curious what anyone would do any differently?

Most of these issues are drug-related. Anyone putting themselves into that "circle" anywhere is putting themselves at risk, whether or not there's an updated advisory or not.

How is the average (non-drug-culture-seeking) tourist going to change their vacation to "protect" him/herself?
I hate to keep agreeing with everyone... but I primarily do.

I suppose that if there were other scams being played we could use this forum to alert travelers. With that said I have not seen or heard of any other than they classic short changing scenarios that get played in many of the world's vacation spots. In Playa this happens a lot at the petrol stations on the edge of town.
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Old 02-24-2009   #11 (permalink)
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Here's some petrol station tips:

Hold the note up clearly to the attendant so he can see you know what value it is. Even better say the amount in Spanish. 100, 200, 500 (be extra careful with big notes).

Or even ask for a receipt: Quiero una nota por favor

Check the pump reads 000000, and catch their eye so they know you've seen it.
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Old 02-24-2009   #12 (permalink)
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Ahhhh, this drives me crazy. Everytime this happens, my father-in-law makes a special point to call me and tell me that he's worried about us going to PDC. (And he's even been to and walked around PDC with us.) Thats like telling someone to not visit the USA because there is drug related crime/murders happening in north St. Louis City. For 95% of the readers of this site, we won't be going anywhere near the border od the US and Mexico where most of this crime is happening. As for the drug related crime in the Riveara Maya, that seems to be targeted events, such as the PDC police chief event. He was targeted because of his opposition to the drug trafficers. So, our individual risks of having a violent crime happen to us in PDC is very very low. Your chances of having an vacation related problem such as theft of a camera, or a bodily injury from a trip or fall is much higher than the violent crime potential. Last year on our flight home, a couple's 20 something daughter got on the plane with a cast on her foot, a stage light had suddenly fallen off the bars (in Cancun) stage lighting and fell on her foot as she and her brother sat at a table watching the band play. (FWI, The couple said the Bar owner was extremely applogetic and covered all the medical bills in cash and told them to send any medical bill incured back in the US, to him and he would pay those too.) Somethings you can't predict or prevent, but you can cut down your risk level tremedously.

So, while on vacation I will work to control the possibilities that I can. I will watch my kids like a hawk around the pool and the ocean, I will not drink too much, I will stay on or very near 5th ave., I will lock-up and hide my valubles, I will try to eat and drink things that are from a reliable source, and I will use my common sense when ever possible. I will not let such advisories intimidate me to cancel my vacation nor will I worry about things I can't control at all. I reccomend the same for all those that may be intimidated by such warnings.

Last edited by pkfirefighter; 02-24-2009 at 10:04 AM..
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Old 02-24-2009   #13 (permalink)
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good tips. i have never been taken but i have seen every scam there is in China, Thailand, PI, Algeria, and elsewhere...

A question for the locals.

Seeing that much of the trouble centers on drugs, what can the visitor do to curb the drug trade on 5th? (Yes, I get asked every trip)
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Old 02-24-2009   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Chicago Sean View Post
I get it and agree with you.

I just don't want to miss the opportunity to use the forum to alert visitors to "real" activities so they can better protect themselves.

I have always found Playa to be incredibly safe. I am always traveling with my head on a swivel but find myself relaxed while in Playa.
Well there are certainly dangers. But then again, there are dangers wherever you are/go, too. Unfortunately there are a combination of factors that make thing sound worse than they are, here, I think.

One is lack of distinction as to geographic areas or recognition of distances and so on. We experienced this when living in Japan: we'd be in the far west/south (Nagaski) and there'd be a relatively minor earthquake, or even a bigger earthquake, in the central part of the country or even farther away. Back in the US or Mexico, however, the reports were of an earthquake in Japan and that was all anybody needed to hear before they were calling to ask if we were OK. Sometimes they even knew there had been an earthquake somewhere in the country before we did, and we'd find out from their call. Japan was Japan was Japan -- all the same place, and presumably a very small place, indeed, for them. Same here with Mexico: it could happen in Tijuana or Cabo but people will read that it happened in Mexico and they'll be worried about Playa.

Another I think is the unfortunately ongoing undercurrent of thought that Mexico is sort of more or less still in a sort of wild wild west phase, just in general, which obviously can only add to the fear. I mean, probably we all know people who, long before anything like the recent reports came out, expressed concern or even just outright fear about the idea of travelling to Mexico.

And still another is that people do avoid recognition of the dangers around them in their own country/city every day, just to avoid the psychological stress that would cause them. So a plane crashes or goes down in a river or a guy goes crazy around Christmas and starts shooting at his ex-wife and her family and even kids or another shooting is on the news where 2-3 people were injured or maybe killed, and these things get perhaps brief attention but then are buried or forgotten. But reports of violence between narcotraficantes and police here, or of a death, whether by drowning or by murder, at a resort here, sticks in people's minds and they get more worried about those things, even if they're happening less frequently than crime or accidents at home.

That's my take, anyway. FWIW.

Steve
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Old 02-24-2009   #15 (permalink)
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...I will stay on or very near 5th ave...
I think you're much more likely to be ripped off by doing this, personally.
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