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Tips on Travel to Mexico

March 26, 2009 By: Michael Browne


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For home-based agents, Mexico has always been a prime destination for clients. Now with all the negative publicity and the U.S. travel advisory, your clients may be hesitant to venture south of the border, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t go—provided they take along some common sense with their sunscreen, cameras and sandals.

All agents should be aware of the following advice on Mexico destinations—not all of it violence- or crime-related—from the U.S. Department of State's "Know Before You Go" web page and pass it on to their clients:

Acapulco: Not a violence-targeted destination, but drug-related incidents have been increasing in Acapulco.

Cabo San Lucas: Travelers should beware of rough waves in Los Cabos. Beaches on the Pacific side are dangerous due to rip tides and rough waves. Vacationers should take extra caution when swimming or surfing in this area.

Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel: Cancun is one of Mexico's largest cities, and a popular destination for Spring Break parties. It's also an increasingly common destination for crime. Students should be cautious at night and during the early morning hours, and always stay in groups.

South Padre Island: The little Texas town of South Padre Island is a favorite among Spring Breakers, but it's also one of the closest Mexico-U.S. border cities. It's highly advised that students vacationing in South Padre Island stay put and don't wander to nearby Mexico border cities including Matamoros and Nuevo Progresso.

Mazatlan: This sleepy little beach resort isn't high on the state department's watch list because of violence, but Mazatlan travelers should practice common sense when vacationing here. Avoid walking alone at night and always obey warning signs at beaches and docks.

Oaxaca/Oaxaca City: Protests and demonstrations are common in Oaxaca City and travelers should take caution if they find themselves in the middle of a political rally. Demonstrations have been known to get violent, so it's wise to stay away from the city center if there's a planned protest happening.

In addition, the currents along the southern coast of Oaxaca are rough, and swimmers are advised to be cautious and listen to the professional lifeguards that stand watch over the area.

Tijuana: Tijuana is one of the busiest land border crossings in the world. Its close proximity to California makes entry in and out of the U.S. easy from Mexico, but in recent years Tijuana as become a target among drug cartels for easy access to controlled medication. Travelers crossing the border into Mexico via Tijuana should be mindful of Mexico's laws: All prescription medicine must be accompanied with a doctor's note and the prescription must have a seal and serial number. Under no circumstances should a traveler attempt to purchase prescription medications in Tijuana from anyone other than a certified physician.

Bonus travel tip: Mind your manners in Mexico! American citizens traveling in Mexico are subject to Mexican law. If you find yourself in trouble, immediately contact the closest U.S. Consulate, U.S. Consular Agency, or the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. The U.S. Department of State also encourages all U.S. citizens traveling in Mexico to phone home periodically to assure family members of your safety and inform them of your  whereabouts.

Agents can visit the U.S. Department of State's Web site for more information on Mexico travel advisories and a list of U.S. Consulate and Embassy phone numbers throughout Mexico.  


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