This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Apple Vacations. All opinions are 100% mine.
The planning stage of a vacation is really exciting time. You spend hours immersed in your options imagining all of the fun there is to be had. Relaxing, exploring, shopping, eating, sightseeing and more. Because that is what vacation is all about. Getting away from it all, relaxing and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
One of the first things you should consider when planning a vacation is travel safety. Despite the excitement and attractions, no destination is 100% safe. Some places can offer you more piece of mind than others, but you should always plan for the worst-case scenario so that you don’t miss out on the fun of your vacation dealing with something you could have better prepared for.
Better safe than sorry may be cliché, but it’s also a great motto for safety while travelling.
Nothing can guarantee travel safety. Whether you are travelling a couple hundred miles or clear across the globe. It’s the unknown and all it comes with different degrees of danger.
Travel should be a fun adventure, not something that causes fear. Because you want to be able to share your vacation photos with joy and positive memories. Not with stories of regret.
So, pay attention and remember that you can’t be too prepared when it comes to your personal safety.
I put together some international travel safety tips below to help take the stress and fear out of your vacation so you can have a wonderful trip.
Choosing Your Mexico Travel Destination
Mexico is a fantastic choice for spring break and summer travel. There are so many scenic and cultural things to explore, not to mention the amazing beaches. Its proximity to the United States means that travel isn’t too far or too difficult.
But travel safety is a real concern in Mexico, especially outside the hotels and resort properties. I visited Mexico in 2011 and even back then, there were strict do’s and don’ts about where to go and what to do. Despite these concerns, we were able to leave our resort and go zip-lining through the jungle.
We spent some time at a cenote where we were able to swim and zip line into the water. And we visited a nature sanctuary with an underground river and plenty of Mexican culture.
Many destinations in Mexico have no travel restrictions (per the U.S. State Department). This means that you can enjoy all the beauty Mexico has to offer while worrying less about your safety. No travel destination is 100% safe, but Mexico has some safer options that don’t disappoint.
Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos are all specifically listed as having no travel restrictions with the State Department so these should be your main considerations for travel to Mexico.
Book Through a Reputable Company
You should book every aspect of your trip through a reputable company. Often, these companies offer bundles that can save you money. Make sure you book excursions through your hotel or resort.
You have a lot of options when it comes to finding a reputable company. Take Apple Vacations for example. They have been winning awards since 1999. They specialize in all-inclusive travel packages which include round-trip airfare, hotel and airport transfers. They also give access to an on-site Apple representative should you need any help.
Apple Vacations has exclusive flights that are often among the only non-stop options. They also feature morning departures and evening returns to maximize your time.
Don’t risk weird travel times or end up stranded at the airport. Book through a reputable company that is familiar with your destination.
Learn more about Apple Vacations over at Beach Beat.
Before you even book your trip, head over to the U.S. State Department website. They offer updated travel safety information on every country in the world so you can search for your destination on their website. They give current, detailed information including travel warnings, local laws and vaccination requirements which is helpful information to have when planning your trip. They also include Embassy and Consulate information which you should carry with you.
Once you decide, register for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Program. It’s free and gives updated travel advisories to your email address. It also gives your contact information to the State Department, so they know where you are. They also allow you to add a contact person back home as well.
Make Copies of Your Identification
Scan and print a photo of your Passport and Driver’s License or other ID. Also, make sure to email a copy to yourself and take a picture of them to keep on your cell phone. If your destination requires you to carry your passport, leave the copy you made in the hotel safe. If not, it’s your decision whether to leave your original in the hotel safe or keep it on you.
Whichever you choose, make sure you keep the copy separate just in case something happens to the original. Also, if you are traveling with someone, give each other copies of your identification as well.
You also may want to keep yet another copy hidden inside your suitcase. When it comes to international travel and your identification, you can’t be too careful or too prepared.
Share Your Itinerary
Provide a friend or family who is not travelling with you with a full account of your itinerary. It’s important that someone knows where you are supposed to be in case something should happen to you. Check in regularly with this person so they know that you are okay.
Make sure this person has contact phone numbers for your hotel, the embassy at your destination and a way to contact the local authorities.
If you are alone and don’t have someone to check in with, let the hotel manager know your plans each day. That way if you don’t return to your room, they can alert authorities that something may be wrong.
Educate Yourself About Common Travel Scams
When you travel to another country, especially one where you don’t speak the language, your vulnerability to being the victim of a scam increases. Be alert to the potential for a travel scam and if something doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to walk away.
You may not realize it, but your appearance alone can often be a sign to a local scammer that you are a tourist, so you need to be vigilant.
Educating yourself about common travel scams in the areas where you are travelling can help you identify the potential for theft before you actually become involved.
Create an Emergency “Kit”
This emergency kit should allow you to quickly and easily access important contact information, your own identification details, credit card numbers and credit card company phone numbers. Also, include any contact information for anyone at home that you would need to contact in the event of an emergency.
You should also have some local currency in your kit and maybe even an extra credit card. This kit should not be carried with you, instead secured in your suitcase or the hotel safe.
If, in the unfortunate event, your cell phone and wallet are lost or stolen, you won’t be stranded without money or your personal information.
Use Common Sense
We were all born with an innate sense of flight or fight. Listen to that sense and if something seems wrong, trust that feeling. Say “no thank you” ideally in the native language of where you are visiting. Being able to speak some key phrases can help keep scammers from continuing to push the issue. If they think you speak the language, you will be much less of a target.
Don’t flash your valuables, even your phone. Limit the jewelry you wear and carry as little as possible with you. What you do carry should be carried in front of you and consider using locking carabiners or small travel locks or other travel safety products to secure zippers. Even something as simple as a safety pin can help keep bags closed keeping them safer from pickpockets.
If you are traveling to a location with potential political unrest, avoid large crowds of people gathered in public spaces. In areas with higher crime, don’t travel alone, and try to keep activities to daylight hours.
Travel Safety Printable Checklist
To help make sure you have a handle on travel safety and don’t forget anything, I put together a free printable travel safety checklist. You can print it by clicking the link at the end of the post.
Mexico has so many amazing things to offer for spring break or summer vacation. The beautiful scenery, friendly people and unique activities makes it a place you can visit every year and always find something new to do. Even if you visit one of the locations in Mexico without travel restrictions, you still want to be prepared for anything.
So once you book your Apple Vacations Mexico trip, print out the free printable and use it as a guide to ensure a safe trip.