Sunrise over Teotihuacan, Mexico, Jan 2014. Photo by The Deal Mommy

Sunrise over Teotihuacan, Mexico, Jan 2014. Photo by The Deal Mommy

When a destination shows up on the evening news, your first reaction may be to stay away. I get it. Why invite trouble? The problem is that entire countries get tarred with a brush only meant for specific towns. Mexico is a prime example. It’s so easy to see terms like “drug cartel” and think “Travel to Mexico? No Way!”.

I’m asking you to step outside your comfort zone and look at some facts before tossing out the country with the bath water. The State Department is my first stop when I need to see the on-ground situation in any specific destination. They live and breathe safety for Americans in country and give very specific advisories.  Here’s the current advisory for Mexico.

I’ll save you time and summarize the important bits–SPRING 2015:

  • Yucatan: Merida and Chichen Itza are major cities/travel destinations in Yucatan – No advisory is in effect.
  • Quintana Roo: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum are major cities/travel destinations in Quintana Roo – No advisory is in effect.
  • Oaxaca: Oaxaca, Huatulco and Puerto Escondido are major cities/travel destinations in Oaxaca – No advisory is in effect.
  • Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect.
  • Guanajuato: San Miguel de Allende and Leon are major cities/travel destinations in Guanajuato – No advisory is in effect.

Now I do see some warnings about staying in tourist areas on the West Coast and other states have definite “steer clear” messages.  However, the list above is the bulk of where folks would consider family vacation destinations, and I don’t want you to knock them off your radar because of unrest hundreds of miles away.

I practice what I preach here. I spent a solo weekend in Mexico City and felt no less safe than at home.

Here’s the bottom line: stuff happens. Measles broke out in Disneyland, for goodness sake! With reasonable precautions you can do your part to travel safely.

Have you been to Mexico recently? Would you go? Please share your thoughts in the comments.