In light of recent events in Mexico – the beating of a woman into a coma, a lot of Canadian travelers are debating whether travels to Mexico are safe. Statistics show that Mexico receives the highest volume of Canadian travelers compared to other destinations. According to National Post 1.6 Million Canadians visited Mexico in 2010 which is still continuing to increase and in 2011 six Canadians were murdered which is devastating and unfair regardless of where or how it happens.
I have travelled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on three separate occasions. The first few times my family and I stayed within the city and the third time a friend and I stayed in a resort in Nuevo Vallarta. I am already ready to go back! I had such amazing experiences the times that I went, that I would go back in a heartbeat. I found the locals’ very friendly, shopping great, and the weather beautiful. When I was there most recently in 2007 I did see one armored vehicle but I felt very safe during my entire stay.
My family consists of avid travelers and there are definitely some rules to follow when you are travelling anywhere, whether that’s Calgary, Las Vegas, Mexico, Europe, etc.
- Research – know the location you are traveling to, know where the violence is – for instance the drug cartels and most violence are occurring near the Mexico and United States border
- Travel in groups – if you chose to go for a walk at night anywhere, don’t go alone it reduces risk of being targeted
- Be smart – sounds simple but sometimes people end up in situations that can easily be avoided; when my friend and I went to Mexico we asked for tourist locations to go out for drinks because it’s best to stay in areas that are safer for tourists
- Attitude – a lot of problems arise when people get into alcohol and start picking fights, it does not condone violence from either party but if you can keep yourself in line you can protect yourself from potential harm
- Put things into perspective – yes, there have been Canadian deaths in Mexico however a fragment of those deaths were unlawful acts (2010: 6 deaths/ 150 Canadian deaths) – a lot of deaths were caused by drowning or suicide.
The purpose of me writing this specific blog is to encourage all travelers to be safe regardless of your destination. There are definitely some locations that are better to travel then others but we have an amazing world out there waiting to be discovered!
My heartfelt sympathies go out to any family that has been affected by violence or harm in any way, in any location – whether at home or abroad.