Tips for a Safe Family Vacation to Mexico - Page 2

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CancĂșn, Mexico
Visitors on the beach in CancĂșn, Mexico  (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

The Solution
The lure of Mexico’s gorgeous beaches and lush mountains, along with its reasonable prices and convenient flights from U.S. locations, makes it an attractive destination for time-crunched, cash-strapped families. But should you go?

"The 17 Mexican states not on the State Department’s warning list almost neatly match where tourists go, and these can be perfectly safe," says Robert Reid, an editor with Lonely Planet, the author of Happy: Secrets to Happiness from the Cultures of the World, and a traveler passionate about Mexico. "The number of drug-related deaths per year in the Yucatán is less than in Wichita, Kansas. Headless bodies always make horrible headlines, and my first thing to say about Mexico is if you don’t feel comfortable going to a place, absolutely don’t go, but make sure you have all the information before you make your decision."

Interestingly, despite increasing fears, Mexico’s tourism numbers have been on the rise. According to the latest figures, November 2011 saw an increase of 6.7 percent in foreign visitors to Mexico compared to the same period in 2010. Additionally, Mexico remains the number-one international destination for Americans. In November 2011, U.S. arrivals were up 3.4 percent compared to the same period in 2010.

Experts on travel to Mexico maintain that savvy travelers will find a safe, welcoming destination. Zachary Rabinor, director general and CEO of Journey Mexico, voted one of the world’s best adventure-travel companies by National Geographic, believes it is safe for tourists to travel to Mexico’s beach resort areas and beyond. "Of course, it’s necessary to take normal precautions as one would whenever traveling abroad," he says.

Plan your travel to Mexico’s safe areas and follow some key safety guidelines, and you’ll realize the incredible beauty, convenience, and warmth of our neighbor country to the south. "It’s such a misunderstood country in so many ways," says Reid. "It has a spirit that is intoxicating and wonderful. If I were only going to be able to travel to one other country for the rest of my life, it would be Mexico."

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