Description: Mexico boasts some amazing vacation destinations that now have a reputation for crime. Learn the key to staying safe in Mexico while on vacation.
Despite it’s pristine beaches, picturesque landscapes and vibrant cities that have attracted tourists for decades, Mexico has received a bad rap lately with all of the cartel-related reports of crime in Mexico City and areas near the United States border. Don’t let the negative spin in the news deter from a beautiful Mexican vacation! There are plenty of ways to stay safe in Mexico while enjoying a relaxing vacation.
Like all countries, there are parts of Mexico that are more dangerous than others. Putting in the time to research beforehand will help eliminate the risks of crime that make staying safe in Mexico a concern for many tourists. Choosing the right resort or neighborhood is essential in setting up a home base for your vacation free from worries of pickpockets and other street crime.
One of the most important factors in helping you stay safe in Mexico is choosing the right destination. Though crime in Tijuana, Cancun and Mexico City is very much a reality, some of the lesser known places offer a safe retreat. Many travel websites and other online publications offer lists of Mexican vacation ideas that won’t leave you worrying about your safety. According to all of our best sources and friends from Mexico, the following places are free from the crime reported so often in the media.
San Miguel de Allende
Valle de Bravo
If you are determined to venture into a city that is known for crime, there are products available that offer protection from theft. Staying safe in Mexico’s more dangerous areas requires more than just awareness when you are on the street. For adequate protection from theft, try clothing from Clever Travel Companion that feature a zippered pocket to protect your valuables.
At the beginning of the month, four unsuspecting British tourists received a much heftier bill than they had expected for a few gelatos in Rome. Prices typically range between €2 - €4 for this tasty Italian speciality, but a price for a gelato at this gelateria near the Spanish Steps was €16. Multiply that by four tourists and suddenly the bill is worth more than a dinner for two and bottle of wine.
Without objecting too much, the tourists paid the bill and snapped a photo to pass on the warning to future tourists of Rome. In the subsequent fall out, the mayor of Rome has issued an apology on behalf of the city and Rome’s tourist sector has come under scrutiny. The situation has raised the question of whether or not businesses are scamming tourists to pay much higher prices than the goods are worth.
Because of examples like the €16 gelato, tourists must be aware of more than pickpocket gangs, street markets and large crowds of people. It turns out that you must also keep one eye out on the local restaurant and their prices. The number one takeaway from a story like this is to always ask for the price before receiving a service or product. Once the gelato has been ordered, there’s no way to take it back once the bill arrives.
In cooperation with the travel blog Eye & Pen we are giving away a free Clever Travel Companion product - the winner 's choice. Check out the blog and enter to win!
If you’ve been the victim of a stolen passport and are overseas, don’t panic! That’s the first step. ID theft and pickpocketing have become a common enough occurrence so you there a steps in place that make it easy to acquire a new passport.
You won’t be able to travel until you receive a replacement, whether it’s to the United States or to another international destination. After going through a few steps with the US embassy closest to you, you’ll be free to travel and on the road again.
Because of the rampant problem of a pickpocketing, reporting a stolen passport is one of the main reasons why you always need to know where the US embassy is located wherever you are traveling. You must apply in person for a new passport, and if you have been the victim of a serious crime be sure to report it to the embassy as well as the local police authorities.
In order to acquire a new passport, you’ll have to fill out Form DS-64 and provide a sworn statement that your passport was stolen. You’ll also have to fill out Form DS-11 which is an application for a passport. In addition to the forms, the State Department advises bringing the following items with you to the embassy:
While a police report is not required to obtain a replacement, it is helpful in the case of serious crimes. For a petty crime such as being pickpocketed, however, there is often very little the authorities can do to assist you. Sometimes filing a police report for ID theft can delay your travel and if so it is best to do without one.
Don’t want to have your passport stolen in the first place? It’s good to know you can get a replacement even if you’re not on United States soil, but it’s naturally best to avoid the situation altogether. Instead of worrying about being pickpocketed and losing your passport, protect your valuables from the onset with anti-theft travel products.
He is a great program from National Geographic with Bob Arno, pick pocket pro extraordinaire.
If you haven’t already, conduct an Internet search for the 10 worst cities for pickpockets in the world. It’s no surprise to see Barcelona at the top of the list, followed by Prague, Rome and Paris. Theft statistics confirm what you’ve probably learned from the news headlines and own personal experience: tourist destinations are a hotbed for pickpockets.
Researching theft statistics and identifying which cities are at a high risk for pickpockets is the easy part. What’s difficult is to discern where exactly within the city pickpockets are likely to strike and steps to take to guarantee prevention of theft.
Let’s start with the most obvious, tourist attractions. Whether it’s the Eiffel Tower, the Picasso Museum or even the Vatican, a large crowd of tourists is the best place for pickpockets to get to work. As theft statistics show, no destination is sacred when it comes to the potential for being pickpocketed.
Another common venue for pickpocketing is a train station or other major public transportation hub. With so many people moving through the station, thieves can remain undetected and wait for the ideal time to make their move. Pay particular attention at stops along the way as often pickpockets will exit quickly after stealing a wallet from a back pocket.
Unfortunately, one of the favorite places of pickpockets is hard to identify exactly because it is on the streets. A secluded street is much safer than a busy pedestrian thoroughfare of tourists where pickpockets can easily blend in.
Here's an excerpt from Scam City on Trave + Escape. It is always fascinating to see how pick pockets operate, weather alone or in teams.
Here's a collection of videos about pickpocketing, incidents, accidents, skills and how to stay safe.
If you have a story to share, please don't hesitate. Just post a comment here or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pickpocketing is a crime of oportunity and staying safe is all about making yourself less of a good opportunity for the huge number of pickpockets out there. Having your valuabels in a hidden pocket is the safest bet - no one will even know that the items are there and even if they did, getting at them would be too much of a challenge for the high stakes job that pickpocketing is. Remove the opportunity! Stay safe! (Naturally by using our gear!)
Read some of our most popular blog posts on pickpocketing
And here are some videos of our products.
If you have, or want to make, a video of our products - a review, general comments or out in the field - just let us know and we'll make sure to include it here.
Pickpocketing is up 11% in Paris. This video is in French, but the gist of it is: watch your valuables, tourists are especially vulnerable. Just look at this Australian family who have their wallet pick pocketed in the Metro. If you are not going to hide your valuables, then at least remember these simple rules:
- Don't put your wallet in your back pocket.
- Don't hang your purse sideways over your shoulder, leaving the bag on the back of your body. Keep you bag close to you and keep your hand over the - opening.
- Don't wear an expensive watch, they are super easy to take.
- Don't hang your purse over the back of your chair in restaurants.
- Do't keep all your money and credit cards in one place. Spread it out so if you do get pick pocketed you will have a spare credit acrd and some cash.
- Don't keep your passport in your purse. Keep it safe. Getting a new one is such a hassle.
Or just hide everything in your Clever Travel Companion travel gear with secret pockets. Much easier and it sure is fun fooling those pick pockets!