Is Mexico Safe?: How to Stay Safe in Mexico [Travel Safety Tips]
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Is Mexico Safe?: How to Stay Safe in Mexico [Travel Safety Tips]


And this guy comes out
with a machete out of the woods just out of nowhere.
Hola amigos! Jim and May here from Spanish and Go and we’re
coming at you from Guanajuato, Mexico. A Level Two on the U.S.
State Department travel advisory scale. But why do we mention that?
Well, because there’s a question we get asked all the time.
Is Mexico dangerous? So, after years of living
and traveling in Mexico we feel very qualified to answer that
question. So in this video we’re going
to give you nine tips for traveling safely through Mexico.
Emecemos. Drugs. Rape.
Murder. Dismembering.
Kidnapping. Crime. These are all things that people
tend to associate with Mexico. But why? If you come to Mexico
are you going to get kidnapped or murdered? The reality
of the situation is quite different than what the media
often portrays. The U.S. State Department
has a travel advisory scale level which goes from one to
four. Number four being do not go there. And there’s five
states in Mexico which are in the four level which are.
Colima, Michoacán,
Guerrero, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.
And from those five states we have visited three and I have
from one of them. I am from Colima. And Colima is now
supposedly the most dangerous place in Mexico right now. And Colima is actually where
we’ve spent the most time in Mexico. We’ve even hitchhiked
there and we’re still alive. So we’ve traveled all over
Mexico flying, taking trains, driving for hours, and have we
ever felt unsafe May? Not really. We know that most of
the violence here in Mexico is related to cartels
so if you’re coming to Mexico and you have no plans of buying
or selling drugs you are doing a lot already to protect
yourself from crime. That’s right. Crack is whack.
Stay away from the drugs you’re probably going to be fine. So we have nine tips that we
want to share with you. These are things that we do all
the time to stay safe here in Mexico. So tip number one driver only
during the day. We are very strict about this. We make sure
that if we’re going to be traveling by car that we only
drive during the day. We take buses at night
occasionally. But if we’re driving you don’t want to find
yourself driving along a highway somewhere only to be stopped by
some nefarious criminals. We’ve heard of this happening.
People get stopped on the highway sometimes
especially when they’re vulnerable. And when are you
most vulnerable? At night. On top of that I’d make sure
that you take a toll road whenever possible day or night.
That’s going to make sure that there’s some check points
in between the cities that you’re driving through
that kind of help make sure that there’s not anything fishy
going on. Usually with those checkpoints they can kind
of monitor what’s going on on the highway. The second tip we have for you
is to never put all your money in one spot and also never have
too much money on you. So all we do is that if we have
our things at the place we’re staying we leave some —
most of the money — we’ll leave it there. And we
only go out with just what we need for the day. If we’re going
out for lunch and then we know maybe we want to go to a museum
or something. We only have enough for each day with us. Number three try to blend in.
You don’t want to go to a place where the average income
is twenty thousand dollars a year and you come
in with an Apple Watch and your computer and all of these things
that most people in the area don’t have. You want to fit in
and be modest. If you’re standing out
and wearing really nice clothes and carrying and flashing nice
technology and cash on you it’s going to make you
more of a target. We like to visit less touristy
places and places like Colima where my mother in law lives
sometimes I’m one of the few gringos in the city and I stand
out. I notice that people are noticing me. I already stand out
just because I have light skin. I don’t need to draw extra
attention to myself and I’m not afraid in Colima. But
I would recommend in general if you’re visiting a place
especially a less touristy place to just do your best to blend
in. Tip number four is take only
authorize taxis. Nowadays there’s other services
like Uber or Chauffeur Pro or Lyft in some cities in Mexico.
But there are places where the only option you have
sometimes is to take a taxi. And what we do whenever we have
to take a taxi is that we buy a ticket at a kiosk or we look
for the sito de taxi which is the place where all the taxis
are gathered. They’re like waiting in and for
the next person to come. So when you buy a ticket or when
you take a taxi from the sitio you are making sure that these
taxi is not a pirata. That it has permits. That
it’s a legal taxi to be offering their services. So we
like to buy tickets for taxis because there’s usually set
prices for each destination. So it’s really helpful to be
able to confirm the price of your trip before you get in
the taxi. And remember in Mexico —
don’t usually tip taxi drivers. So if you want to know more
about tipping in Mexico check out our video about that.
Number five. If you can avoid it try not to go alone. And
if you do go alone try to only walk around places where
it’s well lit and there’s people around. This will help you stay
a little safer than if you’re alone and potentially more
of a target to somebody else who wants to come along and do
harm or rob you. Whatever the case may be.
In my case we used to live in Playa del Carmen for a while
and back then we didn’t have internet at our apartment.
So I’d often go to the cyber cafe to do some work. And I
would walk home often at night. And usually this wasn’t a
problem. But one night I was sexually assaulted by a
prostitute. No joke. It wasn’t anything violent and I
was able to walk away kind of laughing about the matter.
But yeah, a prostitute did grabbed me by the crotch trying
to convince me for their services and I walked home
pretty quick after that to see May. Feeling dirty and used.
And this may sound like if you’re a guy you could
be like great, yeah I want that to happen,
or I don’t know. But sometimes these sexual
workers are professional pickpocketers. So you do have to be careful. Oh yeah that happened your
friend Matt. Yeah. Yep, our frien — our friend Matt
the Expert Vagabond. He had his phone stolen from.
In Playa. In — in Playa del Carmen.
He was able to get it back though. He realized before the
phone was gone for good. Chased down the sex worker and
got his phone back. So stay vigilant and try not to
go alone. And the next tip number six we
have for you is to trust your instincts. Sometimes you feel
like a weird vibe or something is telling you that you
shouldn’t be in that place. Don’t even think about it. Just.
Grab your stuff; go somewhere else. We have been in situations
where we are taking pictures or we’re about to play the drone
and something tells us that we shouldn’t be doing that and we
don’t think about it twice. We pack our things; we go
somewhere else. Because we know that nobody’s
going to take better care of us than ourselves. So make sure you
trust your instinct. Right. There’s only really about
two times in Mexico where I felt uncomfortable. Not necessarily
unsafe, but uncomfortable. Angangueo, when we went to see the
butterflies. That felt a little sketchy. It felt like people
were watching us. And… And not because something bad
was going to happen but also the locals were telling us to be
careful. And that made us feel more…
On edge. Yeah they would look at the car
be like, “oh make sure you’re always watching your car because
things happen here.” We would be like “why?”
or things like that. So that made us feel a little
weird. Yeah. And nothing happened
but… OK, I’ve got one story I can
think of one time where I felt a little unsafe in Mexico.
And this lasted maybe two minutes. I was flying the drone
in, well, near Angangueo when we’re
going to see the monarch butterfly sanctuary, and we
were just coming back and I wanted to get a shot of
the landscape. And there was a bunch of woods and I was
flying the drone. It was up in the air and this guy comes out
with a machete out of the woods just out of nowhere. And he said
that he was drunk — or no — He looked —
yeah…. Yeah. He said he was hung over.
Yeah. And he needed money to cure his
hangover. I don’t know what you buy to cure a hangover.
Probably more alcohol. I don’t know. But he had a machete when he
asked me. And so in that moment I didn’t like I had a choice
to give them the money he so I just… “Yeah yeah.
Here’s… you want 10 pesos is 20.”
So, that was the only time I was a little on edge about my safety
in Mexico. But nothing happened. Number 7: Use your Spanish.
Let it be known that you understand what people
are saying around you. This makes you less vulnerable
for pretty obvious reasons. If you let people know
that you understand them then they’re going to be more
cautious about trying to plot against you for any reason.
This can be really helpful in situations where maybe no one
wants to take advantage of you aggressively but maybe
financially and you can let it be known that hey this isn’t
your first time in Mexico. Maybe it is. But if you speak
Spanish you can reason with people and let them know
that you understand them. You’re there for, you know,
well-intentioned reasons. You’re not there to harm anyone
or rip anybody off, and that you want to, you know,
make friends and be on good terms with people. People will
respect you more just because you’ve taken the time to
speak their native tongue. That being said, what are some
useful phrases if you’re in a tough situation or you need
to explain something to somebody or there’s some sort of
emergency. Well one of them could be
“alguien llame a la policía.” Again, alguien llame a la
polcía. And that means someone please
call the cops. Another phrase that you could
use is — or this is just a word — “ayuda.” That means help.
Ayuda. Something else. Maybe you need a doctor.
So, “Necesito un doctor.” What else is there anybody you
can think of? No traigo dinero. I think
that comes in handy a lot because there’s a lot of people
asking for money in certain areas of of Mexico, and just
simply saying that kind of disarms them a little bit
from thinking that you’re carrying a load of money. Yeah, so that is again “no
traigo dinero,” or “no traigo nada,” which can
also be understood as “I have nothing.”. It’s not worth it.
Don’t bother robbing me. I don’t…. I have nothing. No tengo nada. Is there any other. Oh there’s plenty of others,
but you know, stay tuned to the channel and will help you
out with that. Tip number 8 is have an
emergency contact. If you can make sure someone knows every
step of your travels so a family member or a friend should have
a list of the places you’re going to be visiting. Or also
you could have someone track your location while you’re
traveling in the country. This may sound like it’s too
much, but you have to do everything to stay safe. Yeah, especially if you’re
in an unfamiliar area just send your location…. If you’re traveling by yourself
too. Yeah. It’s so easy these days
to just share your location with a friend or family member.
That way you kind of have that extra level of security
knowing that somebody else knows exactly where you are.
And number 9: make copies of all of your important documents.
I think it’s important to have a copy of your passport,
your credit card numbers, your license,
and backup phone numbers. Emergency contact phone numbers.
In fact some of them you should have memorized,
but in case you don’t, at least have a backup
somewhere. Either a digital copy or even a physical copy and both
if you can. It’s better to travel with the copy easily
accessible and the original protected. But I also keep
a digital copy that no matter what happens, all of my stuff
could be stolen, and then I would be able to go
to a computer somewhere and access my encrypted
information and prove that I am who I say I am and that I have
a valid passport and all of these things. You also want
to make sure that you have your bank’s phone number in case
you get a credit card stolen you can call and cancel that.
And one bonus tip related to that — you can have a copy of
your wallet. Just have one wallet have all of your expired
credit cards. I call this my my dummy wallet. I don’t carry it
as much these days but there are certain places where we travel
to where I’ll have a dummy wallet. That way
if I were to get mugged for some reason you hand the dummy wallet
that maybe has five or ten dollars in cash in it and some
expired credit cards. Someone will look at that real
quick and say “Oh OK,” and you’ll have time to take
off. At least that’s that’s the hope right. You’ll be able
to get away fast enough before they realize that they didn’t
really get away with much at all. So you’re feeling nervous about
visiting Mexico because of all the bad things you have seen
or heard happening in the country just follow our
guidelines and also use common sense. Mexico is beautiful. It’s full
of nice people who want nothing more than to help
you and to make sure that you have a pleasant
experience visiting their country. Unfortunately just
like any other place in the world there are people
who do want to harm you or steal from you and you just have to be
vigilant. Now thank you guys were
watching. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more travel
and Spanish tips. And remember El Camino es el
destino. The journey is the destination. So we’ll see you
soon. Goodbye.

65 Comments

  • Bruce Brooker

    Good advice for travelers traveling anywhere. However, it is common sense to be aware and have your sh*t together. PAY ATTENTION. Learn as much Spanish as your tourist mind can handle. LISTEN to conversations happening around you. If there is a dangerous situation developing, you will detect it in the tone of voice and cautionary words of the local people. If you start to hear someone going on about Chinga this and Chinga that, PAY ATTENTION…better yet, remove yourself from the area and observe.
    For tourists…just stay in or near your resort. Unless you know how to act and what to look for. Remember…Mexico has a culture that is different than ours in "the west". It is NOT the same as in the united states, only they "talk Spanish".

  • Marco Paulo Travel

    I recently spent 2 months vlogging through Mex and absolutely loved it! Other than pickpockets in Mexico City, I found it very safe and an incredible place to visit 🙌🏻

  • Maya Lynn

    Sweden is more dangerous than Mexico. It's called the Rape capital of Europe thanks to Muslim "refugees" and all their no-go zones governed by Sharia law.

  • I_Nvade

    You started great but then mentioned a ton of bad experiences. This video did not help me feel safe at all. Tip, don't make anymore tip videos. Are you saying your money won't be stolen from a hotel room? If someone really wanted to hurt you they could do it anywhere not just in Mexico. US travel warning 4 for a reason. If you are white, stay away. The only reason why you are safe there white boy is because you are there with a latina.

  • David Valle

    Great video guys, I was particularly surprised that you had mentioned angangueo michoacan. My girlfriend's family lives there and it's really a nice little town. I'm a Güero and I know I stick out some but never felt unsafe there. That said we were mostly around the main plaza and I was with her. They tell me Michoacan was pretty bad for some time but has improved. Now I also lived in CDMX for 3 years, and there are safety issues when taking the metro and metrobus. I used to take ubers mostly.

  • sojournerhouse

    There is severe poverty in Mexico. This is why it is dangerous. People are suffering. That is the same in USA if you go to a very low income part of the big city.

  • KIESE MEDIA

    Incredible video.I really loved watching it.
    Continue please.subscribed to your channel.
    I will welcome it if you subscribe my channel as well please 😃 ❤&✌

  • José Hernandez

    When most of the Mexican police are on the cartel payroll, how can you be SAFE? It's pretty bad when sicarios are in the bed of pickup trucks driving around town with their AK 47 machine guns, with no worries in the world! UNBELIEVABLE what Mexico has become, with NO END IN SIGHT!!

  • Mela Anabela

    Really useful tips! I would only add this product www.themimicgo.com to your list! Works great as a security and tracking device for your backpack & most valuable stuff!

  • Take the red pill

    It is estimated that 4% of humans have psychopath tendencies. So anywhere you go on earth where there are people you have to use alertness, common sense, and discernment.

    The whole world is currently at war with a group of criminal psychopaths who were enslaving the world. Watch my playlist for more information.

  • Brendan Townsend

    At 1:10 , all of Russia is considered not safe to travel? What is this nonsense? Many tourists go there , to Moscow, St. Petersburg etc.

  • Alex Wallace

    Thanks for the important tips.I was a student in Mexico city,DF,in 1982 for 4.5 months.I was on my way to the Univeridad by bus with my fellow student,when 5 Mexican men grabbed me and held me down taking my wallet.It was very scary yet I was unhurt and all I had in my wallet was about $5 dollars of pesos.Thank god it never happened again.I traveled through Baja Californiain 1988,and had no problems,and it helped that my Spanish was better.I  also traveled to the Copper Canyon(La Baranca de Cobre) and did not have any problems.I also was in Tijuana in 1990,and a cop told me in Spanish to get my 2 friends and go with him for  a ride. I pretended not to understand him, and quickly left that area with my friends.

  • boobae.

    Let me be honest if you keep you're shit together you're good but I mean there are drugs narcos but if you don't mess with them you're good .and if you're a tourist be careful sm of the time it's the governments fault. btw be careful they might charge you more than it is because they know that they are torist

  • Cesar Contreras

    Hi! I am visiting my mothers native state of Colima for the first time, do you think it is a bad idea to wear an Apple Watch? Am I better off leaving it at home ? Thank you!

  • Zaxe 1UP

    I live in the México City and its pretty dangerous im used to it but if you're not from México you might not want to travel in the México Subway

  • rogerg0834

    all my family lives in Colima, Colima. They never said anything about the "dangers"…unless you are involved in organized crime.

  • Fan Michael

    Very useful video. No offence but the dude claiming Mexico is safe to travel and the first tip he gave is don't drive in the night.

  • Dragonator99

    Mexico is very safe. I only got robbed 4 times, got a gun pulled on me only twice, and only got carjacked once. Safest country in the universe!

  • Dragonator99

    It’s safe if you carry an assault rifle around to let the criminals and drug cartels know to leave you alone or they’re going to that big crime ridden neighborhood in the sky.

  • Nicki nurse

    This is the first sensible channel. I've watched these 2 other couples who are living on borrowed time because they are so clueless to the dangers. Growing up in NY I know you can live somewhere & be safe because you fit in….tourists to NY are sitting ducks. They may as well have a sign on them

  • Michaela Stephens

    In regards to rule 3: I currently have colorful hair and have debated making it a dark, natural color when we travel in Mexico. My mom has been living all around Nayarit for a few years and she says I’ll stand out either way, that colorful hair won’t matter. We are driving to Quintana Roo, what do you think?

  • Rising ATLien

    Where would the US be listed on its own list? Southside of Chicago alone should be a Level 4, among other places lol

  • Ryan Fenley

    I liked your videos! However, I am attached to a story that happened on the Mexico border 30 years ago (1989) . MY friend, Mark Kilroy was kidnapped, tortured, murdered and mutilated in Matamoros (Tampalipas). Mark was the college student that was kidnapped by a drug smuggling satanic cult that sacrificed Mark and 50+ other bodies (Massive grave). This cult was also a member of a major drug cartel. I decided NOT to go on that trip with my friends at the last minute! SO I am glad that you said it is the top 5 dangerous areas. It should be the top 3 today.!!

  • Clement Kong

    Just listened to a similar video regarding Colombia. The violence may be over emphasized, but it does still seem like Mexico is more dangerous than Colombia.

  • Rob salinas

    Great advice
    My 29 year old son is going to Cancun for the first time…I shared your video and I will test him on it..😉

  • I Want To Travel - All Inclusive Vacation & Travel

    I really enjoy your videos. This one in particular is incredible and very though rough. Thanks for taking the time.

  • MrSymbolic7

    Hey, If you ever do get mugged offer them your Black Sabbath t-shirt or the Red Devil Box on the lower right hand of your screen , hmmm ?

  • yourbabyboyfriend onlyme

    DBag you don't know spanish . Your possible GF is the person you are saying that speaks "Spanish" that is saving your life.

    Where is the Zeta cartel located at mostly these days?

  • Mike Betts

    7:40, she laughs about him being sexually assaulted by a prostitute. This laughing is known as female privilege. Men are not allowed to laugh when a woman is assaulted. Now to be honest, if I were "assaulted" in this manner I would be laughing myself. Just goes to show that men and women ARE NOT THE SAME.

  • Denys A

    My wife and I are also a mixed-race couple, and we have visited relatives on her side in Tacoaleche, which is just outside of Zacatecas. I noticed when I walked around town by myself, a lot of people looking at me. I never felt nervous, though. Mainly amused that a white guy walking around was such a novelty. Normally, though, we hang out in the big cities. I never felt safer in my life than being in CDMX. I love it. Keep up the good work you two!

  • Jorge Lima

    Uber is also safe in Mexico.
    Your destination is tracked by GPS uber Also live like Mujica ex Uruguayan president 💯🇲🇽🇺🇾🇨🇦

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