Senior Citizen Travel to Mexico

Mar 3rd, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Perhaps you and your senior friends are planning a warm weather getaway yet this winter. Or maybe you’re looking for a place to spend some relaxing time this spring. Most everyone has heard reports of increasing violence in Mexico and wondered whether or not the country was safe to visit.  Relax. While there are legitimate safety concerns regarding travel to Mexico that you should be aware of, by using a little common sense you can be among the millions of Americans who safely enjoy a Mexican vacation.   

A few simple rules:

  • First, do your homework. If you’re planning to visit a resort, check out reviews of hotels by fellow travelers on sites like Trip Advisor. Do a Google search for your destination to see if there is any recent news about it. Make sure you understand all of the transportation connections that will get you to and from that destination. Your flight may involve a connection at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City, likely involving a trip from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. 
  • Second, be aware that getting into trouble in Mexico is really easy if you don’t practice a little self-restraint. For example, alcohol and swimming do not mix well, particularly if you’re swimming in the ocean.
  • Third, understand that you are in a different country with different laws and social norms. Mexico is not the 51st state.
  • Fourth, the old adage that there’s safety in numbers holds true. While I have wandered around alone in Mexico and felt perfectly safe doing so, having more people around looking out for one another is a good idea.  Small groups of three or four are best.  Don’t go wandering around after dark by yourself.  Stick to well litstreets and do be aware of where you are walking.  I was living in Cuernavaca and figured that the sidewalks were okay to walk on.  Wrong.  Holes. Broken stairs.  No walk.  Rubbish on walk.  Always walk looking down and ahead in Mexico. 

Three helpful resources that can help senior tourists make good decisions on travel to Mexico are  (1) http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/3256-crime-and-retirement-in-mexico-a-problem, (2) http://www.safemexico.com/ and (3) http://www.mexicomike.com/ which deals with driving in Mexico.  AARP’s Modern Maturity Magazine provides lots of travel information for seniors on both Cancun and Isla Mujeres.  If you have never heard of Isla Mujeres, check it out on Google.  My daughter and her husband loved it.  I took a group of high school students there and it was great as they could not “escape” the small island and soaked up the beach, the sun and the great shopping markets. 

The latest U.S. Dept. of State Travel Alert for Mexico is loaded with useful information for any traveler headed for Mexico.  If you are going south be sure to read it.  jeb



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