Before you drive to Mexico, take some time and see what the U.S. Department of State has to say about your intended travel destination in Mexico (online at Travel.State.Gov, which also gives numbers you can call). You can find out many essential details about entry and exit requirements, hotspots to avoid, what sorts of rules and regulations will be encountered, much more. The general advise and experience is heading south to the border enter during the day.
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Personal safety includes an informed awareness of your surroundings, and of the obvious dos and donts. Dont drink local water, and that includes ice cubes. Drink bottled water. Provide your friends and family with your Mexico travel itinerary before you depart, and contact information; communications like phone calls can be expensive, though, so be forewarned. If youre setting forth on some backpacking expedition through the rain forest or hike up Machu Pichu, for example, also let someone you trust know your whereabouts and when you plan to return (emphasis on trust).
Some of the less obvious “donts” include political protests, although most people dont vacation in Mexico to participate in demonstrations against the government!) Under “dos,” expect to have cash for tips, which though small will be frequent, and do be careful about safeguarded your wallet (and passport and other valuables) and not flashing that around, or making any other displays of wealth, for that matter. Leave the jewelry at home.
For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Departments Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings can be found. Consular Affairs Publications, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are also available. For additional information on safe international travel, see Citizen/Topics/Travel/International.
The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad to register via the State Departments travel registration website or at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency and will enable you to receive up-to-date information on security conditions.
Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or the regular toll line 1-202-501-4444 for callers outside the U.S. and Canada.