Millions of college kids across America are going on spring break over the next few weeks. Many will be heading to destinations in Mexico or the Caribbean. While most tourist areas are relatively safe, it is important to remember that some destinations pose increased risks and it is best to prepare for them. Mexico in particular can be a dangerous place, in fact the State of Texas just issued a warning advising college students not to go there, especially to areas near the Texas/Mexico border.
If your child is heading to a foreign destination, the following tips may prove useful for them and might ease the minds of the worried parents back at home:
1. Make sure that you have copies of your child’s passport and travel visas, preferably scanned so that they can be saved in a digital format. In case these documents are lost or stolen, it will be much easier to replace them if you have copies that you can fax or email to your child to take to the American embassy or consulate.
2. Travelers in foreign countries should know how to contact the local American embassy or consulate in case of trouble.
3. By virtue of being one of a large group of Americans, travelers on Spring Break are easily identifiable as attractive targets for muggers. It is best not to wear flashy clothes or expensive jewelry. That kind of stuff should be left at home.
4. Many spring break packages offer cheap deals that include airfare and hotel. Be sure to check the hotel out in advance. American chain hotels will be the best in terms of cleanliness and safety. The money that you save on a cheap hotel may be lost if you get sick from poorly prepared food or robbed.
5. Spring Break travelers should be very wary of breaking the law. Drug violations in particular can land a traveler in a lot of trouble, especially if they are in a place where they may not have the same rights and protections that they would in the U.S.
6. Travelers who take prescription medications should divide them up and keep them in two places, perhaps keep half in your carry on and half in your luggage. That way if one of your bags is lost or stolen you have another supply. It may not be easy or even possible to fill a prescription in a local pharmacy.
8. Consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance. We recommend MedJet. Their plans are inexpensive and in the case of a medical emergency, they will fly the traveler back to the hospital of their choice on a medically staffed private plane.
I hope these tips are helpful.