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10 Ways to Stay Safe While Traveling Solo in Mexico as a Woman

If you’re planning on traveling to Mexico in the near future, it’s important to follow these tips to stay safe while traveling solo in Mexico as a woman, regardless of your age or location. Mexico has beautiful beaches, impressive cities and rich history—but there are some dangers you should be aware of that can put your safety at risk. However, by being prepared and following these simple tips, you can have an enjoyable and safe vacation in Mexico!

1) Be self-aware

As any smart traveler knows, you need to be on your toes when you’re visiting another country. While many of us don’t think twice about trekking through Central Park alone at 2 am, doing so in another country can be an entirely different experience. Before you pack your bags for a solo trip to Mexico City or Cancun, make sure you know what safety precautions to take before you leave home.

2) Know your surroundings and trust your instincts

It’s easy to let your guard down when you’re traveling, especially in a beautiful, warm place like Cancún. But it is important that you stay aware of where you are and who is around you at all times. Make sure your hotel door can lock from inside before you go out; don’t leave any valuables lying out; and avoid walking alone late at night.

3) Follow social media updates about safety

It’s important to do your research before traveling to make sure you are aware of any warnings about an area or country. Many popular travel sites, including those from governments and travel agencies, post safety updates on social media. Use hashtags like
(#TripAdvisorSafetyAlert or #StateDeptTravelWarning) so you can quickly filter tweets for updates on areas that may be dangerous at any given moment.

4) Get travel insurance for solo travelers

If you are traveling without friends or family members, it’s essential to protect yourself with travel insurance. The purpose of most travel insurance policies is to cover medical expenses and help you get home if something goes wrong. If you have coverage through your health plan at work, there may be some limitations.

5) Dress conservatively

Don’t show too much skin. The general rule is that if you can get away with wearing it at home, you’re good. If you wouldn’t wear it to church or to your grandparents’ house, don’t wear it abroad either, says Peterson. This includes sunbathing; wear shorts and tops that cover your shoulders and upper arms — just not so much that you look dowdy or frumpy.

6) Leave valuables at home

If you’re traveling for business or pleasure, leave your valuables at home. Your passport, electronics, and jewelry are all targets for pickpockets and thieves. If you can’t leave these items at home, make sure you have them hidden away so they aren’t easy pickings for muggers and crooks.

7) Tell someone you trust where you are going and when you will be back

There’s no faster way to get out of an emergency than being able to tell someone you trust where you are and when you’ll be back. Whether it’s in person or via email, having one contact who knows how and where you can be reached will save your bacon if something goes wrong.

8) Don’t leave drinks unattended; don’t accept drinks from strangers; never leave your drink behind – even if it’s just for a minute, especially at night.

If you’re out at night, watch your drink; it could be spiked with Rohypnol (the date rape drug). This dangerous drug takes effect quickly and can render you unconscious; perpetrators use it because they know that if they give it to their victims while they are conscious, they will never take it. If you are going out, always have someone else keep an eye on your drink.

9) If you go out, go with others and always stay together

Your best chance of avoiding unwanted attention is not going out by yourself. If you do go out, go with friends and make sure they know where you are at all times. If something happens while you’re out, it’s easier for others to come and help if they know where you are (and are aware that something may have happened). Also don’t be afraid to call them for help or follow them if things get sketchy or scary.

10) Use common sense

One of my favorite tips for traveling solo is to keep your wits about you. Use common sense and follow your gut—if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Also know that safety comes first, which means if there are times when you don’t feel safe or aren’t having fun—no matter how good of a deal it may be—head home immediately. There will always be other opportunities later on.

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