MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The U.S. State Department has issued travel advisories for some of the most popular warm-weather destinations, including parts of the Bahamas, Jamaica and all of Mexico.
Sheryl Hill, founder of travel safety nonprofit Depart Smart, says before you or a loved one get on a plane, check the U.S. State Department’s travel website.
“You need to dive deeper and read the consulate warnings to understand which states inside of Mexico have a ‘do not travel’ or a ‘reconsider travel,’ because the State Department is telling you seriously that they may not be able to help you,” Hill said.
Five of Mexico’s states currently have the highest level four warning, which means no travel advised. The resort cities of Acapulco and Ixtapa are in that no travel zone.
Most of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are at a level two, which means increased caution because of “criminal activity and violence, including homicide,” Hill said. “The potential for you to get mugged, robbed or violently assaulted is higher now.”
Depart Smart also warns wherever you go, travelers should make sure what their medical insurance does or does not cover. Even if you pick up additional insurance, you need to read the fine print.
Hill many supplemental medical policies don’t cover adventure outings.
“When you are down there and they are kind of hawking those parasails and bungee jumping, the zip lining, the scuba diving, many times those are exclusions as are pre-existing conditions so you need to vet out your travel insurance,” Hill said.
Another threat is alcohol tainted with methanol – even the smallest amount can lead to blackouts.
“Methanol poisoning is a serious, serious thing and people are dying from it,” Hill said.
The list of the travel advisories is on the U.S. State Department’s website.