The U.S. State Department on Wednesday issued a countrywide security alert for anyone traveling to Mexico for spring break.
"Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during Spring Break. While the vast majority of travelers have safe and enjoyable trips, Spring Break travel can sometimes include unforeseen problems," the State Department release says.
It references medical emergencies, drownings, unregulated alcohol, sexual assault, drugs, guns and disorderly conduct as reasons to be alert at all times.
If a traveler falls ill in Mexico and requires hospitalization, many Mexican facilities require payment before treatment or before a patient is allowed to leave.
The alert notes that U.S. citizens have reported their drinks being drugged, resulting in a loss of consciousness or injury. It also warns that inebriated Americans or those who are found alone may be targeted for sexual assault.
A State Department travel advisory issued in November still stands today, and it notes that reports of violent crime, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery have been reported in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, which are under an "Advisory Level 2" to promote travelers to use increased caution.
Mazatlan, a city that Sun Country flies to from MSP Airport, is under a Level 4 advisory for "do not travel."
Tips to consider before traveling to Mexico:
– Make sure your health insurance provides coverage out of country, and if not, consider buying travel insurance that covers a trip to Mexico.
– Watch for warning flags on beaches about strong currents and avoid swimming after consuming alcohol.
– Watch your drink at all times.
– Stay among friends and family especially when in clubs and bars or when walking after the sun goes down or in dimly lit areas.
– Only use trusted transportation.