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Safety Tips for Medical Travelers in Mexico

Each year more and more Americans cross the border for affordable dental care, cosmetic surgery and weight-loss surgery in Mexico. Although a trip to Mexico for medical care can be a lot of fun, it is suggested that you take a few precautions to make your trip safe and successful.

Before Your Trip

Here are a few things to take care of, before you go south of the border.

  • Cityscape roundaboutThoroughly research your destination. Check for any travel alerts or warnings for the place where you will have your procedure. You can search your destination on the US State Department website to find the latest reports.
  • Pack only the valuables you think will be necessary, such as a camera for photos. It is also recommended that you not wear flashy jewelry, so as not to be an easy target, so you can probably leave these types of valuables at home.
  • Scan or copy your passport and other travel documents, so you don’t land into trouble in case you lose the originals.
  • The safest way to get money is debit or credit cards. However, it is a good idea to take some travelers checks or some US dollars, in case you lose them or they are stolen.
  • If you are going to a border town for medical care, say for dental bridges in Los Algodones or gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana, you must know the rule about the “border zone.”  For staying in the border zone —20 to 30 kilometers from the border —you only need a valid US identification. If you intend to go further, you will need a valid US passport.

Once You Are In Mexico

Safe travel in Mexico is mostly about common sense. Use your good judgment and follow these easy tips, and you should have a wonderful time.

  • It is a good idea to dress as plainly as possible. Wearing flashy jewelry or an expensive camera will make you stand out and become an easy target.
  • Use ATM machines in well-lighted places, preferably in banks or malls where there are lots of people about. Put your money away as soon as you get it.
  • When you go out, carry only the cash you will need for shopping, eating, etc. Carrying around large amounts of cash that you don’t immediately intend to use is not a good idea.
  • In Mexico City, it is recommended that you ask your hotel clerk to call you a cab, rather than hail one on the street. Some tourists report being robbed by taxi drivers here. However, in most cities, it is generally safe to hail a cab on the street. Settle on a price before you get in the cab, if it does not charge with a meter.
  • Avoid large public assemblies, such as strikes or political protests, as they can sometimes get out of hand. It is actually a crime for a foreigner to participate in a political protest in Mexico, most likely for the tourist’s own safety, so just steer clear of public demonstrations.
  • When in crowds, keep a close eye on your belongings to avoid pick-pockets.
  • Ask your hotel clerk or taxi driver if there are any places you should generally avoid.

A trip to Mexico for medical care can be an exciting and productive vacation, as long as you stay safe. Just use your good judgment and common sense, and be aware of your surroundings and you shouldn’t have any problems.

image via Bariatric Surgery World

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