Advice to the Traveler going to Mexico Via the US
Question: Hi we are heading to Puerto Vallarta from Vancouver Canada, first time driving. How safe is it to drive? and which highway is best to take?
Answer: Safe. We think it is pretty safe driving through the US. But here are a few tips.
- Ensure you have medical insurance. It is really not that safe to travel through the US without it. Medical situations can destroy you financially. Be prepared and carry some extra insurance to ensure your are protected.
- Big Cities and dangerous Hot Spots. Depending on where you drive in the US, there are different areas that are worse than others for crime. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Know which part of the country has a very high crime rate and avoid those areas.
- Boondocking. Boondocking or camping outside of RV Parks can be dangerous unless you know the territory. Do not boondock unless you know the area or you see others doing so. While many sleep at rest stops there have been problems with this in the past. Hijackings etc.
- Be aware that average Americans are allowed to have guns not just the police.
5) Do not flash your money. Don’t wear expensive jewelry. Lock your motel doors.
6) Know the currency. Do not take out a fist full of dollars and tell the gas station attendant to take what is owed and expect complete honesty.
7) Do not get stinking drunk and behave in a manner that you wouldn’t back home. I.e. walk down the street with a beer in your hand. Expect that the police will pick you up. What happens in the US does not stay in the US.
8) Be careful of the food. Too much fast food is not good for you.
9) Do not get too much sun too quickly. Many tourists get very sick from too much sun, too much rich food and too much partying too quickly and then blame the food or water for their stomach problems. Try to ease into your vacation.
10) America has its own laws. Be respectful of that and do not complain that it is not like back home. They are not ignorant, less sophisticated or backward. Abide by the speed limits for example and do not complain if you get a ticket for speeding if you are speeding.
11) Generally speaking Americans are kind, honest and generous people. Have fun.
These are just of the few of my safety tips for travel from Canada to Puerto Vallarta. If I were you I would travel to Nogales and avoid LA. Drive down Highway 15 south of Mazatlán and veer off at San Blas and then south to PV.
Follow the rules above for the US while in Mexico and you should have a fun time.