Warning for Spring Break Travelers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

Warning for Spring Break Travelers

Warning for Spring Break Travelers
By:  Amy Jacquin

Cape Girardeau, MO -- The U.S. State Department is warning students traveling over spring break to avoid the northern border towns of Mexico.

It says drug traffickers are jostling for control, and murders and kidnappings are on the rise.

Travel agents say there are a few things you need to know before leaving the country.

Mexico often means water, sun and fun. And coastal resort regions are still popular spring break destinations.

But the warning specifically targets students who vacation in places like South Padre Island, Texas.

"It's very affordable, and they can drive instead of fly," explains Elite Travel agent Carolyn Kempf. "And since they have their own cars, they cross over the border into Northern Mexico."

Those day trips are strongly discouraged by the State Department.

However, for students who insist on the experience... or for others traveling anywhere out of the country... there are some general rules students should follow.

  • Stay in groups.
  • Travel outside resort areas only during daylight hours.
  • Designate a person to stay sober each night, to make sure the group makes smart decisions and stays safe.
  • Bring enough extra cash to cover up to $100 in hotel security deposits... Even in all-inclusive packages.
  • Take a throw-away camera and photograph your hotel room the day you check-in. This gives you proof of the room's condition, should hotels try to claim you damaged the room to keep your deposit.
  • Keep proof of your citizenship in the hotel's safety deposit box.
  • Avoid time-share presentations.
  • Don't drink too much.

One more thing to consider, travel insurance. For about $40, students can get coverage for things like emergency medical care, roadside assistance, lost luggage, and stolen documents.

Kempf stresses the importance to be an educated consumer... And suggests checking out the U.S. Consulate websites before traveling.

"When it's the government site, you know it's reliable and secure information," she says.

Tijuana = http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/tijuana/Teacs.htm

Nogales = http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/nogales/NE_Introduction.htm

Ciudad Juárez = http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/mx2/wwwhmain.html

Matamoros = http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/matamoros/matamoros1.html

Nuevo Laredo = http://nuevolaredo.usconsulate.gov/nuevolaredo/index.htm

Americans living or traveling in Mexico are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/

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