Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Although many college students are either already sipping margaritas on a Mexican beach, or have had their spring break destinations booked for weeks, on Wednesday, the U.S. State Department issued a countrywide Security Alert warning Spring Breakers heading to Mexico to use extra caution.
And, though the State Department has not issued (or updated) a Mexico travel advisory since November 15, 2018, the U.S. media has been going out of its way to keep "the dangers of traveling to Mexico" in the public eye, in an effort to keep college students (and their dollars) close to home.
And while it's true that parts of Mexico are in turmoil, what's lost in the uproar over the headlines is that many spring break resort areas haven't been affected. In fact, the State Department says there is "no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality," and that the Mexican government devotes "substantial resources to keep tourists safe."
A record-breaking 41.4 million international visitors traveled to Mexico in 2018, and the Mexico Tourism Board's internal consumer tracking studies showed that more than 94% of visitors reported an experience that "exceeded their expectations," with 86% saying they would "like to come back again."
It is estimated that over 2 million college students will be on spring break over the next few weeks and the majority of them will spend their break away from home. But for a destination to be spring break-worthy, it's got to be affordable, accessible and popular among the college cohort.
That's why, year after year, Mexico tops the charts for hot spring break destinations. This year is no exception, with students from all around the United States booking their vacations in places like Puerto Vallarta, which was ranked at #6 on US & World News Report's list of the 'Top 10 Best Spring Break Destinations for 2019.'
"Millions of Americans visit Mexico each year – including the more than 150,000 who cross the border every day," the November 15, 2018 travel advisory says. "However, as always, travelers are urged to be cautious and use common sense, irrespective of their destination."
What is more, the March 6, 2019 security alert says that most of the thousands of U.S. college students visiting Mexico for Spring Break each year stay safe, but adds, "Spring Break travel can sometimes include unforeseen problems." Among them, it notes, are sexual assault, unregulated alcohol and arrests.To read the November 15, 2018 Mexico Travel Advisory, and the March 6, 2019 Security Alert, go to travel.state.gov.