Although there are isolated incidents of violence that occur, they are almost exclusively related to drug cartels who retaliate against their rivals, most often happening around border towns like Ciudad Juarez where cartels battle for power. The media has sadly and unfairly given Mexico a bad reputation, but huge numbers of expats and retirees who live there know there is another side to this wonderful country. If you are thinking about living in Mexico, here are some tips on how to stay safe:

Make Your Home in a Well-traveled Region

Mexico is home to several coastal areas and cities found all over the country that have drawn large expat communities. Places like Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are particularly appealing to people because they are famously safe and welcoming.

Use Common Sense

Although the unfortunate reality is that drug-related violence can be a problem in certain parts of Mexico, if you are not friendly with anyone in a cartel or buy illegal drugs, it is highly unlikely that you would ever become involved in a dangerous situation. Rather than choosing random victims, cartel members attack their rivals or their families for vengeance, not for the thrill of committing a crime. Keep in mind that no matter where you are in the world, you can never totally safeguard yourself against random crime. In fact, there are many cities worldwide with much higher crime rates than Mexico, including some in the United States. As long as you don’t hang around in certain areas known for danger in big cities or border towns, you should be fine.

Driving Through the Country

Be sure to do some research ahead of time if you have decided to drive across the border from the United States. Only cross the border during the day and pick a border area known for its safety. After you have crossed into Mexico, driving in daylight hours and stopping before dark is highly recommended. One more safety tactic is to choose toll roads which should filter out most, if not all, undesirable roadmates.

Ensure Your Safety

If you want to take it one step further, you can even look for a home within a gated community or hire your own personal 24 hour security. You will enjoy peace of mind whether you are home or away knowing that your home is being looked after.

Head south of the border and move to Mexico, where you can live safely and have a great time doing it!

Recommended article: Why Mexico Tops the List for Happiness