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Once again, the media is full of stories about a “new” travel advisory from the U.S. State Department—this time, cautioning about travel to Mexico in advance of Spring Break.

And yet again, there’s nothing actually new in the notice, which nonetheless is bound to spark calls to travel advisors about safety concerns for Mexico-bound college students, families and others.

The Feb. 26 Spring Break advisory issued by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico largely restates existing, common-sense travel advice that, while still valid, should not be the cause of any renewed alarm.

“Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations,” the notice says, adding, “U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, especially after dark.”

The Embassy also warned Spring Break travelers against possessing or using illicit drugs, drinking unregulated alcohol and buying pharmaceutical drugs from shady sources that could be selling counterfeit medications. Travelers also were warned against the risk of sexual assault, drowning, weapons possession, engaging in drunk and disorderly behavior and violating Mexican immigration laws.

Travelers were referred to the State Department’s standing Mexico Travel Advisory, last updated in August 2023. That warning breaks down various regions by Mexico into four levels of caution, ranging from “Exercise Normal Precautions” to “Do Not Travel.”

By these metrics, Yucatan and Campeche states were deemed the safest places to travel in Mexico. Travelers to Quintana Roo, the state that includes the popular Spring Break destinations of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Isla Mujeres, are advised the “exercise increased caution,” the next-lowest level of warning. The same advisory applies to Baja California Sur, the state where Cabo San Lucas is located.

“Reconsider Travel” to These Destinations in Mexico

Americans are advised to “reconsider travel” to Baja California state (home of Tijuana and Ensenada) due to the risk of crime and kidnapping, and Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located.

The most serious warnings on Mexico travel are limited to six states—Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas—which remain under a “Do Not Travel” warning from the State Department. Acapulco, Ixtapa, and Zihuatanejo are located in Guerrero state.