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Haven’t you ever thought that CNN should be called BNN, the bad news network. Just when you find the perfect resort in paradise, there is breaking news that the country you are getting married in is NOT safe!! Panic spreads like a cancer and before you know it, your mom is calling you and telling you to change your resort! You feel panicked and stressed out and worry about the safety of your loved ones! Should you panic? Just how safe are these countries?
First, we need to examine the actual evidence about the location’s “risk” and what the news is really stating. Let’s take Mexico. Mexico has some really bad areas that you should not travel to and many of these areas have been known as dangerous for years. These areas are specifically listed in our state department’s travel alert website. These areas do NOT include the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, Hualtulco, Cozumel, Mazatlan, and Tulum (to name just a few). For example, the distance from the Riviera Maya to the border areas the state department warns people about, is effectively 1100-1400 miles. (Consider this the same distance as NYC is to Orlando). Are you really worried about an area that far away from the location you are getting married in? This is not something you should panic about. If your family is concerned, give them facts. I am about 50 miles from Philadelphia, and honestly, right across the river is a city in NJ that often ranks the highest in crime and violence in the entire USA. Your chances of becoming a victim of a crime there is 1 in 11. However, I don’t see people fleeing Philadelphia and I certainly don’t hear from my clients that they are worried about being less than 1000 miles from Philadelphia.
The same holds true for many islands in the Caribbean. Jamaica, and the Bahamas, are often thought of as poor islands where you need to lock yourself in a compound of an all inclusive and avoid contact with the “locals”. This is absurd. Just like there are “good” areas in every city in the United States, there are also some seedy parts. If you aren’t going to look for trouble, aren’t oblivious to your surroundings, and don’t walk with money hanging out of your pockets, you most likely will not have any issues at all. I personally, would not send my clients to any areas deemed unsafe. My obligation to my clients is to be their advocate and help them. Having said this, if you want to avoid any locations that is going to be a hotbed of discussion, that is a point you should bring up immediately. No one should convince you to go to a place that you don’t want to go to. Ironically, EVERY single bride I have sent to the Riviera Maya, comes back a FAN of Mexico! If you want to discuss your concerns with one of our clients who has been there/done that, just send me a note and I will put you in contact with them! Remember, stick to the facts and don’t buy into hype!