By Jay Lloyd
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — The height of the summertime getaway season is here, so it’s time to revisit a valuable Internet resource created to help travelers stay safe.
We all know about avoiding travel to parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Ukraine right now. But there are also popular and exotic destinations here in the Americas that are more than a bit sketchy right now.
For example, vast portions of Mexico, including Matamoras (below), a popular border town that I reported glowingly about just a few years ago, is now under a US State Department warning about widespread crime.
Thanks to the State Department’s web site, travel.state.gov, we can see at a glance countries and locations within destination nations where travel alerts and warnings are warranted and spelled out in fine detail: crime, political unrest, anti-Americanism, disease outbreaks, and more.
From the web site you’ll also be able to access contacts and phone numbers for US embassies and consulates. There is also some solid practical advice, such as the reminder to leave at home t-shirts, hats, and other tourist clothing that would label you as a Yank (and therefore a target of crime) — along with any bling that might be worth snatching.