BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Travel experts are attempting to bring awareness to the dangers of traveling abroad as spring break season begins.
The warning comes as four American citizens were kidnapped in Mexico last week. Two are currently recovering in a Texas hospital and two are dead.
The group traveled to Mexico so one of them could have a cosmetic surgery, but they got caught in a shootout between two rival cartels.
According to the U.S. State Department in Matamoros, the area where the four Americans traveled to in Mexico, is under a “Level 4: do not travel advisory.”
Clay Ingram with AAA said prioritizing your safety is incredibly important, not only on the road, but also when you arrive to your destination.
Ingram says when you plan to travel, especially out of the country, the most important thing you can do is study the area to make sure it’s safe.
“Do your homework, do a little research, find out if there are any travel advisories in place for certain destinations,” Ingram said. “Of course, talking to a travel agent is the best way to do that. They can really take a lot of that leg work out of it for you. And just be sure that you’re making an informed, intelligent decision to go somewhere where it’s safe and you’re not putting yourself at risk.”
Ingram said this is the first year that most travel bans are lifted following the pandemic, and after the winter months people are anxious to hit the road.
When traveling, he said it’s good to have a customized emergency kit just in case you run into car trouble. Items could include jumper cables, tools, phone chargers and snacks.
AAA reported that gas prices have dropped a decent amount over the last month, influencing more drivers, including inexperienced ones, to get on the road. Ingram said that this is another thing to be aware of this travel season.