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So it is about a 6000 to 7000 mile trip. I am sure with sight seeing drives, I will end up going above 7000 miles. I have a few weeks off from work. My kids and I shall be testing the Southern side now. We are seeing a lot of things across USA that we have missed in our previous trips before we even cross the border.


Last year we drove to the arctic ocean.


If this Mexico trip is successful, I shall then plan one year to drive all the way south to see the Amazon and then off to the Southern tip of Argentina.


I have 256k miles now. The car is as fit as it has ever been. Especially with a new paint job. LOL!
I had the engine compression tested a few weeks ago and numbers were good enough for another 50k to 100k I hope!!


(map below)
 

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Good luck. A trip I would not recommend based on personal experience, and feedback from local people in different parts of Mexico. When they see a nice car, or when they see U.S. license plates, it means more money than they can earn in 10 years or more. Americans seem to think driving in Mexico and much of South America is like taking a Sunday Drive in the United States.
Good luck. One thing that you need to think about carefully ahead of time. If you are stopped on the road by armed bandits, not uncommon in some areas, you may very well need to turn over the car keys--with all the contents of the car. But do not worry, there is probably a better than 70% chance this will not happen to you. The odds are in your favor.
 

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Good luck. A trip I would not recommend based on personal experience, and feedback from local people in different parts of Mexico. When they see a nice car, or when they see U.S. license plates, it means more money than they can earn in 10 years or more. Americans seem to think driving in Mexico and much of South America is like taking a Sunday Drive in the United States.
Good luck. One thing that you need to think about carefully ahead of time. If you are stopped on the road by armed bandits, not uncommon in some areas, you may very well need to turn over the car keys--with all the contents of the car. But do not worry, there is probably a better than 70% chance this will not happen to you. The odds are in your favor.


LOL. Thanks for the honest feedback.


Old RAV4. It will be pretty dirty by the time I cross the border. I have lots of plans within USA before I get there.
I do have some budget dedicated inside a FAKE WALLET for such encounters.


I might stick with the BAJA area only and not go to the mainland if I feel uncomfortable.




PS... If you guys don't hear from me in a few months, that means somebody got a hold of me there. LOL !
 

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Good luck.
Make sure you read the U.S. State Dept Warning about driving in Mexico which highlights kidnapping, robbery and homicide in Mexico:
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/mexico-travel-warning.html

Also, you must take out auto insurance for Mexico, most US policies will not cover it. Note that most traffic accidents are settled, expected to be settled, immediately and on the spot by the exchange of cash. Also, you should review you Medical Coverage for emergency evacuation. May so want to take with you certain common auto parts, that may not be easily available, including hoses/belts and a full size tire (not the donut).

In regard to your fake wallet, do not think that the robbers are all stupid. Better have some things in there that make it look real, including more than a few $20 bills, and no credit cards. You will need to have 'old' credit cards to convince any robber that this is THE real wallet. And if a robber asks for your drivers license and you have to reach for the 'real' wallet---that is a problem.

As I said previously, I would not be driving in Mexico, especially in the South. It is far more dangerous than the U.S. Some Mexicans (that I got to know in Mexico) have told me they would not drive in the South because you can easily be stopped and they take your car keys and all you have, and leave you on the roadside.
 

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So it is about a 6000 to 7000 mile trip. I am sure with sight seeing drives, I will end up going above 7000 miles. I have a few weeks off from work. My kids and I shall be testing the Southern side now. We are seeing a lot of things across USA that we have missed in our previous trips before we even cross the border.


Last year we drove to the arctic ocean.


If this Mexico trip is successful, I shall then plan one year to drive all the way south to see the Amazon and then off to the Southern tip of Argentina.


I have 256k miles now. The car is as fit as it has ever been. Especially with a new paint job. LOL!
I had the engine compression tested a few weeks ago and numbers were good enough for another 50k to 100k I hope!!


(map below)


I work with a large group of Mexicans at work in the printing industry, most wont go back because of the cartels and crime against them is way up. Some have not been back in 10 years and they hear how much more danger even for them since they left. They won't even go back to visit.

I have a relative that goes to the main tourist areas and they use to travel around the small towns next to the main tourist areas, not anymore. They were robbed and pistol whipped in the middle of town with people all over.....no one helped. They just looked away. What does that tell you.....?

Hey good luck with that trip. I sure hope you are not bringing a wife or girl friend. I would call it a Russian Roulette trip with Mr Ken Rogers at the wheel singing in English and USA plates "It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood, it's a wonderful day in the neighborhood!!"

EDIT: I reread it with my glasses now.....Kids.... I think you are naive and nuts. A fool rolling the dies with his kids. You must be a progressive.

.
 

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Mania---right on. I resisted writing this as strong as you did, but everything I know, and feedback from locals when visiting Mexico, plus a friend who lives in Mexico permanently confirms what you are saying. Read the State Dept warning about Mexico travel: robbers, kidnapping, homicide. I am assuming, maybe incorrectly, that it is safer within the towns around the border, but crime is out of hand for even the typical vacation spots. But it has always been unsafe. Local Mexicans have problems--but with a US license plate and a nice car---one is advertising to the robbers. I thought the same as you, Mania, that this person is rather "Naive and Nuts"--when he says he is carrying a " fake wallet". He will be very lucky if all they want is his wallet. And that they expect a American to have at least $1000 on him, plus credit cards and ID that will be in the wallet. They will see thought that immediately, and may even shoot a family member at that point to show who is in charge. Offer them in this fake wallet $50 or $200, that will be a joke to them and an insult. But most likely if he is stopped by the 'road bandits' they will order him out of the car, take all his valuable, and drive away with the car. Hopefully they do not take his women also. "Russia Roulette" is a good term for taking this trip. As I posted in the original email, I am guessing a 70% chance he will be okay----but that is a pure guess. My experience is too many Americans think it is like traveling in the US. And that the police are there to help you. Not the case --bad assumption. "Naive" to say that if he feels safe he will "continue" on with his trip.. So if one is not robbed immediately --you feel safe and continue on.
I know an American women who lives about 100 miles outside of Mexico City. She tells me that she has to always travel with armed guards (farm workers) even when traveling locally away from home.
I was also told that the "Police" may stop you in these remote towns, and it is not unheard of that they will request you entire wallet--not just your license, and when it is returned--it is less the money. And if you complain--you may find yourself retained (Jail?) for a few hours or more.
Good luck, not sure if the "Russian roulette" is 50% or 70% chance of being safe. I would never take a road trip in Mexico. And never subject my family to this type of risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mania---right on. I resisted writing this as strong as you did, but everything I know, and feedback from locals when visiting Mexico, plus a friend who lives in Mexico permanently confirms what you are saying. Read the State Dept warning about Mexico travel: robbers, kidnapping, homicide. I am assuming, maybe incorrectly, that it is safer within the towns around the border, but crime is out of hand for even the typical vacation spots. But it has always been unsafe. Local Mexicans have problems--but with a US license plate and a nice car---one is advertising to the robbers. I thought the same as you, Mania, that this person is rather "Naive and Nuts"--when he says he is carrying a " fake wallet". He will be very lucky if all they want is his wallet. And that they expect a American to have at least $1000 on him, plus credit cards and ID that will be in the wallet. They will see thought that immediately, and may even shoot a family member at that point to show who is in charge. Offer them in this fake wallet $50 or $200, that will be a joke to them and an insult. But most likely if he is stopped by the 'road bandits' they will order him out of the car, take all his valuable, and drive away with the car. Hopefully they do not take his women also. "Russia Roulette" is a good term for taking this trip. As I posted in the original email, I am guessing a 70% chance he will be okay----but that is a pure guess. My experience is too many Americans think it is like traveling in the US. And that the police are there to help you. Not the case --bad assumption. "Naive" to say that if he feels safe he will "continue" on with his trip.. So if one is not robbed immediately --you feel safe and continue on.
I know an American women who lives about 100 miles outside of Mexico City. She tells me that she has to always travel with armed guards (farm workers) even when traveling locally away from home.
I was also told that the "Police" may stop you in these remote towns, and it is not unheard of that they will request you entire wallet--not just your license, and when it is returned--it is less the money. And if you complain--you may find yourself retained (Jail?) for a few hours or more.
Good luck, not sure if the "Russian roulette" is 50% or 70% chance of being safe. I would never take a road trip in Mexico. And never subject my family to this type of risk.

I work with a large group of Mexicans at work in the printing industry, most wont go back because of the cartels and crime against them is way up. Some have not been back in 10 years and they hear how much more danger even for them since they left. They won't even go back to visit.

I have a relative that goes to the main tourist areas and they use to travel around the small towns next to the main tourist areas, not anymore. They were robbed and pistol whipped in the middle of town with people all over.....no one helped. They just looked away. What does that tell you.....?

Hey good luck with that trip. I sure hope you are not bringing a wife or girl friend. I would call it a Russian Roulette trip with Mr Ken Rogers at the wheel singing in English and USA plates "It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood, it's a wonderful day in the neighborhood!!"

EDIT: I reread it with my glasses now.....Kids.... I think you are naive and nuts. A fool rolling the dies with his kids. You must be a progressive.

.





Ok... ok... thanks for all your honest input... SO ... how about just the BAJA California peninsula area only (going to the bottom (La Paz))? ... a lot of Canadians and Americans visit there. As long as I get out of Tijuana pretty fast in the morning... what do you guys think about just that?
 

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Ok... ok... thanks for all your honest input... SO ... how about just the BAJA California area? ... a lot of Canadians and Americans visit there. As long as I get out of Tijuana pretty fast in the morning... what do you guys think about just that?
I havebeen to Tijuana and did stay there overnight. I thought it was pretty safe, but use the usual caution about not being out late at night, and do not wonder off the Main Street areas. I did drive into the area. Border towns, like Tijuana, are probably okay as long as you use some good judgement.
 

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I havebeen to Tijuana and did stay there overnight. I thought it was pretty safe, but use the usual caution about not being out late at night, and do not wonder off the Main Street areas. I did drive into the area. Border towns, like Tijuana, are probably okay as long as you use some good judgement.
I meant to the bottom of the Baja penninsula all the way to LA PAZ.. how is that?
 

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The furthest south on Baja I went is Ensenada, and that was a long time ago. Do not think I would do that again
You are talking La Paz or Cabo San Lucas, toward the bottom tip. That is over 900 miles one way and 20 hours, on very remote roads, removed from any law enforcement of any kind (which in most cases is a joke compared to the US). I cannot tell you for sure, but I do not see why it would be any different than another part of Mexico. Mexico is Mexico outside of the few big cities. I would not ever consider driving 40 hours and 2000 miles in Mexico. And especially would not put my family at such risk. This is not like a Sunday drive in the U.S. Driving across the U.S. there is a 99.9% chance of being safe. In Mexico, probably it is somewhere between 50% and 70% being safe. "Russia Roulette". Take a plane to Cabo San Lucas. I am sure that someone will tell you that they did it and was safe. "Russia Roulette"
 

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I really hate to say it because I have traveled and lived all over the world I have taken many chances on some of the places I've been but it was just me, no one else, no family or friends to worry about. When I visited Mexico I would leave my car in the US and take a taxi across the border to the border towns because it wasn't safe to bring a car with US plates into Mexico. If the car is stolen or even just the spare you will have some explaining to do and perhaps pay fees because you didn't bring it back out with you. Get a flat keep it, don't throw it away, you will need it when you return to the US.

At one time I was really considering a trip the length of the Pan American Highway but unless you hire security that you can trust, it just isn't worth the risk.
 

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Regarding your Rav4 trip into Mexico. RAVEVR, do not know if you are still planning to go to Mexico.
Just spoke to a women who moved to the US from Mexico and will not go back because it is too dangerous. She tells me stories of the dangers. Once while driving below Mexico, the "police' pulled their car over. Turned out that immediately they were confronted with AK47's pointed at them. It looked like the "police" and in uniforms like the 'police'. They were robbed and consider themselves lucky that one of them was not held as ransom for more money. Not uncommon, I am told. Still want to take your family in a ride through Mexico, read on. She tells me once that her uncle was kidnapped and what they wanted was for him to sign over the papers for his house, because they had a buyer who would pay them based on them "owning" the house. They had to turn to relatives in the US to get enough ransom money to get the kidnapped uncle released. More? Taxi Drivers in Mexico City taking you to remote locations and robbing you. More? They would not (with Mexican license plates) drive at night, or stop in locations for meals due to risk of being robbed. More? With US plates they know you have money, and will go after you for ransom, all belongs, and worse. Even a Mexican has to be worried, an American it even worse.
Good luck on your 20 hour road trip with your family. Not something I would do. But perhaps there is only a 50% -50% chance you will run into this. Maybe 30%?
 
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