Weighing the values versus the risks when traveling to Mexico

By Courtney Lane - bio | email

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - The recession and the H1N1 scare has literally crippled the travel industry and the economy in Mexico. Some resorts have been forced to close their doors because not enough Americans are vacationing there. At the same time, that's good news for you because you can get dirt-cheap travel deals. But, what's the risk?

Stephen Bryan and his wife just traveled across the Yucatan Peninsula. He said it was an extremely low-budget vacation because businesses are hurting.

"You go into the shops and they would offer you 50 to 75 percent off of anything you could find," said Bryan. "They were pretty much taking whatever they could get."

Mexico resorts are even giving away free night stays, trying lure back tourists. Travel Masters in Tyler says now is your window of opportunity.

"Anyone that we've sent in the last three months have come back saying, 'The beach was our own. We had privacy. [We] didn't see a lot of people. [We] didn't have crowds in the airport.'" said Sharon Kay Howell, President of Travel Masters.

However, Travel Masters does recommend staying away from violent border towns.

"Just like in New York City, there might be a problem with violence occasionally because of the large area, but these resort areas are 1200 miles and some of them even farther away from where this violence is occurring," explained Howell.

"Down the major roads they had security checkpoints, you know, looking for different things [like] drugs, violence, things of that nature, but at the resorts they've got security personnel so you feel very safe,' said Bryan.

But, what about the risk of catching H1N1? Our med-team doctor Ed Dominguez said it is actually very low in Mexico right now. He said the places that are having outbreaks are south of the equator.

"It does not seem to be nearly as strong as everybody worried about," said Dr. Ed. "Nonetheless we're still in the midst of a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization, because it is a new virus and there's no pre-existing immunity. But there do not seem to be the high rates of death associated with it."

Everyone seems to agree, as long as you're healthy, Mexico offers an amazing deal right now.

"We've been talking in the office here [saying that] we'd get on a plane tomorrow and go," said Howell. "For these levels of resorts to be cutting their prices and giving you nights free, I haven't seen that since I've been in the business."

To give you another example of the value, Sharon says they just booked a trip for a family of five. It included two rooms, five nights, meals and drinks, round-trip airfare - everything - all for $3,200. That also includes all the taxes.

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