• Tech gadgets and cellphones: Don’t walk around with your face buried in your smartphone. The best place for it is in your pocket or in an interior secure pocket of a purse or other bag that is not a backpack. Don’t flash your iPad unless you want to be mugged for it.
Wireless data also can be very expensive in Mexico, but you should have it in case of emergency if you can; contact your wireless provider so you’re clear on the cost, whether you need an international data or calling plan, and anything else you might need to know about using your cellphone while traveling.
• Transportation: In Mexico, it’s important to hail a taxi only at a designated sitio because those taxis are registered and designated safe. Typically, the registered taxis are maroon and gold Nissan Tsurus and also can be called via radio dispatch. These taxis are slightly more expensive than the green libre taxis but are much more secure.
• Public transit: Depending on the city you’re visiting, there may be limited public transit options.
Mexico City has efficient and inexpensive public transit, but you need to know where you’re going. Smartphone apps can help (Metro Mexico DF and Via Mx Free are free; the more elaborate MiRoute is 99 cents, all at the Apple store), but you’re better off writing down your routes on a piece of paper so as not to draw attention to your gadgets.
As with any major city’s public transit system, you’ll find plenty of pickpockets. There are multiple kinds of public buses as well; the red metrobus is more of an express, and the green peseros are local routes with frequent stops. It’s not uncommon for women to be groped or sexually harassed, so use good judgment about what you’re wearing (i.e. pants instead of a skirt). In the capital, there are women-only buses (identifiable by their pink placards) and train cars at peak hours.
• Driving: Traffic laws can be lax in many areas of Mexico; drive rental vehicles with caution, and be ready to be a defensive driver. Beware, because traffic signals are not always obeyed. Limit driving to daylight as a safety precaution. Hint: After dark, assume you can’t trust anybody.