Before You Go
Register with the U.S. Government’s STEP Program
Before you travel, register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. STEP allows you to:
-Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
-Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
-Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
Get Extra Travel Insurance
Often times your regular health insurance will not cover you while traveling. Make sure to call before leaving home so that you know what you’re covered for while traveling. It’s wise to get supplemental international travel insurance so that while traveling you have access to the following:
-International medical insurance
-Emergency evacuation, repatriation and worldwide travel assistance
-24/7 emergency response center
Prepare for the Unexpected
-If you’re road tripping, have extra water, fuel, tires and an emergency car kit with you.
-You must have Mexican auto insurance when driving in Mexico. Always make sure you have a print out of your policy with you.
-Make extra copies of important paperwork (passport, drivers license, credit cards, Mexican auto insurance, tourist visa, etc). Bring a set with you and leave a set with a friend or family member at home and scan and email a set to yourself as well. Make sure someone at home has a copy of your trip itinerary.
-During Hurricane season (June through November with Aug-Oct being the worst months) check with weather forecasts like wunderground.com and the National Hurricane Center.
Know Who to Contact in an Emergency
-If you dial 078 in Baja from any public, private or cell phone it will direct you to the tourist assistance hotline. Their bilingual staff can help you out with anything from emergency response to general travel information. If you break down on the side of the road and call 078, they will call the Green Angels for you to come help with roadside assistance.
-911 will get you emergency response.
-U.S. Consulates in Mexico:
Paseo de las Culturas s/n
Mesa de Otay
Delegación Centenario C.P. 22425
Tijuana, Baja California
After-hour emergency hotline:
Tiendas de Palmilla
Carretera Transpeninsular Km 27.5
San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, C.P. 23406:
Telephone: (624) 143-3566
Fax: (624) 143-6750
-If you have a car accident, you will need to call the police as well as the claims number on your Mexican auto insurance policy immediately. Failing to make a claim right away while you are still in Mexico could result in your claim being rejected. For more information, see our article on what to do in the case of an accident.
-If you have a medical emergency while traveling in Baja, Sharp International Patient Services will help you get to a hospital and back to the U.S. even if you are not a Sharp patient. This service works for anywhere in Mexico. There’s a 24-hour hotline that is free to call from anywhere in the world. 888-265-1513. Sharp will help you get an ambulance to take you to a nearby hospital and will then help with arrangements to get you back to the U.S. You do not need to have Sharp insurance to use the service, but they will ask for your insurance information if you have it. They recommend that people get travelers insurance while traveling.