During my years as a federal agent I learned the value of advance work.  Executive trips were pre-planned at an incredibly detailed level in order to reduce risk and liability. While your itinerary may not need the same scrutiny as that of a government dignitary, a little bit of advance work may help you make more educated choices before you book.

A recent Chicago Tribune article discussed an uptick in assaults against tourists at reputable Jamaican resorts.https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-trav-jamaica-resorts-sexual-assault-1107-story.html

Ditto for Mexico earlier this year. https://www.forbes.com/sites/garystoller/2018/02/21/mexico-where-more-americans-are-murdered-than-in-all-other-countries-combined/#7a47a899de37

This is where research comes in handy. Even when I travel here in the US, I do a basic search for information. One year I discovered a guest had been recently murdered- by a hotel employee, no less- at my (former) favorite hotel on Central Park!  I still went to NYC, but I did book a different hotel for that trip. Although the suspect was already in custody, that fresh homicide raised red flags for me about the security of the hotel, i.e. how the employee got into the guest’s room…and it also made me wonder about the quality of staff at this popular, busy hotel. Since I didn’t want to spend my vacation worrying about all that, booking a different hotel was the right answer. Looking for information only took a few minutes…and changing my plans helped me sleep better at night. Finding something like that is rare, thankfully.  While no bad news is no guarantee my destination will be problem-free, I’m more comfortable knowing at least I looked for any known or major risk.  Everyone’s threshold for risk will be different.  But since we generally know our own, you’ll probably know it if you read it!  Checking the US Department of State website for travel advisories is a great place to start. How about trustyGoogle…search “Jamaica travel safety” and see what comes up? Or Google News…or variations with similar words such as “Jamaica tourists crime.” While random crimes can happen anywhere…yes, even on the grounds of a resort or in an upscale hotel…if you find a pattern or reported uptick at your desired destination you can evaluate your plans and make a more informed decision. If your personal safety matters to you…Look before you book!