Safety concerns: Despite media hype, the vast majority of Mexico is safe for travelers. The drug violence generally occurs in isolated pockets of the country, and tourists are not a target. Use the same common-sense precautions you’d use traveling anywhere to avoid theft and robbery. Tipping: Loosely follows U.S. conventions. Money: Most every transaction outside of the major resorts will be in pesos. You can withdraw pesos from any ATM using your major-brand credit or debit card. (For safety, take out money only during the day, and preferably at ATMs inside hotels or banks.) Credit cards are accepted at higher-end hotels and restaurants. Currency exchange is available at most banks and casas de cambio (currency exchange centers). Cell phones: If you plan to use your phone at all during your trip, arrange ahead of time with your cell provider for Mexico roaming packages. Otherwise, you’ll be hit with an astronomical bill. Language: Outside of the major resort areas, it’s convenient to know at least a little Spanish. Don’t be shy; Mexicans are kind and appreciative when you attempt to speak to them in their native tongue.