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Pat Mar 11th, 1999 11:18 AM

Cancun, how dangerous is it to send 4 18yr old girls there alone.
My daughter and her 3 friends want to go there as a graduation trip before they go there seperate ways to college. Please give me a name of a good respectable hotel, the do's and don'ts they should know, and what fun things they could do?

marilyn Mar 11th, 1999 12:37 PM

This is a very hard age to plan a trip for: if you send them to somewhere that actually caters to the younger set, it's liable to be full of binge drinkers, wild parties, and slightly older people who might prey on girls alone in that kind of atmosphere. Trying to find somewhere fun but not so wild runs into the problem that many hotels won't rent to unaccompanied 18-year-olds, and they can't rent a car so you have to pick a destination carefully that they will be able to get around in. <BR> <BR>Beyond that general caveat, I have to say that Cancun is not a destination that I would prefer for my daughter's first unaccompanied trip. My daughter, who is 19, was perfectly happy going to Paris with her family for her last high school spring break, but some of her friends took 5 days in Florida. The cost was as much as we paid for Paris, and it took MUCH effort on the parents' part to find a hotel that would rent to them. <BR> <BR>If the girls think Florida is too tame, what about Southern California, Arizona, or New Mexico? If they have to have Mexico, I guess my recommendation would be Puerta Vallarta, where maybe you would get less of a spring break-y kind of crowd, and my choice of hotel would be the Krystal Vallarta. But again, I don't know about the age restrictions.

JR Mar 11th, 1999 12:41 PM

I concur with Marilyn. <BR>The safest resort for them is Puerto Vallarta. I live here and they will be safer here than Miami. <BR>Hasta, <BR>JR <BR> <BR>

Cheryl Z. Mar 11th, 1999 07:45 PM

<BR>Have to agree with all of the above, don't think Cancun would be the safest. If Mexico is their choice, then PV is the best, it is much smaller than Cancun, and much easier to walk around in and get around in. There's plenty of night life there too. The drinking age is lower in Mexico so be aware of that. But the local police are NOT tolerant of wild, crazy gringos during spring break or any other time, so if the girls have some common sense, there shouldn't be a problem. We have a time share there and usually end up there around Easter or spring break time (not this year though). There's plenty of young people to have a good time with, and still stay out of trouble at the same time. Hope all goes well.

Al Mar 11th, 1999 07:48 PM

You will have a full lifetime of regret ahead of you if you send your daughter and three others inexperienced girls to Cancun. It's not that they will intend getting into trouble. Instead, trouble will come looking for them.

Elio Mar 12th, 1999 10:12 AM

First thing you want to do is NOT send your daughter to Cancun. <BR>Cancun is not the place to be sending young girls. It is a tourist spot and the locals prey on young tourists in the bars. <BR> <BR>As mentioned by everyone else, PV is absolutely beautiful, weather is perfect and it is very safe.

Austin Staunch Mar 13th, 1999 04:44 PM

I understand your concern as a parent, but I think that if precautions are excercized, the girls will be fine. Trouble can find you in ANY tourist destination. I'm a well-travelled young female, having done everything from spring break in the Bahamas to SOLO backpacking in Columbia and right now I'm alone in Brazil. Good common sense and precautions have ensured that I always come back home unscathed. If these girls have a lick of sense and STICK TOGETHER, they'll be fine in Cancun.

Lisa Mar 14th, 1999 05:35 AM

As always, it depends on how mature the girls are. One point though, last year during spring break, I watched a bartender serve several very young teenagers far too much alcohol. As least one of them was very, very sick the next day. I was glad that I went with my daughter instead of sending her unaccompanied. Why don't you go with them, and consider an all inclusive outside of Cancun in the Mayan Corridor? Cancun is a madhouse of teans and young college students during spring break. <BR>

Michael Mar 14th, 1999 09:30 PM

I have to agree with Lisa. I've been to Cancun once during my college spring break with my (male) roommates. Mature girls know how to handle rowdy men. I was amazed how many high school students were there. <BR>On the other hand, although I don't believe there's an unacceptable amount of risk involved, Cancun is really just a loud, American outpost. To be honest, we enjoyed drinking Dos Equis on the beach and renting mopeds, but we really could have done the same in Florida. <BR>If your kids can be responsible about alcohol they'll be OK there. And the beach is a jewel (even though it's manmade).

Michael Mar 14th, 1999 09:31 PM

Oops, I meant I agreed with Austin, not Lisa.

BranV Mar 15th, 1999 10:24 AM

<BR>Another option might be to send them to Cozumel. It's much quieter there (not that there isn't plenty of night life..but that really dies down when the people have to return to their cruise ships), and if the girls stay at an all-inclusive resort, there's not so much of a need to have to roam. Cozumel is more for divers than partiers. <BR>

GY Apr 9th, 1999 04:15 PM

<BR>Check out the recent ROLLING STONE's review of the HOT places for spring break, and if nothing else persuades you this is a BAD idea, then I guess nothing will.

fran Apr 10th, 1999 01:17 PM

<BR>I've been to Cancum a few times, quick, cheap trip from Tx. I also travel alone quite a bit and would not recommend Cancun, maybe Ixtapa or PV instead. It is safe and not anywhere near as rowdy. I really do not believe Cancum is the place for 18 year girls especially w/o someone to advise and turn to if things get alittle out of hand.

Frank Apr 15th, 1999 07:41 PM

When will be they going? Cancun is a mad house while colleges are on spring break. 18 yr olds can legally drink. I would recommend Plaza Las Glorias, It is somewhat out of the way (on the main drag, but away from the hotel center). We have been going there for five years.Last year was the first year we encountered college kids. This year we couldn't get a reservation, so maybe they have joined the college crowd. But the students we saw, were not as roudy as at some of the other places. <BR>Good luck!

Diane Apr 16th, 1999 06:40 PM

We took our kids to Cancun one Christmas when they were 18 and 14. I knew one or the other would want to go at a future Spring Break or summer opportunity. I wanted them to see what ELSE there was to do besides get sunburned and drink fruity bar concoctions. 1) I note your girls are talking GRADUATION party, so they should miss Spring Break and the "worst" party season. I'd recommend delaying until July so they also miss Graduation partiers. 2) An all-inclusive would be a great idea, because then they'd be certain not to starve once they spend their travel money. 3) We made two day trips to Playa del Carmen, then extended our vacation so we could stay there a couple of days. It (the town) was small, the beach was lovelier and better for swimming than Cancun, and you could arrange for snorkeling trips to better places, or take the ferry to Cozumel. 3) If they REALLY want Cancun, Caesar was really gorgeous but costly, the Flamingo or the Melia Turquesa would be excellent. 4) the Sun Palace and Beach Palace might be good choices. <BR> <BR>They are getting ready to go off to college. They have to fly the nest sometime. If you trust their choices at home, you should be able to trust their choices away. Accept that they will probably do some drinking. It's legal at 18. Really good friends will watch out for each other.

E May 26th, 1999 12:01 PM

I have to agree with the majority of the previous comments - I went to Cancun last year for Spring Break (my senior year in college). I personally do not think that girls just out of high school are mature enough to handle a foreign country and an 18 year old drinking age - a few of the nightclubs had contests where the winner would be the one who could take their top off and do the most daring thing for "beads" or bandanas. Surprisingly enough, most of the "contestants" were high school seniors or recent high school grads. From someone who has been there - I would never send my 18 year old daughter there...

Lissa Sep 23rd, 1999 05:19 AM

Pat: I have been to Cancun and am planning to return next year. This time we are taking my 21 year old son and 3 of his friends (18-21). WE are going WITH them. I am sorry, but I would not let him go alone or with the other guys by themselves. There is just too much trouble to get into there, and it could be very dangerous. It's not that I don't trust the kids. But trouble has a way of finding tourists and that far away from home, you would not be alot of help. Even though everyone says that Cancun is like being in America, it is still a foreign country. I certainly would not send 4 18 year old girls alone.

beenthere Sep 23rd, 1999 06:54 AM

Dear Pat, I went to Cancun a couple of years ago when I was around your daughter's age. I was shocked at what I saw. Yes, there is underaged drinking, but that is only part of it. When that many kids get together that far away from home, they are uninhibited. I had a girl steal my friends seat on the "booze cruise" and then when I politely told her she hauled off and hit me in the face!!! Then that same boat took us to a private island where there is a party. People were going up on stage just to get naked. And let's not forget the "foam party" where hundreds of people jam into a bar and slide around in foam that they pump in. Some of the shorter people get covered by it and there can be numerous injuries. Everyone has sex down there. The police are corrupt. It's not safe to walk anywhere. It's not safe to drive. But if they are relatively tough, and intelligent, they should be made aware of the dangers, and perhaps they can avoid problem areas such as the ones I discussed. On the upside, there were some fun bars. Some even outside. If they can stay out of trouble they should be ok. If they have a tendency to find trouble here...well...send them to Florida!

Silvia Sep 24th, 1999 08:42 AM

I went to the Bahamas with one other girl in my last year of high school, years ago. We had a lick of sense and we did come home unscathed. However trouble did come looking for us. Even if you manage to rise above everything, isn't it more fun to have your holiday in a spot where you're not afraid? No place is 100% safe, but there are places where they will feel more comfortable, such as Florida. Good Luck!

Sandi Sep 24th, 1999 05:23 PM

I am a travel agent and this question (conern) comes up every year. First it is very hard to book 18 years olds, traveling alone into decent properties, the ones that cater to kids, are not the is obvious why. There are several companies I deal with that handle student groups, which is the easiest way to send them alone, includes transfers, damage deposits not required. As to how safe is it, well, either you trust them or you don't..but I have suggested South Padre as a GREAT alternative to going to Cancun, although they can cross the border if they are 18 (really works good for 17 year olds!). I do realize the best of kids can have problems, and your concerns are valid. At least in South Padre, they will be in the states most of the time. I think the properties offered in South Padre are nicer, there is free bus shuttle in town (so little drinking and driving), lots of units have kitchens, and groceries are easily obtained to cut some costs. If you have any questions, e-mail me, and I will try to help.

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