Mexico travel safety is a hot topic in 2018! Travel and tourism emergencies such as homicides, arrests, serious injury requiring medical evacuation, toxic gas leaks in vacation homes causing deaths, and hundreds of Minnesotans stranded in Mexico when a snowstorm forced Sun Country Airlines to cancel the last flight home are just a sampling of what can break on a dream trip abroad – and how ill-prepared travelers are to avoid risks, get help and home safely.

Depart Smart’s lifesaving work is at the forefront of major news stories, helping employees travel prepared to get back to their jobs and homes safely.  Depart Smart’s Founder, Sheryl Hill, is featured as the trusted go-to travel safety expert helping you, your co-workers, and their families stay safe and prepared when they travel abroad.  One of our biggest challenges at Depart Smart is that we are called upon ‘after the fact!’  Our mission is to prepare everyone going abroad before terrible, awful things occur during their trips.  If trouble happens – like illness, injury, death, arrests, or cancelled flights – travelers need to have skills, tools and a plan to navigate safely home.

These hot topics can help everyone become aware of what dangers travelers face and why everyone should take the Depart Smart Travel Safety Course.


Christopher Elliott wrote this article for the Washington Post about how you can be arrested for seemingly innocent reasons abroad and what you should know and do if it happens to you.  Please note – this article incorrectly states travel insurance does not provide legal coverage to assist.  AIG Travel Guard – Depart Smart’s strategic sponsor, does provide legal coverage. (Sheryl Hill protects herself and her family with AIG Travel Insurance. AIG Travel Guard has award-winning customer service).

Travel HEROES Safety Training will teach you and your organization how to understand and apply local laws and customs for foreign countries, and how to get help and support if you get into trouble abroad. “All the rules change when you’re in another country.”

Be aware of laws abroad or you’ll court trouble



Imagine for one minute you are standing at the top of a flight of stairs and the next thing you realize you are hospitalized with a traumatic head injury.  Imagine you have to prepay to be discharged from the hospital.  You thought and confirmed your medical coverage would support you, only to discover it doesn’t, and now you have to prepay to discharge.  Imagine the cost to cover your healthcare is tens of thousands of dollars, or even a hundred thousand or more.  Imagine you need emergency medical evacuation and the cost for an air ambulance begins at $50,000.

University of Minnesota graduate student Zachary Newell doesn’t have to imagine. On his spring break in Mexico he experienced a tragic fall resulting in severe head trauma requiring medical evacuation to Minnesota.  A word of warning before you venture outside the country from Esme Murphy, WCCO TV Channel 4 in Minneapolis and Depart Smart Founder, Sheryl Hill, on how to expect the best and plan for the worst so you can get help and home with Travel HEROES Safety Training. Having a Travel HEROES Safety Plan can save your life!



An Iowan family of four tragically lost their lives on spring break in Mexico after toxic gas leaked in their rented apartment.  These deaths were so preventable. Having a portable fire and carbon monoxide detector packed in your luggage, or pre-screening your vacation rental home for safety could save your life. These tips and others are discussed in this article.

You may be thinking the death of loved ones abroad is the hardest thing anyone can experience.  It may be, but imagine not having travel insurance to repatriate the remains of loved ones, adding excruciating turmoil in the midst of the worst possible scenario.  Loved ones need passports that pass the validity rule and powers of attorney to get there and help.  Depart Smart Travel HEROES Safety Course can help you travel like a HERO in lifesaving ways.



Minnesotans groaned as more than 15 inches of snow fell in mid-April creating havoc on road and airport runways.  Many flights were canceled, but passengers understand that.  What they didn’t expect was Sun Country sending an email notifying them that their last flights of the season had canceled, there were no other flight options available, and Sun Country would be issuing refunds.  Hundreds of Minnesotans were left without return flights or accommodations in Mazatlan, Mexico.  WCCO-TV and CNN reached out to Depart Smart to discuss what travelers could and should do to avoid being stranded by unplanned events. Many of these people missed work, impacting their lives and the companies who employ them.


In all of the above situations, this paramount advice stands out – everyone needed to know how to Depart Smart with skills, tools, and a safety plan.  You can get your skills today. Your company can contact us for group cobranded services.  Don’t put your employees, yourself, your family or friends at risk.

No other nonprofit does what we do.  Departing Smart can save your life.  We often hear “You saved my (son, spouse, friend, employee)’s life.”  In truth, we didn’t. We weren’t there.  They saved lives by being prepared.  They were the Travel HEROES.  You can become a travel HERO too! Corporate solutions are available on request.


Contact us:

Tel: (952) 525-2255
Fax: (952) 546-4829

Depart Smart
5775 Wayzata Boulevard, #700
St. Louis Park, MN 55416