When my son first told me he was going taking a road trip to South Padre for spring break this year, I was two things- nervous...and a little relieved. Nervous, because he's never driven across the country before, but relieved that he was at least in the United States.

You don't hear too many horror stories out of South Padre these days (although, I just did a search for images from spring break in South Padre on Getty Images and now I'm semi-horrified); I did a Google search and couldn't find any stories related to kidnapping, carjacking, sex trafficking or the like.

Thanks to Thrillist, though, I do know all the reasons I should be in South Padre this spring;  and now I just feel like I'm missing out.

The key, when it comes to traveling anywhere for spring break or even just a regular vacation is to do the research and most college kids, even adults, don't know exactly what they're getting themselves into. Especially if it's unfamiliar territory.

Mexico might seem familiar because it's one of the most popular travel destinations in the world for spring break travelers, but this year (and I'm sure it's not the first and it won't be the last) the US State Department is warning college students against traveling south of the border to get their party on.

According to Fox 32 Chicago, the country is plagued with endemic levels of violence. Particularly, Baja California Sur, Guerrero, Nayarit, and Acapulco- which has become one of the centers of Mexico's dangerous and bloody drug war.

While many of these areas aren't considered hostile to tourists, Fox points out that gang members and anyone affiliated with gang activity are suspicious of outsiders and are asked to treat them accordingly.

Keep your kids safe this spring break and make sure you're aware of the dangers of the areas that they're traveling to. The US Departments official warning states,

“U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery in various Mexican states."

To learn more about the warning, click here.