Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world by area, and it’s one of the eight most-visited, as well, with an average of 35 million people visiting each year. Mexico has a lot to offer for tourists, whether it be vacationing in the resort cities, taking in the extensive culture, or even exploring Mexico’s vast history. There also happens to be another great reason for visiting Mexico, and that’s the cost.
Mexico has been heralded as one of the cheapest countries in the world to visit, which is why so many from the United States or overseas make their way there. Your money can get you pretty far in Mexico, but we can help it go even farther. Here are five essential tips for visiting Mexico on a budget.
Choosing The Right Airport
Mexico’s economy relies heavily on tourism, with some cities, in particular, basing almost their entire economy on it. With that in mind, some cities are ridiculously cheap to fly into. In the same way that Las Vegas and Orlando are the cheapest airports in the United States due to tourism, Cancun is going to be your best bet in Mexico. Most major airports around the world fly to the resort city, and high traffic means low prices.
The other best option is the nation’s largest airport: Mexico City International. At nearly 33 percent of the size of Cancun, Mexico City offers even more options and keeps prices low. Other airports with high traffic which offer lower prices include Guadalajara, Tijuana, and Monterrey. Much of it depends on what part of Mexico you want to visit, as it’s too large of a country to see it all.
Learn Haggling Skills
When people visit Mexico from countries like the United States or the United Kingdom, many of them are shocked to learn that in most cases, you don’t have to pay a price that’s on a sticker. In Mexico, salespeople can be extremely pushy in trying to get you to buy items, so you have to be firm if you don’t want to end up spending more than your budget allows. Because of this, it’s important to learn haggling skills.
If there’s an item that you want, don’t feel bad about asking for a lower price. Respectfully tell a storekeeper that their price is too expensive for you and that you don’t want to buy it. They’ll likely ask what you want to pay for it but don’t give them an extremely lowball offer. Just try to shrug it off and downplay how much you need the item, and the price will continue to drop down to their bottom offer. Again, be respectful but firm.
Assuming that you’re going to one of the resort cities in Mexico, then going for one of the all-inclusive options is your best bet. With these packages, you’re not only going to be getting your lodging but also unlimited food and drink. If you go for the non-all-inclusive option at a resort, you’ll likely end up paying way more than those who did on their package deals if you don’t leave the resort very often.
With that in mind, you should come to a resort with a plan. If you know that you’re going to be getting away because you want to sample the local cuisine more often, then the non-all-inclusive option is going to be fine. If you want to save the most money, though, booking an all-inclusive package in Cancun can end up costing you less than $1,000 for an entire week (without the flight).
See More By Bus
If you want to take a seven or eight-hour bus ride here in the United States, you’ll probably have to fork over at least $80 depending on the location. That can make it difficult to see much of the country on a budget, but the prices are much lower in Mexico and many tourists have said even more efficient than the bus lines in the states.
ADO is the top bus service in Mexico, and a long trip will be less than half of the price you see in the US. Local buses are also efficient in Mexico’s largest cities, with trips only costing around $1 per trip.
Explore the History
A lot of people want to head to Mexico so they can head to the beaches or resorts, kick back, and get their fill on tequila. That can be expensive, however, compared to a vacation where you see more of Mexico’s history. There are plenty of great options which allow you to explore Mexico’s rich history without spending a dime. From museums to ancient temples, Mexico has no shortage.
Places like the Bosque de Chapultepec and Tulum are zero-cost options while the Zona Arquelogica Palenque is only about $5. The Chichen Itza is perhaps the most famous of Mexico’s historical sites, though that one will cost money. Tickets to visit the site are around $35 while alternatives including El Castillo and Uxmal are free to the public.