7 Money-Saving Tips for Travelling Around Mexico and how to make your money go further in this beautiful country.
Every budget traveller is always looking for ways to reduce their costs so they can enjoy seeing more sights and activities in the area. During our three week stay, we learnt a few money-saving tips we’d like to share with you.
- ADO is a great company for getting around but we found other bus companies in the Yucatán Peninsula, Oriente & Mayab, often had fares that were nearly half the price. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable. As second class buses, if your hotel is before the bus station, let them know as they are often willing to drop you off. The routes are not as direct so take a little longer, but we believe it was worth it for the discount.
- You can’t always eat in restaurants so occasionally you’ll need to cook some meals. Cooking a homemade meal will save you $$$, especially if you cook in bulk & can get a couple of meals out of your ingredients. We bought these silicone tupperware containers that pack flat but store a lot of food. We also bought beeswax wraps which are reusable and work like clingfilm. Useful and eco-friendly.
- Continuing on the cooking theme, to get the best value, head to local markets and supermarkets. Not only is this a fun activity itself seeing all the weird and wonderful things available to buy but you’ll find things are so much cheaper. For example, having bought 6 beers for $120 pesos in most shops, in the supermarket we got a 6 pack for as little as $87 pesos.
- In many restaurants and bars throughout the Yucatán Peninsula, we noticed that you could pay in dollars. Although useful, the restaurant sets the exchange rate which we found varied from 14-17 pesos to the dollar. If you pay in local currency you will often find that you save a lot more money. So where possible, pay in pesos. We found the Revolut card to be invaluable, as it allows you to hold multiple currencies on one card and you avoid being charged any fees on transactions whilst abroad.
- In the majority of the hotels and hostels, we stayed in we found that drinking water was available in large dispensers. However, in one hotel there was none available and we were so glad we had our Water-To-Go bottles. Not only do they reduce plastic waste but they have a built-in filter so you can fill up your bottle from the tap and be confident that 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants have been removed. It is very hot so you need to keep hydrated and therefore having this reusable bottle saves you money every day and helps reduce the use of single-use plastics.
- If you are looking to do an activity or a tour, if you recruit some extra people, you can drastically reduce the price you pay. For tours in Holbox, we were told that getting a minimum of 4 people more than halved the price of the bioluminescence tours. In Chichen Itza, by joining with two other couples we had a private tour guide for 200 pesos each instead of 1000 pesos for a couple. The tour was worth every penny.
- Try the restaurants and street food stalls popular with the locals. If you can see the street food being cooked in front of you, then go for it! Also, restaurants that have more locals than tourists will often represent better value for money. We found a lot of dishes such as roast chicken, fish fillet or octopus came with rice, beans, salad, lots of spicy sauces and a pile of tortillas. This allowed us to make our own tacos and always ended up being a great value meal that didn’t compromise on taste.
If you liked our 7 Money-Saving Tips for Travelling Around Mexico, then refer to our ‘gear and resources’ page, which tells you more about the gear we recommend to use whilst travelling.
What are your best money-saving tips? Share them with us…
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