Searching for a cheap Mexico vacation this winter? As one of the most popular international destinations for U.S. travelers, you won’t be the only one! There is an abundance of unique Mexico vacation spots to fit any travel style. From beachside fun to mountain villages and historic cities, Mexico has it all! Use this guide while planning your trip to Mexico so you can get to your vacation faster, and have an amazing experience abroad.
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Mexico Travel Inspiration
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10 Tips For Planning a Cheap Mexico Vacation
1. Length of Your Trip to Mexico
How long do you have for your Mexico Vacation? With direct flights from the United States, it’s common for travelers to visit even just on a long weekend. However, if you’re looking for a cheap Mexico vacation that is slightly extended, consider 4 weeks or more.
Often when you book longer rentals the price can drop to almost half that of a short-term stay. Once you have the length of your trip you’ll be able to start travel planning to all the best Mexico vacation spots.
Mexico Vacation Tip: Once you know the number of days you have try to be flexible until you book a flight. We’ll talk more about this part of planning a Mexico vacation soon!
2. What Mexico Vacation Spots Are You Considering?
There is an abundance of great Mexico vacation spots. Honestly, even if you planned an extended trip to Mexico you wouldn’t be able to hit them all.
If you really are on a budget for a cheap Mexico vacation try to focus on just one location or area. Traveling around Mexico by bus or flight is much less expensive than the United States, but still know that everything adds up.
Most Popular Mexico Vacation Spots
- Playa Del Carmen
- Puerto Vallarta
- Cabo San Lucas
- San Miguel de Allende
3. Season of Your Trip to Mexico
When do you plan to visit Mexico? One of the most important things to consider is the time of year and weather!
When I was young my family got a cheap Mexico vacation deal that seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately, sometimes it actually is!
Traveling to Tulum during hurricane season may have been a fraction of the cost but “there is no way a hurricane is going to hit when we are there” didn’t work out as planned. We actually had to leave in the middle of the night and be escorted by the military to safety!
Moral of the story… There is a hurricane season where things are very very inexpensive. Yet, make sure to do your research about where you plan to go in Mexico and the best time of year. While we don’t recommend hurricane season, going right after or before the high season is typically the best time to travel to this destination.
Mexico Hurricane Season: Late June to Late October
High Season in Mexico: December to April
4. Mexico Vacation Cost
Let’s get to the good stuff. So what do things actually cost in Mexico? When planning a cheap Mexico vacation budget is everything! You’ll want to get the best deals so you can spend more of your money on food, activities, and fun in the sun.
When planning a trip to Mexico, know that this country is cheap but that there are also things that aren’t. You can find hotels, transfers, and restaurants that are on par with what you would pay in the USA or Europe.
Obviously, we’re talking more about areas of Tulum or Cancun here. Many of the best deals will be outside of the major tourist destinations in Mexico.
Random Costs For Your Cheap Mexico Vacation
Cold Beer: $1
Street Tacos: $1-2
Nice Dinner: $10 Per Person
Snorkeling Tour: $35+
Large Bottle of Water: $1
Private Airport Transfer: $50+
Taxi Around Town: $3-5
Hostel Bed: $5-10
Hotel Room: $20-50
Lux Resort: $100+
5. Book Your Flights to Mexico
It’s time to book your flight and officially start the countdown to your Mexico vacation! As we mentioned, there are plenty of countries that offer direct flights to Mexico.
We typically use several different websites when first searching for our trip. We then compare deals across each website and find dates that work.
One of the most important tips when booking a cheap Mexico vacation is to be flexible with your travel dates! We always start our flight search with Skyscanner! It’s actually how we book almost all our international flights!
6. Cheap Mexico Vacation Accommodation
There is a range of accommodations to stay in throughout Mexico depending on your budget. If you are planning a cheap Mexico vacation you may want to consider a hostel or renting a room in a budget hotel.
3 Tips for Booking Mexico Hotels
Reviews: Seems obvious, right? Remember you not only want to look at the hotel score but also how many reviews the hotel has. Also, check how recent the reviews are.
Location: This is a key part of travel planning to Mexico. We personally want to be within walking distance from the main areas and have everything super accessible. Don’t book a hotel outside of town unless you want to take a cab or drive everywhere you go.
Wifi: While this depends on what type of traveler you are, wifi is obviously very important for us working remotely. Wifi can be unreliable depending on where you are in Mexico. For this reason, we always filter the reviews for ones that specifically mention the internet connection.
7. Transportation in Mexico
Now that you have your dates, booked your flight, and found out where you are going to stay, it’s time to figure out how you’re getting around! While renting a car in Mexico is popular with travelers, there are also many scams related to car rentals.
We know several travelers who were stopped and instructed to pay a hefty fine on the spot by police when they didn’t do anything wrong. We’re not trying to single Mexico out, as this has happened to us in other countries such as Vietnam.
On our most recent trip to Mexico, we visited the beautiful beachside town of Sayulita Mexico and the nearby coastal city of Puerto Vallarta. Instead of booking a rental car to get between to both, we hired a transfer company that was recommended by our accommodation.
Fun Ideas for Getting Around Mexico
- Book a car or scooter for the day. Most hotels will be able to arrange this directly for you.
- Hire a driver for a full or half-day of exploring. This way you will be able to set your own route and see what you like in the time given.
- Jump on a group tour! Many offer pickup and transportation included in the price.
8. Cheap Mexico Vacation Activities
Many of the most fun things to do in Mexico can be booked once you arrive. However, if there are certain activities that you are excited about it doesn’t hurt to arrange those ahead of time.
Some of the most popular activities include snorkeling, horseback riding, zip-lining, and sunset cruises. We always use GetYourGuide for an idea of the activities offered in the area.
9. Cheap Mexico Vacation Final Steps
1. Book Travel Insurance: Never go abroad without travel insurance! It’s a small price to pay to know that you have some protection in case something goes wrong on your cheap Mexico vacation. We’ve been using SafetyWing over the last several years when traveling abroad.
2. Send Yourself Documents: Once you have a mix of emails and forms it’s time to get them all in one place. From hotel bookings to flight confirmations and everything between, we recommend sending yourself all the important information and attachments in an email. That way you have everything accessible in one place.
3. Confirm Travel Plans with Friends/Family: After you forward the email to yourself share it with a friend or family member in case of an emergency.
4. Passport Check: Best to do a quick passport check as early into the travel planning stage as possible. Confirm that your passport isn’t going to expire for at least 6 months and that you have several pages left to be stamped.
10. Pack Your Bags and Go!
It’s time to make all your travel dreams come true! All that’s left to do is pack for your trip to Mexico. If you plan to change accommodations every day or use buses, you may want a travel backpack or to pack a lighter.
Yet, if you are visiting one location or resort you can probably get away with a normal suitcase. No matter if you plan to spend your days sitting by the pool sipping cocktails or have some epic adventures planned, one thing is for sure… Your Mexico vacation will be an awesome experience!
Have any questions about planning a trip to Mexico? What about tips from your own visit or recommended Mexico vacation spots? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Mexico Travel Planning
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we found flights from LAX to Puerto Vallarta for $80 USD!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. While renting a car in Mexico make sure to go with a well known company and have good insurance!
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find thousands of activities around the world. From street food tours to skip the line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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