Traveling is such a great opportunity and chance to get to know somewhere knew. It is even better when you can do it with your family and not go broke while in the process.
Last year, we had the opportunity of traveling to Mexico. We did not spend a lot of money and we had the best experience ever.
Here are some tips on how you can travel to Mexico or any other place while saving tons of money.
1.Don’t stay in a resort. Stay at an AirBnb.
-Definitely read reviews from people that stayed in the place currently. I would read reviews from people that have recently stayed, and also make sure it is in an area not too far from where you would like to explore. For example, when we went to Mexico, we knew we wanted to go to Isla Mujeres so we stayed at an Airbnb that was across the ocean from the Island.
The Airbnb we stayed in was about 80 dollars a night and even had a resort like vibe. It had a pool, playground, and outdoor restaurant. I believe it actually had a gym as well, but nobody had time for that.
2.Stay away from tourist traps.
– Hang out where the locals hang out. Not only will you get the true cultural experience, you will not get charged a lot of money because they know you are from out of the country. You want to blend in with the locals, so that you don’t get tricked into high prices.
On our trip to Isla Mujeres, we did not take the tourist trap ship to the island. We spent about 10 American Dollars in total to take a smaller boat from a fisherman. We even got to meet an awesome Mexican family that showed us a great time. The ship they had for the tourist would have been about 200 American Dollars for the same commute.
3.Eat where the locals eat.
– Do not eat where all the tourist eat and stay away from restaurants that look Americanized if you know what I mean. They will charge you an arm and a leg, and isn’t the point about of traveling to a new place to eat food from that actual culture?
We would have all our meals from local spots and spend less than 12 American dollars for our meals. These meals included appetizers, entrees, desert, and drinks. Take your food to go if you do not finish it because it can come in handy if you get hungry later.
4.Buy essentials from a local store or bodega.
-The moment we settled in we immediately went and bought essentials like water, juice, milk, cereal, small snacks, paper plates, cup noodles, and cups. You do not want to waste money on room service water bottles that can be so expensive, and also when you go out and explore you may not find these things and may end up spending so much money to get these items.
Many places close early, and it will save you money if you do not have to take a taxi somewhere far in order to get something in your stomach. Also, if you buy beers or liquor or wine if that’s what you like to do. Try to buy some so you can pre-game at your place and you do not spend a lot of money when you go out to restaurants.
5.Set a budget.
-No matter how much you do not want to spend money, you will have to spend money while you are there. Set a budget and stick to it. Sometimes on vacation we get into this lala daze and we do not think about the fact that soon you will be back home and have to pay your rent and utilities.
6.Don’t splurge on souvenirs.
-When traveling in local shops, grab unique gifts for your families for little to no cost. The airport is not where you should be buying the souvenirs. That will cost you an arm and a leg. When in Isla Mujeres we found a lot of family owned stores that had unique finds that we were able to bring back to our families: from keychains, shirts, dolls, frames, plates, etc.
7.Take connecting flights.
-Taking connecting flights saved us a lot of money. Even if you don’t do it both ways. Choose whether you want to do it on your way there or your way back. You will sometimes see about a 200-400 price difference when you had a connecting flight as your way to travel.
8.Travel during low peak times.
-If you travel during the holidays, you will notice the prices are sometimes inflated about 50% to 90%. It is the worst thing ever especially if you are normally off during holidays and Summer time, but if you do find a time where you can travel like during January-February & even Early July. You can even find good flights in the start of September since many people are back to work or school, but if you have kids it is very hard to do that. Even if you travel in December, you would have to look at flights around the 20th or after Christmas in order to avoid spending 1000 dollars just on your flight.
9. Pack lightly.
-We all overpack because we swear we really are going to be changing our clothes 3x a day, but realistically we are going changing our clothes like once or twice if anything. When packing, think what you would actually wear and then remove like 3 outfits. You only need like two pairs of shoes. The ones you wear there a pick a pair that you will wear that is comfortable and you can dress up if you have a night out. Packing light also eliminates you having to pay for your luggage. If you can fit it as a carry on do it !
10.Spend a day or two in the actual Airbnb.
-If you are like us, we just have the airbnb to lay our heads and we never actually spend time there. Take a day to actually stay there and enjoy what the airbnb has to offer. Ours had a pool and playground, so we spent a day locally where we swam in the pool and just relaxed and enjoyed the scenery.
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do and I cannot wait to do it again soon when the time is right.
How do you budget to enjoy vacations more often? Please comment down below.
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