Travel is an expensive business – everyone knows that – but these days it’s still so much cheaper than before. If you’re traveling to a popular destination like Mexico, you may well find yourself watching how much you spend. You can make your money go further by choosing carefully how you eat and make your way around the country, as well as how you pass the time there. Here’s a few tips to help make every cent count.

Go to the beach

It costs nothing to sit on a white sandy beach and just soak up the sun. And Cancun and the Mayan Riviera have the good fortune to be blessed with some splendid beaches. The Paraiso Beach, situated a little south east of the Tulum ruins, boasts turquoise blue waters and is the personification of relaxation, while the beach at the endearing town of Akumal is where sea turtles still come to lay the eggs, making it that extra little bit cute!

Dine on the cheaper eats

Of course, you can’t go to Mexico and not eat at least one taco! They’re also very filling, so maybe after two or three you’ve already filled a small corner for a good few hours. Best of all, there are so many places you can order yourself a taco, you can buy meat ones for as little as $1 or seafood ones for $1.20.

It’s not all just tacos, though. Ceviche, a variety of seafood mixed together and cured in citrus juice and seasoned with garlic and peppers, is a tasty, inexpensive option. The dish will cost you between $4 and $10.


Image by Karl-Martin Skontorp, used under CC license 2.0

Use ‘colectivos’

These camper vans / minibuses are a good way to travel from town to town cheaply when you’re a tight budget. You simply jump in with other passengers, tell the driver where you wish to get off and pay when you reach your destination. The price varies depending on the distance, but an hour-long journey usually costs around $4 dollars. The colectivo is an especially handy way to get to attractions such as Chichen Itza and other sites.

Changing money

The unit of currency in Mexico is the peso, but you’ll be able to get away with using US dollars in tourist destinations like Cancun. However, be aware that you may be charged a fee for paying in dollars, which is likely to make the exchange rate unfavorable for you. If you pay by credit card, your bank is also likely to charge you a fee. In general, small change is preferred in Mexico, especially in small shops, so it’s better to carry cash in the smaller denominations of notes to avoid embarrassing or disappoint situations at the cash register since the clerk might not be able to change the notes.

mexican peso

Image by gabofr, used under CC license 2.0

So even if places like Cancun may seem that little bit more expensive, this doesn’t have to be a hindrance on your holiday. With some strategic spending and smart choices, you can keep more of the pesos in your pocket as you tour the country. But don’t get so hung up on prices that you forget to enjoy yourself! Have a good trip!