HOW TO PLAN A TRIP TO MEXICO THAT COSTS LESS
MORE INFLATION LESS TRAVEL
Going on a trip before was way easier and cheaper than in 2023. Prices went over the roof, transportation, and accommodation are no longer that accessible. if you want to keep going on traveling to your favorite destinations. This is why, some best practices on how to travel the same, for less money, are more than welcome. I travel and organized leisure trips and business trips for myself every single week, for the past 10 years, which helped me save some money.
Traveling on a budget does not necessarily mean you need to be a backpacker sleeping in 8-bed dormitories. No, it simply means you need to know how to save costs or even better, travel on loyalty programs.
My birthday is on February 2nd and I’ve always had cold weather, snow, and rain for my B’day. I wanted something different this year, so I decided to go to Mexico and had the hottest anniversary (temperature-wise 😉 ). It is also a period with lots of tourists inn Mexico, so prices can go up the roof if you don’t pay attention.
VISIT MEXICO ON A BUDGET
- Plan in advance and start early
- Make a list of your favorite destinations in Yucatan
- Plan the most optimal route – it demands time and patience. I usually use an Excel file and sketch different routes to optimize time and money
- Try to go to Cancun or Playa del Carmen during the week, not the week-end, when it’s full of tourists and rates, are higher
- For Tulum it’s better to go only for the weekend and to stay in Pueblo. You can use Collectivo to go to Zona Hotelera or rent a bike. Hotel rates are much cheaper than in Zona Hotelera
- Go to public beaches, as they are sometimes even more beautiful than the resort ones
- Book hotels on the spot from local chains, they will be cheaper than booking online from known chains. And more beautiful and traditional
- Take the ferry to go to the islands, not daily excursions, as they are expensive and you will not have time to enjoy and explore the island
HOW CAN I PLAN A SOLO TRIP TO MEXICO?
So, let me tell you how I planned my trip to Mexico and the errors I’ve made.
I am a Flying Blue member and I first check the airlines that are on this loyalty program, as I have different advantages. Therefore, I took a direct flight from Paris – Cancun with AirFrance to win XP points and Miles to my account. I also have an AmEx credit card from AirFrance KLM and each time I pay with the credit card I win Miles. Once I have enough Miles, I can pay myself a return ticket to a desired destination.
Therefore, even if I paid 300€ more for a direct flight with AirFrance, rather than a 2-segment flight with a layover in Miami, in the long run, I still win, as I can maintain my loyalty status and benefit from my privileges.
I recommend you use Explore section in Google Flights which will show you the fares on different destinations, like this you can choose either the better period for your desired destination or the best destination price-wise upon your availability. As for myself, I always choose my destination depending on the best fare at that moment among all the places on my To Do List. That’s why I will never know where I go next. Google Explore decides for me.
This is where things get tricky for most people asking my advice. But trust me, it all goes very easily once you have a system.
I have two loyalty programs for accommodation as well: I am a member of Booking.com and Accor Hotels. Accor Hotels is also connected to my Flying Blue loyalty program, so I win Miles on both accounts every time I fly or I book a hotel. Isn’t that wonderful?
If I find a good Hotel from the Accor Hotels chain, I will go for it, but sometimes I want to change, so I will go to Booking.com where I have Genius Level 3.
But sometimes, if I am not happy with the fare I find on Booking.com I will simply call the hotel and ask for a better rate than the one I have on Booking.com. You will be surprised to see that many Hotels accept to give you a lower rate because they want to retain you as a loyal customer, so they will simply not pay the discount to Booking.com, but give it to you as a Welcome Gesture.
There are two types of travelers when we talk about accommodation: those who will book everything in advance and those who will book only the first two nights and organize everything on the spot, like this they are more flexible in their journey. I would love to be the latter, but unfortunately, I am the first type, but I am working on it.
As I stayed more than two weeks in Yucatan, I decided to change locations. So, first, I decided to split my journey into different points of interest. For that, I made a list of what I would like to visit and searched online for what you can do there and how many days are required. Sometimes I don’t do my research properly and I regret it on the spot, as sometimes I can no longer change my plans. And of course, this is what happened in Mexico as well.
In Yucatan, I decided I want to see Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Holbox Island, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Balacar. Because I did not do the research properly, I allocated too much time to Tulum and not enough time to Holbox Island, which I loved more than Tulum. I left Bacalar for the last day and of course, something came up with the travel agency and they canceled the trip. I was so mad at myself because that was the destination I wanted to see the most in the entire Yucatan. But I’ve learned from my mistakes. I hope so, at least!
What I don’t do and I would recommend you to do is to be as flexible as you can to be able to change your plans on your trip. On the spot, talking with locals, and other tourists, you will always want to change at least one destination or extend an existing one.
Also, in Yucatan, there are so many local Boutique Hotels – very good standing, much cheaper on the spot than what you’ve booked on Booking.com in advance. So why not go for it, right? Trust me, you won’t regret it. Just go with the flow!
So, whenever you want to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to follow these steps. You can even travel for free on the Miles you won from the loyalty programs. Or sometimes you can simply upgrade your accommodation or fly in First Class on a long-haul carrier.
GETTING AROUND AS A SOLO FEMALE in mexico
BONUS: WHERE TO STAY IN MEXICO ON A BUDGET
CHECK OUT THE BEST Mexico tours
DID YOU FIND THIS ARTICLE USEFUL?
Tell me in the comments section if you’ve been to Mexico and what was your experience. If you are planning to go on solo travel ask me for some useful tips that are not in this article.