Mexico trip cost: how much budget do you need?

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Are you looking for tips for lowering Mexico trip cost and do you want to know how much budget you need? If so, you are on the right page. In this article, you read how much a trip to Mexico cost and how high your Mexico travel budget should be depending on what type of traveler you are.

We spent $60 dollars a day during our 25 day trip through Yucatan and in this article we share in detail how we did it.

In general, Mexico isn’t expensive to travel to. However, it depends on which area you are going to travel to. So is for example the province of Yucatan is more expensive than other parts of Mexico.

It is important to know how much budget you need when traveling to Mexico. This partly determines your choice if you’re going to travel to Mexico or not.

Our tips, categories, and our personal Mexico trip cost are based on the trip we made through Yucatan. So keep in mind that when you travel to other areas that trip to Mexico cost will be lower.

Tip: it is possible to pay with US dollars at certain places. We advise you not to do this because they calculate with a bad exchange rate. Withdraw your money yourself at the ATM so you always have the best exchange rate.

Isla Holbox viewpoint

Trip to Mexico cost per day?

Important to start with is that when you travel to Mexico on a budget you still can have an amazing trip. For $50 or less per day, you can stay in great hostels, eat at local restaurants, and see a lot of the country by doing activities on your own.

Budget traveler: if you have a tight budget and you pay close attention to what you spend, $35 – $50 per person per day may be sufficient.

Mid-range traveler: If you want it a bit more luxurious where you do a few more expensive activities or stay at nicer accommodations, plan a budget of $50 – $100 per person per day.

Luxury traveler: when staying in the best accommodations in Mexico and you want comfort during your vacation in Mexico you spend above +$100 per person per day.

The amounts don’t include airline tickets. Flight costs are very diverse. We always use Skyscanner and recommend it!

AccommodationFood Transport Activities Miscellaneous
Dorm:
$6 – $18
Street food:
$1 – $3
Taxi:
$2 – $4
Chichen Itza:
$25
Travel guide:
$24
Budget room:
$24 – $42
Mid-range food:
$5-$8
Bus 6 hours:
$18 – $30
Tulum ruins:
$4
Travel insurance
3 weeks:
$122
Mid-range:
$70 – $140
Local beer:
$1 – $3
  Tour whale sharks:
$129
Water bottle:
$79
Luxury hotel:
+$140
    Sailing excursion:
$36
Dry bag:
$19
        Sleeping bag:
$30
Below you can read each Mexico trip cost category in more detail.

Mexico trip cost: Accommodation

To keep the costs of your trip low, there are several options for budget travelers. First of all, you have the choice between staying in hostels and hotels. If you travel alone, we always recommend staying in hostels so that you can meet new people there. If you travel as a couple, it is sometimes nice to stay in a hotel and enjoy some luxury. We are not saying that you should skip hostels! We always love to stay in a hostel even though we travel as a couple. We always enjoy meeting other travelers, this is difficult in a hotel.

Hostels and hotels are comparable in price to other countries in Central America and South-east Asia. A dormitory will cost you about $6 to $18, a double budget room $24 to $42 and if you want more luxury, you will spend more than $70 per night.

An important tip for lowering Mexico’s travel budget is to pre-book all your accommodations. The advantage is that you have more choices so that the options you can afford are still available. If you are late with your booking, only the more expensive accommodations may be available.

Are you curious about our favorite places to stay in Mexico?
Find out more.

Mexico Hotel

Mexico trip cost: Food

It is important to say that the food in Mexico is delicious! You have enough choices, from very simple and cheap to culinary delights, but which is of course more expensive. Also, be aware that the more popular places are more expensive. On average you pay about $6 for a burrito at a restaurant. At a local taco tent, this costs about $1. If you want to eat more elaborately with a bit more luxury, this will cost you around $12 to $18.

If you want to keep costs low, you can easily buy your food in a supermarket. We often buy vegetables, snacks, and drinks in the supermarket.

You should try the following dishes: cochinita pibil, tacos, and Mezcal. Cochinita pibil is a pulled pork that is prepared by slow cooking in annatto, orange juice, and lime. It is served with some pickled onions on top giving you an incredible dish. Tacos can be found everywhere in the province of Yucatán, they are cheap and delicious. Burritos are more difficult to find because this is a dish from northern Mexico. Finally, you must have tried Mezcal. This is tequila’s little sister and worth a try.

Looking for an itinerary through Yucatan? Read more.

bacalar best food

Mexico trip cost: Transport

Mexico is a large country, so it is advisable to visit a certain part of Mexico. This has a couple of advantages because you have to travel less great distances so that you spend less time traveling itself. An additional advantage is that when you visit a certain area you can often use the bus which is the cheapest way to travel in Mexico.

We have traveled through Yucatan and it’s awesome to travel to because there are many things to see in a relatively small area. This keeps transport costs low. Read our Yucatan itinerary here if you want to know more about it.

You can find all the transport tickets at Bookaway. We used Bookaway to book all our bus tickets. They’re easy to use and book with, and we’ve explored the best destinations with their busses.

if you are in Mexico at a certain destination and you would like to buy tickets on the spot we recommended using bus company ADO. They have bus connections between all popular destinations. You can check via their site actual time schedules.

Other transports that can be used in Mexico are flights, cars, ‘colectivos’ and taxis. For smaller distances, the best option is to use colectivo. This is a small minivan that travels short distances between places. If you want to use this, ask at your accommodation on the spot where you can find it. If you want to bridge very short distances and want to get to a specific place, you should take a taxi. In Mexico, they work with fixed prices so negotiation is not possible.

If you travel to Mexico by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.

Planning a road trip through Mexico? Here’s is our Mexico road trip guide.

Mexico trip cost: Activities

In Yucatán, excursion and activity costs will vary widely. For example, swimming with whale sharks is $129, which is relatively expensive. For us, this was acceptable in terms of amount, because we saw this as a “once in a lifetime moment”. The entrance to Chichen Itza is also relatively expensive because you pay $24. In contrast, for example, visiting ruins in Tulum is very cheap with an amount of $4. Or sailing in Bacalar where you have a boat excursion for a few hours for $36.

Usually, the more expensive excursions are very special, which makes them relatively expensive. We always advise not to cut on activities because the activities make a trip incredibly fun and ensure that you see and do a lot.

Chichen Itza

Mexico trip cost: Miscellaneous

A travel guide provides you with detailed information about the country itself, weather, culture, travel routes, advice on where to eat and to stay. We always use Lonely Planet and we love it! You can combine this with our articles. It is best to order this book for Mexico.

Most foreign citizens are eligible for a Tourist Card for Mexico. Apply for it on Natvisa and get it in less than 10 minutes.

In our opinion, travel insurance is extremely important. We will not travel without travel insurance. The risk that you run when something happens and you are uninsured is not manageable in amounts. Imagine that you are in the middle of the jungle of Mexico and you break your foot. The costs that you ultimately have to pay are not reimbursed and can increase the 6-digit. So assure yourself to exclude eventual surprises.

We use World Nomads for all our trips. Fill in the widget below with your details to see how much it costs to insure during your trip through Mexico. Or simply open this link to book your travel insurance.

A water bottle is always handy to have with you. We use a crazycap, this is a water bottle that kills all bacteria in the water using UV. This allows us to drink tap water anywhere in the world through this bottle. So we never have to buy water and can always drink tap water safely.

If you are in Yucatán and you would like to do a lot around the water, we advise you to buy a drybag. We don’t want to risk our valuables items getting wet and damaged. This bag will often save you, we speak from our own experience.

Finally, you can also buy a sleeping bag, the advantage of this is that you always sleep in “your bed”. If you find it annoying to sleep in unknown beds and do you like hygiene, sleeping in a sleeping bag is a good solution. 

How much did Mexico cost us per day

  • Accommodation $17
  • Food $19
  • Transport $7
  • Activities $17

Total: $60 per day (amounts have been rounded). This doesn’t include airline tickets and miscellaneous costs. The airline tickets were $920 for us. In total our trip costs per person: 25 (days) x $60 + $920 = $2420.

We always stayed in great places, enjoyed food at good restaurants, and did all the activities that we wanted to do.

Accommodation: If you want to travel cheaper than we did it is possible only we don’t recommend cutting down on accommodation costs. Most of the time cheaper accommodations are located outside the center and the facilities are not that good.

Food: When you enjoy breakfast at the accommodation that we recommended on this list you will not spend a lot of money on food. It is possible to cut down on food expenses by eating at cheaper restaurants or cooking for yourself during your trip.

Transport: If you visit a certain area in Mexico such as Yucatan and you mainly buy your upfront via Bookaway, transport costs will not be high.

Activities: When you see for example all the articles we wrote about Mexico you will see that a lot of things can be done in Mexico. Recommended is not to cut down on activities. After all, you are going to travel to Mexico to see and do things right?

Bacalar Lake

Trip to Mexico cost FAQ

1. How much does it cost to go to Mexico?

If you are a middle-class traveler for example going to travel for 3 weeks through Yucatan province, coming from the United States, and flying to Cancun, will cost you a trip to Mexico $1460 for couples per person.

For accommodation, food, transport, and activities you will spend 21 days x $60 average = $1260. Flight costs will be approximately $200 per person.

2. How much money to take to Mexico?

Bring $300 with you so that you can pay for your first expenses when you arrive such as the bus, taxi, food, and accommodation. Then it is recommended to go to the local bank and withdraw money. Exchange rates are a lot better than when you exchange money at home.

In every village or city, there is a bank where you can withdraw money. Therefore it is not needed to bring a huge amount of money with you when you are going to travel to Mexico.

3. How much does it cost to go to Mexico for a week?

Of course, it depends on what you are going to do. But in general, if you are a middle-class traveler a one-week trip in Mexico will cost +/- $760 for couples per person.

We spent $60 on accommodations, food, transport, and activities, but if you go for one week you want to see and do things in a shorter period with results that the average cost is higher. That’s why you’ll spend $80 per person a day.

For accommodation, food, transport, and activities you will spend 7 days x $80 average = $560. Flight costs will be approximately $200 per person.

4. How to visit Mexico on a budget?

It is possible to make a great trip to Mexico with a limited budget. For this, you need to do the following things to spend +/- $40 a day.

Stay in hostels and book them well in advance. This gives you the most choices so that the cheaper hostels are still available. When you do this you will spend +/- $10 per day.

To keep food expenses low, book a hostel that includes breakfast. This means you only have to eat in the afternoon and evening. Eat where the locals eat, often it is, the simpler from the outside the tastier and cheaper the food. You will spend $20 on food per day.

For transport, it is recommended to choose a small area and keep distances as short as possible. You can also choose to visit only a certain couple of destinations instead of a lot so that the transport costs remain low. By doing this you will spend $4 a day on average.

Sometimes it is necessary to pay an entrance ticket for sights but most activities can you do perfectly yourself, $5 a day is enough.

Conclusion cost of travel in Mexico

Mexico isn’t expensive to travel to. Now that you know this, you come to the next point in preparation for your trip: drawing up your travel route through Mexico. To help you on your way, we have put together a travel route through Mexico in which you will see all the highlights. For each destination, there is an article in which you can read everything in detail if you want to know more. Click here to open it: Mexico itinerary.

If you are still looking for a complete overview that shows how to prepare yourself, we recommend that you read our travel guide to Mexico. Here you can read which period is the best to visit Mexico, how safe Mexico is, how to pack your bag and much more useful information.

What do you think of our budget tips for Mexico? Share your thought in the comments below!

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I haven’t been to Mexico yet, so it’s great to hear how it’s a budget-friendly destination. I enjoyed reading your breakdown of what to expect for a trip here. I’ll probably end up spending lots of money on the delicious street food and side excursions.

    • Hi Jackie, thanks! Indeed Mexico is not as expensive to travel through as most people think. If you follow our tips of this article and the articles use we have written about specific destinations you can have a budget-friendly trip through Mexico without any problem.

    • Hi Kym,

      Thanks. We try to post every month some articles to share our travel passion. Let us know if you want to read about a specific topic.
      Greetings,
      Cynthia

  2. Hello,
    Thank you for these details. I consider to going Mexico within 1-2 months. I just wonder mentioned budgets for per person or two person/ per day?

    • Hi Seyhan,

      Mexico is a great country to travel to. But regarding the prices everything is per person, so the budget figures in the beginning of the article are showed per person. Only in the details the accommodation costs are showed per room. We will update it that it is per person to make it more clear:). Let me know if you have more questions.

      Greetings,
      Alexander

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