Here are ten simple ways that help you to manage and save money when traveling in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. When traveling, especially out of the country, it is important to take your time doing research.
One of the most sought after answers for travelers is, “Are all-inclusive Cancun resorts worth it or better than not?” This depends, do you like to drink? If you plan on consuming the hotel’s pool in alcohol, all-inclusive is better for you. Bar tabs can get to be pretty expensive in Cancun.
If you do not want an all-inclusive Cancun resort, reserve a room with kitchen amenities for preparing your own food and snacks. You can go to the local markets like Wal-Mart, Sam’s and Costco and stock up with food and drink for the week much cheaper than eating out.
Take the bus instead of taxis! The cost per person for the public transportation in Cancun is around $1 USD per person. Taxis in the hotel zone start around $5 USD and up depending where you are going. The taxi driver can give you a rate depending on what they want to charge. With buses, they are a flat rate no matter the distance and they have to follow a route. If you like the taxi better, ask for the cost up front and don’t feel bad to negotiate.
Booking accommodation in Cancun and airfare in advance is a common known tip, but what about tours? This applies when making reservations for tours as well. Time is money; don’t waste your precious vacation time making reservations or deciding what to do.
Don’t bother with traveler’s checks or money orders. It is best to change your currency to pesos at the airport. They have a great exchange rate, it is easy, and you can exchange the leftover on the way out. Not all exchange rates are the same within the city, banks, and ATMs. If you pay with your currency, how will you know if your change is correct unless you carry a calculator?
This might be an obvious tip, but don’t bring valuables with you. You might want to bring those nice earrings with you to show off or wear to a nice dinner, but you will be pretty upset if you lose it while swimming in the ocean.
Staying away from the tourist traps is a great way to save money. Shopping in the hotel zone is always more expensive than where the locals shop. This applies to restaurants and bars as well. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous, Cancun is safe, and you can always find safety in numbers.
Going in off season is always a great way to save money. Hotels, rental cars, and tours are generally cheaper in the off season. Spring Break in Cancun is a world of different than any other time of year.
HAGGLE! In most cultures you would never think to haggle, the price marked is the price you are accepting to pay. This is not the case in Mexico and it never hurts to practice your negotiating skills.
Do your research! Take the time to find the best hotel deals, but be careful, sometimes you get what you pay for. Try not to accept any offers of discount by agreeing to a presentation. Again time is money and you don’t want to waste your vacation time on a timeshare presentation if you have no interest in owning. It is not worth the hassle for the discount or free massage.