Denise Chen - Mar 7, 2022
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If you are currently in the US and are looking for a way to explore all that Mexico has to offer, you are not alone.  Mexico remains a highly popular travel destination for US citizens and one of the top reasons for this is that it has a reputation for being extremely cheap. However, things aren’t always as they seem. While there are bargains to had, they have to be found.

If you travel to Mexico blindly, you will find that you end up spending as much as you would while in the US. If you’re wanting to travel on a budget then we have the tips that can help. Read on to see how you can enjoy all that Mexico has to offer, all while keeping a watch on your spending.

Send money ahead

Something that often catches tourists out is the cost of ensuring that they have enough of the right currency. Travelling to Mexico without having sufficient Pesos can lead to turning to exchanges at the likes of airports. While these can help and see you having the right currency, you’ll be stung with significant fees. The other option is to send money to Mexico ahead of your journey.

To do this, it may be tempting to turn to your bank. However, this is rarely cheap. Another option is to explore money transfer providers. If you would like to compare different money transfer providers and find out which one is best for you, we highly recommend that you check MoneyTransfers.

How to set a budget

If you want to travel to Mexico from the US, on a budget, then you’re going to need to have an idea of what your budget is going to be. Exactly how much you will need to travel will depend on just where you want to go. As with most countries, Mexico has areas that are significantly cheaper than others. Non-urban areas will tend to be cheaper than the bigger towns and cities. If you head for the most popular tourist areas, you’ll find that it is not much cheaper than being back home in the US.

If you are looking at the lower end of a budget, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the Mexican experience for less than $25 a day. If you have a mid-range budget, you can afford to spend more on acclamation and travelling and spend around $70 a day. If you’re at the top end then you can experience true luxury in the country by spending anywhere between $100 and $500 a day.

Understanding the currency

To keep an eye on what you’re spending, you’ll need to have an idea about the currency that you’ll be using. In Mexico, you will find yourself using Pesos. You’re going to need a fair few of them on you each day as not everyone will accept card payments. Getting caught short can cause you a few problems.

To give you an idea of what you may find yourself spending, as of the early part of 2022, 1 USD is equivalent to around 21 Pesos. Of course, currencies go up and down so you’ll need to check how things are when you travel, but this at least gives you a rough idea.

Eating on a budget

Wherever you may travel, eating will usually be one of your most significant spends. Knowing how to eat on a budget in Mexico can see you making some substantial savings. It is more than possible to see yourself eating well for $10 a day, or possibly even less.

If you want to eat on a budget, there is no point coming to Mexico with the aim of drinking Coca Cola or gorging at McDonald's. The way to eat on a budget is to explore local produce and to enjoy the amazing street food that is on offer. As the name suggests, street food is bought from vendors on the street rather than inside stores. They sell some absolute delights and give you a true Mexican experience.

Travelling around Mexico

Once you’re in Mexico, you are going to want to explore as much as your budget will allow you to. While there are obvious destinations, it is always worth travelling further afield to try and soak in as much of the culture as possible. The cheapest way to travel is by using public transport. Yes, there are taxis and even Ubers, but buses are where you will save.

The buses will usually run to a timetable and locals will be more than willing to help you to figure this out. You can simply hail a bus as it approaches you and it’ll stop so that you can jump on. A bus journey will usually cost no more than around 50 Cents.

Drinking in alcohol in Mexico

Of course, the odd alcoholic drink is an important part of any trip. The thing is, in Mexico, alcohol isn’t quite as cheap as people assume that it will be. If you are looking to drink on a budget then you’ll find that bars are not really any cheaper than they are in the US. If you want to save then you are best heading to a store where you will find the prices are around two-thirds of what they are back home.


One area that can see costs spiral is accommodation. However, in Mexico, this really doesn’t need to be the case. If you are looking for the very cheapest option you can actually camp on a beach free of charge. If you want access to a bathroom, you can stay on a beach in Tulum and pay just $3 a night.

If a beach doesn’t appeal, but you don’t want to spend on hotels, there are plenty of hostels in Mexico. You will dine that for around $15 a night, you can get a roof above your head as well as a fairly decent breakfast. This certainly sees your budget go as far as possible.

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