Each year on my birthday we take a vacation and leave the city (NYC). I try to complete something from my bucket list on my birthday.
This winter we had low budget for vacation so we were not sure were we can go.
My wife wanted to visit some warm city. I wanted the same indeed. I was little bit sick and tired with the winter in New York City. However, all deals on groupon and other sites for outside of our budget.
All inclusive resort for the family of three will cost us around $6,000+ for 5-7 days.
At that moment our budget would not allow us to take this kind of trip. So I offered my wife just to rent an apartment on airbnb, rent a car and buy our own food and cook.
She agreed and we bought our tickets in 1 day.
Cheap airline tickets to Cancun (and any other city)
We used app called skiplagged to buy tickets for airlines.
It is a unique app and not similar to any other app. It is not your typical discount or deal finder app. This app finds hidden city flights. By using this app you pick two way airfare and it shows you price for two ways airway but you buy two one way tickets. We paid total for 3 person $990 and we bought 2 months in advance of our flight.
Just be aware about baggage prices and weight limits. For spirit airlines we paid $55 for overweight because their limit is 40lb vs 55lb the standard one.
Cheap car rental In Cancun (or anywhere in the world)
I alway use Hotwire for car rental. I do not use this site for any other service but for the car rental only. They have the best deal anywhere in the world.
We paid $3 per day for full size car. It was the cheapest rate i ever got in my entire life. However there is a catch. Car rental is $3 per day but required minimum insurance (liability) was $19 for the car per day.
No insurance is not an optional you have to get it. I believe you can get the liability insurance from Hotwire cheaper 9.99 or $15.99. I am not sure you have to check. So the total for the car was $275
Apartment for Our stay
We love airbnb.
Recently they changed their customer service and we do not like some of the changes but we still love them. Great apartment were on the market from $35-65 per night.
I am not talking about high end, luxury and etc. i am talking about great, clean and cozy apartments (according to our standards).
We booked apartment for $45 per night. The total with the cleaning fees and airbn was $438.60
Lets sum up the cost Without the food yet.
We paid $1,705 for the flight, apartment and car vs $5,000-6,000 resort
Since we lived in apartment we had our own kitchen.
If you never been to Cancun, it has all the stores you need. There is walmart, sams club, costo and other American stores which look exactly the same as in the US.
At the first day we went there and bought food for the whole week. We spent around $100.
We knew that we would eat in restaurants and cafes but bought food for breakfasts and lunch/dinners sometimes.
All other days we eat at different restaurant.
We did ordered everything we wanted in all the restaurants and the total bill every time was around $30-45 for 3 people including tips and 2-3 alcohol drinks (sometimes i was very thirsty so drink 2 beers instead of 1 🙂 ).
What kind of beer? I drink Corona or Modelo.
If they did not have either of them i had Sol which is very similar to corona beer.
We even celebrated my birthday at upscale restaurant with my friends. 5 adults and one child. The total bill was $180 for everybody.
The rule of thumb that we come up with is the eating our is 40-50% cheaper than in New York.
The total expense on food (groceries and eating out was $1,000)
One downside of traveling on your own vs resort in Cancun you do not have direct access to the beaches from your apartment.
All hotels are in hotel zone with access to the water.
In our case we had to drive few minutes to the beaches. We were fine with this con.
We were in Cancun four years ago in Riu Peninsula.
We had great time but nothing to compare to this time.
Resorts are great and comfortable but there is no experience of culture. Any resort anywhere is the worlds probably the same so there is no real experience of culture.
The last time I learned zero Spanish words in the resort. You just do not need it.
This time. I learned a lot and i love it. I do not like to learn languages but this time I decided to learn to speak Spanish fluently.
It will be on my bucket list and i will do It.
I enjoyed Mexico so much I am thinking of buying an apartment or house there one day.
Lets sum up expenses.
You Should exclude gifts and entertainment from the sum since you have to pay it anyway.