How much does it cost to travel the Yucatan? Well, that depends on many factors such as location, and if you are after luxury, mid-range, or budget travel! While I have backpacked when I was younger (and solo) and enjoyed going for as cheap as I could, now that we have a family we like a little more comfort…but I still love a good deal!
When we just had two kids, we could still get away with a all-inclusive at a decent price. But now that we have a family of 5, it is so much more expensive to find resorts without spending a mini fortune. Most all-inclusive resorts, or even hotels for that matter, don’t allow five in one room. This causes a dilemma if your kids are little! Unless you are willing to splurge on two rooms and really don’t like your husband that much. 😉 Then, it could be a blessing in disguise…depends how you look at it! Haha! Well, I actually love my husband heaps and really enjoy spending time with him, so the separate room thing doesn’t work for us. And that is why we have been vacationing outside resorts…for cheaper!
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Normally, travel is very expensive over holidays!!! I cringe when I look at prices over Christmas break, when I know they are half the cost only a month later. But, many of us suck it up and shell out the dough knowing it’s the only time possible to escape the cold! Well, that’s my case. My hubby works in the oilfield. Which means he has to work like a slave while the ground is frozen (aka winter, which happens to be most of the year!). Thus, his only certain days off are around the holidays. Meanwhile, I dread the cold winter and spend half of it conniving and planning on ways that we can get outta here! Preferably somewhere hot, tropical and full of beaches and fruity cocktails…coconut shrimp is always a plus too! 😀
Spending less money while staying off resorts does not mean sacrificing on fun, quality, or safety either. As much as I want to get away, I am thrifty (my sister-in-laws words…though I know she really meant ‘cheap’)! When I looked at all-inclusive vacations from our home in Canada over Christmas, they all were starting around $12,000!!! I definitely did not want to spend that kind of money and only get a week away! So, I made my own itinerary. Finding budget destinations, and taking our family of 5 on adventures is right up my alley. And the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico fit the bill. So what does it cost to travel the Yucatan? Here is the complete cost breakdown of my family’s 2 week Mexico vacation!
Flight Costs (from Canada to Cancun!)
Momondo has great prices and this is where I bought our flights to Cancun. Just to be sure I’m getting the best deal; I always check skyscanner and a few other travel websites before booking. Be aware: if you are Canadian, many website prices are in USD!
Flight Costs for 2 adults, 2 children, and infant on lap: $ 88 for infant, $634.84 for each kid, $765.84 each adult = $ 2889.36 Total
Baggage Costs: $60 + $35.99 = $ 95.99*
Airport Parking: FREE since the parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow! Otherwise this often costs around $80/week.
Taxi to airport after over-night at Grandpa’s: $45.10 + $10 tip to the 2nd taxi I called = $55.10 Total **
Total Cost of flights and everything to do with getting to and from airport: $ 3040.45 CAD
*I should have only paid for one piece of luggage ($30)each way as it is a perk of having the Aerogold Visa credit card. I was charged for both pieces on the way there, and extra on the way back since it was converted from Mexican pesos.
**Both taxi’s showed up at the same time. It had been booked the night before but they said they were running late and not sure when my taxi would come…I couldn’t wait! We had a plane to catch!
Transportation Costs in the Yucatan
I actually used 3500 airMiles to rent a car from Alamo. So, the cost of the rental was just for the mandatory third party liability (TPL) insurance. We were supposed to get a large car, and like usual, Alamo tried to give us a smaller car than what we had reserved. I complained since there was no way we were going to fit our 3 kid’s car seats and all our luggage so luckily we were given a SUV for no extra charge! Score!
Fuel: $ 74.63 + 62.24 = $136.87
Rental Car: 3500 airMiles + $10.50 admin fee + $651.16 for mandatory TPL insurance = $ 661.66
Toll roads: about $40
Parking: about $8 to the gentlemen that were hanging around to find us a space and “watch” our vehicle around the holidays when parking was scarce.
Total transportation costs: $ 846.53*
*If we would have paid for the rental car without using airmiles, it would have cost us about $400 more for a car.
Accomodation Costs for 2 Weeks Stay in Mexico
For our family 2 week Mexican vacation, we used a combination of hotels and vacation rentals. I used AirBnB to book our 7 night stay in Progreso but usually look on VRBO as well when searching for a vacation home. Having extra room for little ones to play and take naps is so nice! For booking hotels, use Hotels.com! The prices are great, and once you book 10 nights, you get one Free!!! It is an awesome perk. Especially since I booked 8 nights on Hotels.com just from this one vacation!
Tip: We had to get a hotel on our flight home. In order to keep costs minimal, I always search for an airport vicinity hotel that offers a free airport shuttle and, if the flight isn’t too early, free breakfast!
Cancun Hotel – 1 nt: $ 104.02
Kaua Hotel – 1 nt: $ 108.15
Progreso AirBnB – 7 nts: $526.20*
Merida Hotel – 2 nts: $ 139.04
Valladolid Hotel – 1 nt: $ 55.16
Puerto Aventuras Condo – 2 nts: $233.46*
Hotel overnight on flight home: $ 62.03
Total accommodation costs for our family of 5 for 2 weeks was: $ 1228.06
*We shared our Progreso AirBnB and Puerto Aventuras Condo with my mom and friend. So, the prices listed are our share of the cost.
Food Costs in the Yucatan
We could have cut down our eating costs if we had cooked more. But, I don’t love cooking, so we only bought groceries for making breakfast and 2 other meals along with drinks and snacks while we stayed a week in Progreso. Plus, we enjoy food way too much to cheap out. I had plenty of shrimp, tacos, mojitos, and pina coladas. Believe me, no one was on a diet!
Food/drink in airports: $ 49.76 (way there) + $106.56 (way back) = $ 156.32*
Meals at Restaurants: $1490.74
Total Food/Drink costs for our family of 5 while on our Mexican vacation: $ 1785.59
Note: When we stayed in Progreso, we could have a family meal with fancy pina coladas and drinks for the kids on the beach often for around $35. However, the restaurants in Puerto Aventuras cost around double or more for a meal! So, we were paying more like $80 or so for supper! If you really wanted to eat cheaply, I would suggest going to the local market, or going off the tourist path, a few blocks in from the beach to get cheaper, local restaurants.
*If you can help it, avoid eating in Cancun airport and paying the high prices!!! (It cost $45 just for a small thin crust pizza and a sandwich! Hubby had to spend another $18 to get some pasta with meatballs)
Attraction/ Activity Costs
Most of our activities consisted of hanging out at the beach (the kid’s favourite spot!), walking around the towns we visited, and eating. We had a blast (except when the kids were whining) and didn’t have to spend much on tours!
Bus tour of Progreso : about $4 for each of us adults, free for kids = $8 total
Cenote Zaci in Valladolid: about $4 each (60 pesos) for adults, half price for 1 kid and the other 2 were free = $10
Total spent for activities/attractions was about $18 during our 2 week trip on the Yucatan peninsula (which includes the Yucatan state, and Quintana Roo state).
What We Spent Shopping in the Yucatan
Don’t hesitate to barter in Mexico! Prices can be hugely inflated for us tourists! Last year, in Playa Del Carmen, my little man had lost his hat so I went to buy another and the seller wanted $80! I ended up getting him down to $15. Because realistically, it was just a cloth hat to keep the sun off his head. Nothing special about it! The more trips we take, the less souvenirs we come home with. As much as I love to shop, I’m slowly realizing we should only buy what we REALLY LIKE or will actually use!
3 Dresses for baby girl: $26
3 T-shirts for boys: $25
Sunglasses for Hubby: $8
2 Superhero beach towels: $17
3 sand bucket sets: $9
Our total spent on shopping was around $85 and it was pretty much all on the kids! Funny how that happens! We bought everything in Progreso and Merida, which are not tourist hot-spots, so we got good deals. Souvenirs were definitely more expensive in Puerto Aventuras, which is in the Mayan Riviera (aka tourist central!).
What it Cost for 2 Weeks Travel in the Yucatan
Our Grand Total was $7003.63 for two weeks of beaches, exploring, and family fun on the Yucatan Peninsula! And that’s without missing a cent…a Canadian cent! If you are American, this same vacation would have cost you about $5300 (based on exchange rate at time of writing). This cost included all the transportation to, from, and during our trip as well as food (tips included), accommodations and activities! Pretty good, eh?! Or, go when its not a holiday and make it even cheaper! Are you ready to book your trip yet???!!
I hope by showing you the cost breakdown of our 2 week family vacation to the Yucatan, you will be encouraged to travel with your family! Be adventuresome. Your kids will learn so much by seeing other countries! Here is proof that you can go at Christmas time for much less than $12,000 per week!
I hope this article gave you some insight on what it costs to travel the Yucatan. Areas such as Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, and other areas that are well-known tourist zones are usually going to cost more than less known towns. Do you have any cost saving travel ideas? I would love to hear them! Please share away in the comments! I am always looking for new budget destinations for family vacations! The cheaper you make them, the more often you can go, right?! Not sure if my hubby would agree… 😉
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