If you are planning a trip to Cancun, you will surely find lots of information about where to stay, unusual things to do, and the best attractions that you should not miss. However, all those expenses can quickly add up and make your holiday less affordable.

If you want to stretch your money during your trip, these travel tips will help you get the best deals, while still allowing you to have some fun and enjoy to the max your trip to Cancun on a budget.

1. Know When to Go

The best time to visit Cancun, to find the best travel deals and still enjoy some good weather, is from April to June. During this period, there are fewer visitors so you can find great deals for flights and hotels. From September to November you can also find lower prices, but traveling to Cancun during this time can be risky since it is rainy season. But, whatever you do, avoid visiting during spring break if you really want to save money.

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2. Save on Airport Transfers

One of the cheapest ways to get from the airport to Cancun and vice versa is to take the ADO bus. The ride takes about 30 – 45 minutes, it costs less than $5 USD each way, and buses leave/arrive to the bus terminal in downtown Cancun.

3. Choose a Budget-Friendly Hotel

The cheapest hotels in Cancun are located close to the bus terminal in downtown Cancun. So this is a good area to search for affordable accommodation. Besides, getting from downtown Cancun to the Hotel Zone and beaches is easy and cheap.

4. Take the Bus

If you need to travel between downtown Cancun and the Hotel Zone, buses are the cheapest way to get around. A ticket can cost as little as $1 USD, and most drivers are friendly and helpful with tourists.

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5. Eat Where the Locals Do

Restaurants that target foreign tourists tend to be more expensive, that’s a fact. So the best way to save on food in Cancun is to eat at the smaller, more authentic places that cater to locals not tourists. You can find some of those around Parque Las Palapas. Look for the crowded places as they usually serve the best food.

6. Shop Like a Local

If you need to buy food and snacks, shop at the local markets and small convenience stores. And avoid buying things in the Hotel Zone where everything can be more expensive.

7. Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate

If you are booking a tour or buying souvenirs in the local market, it never hurts to try to negotiate the price. You may be surprised by what you get.

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8. Pay in Pesos

Always carry some Mexican pesos with you and avoid paying in dollars. Remember that if you pay in foreign currency, you won’t get the best exchange rate for your money.

9. Bring Toilettries From Home

Things like sunscreen, cosmetics and mosquito repellent are usually more expensive in Cancun than what you’d normally pay back home. So it is always wise to bring your own from home.

10. Speak Spanish

Or at least try, it can go a long way. People love it when foreigners make an effort to speak their language and understand their culture. In return, they are more likely to be friendly and help you find your way around.

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11. Visit the Ancient Sites on Your Own

If you want to explore the Riviera Maya, do it on your own instead of booking a tour. It’s cheaper, and you will have the freedom to come and go as you please.

12. Be Flexible

Keep your eyes open for the best travel deals. If your dates and plans are flexible you will be able to take advantage of the best offers that come up.

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Cancun Budget Travel Tips

Photo Credits

Instagram images from @visitcancun

Cover and pin image by @heftiba via Unsplash

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Have you been to Cancun? Are there any other ways to save money while traveling in Cancun that you would like to recommend? Leave a comment and let us know!

❤︎ Mexico ❤︎


  1. How do you recommend getting to architectural sites, like Chichen Itza, on your own from Playa del Carmen?

  2. I think it would help to do a range of price comparisons (i.e. all-inclusive rates versus separate booking). This blogging bit is too general. I understand that fares vary between country to country, but that research would knock this article out of the park! And even recommending more specifics – like touristic areas or even a couple restaurants that you tries your lovely tostadas from. Any traveler knows that “Moctezuma’s Revenge” is often the reason travelers avoid street food.
    Having said that, from my perspective, it would definitely help weighing whether the separate flight/hotel/transportation booking rates are far less than an all-inclusive package.

    • Thanks for your input, Anna. You make some valid points and I agree with you that a comparison between all-inclusive packages and separate bookings would be very useful for travellers. Perhaps I will address that in a future post. Thanks for your comment! Happy travels :)

  3. I visited Cancun in June this year for the first time and would highly recommend it! We stayed all inclusive in the hotel zone It was amazing although the humidity in June is pretty intense and it was rainy season although we didnt have much rain for the 2 weeks we stayed
    Definitly visit Chichen Itza and Tulum I was blown away by the history and culture of these Mayan ruins!
    Be careful of the flea market you do get hounded preventing you from looking properly at things, we found the local.supermarket had everything you could imagine and was much cheaper than the shops near our hotel


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