Cancun wasn’t always a holiday destination. Before Cancun became the go-to holiday destination for both all inclusive luxury holidays and cheap holidays it was just a fishing town waiting to burst open.
After the 1970s, its location – on the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula – and its pristine beaches couldn’t stay hidden from the World. As of today, Cancun is one of the best beach holiday destinations in the world. And if you are looking for cheap holidays there is no place like Cancan in this part of the World.
The city of Cancun is divided into two parts – the downtown area and the Cancun Hotel Zone. The Downtown area consists of the markets, a few activities for tourists, malls and the residential areas of the locals. Hotel zone has restaurants, nightclubs, shopping malls and lots of fun activities.
The Cancun beaches run for 22 kilometers. The cheapest activity in Cancun during your holiday will be idling on the beach.
Once you are done with all the excitement of the city of Cancun, you can take the 90-minute drive to Tulum, one of the best-preserved Mayan coastal sites. This pre-Columbian Mayan walled city has ruins of a once thriving civilization on top of 39-feet high cliffs.
Some of the must-watch items during your vacation in Cancun should be pyramid-shaped El Castillo, Temple of Descending God and the Temple of Frescoes.
Cheap holidays to Cancun
All vacations in Cancun do not cost the same. If you are on a budget you can still have a cheap holiday in Cancun if you follow our tips.
1. Book in Advance
As is with any holiday spot, with Cancun as well there are only so many resort rooms and airline tickets which are available at a low price. When most of these rooms and airplane seats are booked, their cost goes up. The best thing you can do while planning a cheap holiday to Cancun is book your flight and your hotel rooms in advance.
This is one of the best tricks to get cheap deals for Cancun.
2. Plan your budget holiday in Off-Season
There are three off-seasons you can exploit for a cheap holiday in Cancun. December through February (barring the Christmas and New Year times) is the first off season in Cancun and planning a holiday during these three months can bring down you travel expenditure drastically.
The second off season for tourists in Cancun is immediately after Easter in April. With the summer months bringing humid, and hotter temperatures (in the 35ºC / 95ºF range) many resorts drop their prices to continue to attract vacationers.
The third off-season is between a little after Labor Day in the US (first week of Sept) until mid-November when folks start their Thanksgiving holidays.
During these low seasons, you will get cheap Cancun holiday packages on every travel website. For a more detailed analysis check out the best time to visit Cancun.
3. Use a travel agent
Travel agents are still popular for a reason. These agents know how the industry works and a good one will be aware of Cancun holiday deals which may not be out in public yet.
They may also help you get more bang for the buck from the resort – a buffet dinner perhaps, or a massage at their spa thrown in at the same package cost.
4. Go for bids
Websites such as Sky Auction offer opportunities for tourists on a budget to try out their luck and bid for cheap Cancun holiday packages. Various packages are on display and mostly include both the flight tickets and the hotel accommodation. Do keep a close watch on the auction details for packages that suit your budget.
5. Check for ‘Inclusive Tour’ fares
“Inclusive tour” is a set up wherein flight tickets are sold as a package in combination with hotel accommodation and/or a hire car. Do check if your favorite travel website is offering inclusive tours to Cancun. Depending on when and where you book, a combined holiday package to Cancun can end up cheaper. You must watch out for the fine print before booking an inclusive tour.
6. Choose flight timings carefully to save money
In case you are NOT going with an all inclusive package for Cancun, you will have to book your flights and hotels separately. Many Cancun bound tourists look at it as an opportunity to cut down their costs further.
All you must do is visit a website such as Skyscanner.net, to see all available ticket fares to Cancun on or around your preferred dates. The cheapest fares to Cancun can sometimes be almost 1/5th the cost of the costliest fare to the beach destination.
If you use such websites wisely, they can be a great tool to ensure a cheap holiday to Cancun.
Choosing an indirect flight can help you bring down your holiday costs by up to 10%.
Find out everything about Cancun International Airport, where you will be landing.
7. Use budget hotels for stay in Cancun
During your Cancun holiday, you are going to be sunbathing on the beaches, attending parties or enjoying the Cancun nightlife. If our guess is right, you will go back to your hotel only to sleep. Why then, do you need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on your hotel.
One of the best ways to have a cheap holiday in Cancun is by cutting down on your hotel costs – after all, that’s just a place where you will spend 6 hours to recharge. In fact, there are numerous branded budget hotels in Cancun, whom you can try out.
Step 5: Negotiate your deal
Since you have decided to have a budget holiday in Cancun, don’t shy away from negotiating.
Travel industry runs on negotiation because they hold one of the most time-sensitive commodities: a seat in an airplane and a bed in a hotel. If both go unused one day, they are wasted.
When you speak to travel agents, tour operators, or hotels always bargain. You will be surprised at the money you will end up saving. Once you have started the negotiation, don’t try to close the deal soon – if you are not in a hurry, you can strike a better bargain.
8. Look for last minute deals
In case you don’t have the luxury of “booking in advance”, do exactly the opposite.
One of the keys to bargaining a cheap vacation in Cancun is to do it all at the last minute. This is generally possible if you are not traveling to Cancun in a large group. With large groups, last minute deals become an issue because getting everybody on the same plane in a short time is difficult.
However, if it is just a few of you who can quickly decide and hop on a plane, one of the best way to ensure a cheap holiday in Cancun is by exploring last minute deals.
9. Cancun Tips Book
Your holiday saving doesn’t need to end once you reach Cancun.
Once you land in Cancun, you will be handed out the free Cancun Tips Book. Don’t ignore it and instead keep a copy. This booklet has some great coupons which can help you get good discounts during your holiday.
Note: While researching for tips on how you can have the cheapest holiday possible in Cancun, you must have come across the $15 discount card. Most tourists didn’t find it useful. Please don’t buy it.
10. Save on eating and drinking during your holiday
Once you are in Cancun, one of your biggest expenses will be on your eating and drinking (if you aren’t into gambling, that is). We have two tried and tested tricks to keep your costs down all through your holiday in Cancun.
a) Always order a draught beer
Like in most places, in Cancun also the draught beer is half the price of bottled beer. Since Cancun is a party holiday destination there is bound to be a lot of beer drinking.
Imagine reducing 50% of your drinking cost.
b) Walk around the corner
Since all your time in Cancun will be spent outdoors, most of your eating will be outside. We all tend to walk into the restaurant closest to the tourist attraction.
Did you know that restaurants closest to the tourist destinations charge 3 to 4 times more than the normal price? We highly recommend you walk a block or two and then walk into a restaurant – the dining experience will be better and the savings will be massive, thus ensuring you stay within your budget for Cancun break.
Cancun is as cheap as you are willing to make it.