Bougie on a budget: Cancun edition.
It’s no secret that Cancun is one of Mexico’s top destinations for beach seekers. Its 14 miles of pristine coastline with electric blue waters lapping its shores, coupled with legendary nightlife, tons of shopping, restaurants, and outdoor adventure, makes Cancun a prime destination for all types of travelers. It is also the type of destination that accommodates every type of budget. Your travel style may fall anywhere on the spectrum; however, we are going to show you how to make your Cancun vacation luxe without breaking the bank.
Cash in on Those Perks
Who says your luxury vacation has to start once you arrive at your destination? If you have a travel credit card, make sure you are taking advantage of all your travel perks. Use points to upgrade from economy class to business class. Have ridesharing bonuses and credits as a credit card perk? Book yourself a luxury ride, as opposed to the standard ride, and arrive in style at the airport. Make your entire journey a luxury experience by enjoying lounge access that comes included with several credit cards. Sip complimentary champagne and enjoy complimentary bites while you wait to board your flight. Upon arrival in Cancun, you can pop into one of the lounges for a quick recharge or snacks before embarking on your Cancun adventure.
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Book Private Transportation Before Arriving
If you are flying in from internationally, you will likely be arriving at Cancun International Airport, and getting from the airport to your hotel can be a bit overwhelming if you are not prepared. You will be greeted by a barrage of people soliciting you to book their transportation service. There will be people who insist on pulling you aside and giving you information for your trip, only to attempt to sell you something in the end. To avoid all the chaos, utilize the free shuttle service provided by your hotel, if available, or save yourself a few dollars by booking your transportation service before arrival. Sites like eTransfer.com offer private one-way transportation starting at $29 USD. This service accommodates up to eight people. At the airport, you will easily pay $40-$50 for shuttle service, where you will oftentimes share a ride with others. That means you will be making multiple stops along the way. Save yourself time and money and book transportation in advance to start your Cancun vacay with ease.
It’s All About Location
While Cancun’s Hotel Zone may be a little more expensive than other areas in Cancun, you will save on transportation and convenience. The Hotel Zone is around a 30-minute drive from the airport, and your preferences should determine on which end you decide to stay—the North end or the South end. If want to be close to nightlife and partying, you should consider staying on the north end. Also, if shopping is your thing, you will find plenty of malls and shopping options in this area. If these things are important to you, then staying in the north of the Hotel Zone will save you tons of money on taxis and transportation as many of these things are within walking distance of resorts. If you prefer more relaxed vibes with quieter beaches and amazing waves, the south end of the Hotel Zone may suit you better. The south end is also closer to the airport, which will shorten your transportation time to and from.
Opt for an All-Inclusive Resort
One of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck while traveling in Cancun is to book an all-inclusive resort. With all-inclusive resorts, you get to enjoy a stress-free relaxing getaway where you can eat, play, and stay all-in-one. You get to indulge in unlimited food and beverages and not have to worry about a massive bill at the end. For travelers seeking luxe for less in Cancun, check out Wyndham Alltra Cancun—a dreamy beachfront escape with a mission to provide “all-inclusive for all.” With 10 different gastronomic experiences, bars, and lounges your dining options will be endless. Imagine the amount of money that can be saved by enjoying everything from quick bites to fine-dining fare on property. You’ll also find daily activities ranging from yoga classes to tequila tastings. If you are traveling with little ones, there’s plenty for them to get into as well. If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway in Cancun booking an all-inclusive hotel allows you to know exactly how much your vacation is going to cost you upfront. You won’t have to penny-pinch or guestimate. You won’t even need your wallet while you’re on the property for anything other than tipping, should you choose, because everything is included!
Speaking of saving coins, you could even get your entire stay for free by cashing in on points from Wyndham’s Loyalty program.
Take Advantage of All the Amenities
Nothing feels more luxurious than being cloaked in a soft robe, taking refreshing sips of fruit-infused water, being waited on hand and foot, and having all your cares melted away with an invigorating massage. Want to make your Cancun vacation feel just a little more luxe? Treat yourself to some rejuvenating spa services at your hotel. You’ll find your typical deep-tissue and Swedish massages on many of the spa menus; however, when in Mexico, elevate your experience by trying some of the Mayan-inspired treatments instead.
While you’re living it up in the luxe life be sure to get your money’s worth and utilize the rest of the hotel amenities as well. Bask by the poolside and get your unlimited fill of piña coladas and delicious bites delivered directly to you, while you’re soaking up the sun and the breathtaking views and hues of blue glistening off the Caribbean sea. Want to work off some of those all-you-can-eat calories? Utilize the property’s gym or many properties offer daily activities like yoga and pool aerobics. Take advantage of it all while you’re on vacation.
Enjoy the Free Activities
Cancun is one big playground for fun things to see and do. There are so many options available, you may have a hard time narrowing it down. Here’s a suggestion–start with free activities! Hotels and resorts know that travelers are usually in Cancun for a good time, not a long time, so they want to ensure their guests are having the best time and will be repeat guests at their property. Given this, one of the many perks that properties offer are free activities. Greet the morning with sun salutations with complimentary yoga classes, explore the underwater world with free use of snorkel gear, paddleboards, and kayaks, or learn some new moves with free dance classes.
Elevate Your Dining Experience
More and more all-inclusive properties are making their dining experiences more upscale and are providing a wider array of options. While you are still able to grab and go and enjoy buffet-style options, you will also see more options for reservation-only dining experiences. So, be sure to pack something nice to wear to dinner. Make it a fancy date night and tell your partner they can order anything they wish because you’re treating them tonight. We’re sure they’ll get a kick out of that, but more importantly, it’s another way to make your getaway feel luxe without breaking the wallet. Get dressed up, choose the nicest restaurant on the property for a romantic evening, a fun and fancy dinner with friends, or a solo date night. Order top-shelf cocktails or champagne. Make an ordinary moment a celebration.
Visit the During Low/Shoulder-Season
If you want to book your getaway to the paradisiacal beaches of Cancun, consider doing so during shoulder season. Shoulder season is the season between peak season and the off-season. When is Cancun’s shoulder season? It’s between April-May and October-November. Booking your travel during this time, you’ll often find hotel rates are cheaper, as well as flights. If you book during peak times like March and December, you’ll not only be battling the rowdy spring breakers and holiday travelers, you’ll be faced with inflated prices as well. Traveling to Cancun during shoulder season gives you lower prices than peak season and better weather than the off-season, which is the rainy season. So, it’s a win-win for you.
Make It a Double Luxe Vacation in One
Cancun not only has an international airport, making it easy to get to and from, but it is also in a prime location to so many other nearby destinations. It’s no wonder people flock to this incredible city when they need a beach break. Make your time in Mexico a double luxe vacation by visiting other popular destinations like Tulum or Playa del Carmen. Tulum is approximately an hour and a half drive from Cancun airport and this beach town serves up bo-ho vibes and eco-luxury at its finest. Playa del Carmen is home to pristine palm-lined beaches and beautiful coral reefs. You will also find the adults-only property of the Wyndham Alltra here, as well as a bevy of other adult-only, all-inclusive properties.
Bring Cash With You
Private boat trip to a beautiful island, anyone? Making your Cancun vacation luxe for less means making every dollar count. Booking excursions through your hotel oftentimes will be at a higher price than booking directly with tour operators. Also, if you are paying with cash, you can often time negotiate for a lower price. Cash is king! Also, if you don’t have a card that waives international transaction fees (you should), this will save you money on those fees. Consider booking a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres, which has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, during your stay in Cancun. Imagine sailing the cerulean seas on a private catamaran, living your best luxe life at a discounted rate because you paid in cash. You will find tons of tour operators lining the streets of Cancun. Check out a few and negotiate the best deal.