Budgeting Tips for Traveling Mexico in 2022

Ah, Mexico. What’s not to love? It’s easy to get to and offers wonderful travel experiences, including:

  • Spectacular scenery from ocean beaches to gorgeous mountains to incredible desert plants and flowers
  • Any kind of accommodation you could want, from luxurious five-star resorts to quaint local establishments and many backpacker’s hostels.
  • Outstanding culinary experiences that any foodie will thoroughly appreciate
  • Shops galore featuring everything from low-budget touristy items to high-dollar art and antiques

In addition, the exchange rate between US dollars and Mexican pesos favors Americans and allows your money to go farther while you’re there.

Getting Prepared

How much you can expect to spend while visiting Mexico naturally depends on what you intend to do and how you intend to do it. If you’re budget minded, you can easily keep your daily expenses to less than $20 USD! If you’re more luxury-minded, you can expect to spend upwards of $150 USD per day, excluding the money you pay for souvenirs and other purchases.

The reason for denoting the above dollar figures as USD is because Mexico also uses the dollar sign to signify money. However, when you see a dollar sign in Mexico, it refers to pesos, not American dollars. Given that the exchange rate between US dollars and Mexican pesos hovers around $1 USD to $18.76 MXN, knowing ahead of time that you’re seeing the peso price will prevent sticker shock.

In terms of financing your trip, know that you generally can use your credit or debit card(s) to cover your hotel, dining, and purchase expenditures. But you can’t use them for things such as taxi or bus fares, tips to food servers, etc. You’ll need cash for that. Consequently, it’s a good idea to have a good supply of pesos on hand before entering the country.

Daily Spending

Should you start running out of pesos while in Mexico, you’ll likely be able to find plenty of ATMs. But whatever you do, make sure to use only ATMs located at a bank rather than at a convenience store or a sidewalk kiosk. Why? Unfortunately, you stand a reasonably good chance of withdrawing counterfeit money if you withdraw it from a non-bank ATM. Look for the words “Banco de Mexico” (Mexico’s national bank) or “casa de cambio” (exchange bureau).

Something else you should know is that while many Mexican merchants give you the option of paying in either pesos or US dollars, paying in pesos will make your money go much farther. This is because some merchants inflate the price of their goods up to 30% if you pay in US dollars so as to cover their highly inflated over-the-counter exchange rate, which can be more than twice that of the official daily rate.

Handling Emergencies

No matter how carefully you prepare ahead of time or spend once you’re in Mexico, it’s possible that an emergency may arise where you need cash quickly and don’t have the means by which to get it. If you find yourself needing a U.S. resident to share money with you, know that your family or friends back home can easily help you out. All they need is access to the internet. Sharemoney allows them to transfer money from the U.S. to Mexico in about two minutes flat using only their computer, laptop, tablet, cellphone, etc.

Transferring money this exceptionally convenient way is completely safe, secure, and trackable. All you need to tell your family member or friend is the bank to which you want the funds transferred so you can pick them up there. In addition, Sharemoney offers a 100% money-back guarantee if for some reason the money transfer fails to reach you.