Wednesday, March 15, 2017

why we skipped the resort stay in Mexico?

When we started telling friends and family that we were headed to Mexico, so many people asked us what resort are you staying at. Everyone seems to fly into Cancun and stay at a resort, so people naturally assumed that we were doing the same. And then I would promptly inform them that no we aren’t staying in a resort, we’re road tripping around Mexico and figuring it out from there. And while we got lots of crazy eyebrow raises, I know that this was the best way for us to travel through Mexico. 
We travel to step outside our comfort zones, to challenge ourselves, and to see a world beyond our own.
And a resort would have been the death of all that. It was definitely nerve-racking and scary to take this on, but it was perfect and wonderful and I don’t regret a thing. So I felt like I had to share our reasoning for why we chose to skip the resort stay in Mexico.

Experience the Country
The biggest reasoning was that we wanted to actually experience the country that we were visiting. If you go to Paris and sit a fancy hotel room all day vs. going out to the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower, well that’s not really experiencing Paris. And we felt like visiting Mexico and never leaving the resort beach was the same thing. I knew if we stayed on a resort, we would be too tempted to stay put. And I can’t imagine visiting a gorgeous country like Mexico without having a chance to experience the amazing wonders of this culture and interacting directly with its people.

The Cost
Resorts tend to charge American prices, regardless of the individual country’s economics. In Mexico, we found that a resort stay was around $200+ USD a night, whereas a boutique hotel with the same beach front access and to-die- for cocktails and amazingly serene pools charged local prices, more like $50 USD a night. This one was kind of a no brainer for us budget travelers.

Still Got Spoiled 
Now, I’m not knocking resort stays completely, they have their place, especially when it comes to being spoiled. But I don’t feel like we missed out on this. With the money we saved not staying at a resort we had plenty to spare on things like spa treatments and gourmet meals.

Our Own Schedule
Instead of scheduling pricey excursions through the resort, we went on the same excursions for a fraction of the cost, but we did them on our own time. It was amazing to set our schedule each day and not be dependent on anyone else. We would start each day by visiting a Maya Ruin first thing in the morning. Not only did we beat the heat of the day, but we also beat the hordes of tour buses that start arriving midday. By that time, we’d be long gone and enjoying cocktails + afternoon naps on the beach.
Mexico is a genuinely beautiful country, filled with history and culture. And now I will always think twice about booking a resort stay because it's never worth it to trade in bucket list experiences simply for the convenience of a resort. 


  1. I totally agree with this way of traveling. John and I are taking a similar approach for our honeymoon. There are so many hidden treasures if you're willing to branch out and explore off the beaten path. And I love that action shot of you jumping mid air!

    1. We started traveling this way for budget purposes, but now we find that the budget has little control over why for us. We prefer to adventure this way now and actually explore.

  2. I definitely agree that traveling and experiencing the area vs staying in a resort is the way to go, most of the time. We debated doing this when we went to Mexico for our anniversary but decided a resort was what was best for our well-being, especially with the 20+ trips we took last year. We wanted to take this vacation and relax as much as possible. We still did excursions (that I planned- not through the hotel because they are always so expensive) but kept it minimal and just enjoyed the beach and pool for the most part. We decided seeing the Caribbean while staying at a resort is what we enjoy, but everyone else (especially Europe) is so much better staying in an airbnb or smaller hotel and really living like a local. You guys were able to see and do so much!

    1. It's always interesting to see HOW different people travel. We have definitely stayed at resorts before while visiting the Caribbean, but this time around we found it to be incredibly safe/ easy to travel around Mexico on our own. We figure we can lay around the beach all day when we're older or have small kiddos in tow. For now we definitely wanted to DO a lot of things and skipping the resort stay this time allowed us to do so on our budget. Initially, this didn't occur to us as an option, but once it did, it was OUR best option. Everyone's seems to be a bit different