Budget Friendly Trip to Cancun

living in MN means craving a nice warm beach vacay sometimes!!!! This is just mapping out how I decided what to book and what deals I found.


First, check out google flights:

Not fully tracking yet but just kind of get an idea of timing frame and a few places that have cheaper flights around that time. I think I narrowed it down to St. Thomas, Cuba, and Cancun. Then, look up a general idea of hotels in those cities. Another thing I took into consideration was flight length, since we are just going to a long weekend I didn’t want to waste a full day traveling.

Track (on google) the top one or two places with some dates that work or that are the cheapest.

I found a weekend that had some decently cheap flights but I recently heard about skiplagged.com and checked it out just to see if they had anything different. It’s a website that finds flights that have a lay over (not advertised) and you would then exit at that layover stop, and not continue to the “final” destination.

I actually found one that is supposed to be going to Phoenix, and has a layover in MSP. It was at least $100 cheaper which I find so crazy. Then, for the flight there I decided to use some of my Capital one Credit card points to book! Hopefully if you plan further in advance there are some cheap round trip flights.

Total for flights:

“Free” 22,000 points ($220) flight to Cancun

$362 for flight home - for some reason flying home this day was expensive!

Second, Hotel:

I did a lot of research for this part. I knew I really wanted all inclusive but I also wasn’t trying to break the bank. I did a cost comparison (just quick math) on paying for drinks, food and hotel vs all inclusive. It was cheaper for all inclusive but I will say looking back I did not take into account that we would be doing 2 days of excursions with meals and drinks on those…It might have came out differently if I planned on that ahead of time.

We stayed at the Krystal Cancun. It was actually nicer than the pictures made it look. There are multiple restaurants and a concierge service! I made this reservation through booking.com which gave me extra credit card points for my Capital one Venture card. This was $450 per person for 4 nights - 5 days! That was cheaper than some regular hotels with no food or drinks included.

We did need to tip however - I think we stuck around $1 per drink or if we just got two beers a dollar for both. I’d probably say around $50

Third, Activities:

I knew Nick would want to do something adventurous and I also wanted to get out on a boat at some point. So I started researching excursions and prices. Of course knowing that Chichen Itza is near Cancun I knew we had to make a stop there. Goal to see all 7 wonders!!

Day Trip to Chichen Itza

This is the one we booked $65 that included a lunch and a stop at a cenote (swimming hole) — Honestly, this trip got a little long I could have just done with a trip to Chichen Itza and back! Each stop the guide has to explain to everyone the schedule and what’s going on blah blah blah… but it also was moved along quickly.

I wish they had a tour that was just bus to Chichen Itza and back. I haven’t found one with only that, sadly.

Catamaran to Isla Mujeres

I LOVED spending time on this Island. It was a nice ride over to it, snorkel, and spending time at it. I had no idea but the tour I booked stopped at another Island on the way back with like a mini all inclusive park? I’m not sure what to call it. There was a buffet, pools, bar, showers, bathrooms, but you just stopped there for the day. Everyone else on our tour wasn’t staying at an all inclusive resort so they were pumped to spend a long time there. Nick and I were ready to head back the second we got there. So I definitely would not do that one.

This is the one we booked. $50

This is the one you should book :) $69 (I’m sure there’s a cheaper one) Without lunch included, because the best place to eat is on the island!!! Taquería La Cueva IS A MUST. Super cheap tacos, g vibes.

Total Budget for 5 days 4 nights: roughly $987 per person

Flights - 362

Hotel - 450

Tips- 50

Catamaran(plus tacos) - 60

Chichen Itza - 65

Hope this helps with planning a trip to Cancun!!!