Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Month in Mexico – The Bottom Line

  Lake Chapala, Mexico, Sunset - photo by Mike D'Cruze
As usual on a trip, I kept a small spiral notepad in my purse to record each day's expenditures, but I think I prefer David's approach. He looks at his bank statements to see how much money he withdrew from ATMs, subtracts any left-over money from that total, and, finally, adds pre-paid expenses (airline tickets, for example) to arrive at a final figure.
No matter which method we use, though, the total cost was about the same for each of us. The total includes a hotel in Tijuana the first night (We had an early morning flight from the Tijuana Airport and felt it easier to cross the border the day before.), the round-trip flight to Guadalajara, round-trip bus tickets to San Miguel de Allende, five-nights' accommodations in San Miguel de Allende, a tour guide to Guanajuato, gasoline, taxis, food, entertainment, museum fees, restaurant meals (We splurged on this category, eating out almost once a day because restaurants are so reasonable in Mexico.), gifts, souvenirs, and maid services (The friends for whom we pet-sat paid all other expenses, but we felt it only fair to pay for the weekly housekeeper.) I also had a few additional expenses because of my illness, but, still, David and I each spent around $1500 or roughly $45 a day per person.

The $45 per day beats our expenses in France of $83 per day per person last September, but, then, in Mexico we had free accommodations, and most everything in Mexico is cheaper than it is in France—or in San Diego! An excellent meal at a restaurant can cost as much as it does in Paris, but it's far more likely to be around $4-8. Gasoline is only $2.50 per gallon—cheaper than it is in San Diego. Fresh produce is bountiful and almost unbelievably inexpensive (We gorged on red raspberries, strawberries and blackberries at $2 a quart.), and stock grocery items, as long as we avoided imported brands, cost much less and often tasted far better than the items in San Diego (David is still talking about the heavy cream he used in his coffee.)

We think we would be hard-pressed to find any other place in the world where we could have had such a wonderful time at such a reasonable price. Evidently many others feel the same. In 2008, Fox News estimated that 1.2 million Americans call Mexico their permanent home, and ABC News predicted last year that many of the 76 million baby boomers retiring in the next several years, will find the allure of Mexico irresistible.

If you haven't visited United States's neighbor to the south, why not give it a try?  This beautiful country is steeped in history; has more World Heritage Sites than anywhere else in North America; is blessed with world-famous beach resorts; and its people are warm and welcoming.  I also make one more guarantee.  The prices in Mexico will please you and your pocketbook!  I promise.

Practicalities -
Click here to see a record of the only violence I saw in Mexico!

1 comment:

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