What we spent: December 2017


We spent the first three weeks of December in San Cristóbal de las Casas and the last week in the Yucatán. Since we began our trip four months ago, we've managed to stick to a budget of $1,000 USD a month including all costs for two people. This month, what really helped was:

  • purchasing our bus tickets from San Cristóbal to Mérida in October (they counted towards October's expenses — and we still were under budget that month!)
  • cooking a good amount of our meals at home with fresh ingredients from the market
  • staying with family and friends the last week in the Yucatán
  • the fact that while many consider Mexico mid-range in travel costs, it's seriously cheap compared to any US standards

Total monthly budget (for two people): $1,000 USD

Total daily budget: $32.88 USD

What we spent: $923.32 USD

Average daily cost: $29.78 USD

Days on budget: 11

Days over budget: 7

Days under budget: 13


Total spent: $298.62

Percent of monthly spending: 32%

When we're going to be in a place for awhile, we usually opt for an Airbnb. Because many hosts offer good discounts for weekly and monthly stays, we find that the price of an apartment is usually on par or better than two dorm beds in a hostel. Save money PLUS have a private bedroom and bathroom? Yes, please!

We rented the most charming cottage in San Cristóbal right off one of the main pedestrian streets. We loved the place so much that we said if we were ready to plant roots somewhere, we'd buy that cottage. Gardens, a loft bedroom with a tempurpedic mattress, and a beautifully tiled kitchen, we were sold.

Lucky for us, we were able to save money in the Yucatán because Rebecca's family came to visit us in Mérida for Christmas. Her family rented a gorgeous three-bedroom house with a private pool in the city's historic center (also through Airbnb). Then, a friend from the US came down and rented a beachfront house in Chicxulub where we rang in the New Year.

While we took more than a few long-haul bus rides, once we arrived at each destination, we were living rather luxuriously.


Total spent: $171.76

Percent of monthly spending: 18.6%

San Cristóbal's pedestrian streets lined with warm, inviting cafés and restaurants kept us coming back for more. Whether it was a chai latte or a vegan burger, a tamal or a slice of pizza, it was food heaven and we ate out about once per day. We also had one of the best meals not just of this journey, but of our lives, at Trattoria Italiana. A fine dinner including two appetizers, two entrées, and tip set us back $25 USD and was so delicious, we went twice.


Total spent: $133.91

Percent of monthly spending: 14.5%

The market in San Cristóbal had the freshest produce we've seen at any market, and the prices can't be beat. With such a variety of fruits, veggies, and legumes picked that morning, we rarely went to the actual grocery store.


Total spent: $44.65

Percent of monthly spending: 4.8%

Caguamas anyone? Anywhere we can buy a couple 1.2 liter bottles of beer for less than $3 is a great place in our books. Plus, definitely try some posh while in San Cristóbal (it's worth splurging a little for the good stuff).

Sweet treats

Total spent: $22.31

Percent of monthly spending: 2.4%

Dulce de leche, crepas, and churros. Need we say more?

Health & hygiene

Total spent: $28.51

Percent of monthly spending: 3.1%

Long-distance travel

Total spent: $112.51

Percent of monthly spending: 12.2%

We were all over Mexico this month, traveling between Chiapas, the Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.

Local transportation

Total spent: $20.53

Percent of monthly spending: 2.2%


Total spent: $57.45

Percent of monthly spending: 6.2%


Total spent: $7.71

Percent of monthly spending: 0.8%

Jared's bathing suit was literally in tatters, so we grabbed a new one in Playa del Carmen. 

Border crossings & visas

Total spent: $0.00

Percent of monthly spending: 0%

We spent the entire month in Mexico, so no borders were crossed.


Total spent: $25.37

Percent of monthly spending: 2.7%

Includes things like $0.25 USD to use the public restroom.