Planning a Budget Vacation? Looking to score some Mexico – Belize Travel deals? Today’s post is for you. Talented Jewelery Designer Sofa City Sweethearts is sharing her trials – tribulations and great research information as she walks us through making her 2 person San Pedro Belize trip happen within a low travel budget. Be sure and check out her cool new site featuring Belize picture jewelery cool custom pet bling and more.
Belize on a Budget by Sofa City Sweethearts
Vacations, for me, are a luxury that come along very rarely. And when they do, strict budgeting is always required.
I have been planning my visit to San Pedro since LAST January. I certainly didn’t wish for it to take this long, by any means. But operating with little, or no, disposable income turns vacation planning simply into wishful thinking. And that’s exactly what it was.
My boyfriend and I had recently started looking to make extra cash outside of our real jobs. He began playing music at local bars on the weekends. And I was working on building a business on Etsy (www.sofacitysweethearts.com), selling my handmade jewelry and pet products. It wasn’t long before we both started dreaming of quitting our casino jobs. Then I began thinking of us picking up and moving, leaving behind the old jobs and post-Katrina stresses that we deal with day-to-day. Belize was at the top of my mind. Many months passed, but our goal remained very clear. And with lots of hard work, we were both able to begin the new year self-employed. I still have to pinch myself on that one.
My next goal was to get us to Belize, ASAP. However, my much more level-headed other half refused to entertain my idea of moving to a place we’ve never been. So back to vacation planning. It was worth a shot, though. I was shocked to learn how expensive flights were. I couldn’t find a flight from New Orleans to Belize City for under $750. The flight alone was more than our entire trip budget. Hope was dwindling.
I started looking for alternatives- maybe driving, or taking a bus. But neither of us could afford to take off the amount of time it would take to do either of those. And driving through Mexico seemed frightening. After many school years of taking Spanish classes, all I can remember is how to ask if I can go to the bathroom. This surely would not be a good idea.
So back to square one. I Googled every single combination of words I could think of to find a cheaper alternative. And then I came across a blog post that mentioned how cheap flights are to Cancun. Off to search again. I was able to find tickets from Atlanta to Cancun for $298/person. The savings are definitely worth the 6 hour drive to ATL. So I quickly booked it. That was a great moment, knowing that this trip was finally going to happen. We leave on May 9, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Tips I’ve learned so far:
-Do not get a cab from the airport to the Cancun bus station. It will be expensive and unnecessary. There are buses leaving the airport hourly to Playa Del Carmen ($10 US). This will take you 45 minutes.
-From there, you can choose to switch buses and head toward Chetumal (about $17 USD and 4.5 hours) or to spend the night in Playa and start again the next morning. If you choose to stay in Playa, there is a nice hotel within walking distance to the bus station. It will cost you only $44-52 USD (taxes included). *This is where we will be staying.
-From Chetumal, you can cross into Belize and head to Corozal to take a Tropic Air flight to San Pedro. Or you could take the water taxi directly from Chetumal. This leaves daily at 3pm.
Here’s my expected cost breakdown for my trip (excluding food, taxes, taxi (if needed to/from Chetumal bus station), and entertainment) per person:
*hotel costs are split between 2 people
Round-trip flight $298 USD
Bus from airport $10 (45 mins)
Hotel Alux (Playa Del Carmen)- $22 (taxes included)
Bus to Chetumal $17
Water taxi to San Pedro -$40.50 (1/2 of cost if booked round-trip and including the tacogirl specials 10% discount)
3 nights at Pedro’s Inn (San Pedro)- $67.50 (with 10% tacogirl specials discount)
Return water taxi trip to Chetumal- $40.50
Bus to Playa Del Carmen- $17 (4.5-5 hours)
Hotel Alux -$22 (taxes included)
Bus to Cancun Airport $9 (1 hour)
Cancun International Airport – Cancun Airport bus station information
Hotel Alux Playa Del Carmen
Mexico Bus travel
San Pedro Water Taxi
Pedro’s Hotel – cheap rooms priceless San Pedro Belize adventure