Cozumel was one of my personal favorite destinations because of how inexpensive it was. Similar to Haiti the locals were very easy to haggle with. If you haven’t read my post on haggling than that’s an absolute must. Click here to go back to my post on how to haggle; haggling is essential to traveling on a budget. The only thing in Mexico is that they constantly try to sell you marijuana! Constantly is a understatement because I’ve had over 25 people try to sell pot to me over the course of the my trip. We spend 1 day there.
Don’t be mistaken – pot isn’t actually legal there. I don’t think the authorities will send you to jail, but I would test it. If you love to get high for cheap then Mexico is definitely your spot! My wife and I are more into adventures than sitting around getting smashed or high. Enough about that garbage though. Lets focus on how to save you cash.
Eat Cheap in Mexico
The trip that we took was part our cheap cruise through Royal Caribbean. It was an amazing experience. We had our first turtle burger which was so delicious! One thing you’ll notice right off the bat if you look the part of a foreigner is that the price that you may goes up significantly for everything. The turtle burger place actually gave us menus with more expensive prices than that of the locals. Noticing the less expensive menu while heading towards the bathroom was quite surprising. Surprising nonetheless their policy made a lot of sense.
What is really stopping them from taking advantage of tourists?
- Reviews? “Oh dear, we should look up the local shop on yelp or foursquare before we eat here” – said no one ever.
- Laws? I doubt its against the law, and often these places aren’t thrilled with dealing with stuck up Americans anyway.
- Bad PR? You go to a restaurant in another country because how it looks from the outside. You don’t worry about PR or reputation. The only thing you may focus on is social proof. As long as there are enough people already eating at it then usually that’s a green-light.
- Morals? Morals go to the side when you’re making a living trying to feed your family. They are only cheating people that are wealthy enough to be cheated.
The solution is to do your research.
- Do 2 minutes of research on your phone. Somebody has got to have put a bad review up there after getting ripped off.
- Haggle with sizes of dishes. Often you can’t haggle the actual price of the dish but you can always sweet talk the waitress into making your portion size bigger.
- Don’t tip! You’ll never see the person again, and quite frankly they probably are charging you more anyway. Second to that, these people know that you probably won’t tip anyway so they factor it in to the higher price.
- Return the favor by taking two minutes and reviewing a restaurant. Make sure that you inform your reader that you are traveling!
Cheap Fun in Cozumel
The cheapest fun we had all trip was the Jet Skis we rented for next to nothing. The fellow offered 30 minutes of riding for $80 each. I paid $40 for an 45 minutes of riding for my wife and I. On separate jet skis by the way. How? I haggled hard like you can read about here. After slamming him with my elite haggling skills I sold him on the fact that I was going to dinner at his restaurant after. After getting his price down to $60 I said “we’re really looking to burn some calories on the water before we go to nice restaurant – is that yours up there?”. That one liner was all I needed to secure a cheap Jet Ski ride with my wife.