Visiting Cancun on a budget during the summer months is possible because the rates on accommodations go way down. A cheap vacation to Cancun is easy to find if you know how to purchase airfare and where to stay to get the best deal. Also, keep in mind that even though Cancun is a tourist destination, it is in Mexico and they have different standards of living than we do here in America. If you expect your accommodations to look like a hotel room you have stayed at here in the states, you are not approaching your vacation realistically. Make sure to research the area where you intend to stay. The best site for researching a destination is This site features real people giving honest reviews about the places they have traveled to. Read the good and the bad reviews to decide what area of Cancun is the best choice for you.

Recent events in Mexico have prompted the Mexican government to issue travel advisories. These advisories mainly pertain to travel in the area of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Cancun is located many miles away from the area mentioned in the travel advisory. In addition, since the events of 9/11 it is now required for all travelers to Mexico to have a Passport. Make sure you allow enough time before your vacation to receive your passport.

The first advance purchase you will make for the trip to Cancun is airfare. is the best online site to shop for airfare to Cancun. Start shopping for tickets about four months before your planned departure date. Buy roundtrip tickets to depart on a Saturday and to return on a Saturday to get the cheapest price.

Next, you will need to plan where you will stay in advance. Rent a timeshare or vacation rental for the trip. You will have the use of a kitchenette and can make your own meals and drinks. In addition, you can get a rental for less than the price of a hotel or resort and can save a lot of money on meals and drinks. Go to to start pricing a vacation rental. Make sure to pay special attention to all the amenities listed by the owner and the photos of the property.

When planning what to pack for your trip to Cancun, keep in mind these recommendations:

– The heat during the summer months in Cancun will cause you to sweat. It is possible you will not be wearing a shirt more than once day. You will need to pack plenty of shirts or make sure your rental has a laundry room.

– Pack the Pepto or Imodium. Taking Pepto or Imodium twice or four times a day keeps most people from getting Montezuma's Revenge (or as they now call it Traveler's Disease). This can sometimes happen from eating local food. If you plan to eat out at all in Cancun, this is necessary!

– Pack two types of suntan lotion, one with a high SPF and one lower once you have a nice base tan going.

– Pack some Mosquito repellant for the beach and outside areas.

When your flight arrives, you will need to exchange your currency so you can take a bus to your destination. The best way to get some Mexican currency for the bus is to use your debit card at the ATM at the Cancun Airport. Beware of the vendors at the Cancun airport. They will offer you everything from a stay at a timeshare, tours or a cab ride. They are just scammers trying to make a buck.

You will not need to rent a car when traveling to Cancun. They have a public transportation system. There really are not any bus stops. Tourists can just flag down a bus and the bus will stop. They only accept Mexican currency. Make sure you hold on to something or take a seat immediately after paying the fare. The bus driver will not wait for you to sit. Otherwise, you will spend the bus trip with your face smashed up against the window in the back of the bus! Once you have dropped off your luggage at your destination you will want to take another bus trip to Wal-Mart in Cancun to stock up on groceries and alcoholic beverages for the week. Also, make sure to pick up plenty of bottled water, as you will need it for brushing your teeth, making coffee and for cooking. It is a good idea to drink only the bottled water.

There is no shortage of things to do once you get to Cancun. If you plan to snorkel, buy some simple equipment in the states and take it with you. It is much cheaper than renting the equipment once you get there. You can also do some deep-sea fishing. Show up at the dock early in the morning (about 6:00am) before all the boats have booked their guests for the day. You can negotiate a cheaper price this way. When you return you can have a local restaurant located by the dock cook up the fresh fish for you. You will find plenty of vendors that offer tours. The best way to get a good price is to shop around once you get to Cancun. You can also take day trips to Cozumel or Isla Mujeres. You can take a cheap and fast ferry to these islands. Cozumel is a do not miss if you like to scuba dive. Isla Mujeres is great for getting away from the crowds. It is a very laid back little island with great food at reasonable prices. The current there is very calm which makes it ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Author: Brigitte DeCourdray