Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico

I’m still in awe of the people who built the pyramids of Teotihuacan.  When I was standing on top of the Pyramid of the Moon and looking out along the avenue of the dead, I could see just how much work went into the development.  The fact that the pyramids have survived over 1,800 years speaks to how well they were planned for and constructed.  There’s very little that can still have an impact that far into the future.  I’m left contemplating how small a piece of the world I am, and how thankful I am for these opportunities.

These are experiences you won’t get by sitting in a hotel or resort all day.  These experiences are real, tangible, life changing, and worth every penny.

Expenses

Date Cost Description
Flight
4/12/2017 $597.06 2 tickets for Delta Round Trip – Tampa / Mexico City
Lodging
4/12/2017 $104.00 AirBnB – Private room, shared bathroom in downtown Mexico City
Transportation
6/9/2017 $14.80 Ride to airport in Tampa
6/9/2017 $20.00 Taxi fee from airport to AirBnB
6/12/2017 $0.59 Subway fare to Mexico City airport
6/12/2017 $15.17 Ride from airport in Tampa
$751.62 Flight, Lodging and Transportation Cost
Food
6/7/2017 $5.39 Publix – Bread, snacks
6/9/2017 $34.54 Cuban sandwich and two beers at the airport
6/10/2017 $4.97 Breakfast goodies, water bottles
6/10/2017 $26.50 Cerveceria – Fish tacos, seafood lasagna, three margaritas and ice cream
6/11/2017 $3.09 Bakery breakfast
6/11/2017 $24.85 Dinner on the rooftop
6/12/2017 $5.19 Bakery breakfast
6/12/2017 $16.16 Two mimosas at the airport
6/12/2017 $35.98 TGI Friday’s in Atlanta – two beers, chicken tenders
$156.67 Food Cost
Experiences
6/10/2017 $18.22 2 tickets for City Tour Bus – Hop on, hop off
6/10/2017 $7.73 2 tickets for Entry to tour the castle
6/11/2017 $60.00 2 tickets for Tour bus out to Teotihuacan
Gifts/Souvenirs
6/9/2017 $15.00 Two magnets, two small statues of the Pyramids for Michael’s desk
6/9/2017 $20.00 Blanket with the Mayan Calendar for the living room
$120.95 Extra Cost
$1,029.24 Total Spent
  $514.62 per person

Flight

I used Google Flights Explore Destinations (filtered for price under $400) and tried to gauge which destinations were cheaper for June.  Once I settled on Mexico City, I went back to the regular google flights and optimized price by choosing the cheapest dates.

Lodging

I wanted to be in the historical center of the city where I was planning to spend most of my time.  I didn’t want to drive, so I chose the best and safest AirBnB I could find in a prime location.  I chose a private room so that there would be someone who could advise on the area and who could make sure I got home at night.  I had a credit for $100 because I had a guest cancel on me who wanted me to waive my “Moderate” cancellation policy and went through AirBnB to make it happen, so my “cost” for the stay was actually only $4.  Definitely didn’t make up for the lost income, but appreciated nonetheless!

Transportation

We left our cars at work and took an Uber to and from the airport.  We landed around midnight in Mexico City so we took a taxi directly to our AirBnB since it was already so late and we wanted to be safe.  The prime location meant no rental car was needed.  We did take the subway back to the airport, which was really cheap and efficient.

Food

We had peanut butter sandwiches, cheez-its, and Twizzlers for the trip.  We ate out more than I normally would have because it was an enjoyable shared experience before our flights (note that half the food dollars were spent at the US airports).  We could easily have saved by buying more groceries or bringing more snacks to the airport.  The food was so cheap that meal prep before the trip wasn’t necessarily a “cost saver” while we were there, and buying sandwiches/snacks in the convenience store would have likely been around the same price, but it made things significantly more convenient because we didn’t have to find a store when we arrived or look for a place to eat in the middle of our adventures.

**Note on Currency: Bring a debit card and get pesos from an ATM.  (Don’t forget to alert the bank that you will be traveling.)  The credit card network is underdeveloped so it can be very difficult without any pesos.  The subway and bus only take cash, and many of the small shops and cafes only take cash.  We did negotiate with some of the street vendors using USD, but they obviously don’t take credit cards.

Adventures

The Cathedral in Mexico City

Our flight left at 5:30pm, so we enjoyed dinner at the airport since we went directly from work.  We had a connection in Atlanta.  We arrived in Mexico City at midnight and went through customs.  Then we took a taxi to our AirBnB.  We were shown around the apartment and then went straight to bed.

Our first morning, we stopped at a kiosk for water bottles and breakfast goodies.  Then we walked around the Centro Historico and jumped on a Turibus, a giant double decker bus that took us all around the city.  We started off with the Cathedral and the Palace near the main square, rode over to the Monument to the Revolution (with plenty of statues and architecture along the way), walked through the park and the Chapultepec castle (where we ate our sandwiches on a bench), rode past more statues and parks and through the part of the city where all the hipsters live, and ended our tour at the Hemiciclo a Juarez monument.  There, we walked through the park and the booths selling goods.  Then we grabbed dinner.  One last stop at the Temple Mejor before we went back to the AirBnB after to crash.

Sitting on top of the Pyramid of the Moon and looking out at the Pyramid of the Sun

The second day, we had breakfast at a bakery.  Then we took a tour bus out to Teotihuacan.  We drove past the city outskirts, which were very colorful.  We stopped at a site where they make jewelry and carve obsidian.  We climbed the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, and we walked along the Avenue of the Dead.  We spent over two hours at the site.  Then tour bus dropped us off back at the Cathedral.  We walked over to a sky restaurant that overlooked the entire area from 5 stories up.  I’m pretty sure it was the best view in Mexico City.  We stopped in a seminary and walked along the shops.  Then back to the AirBnB to pack up and get some sleep.

Our last morning, we put on our backpacks, left a thank you note for our AirBnB host, and were on our way.  No worry with dragging around luggage or trying to come back to pick it up.  We walked over to the square one last time, had breakfast at the bakery, and then we took the subway to the airport.  We had a lot of trouble navigating between terminals, and had to run through the airport since we were a bit late.  Thankful for no delayed/lost luggage to worry about!  Another benefit of traveling light.

More frugal travel…

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