My costs start in Tlaquepaque and include:
- Transport from my Tlaquepaque Homestay to my Ajijic Vacation Rental
- 7 nights in a GRANDPAcking Standard Fan Room in a Vacation Rental
- Food & Drink
- Mobile Data / Communications
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Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.
MY ACTUAL 1 PERSON GRANDPAcking COSTS:
Cost Of Existence (COE):
My costs are purely provided for information purposes.
I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.
Accommodation: My Vacation Rental met (if not exceeded) ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’; It was a Double Aircon Room with a big Hot Water Ensuite.
Transport: I did not need any transport; I walked everywhere.
Communications & Fees: In Puerto Vallarta, I purchased a 1 month TELCEL Package with unlimited calls & texts and 2GBs of data; I topped this up for another month in Tlaquepaque. I did not need a top up in Ajijic.
Food & Drink:
I averaged MXP110 / day. But, you should totally ignore my figures.
In Ajijic I decided to go on a ‘Health Binge’ and to keep away from day after day of endless Tacos … I mostly ate muesli, fruit, unsweatened natural yogurt, nuts, and dolmades (from the bottom of my street). This was washed down with anti-oxidant Cranberry Green Tea and Lemon Iced Tea laced with Tequila … I never said that I was perfect! 🙂
Even with the high cost of accommodation, my ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was MXP557 / NZ$44 / US$30 / €28 / £24.
Cost Of LIVING (COL):
My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were MXP451 / NZ$36 / US$25 / €23 / £20.
Visa: There is no Visa Apportionment. The 180 Day Visitor’s Visa is free.
Getting There: It cost me MXP83 to get from my Tlaquepaque Hotel to my Ajijic Vacation Rental. This consisted of 1 UBER Taxi, 1 Local Bus and 1 Long Distance Bus.
Drink / Partying: A 350ml bottle of Corona costs MXP25 almost everywhere. However, I am trying the local Tequila with Iced Tea (you should try it … I discovered it in The Philippines, it is actually very nice). I averaged MXP71 / night on drinks.
Entertainment / Trips: None.
Other / Gifts: None.
My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at MXP629 / NZ$50 / US$34 / €32 / £27 per day. This was 62% of my total budget … I still had 38% left to play with.
WHAT IT SHOULD COST 2 GRANDPAckers:
To afford to take a GRANDPAcking ‘Holiday’ to Ajijic, you will need to choose where to stay very carefully. There isn’t much around online within the GRANDPAcker price range.
I suggest that you start looking for hotel ‘specials’ online (with someone like AGODA or BOOKING) well in advance and compare them with the Holiday Rentals found on TRIPADVISOR. Then, you can pick the best deal for you.
Cost Of Existence (COE):
Accommodation: In Mexico, it is hard to find a decent ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Ensuite online for less than MXP500 / night. Under MXP500 you are usually looking at below standard rooms in Hostels and / or rooms with Shared Bathrooms.
In Ajijic, expect to pay as much as MXP700 / night when you first arrive but MXP500 after you have looked around and negotiated a discount.
Big discounts will be hard to find … Ajijic is full in Peak Season … the Hotels don’t have to discount … but they will give you something if you are staying more than a few days.
Target rooms in the MXP600-700 / night range and make them an offer of MXP500. This should get you a nice fan (or aircon – but you don’t really need aircon) room with hot water ensuite.
Cheaper options are available but I did not have a chance to look at any of the rooms. For example the Hotel Italo that backs on to the Church offers rooms at a reasonable rack rate … if you want to be in the heart of the old town and you are happy to put up with the ringing of the bells now and again. Note that ‘C/COCINA’ means kitchenette.
I have budgeted for you to stay in a Vacation Rental (i.e. the one that I stayed in) for the first week and the rest of the month in your chosen hotel.
Transport: You do not need transport. I have budgeted for you to take a Day Trip to Chapala Town each week on a local bus.
Communications: I have included a prepaid 1 Month TELCEL ‘unlimited’ calls & texts MXP150 Package with 400MBs of data.
Food: You will not get breakfast included with your accommodation. Target a cheap breakfast in your favourite local cafe. Do the same for Lunch. For Dinner, I have budgeted for you to have something from the lower quartile of the menu in a budget restaurant. The budget that I have provided is enough for you to NOT have to eat Tacos every meal.
The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about MXP852 / NZ$68 / US$46 / €43 / £37 per day.
Cost Of LIVING:
This is about MXP156 per day to LIVE on (i.e. 15% of your GRANDPAcking budget).
With that amount of LIVING funds available you could:
- Buy 6 bottles of Corona or 6 House Wines
- Buy more of the same in Happy Hour
- Buy a 1.5L bottle of cheap Tequila (MXP100)
- Upgrade your Dinner to something from the upper quartile of the menu in a budget restaurant
- Get down to the Lake Chapala Society and see what they have going on
On a GRANDPAcking Budget, LIVING will be ‘tight’.
Ajijic is worth a visit.
The problem is the cost of accommodation.
Ajijic has made it into my GRANDPAcking Retirement REVIEWS.
Come for a month and have a look … you will easily meet other retirees … and, who knows, you may become the 20,001st person to call Ajijic ‘home’.
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