Costs For the Trip Down to Mexico

I’m glad no one asked me in a comment about how I was handling the exchange rate in the US while I was traveling down last week because I didn’t want to talk about that until I was landed in Mexico. You see, the exchange rate wasn’t an issue for me because I was traveling with way more (USD) cash than I feel comfortable traveling with… One of my clients pays me through wire transfer into a USD account. For whatever reason, I’m not allowed to access that account from outside Canada.

So I crunched some numbers and made a large withdrawal that would cover all my fuel, hotel, food, and miscellaneous costs (like sandals), and leave me enough to pay cash for my vehicle deposit so that that amount, plus a little extra, would mean that I at least had fuel money in USD cash to get me back home in the spring.

So how did I handle the exchange rate? I refused to think about it. If I had, I wouldn’t have had nearly as good a time! I always plan my budget as though USD and CAD are at par and the currency difference, at least at this time, is ‘bonus’ money. So I didn’t get my ‘bonus’ for October, but I at least didn’t have to think about how much that $20 meal (or whatever) was ‘really’ costing me!

My fuel costs to come south were:

In the US: 244.35USD (about 330CAD)

In MX: 2,000MXN (about 170CAD)

Total: 500CAD. This is exactly what it cost me to go north in the spring!

My hotel costs were:

In the US: 463.35USD/66.19USD per night (about 610CAD/87.14CAD per night)

In MX: 1,200MXN/600MXN per night (about 102CAD/51CAD per night)

Total: 712CAD or 79CAD per night

My tolls in MX were:

About 445MXN, or about 38CAD.

Total in CAD to travel south: 1,250CAD

(I don’t count in food because I have to eat regardless of where I am so I don’t separate meals out from groceries.)

Of course, if I had less of a gas guzzler, the fuel costs could be reduced substantially. But my beloved gas guzzler will not be replaced until I know whether or not I’m moving permanently to Mexico. Anyway, she pays for her gluttony by being such a comfortable and reliable ride!

A flight to Maz round trip is about the same cost, but considering the hassle to get to the airport in Regina, the lost night of sleep because of the super short layover in Calgary, not being able to bring everything I need, and the fact that I love driving and took this as being a bit of a vacation, I am super glad that I don’t make decisions based strictly on my bottom line.

8 thoughts on “Costs For the Trip Down to Mexico

  1. I too would much rather drive than fly. When I worked there was hardly a week went by that I was not sitting for several hours in some kind of big or small aircraft or helicopter. The novelty of flying wore off about 25 years before I retired and the novelty and excitement was replaced by boredom. I hate hanging out around airports looking for a comfortable, quiet seat to doze in. Give me my motorhome any day!

    We must remember that you are paid in US dollars for the most part and it is like a 30% bonus when converted to Canadian!

    • The novelty of flying has ended for me. It’s just more practical to drive in this situation.

      The current exchange rate is having a lot to do with the fact that I have more free time right now, that’s for sure!

      • The cost of the airplane ticket is just a small part of the expense of flying. Add in airport meals, taxis, shuttles, rooms in expensive airport hotels to wait for that 5 AM flight, car rentals…. the list goes on.

    • Some people don’t get that… John teased me about my rust bucket, but I would never have wanted to do that kind of mileage in a tiny car like his Prius!

      • Just after leaving Monterrey on my way to Zacatecas, I was stopped by a pair of Federales, who inspected my vehicle carefully. After looking around it, and under it and satisfied that I wasn’t a threat to the country, they asked me why the truck was so rusty. It was all I could do not to laugh. (I was driving an ’89 Toyota pickup from Massachusetts.) I explained to them that we had a lot of snow, and that the city put lots of salt on the roads to melt it, and that that was very hard on cars.

        Ah, if only I were so ignorant of rust on cars and trucks!


        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where the same truck is still rusting, though it is admittedly in very good shape for its age.

        P.S. My truck is also more comfortable than a smaller car I also own.

        • The sea air is also terrible for vehicles! My truck was quite rusty when I got here last year, but after six months by the sea, I started losing parts of it…

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