Destinations,  Travel Tips

“Crafted” Mexican Vacation

Riu Santa Fe Cabo San Lucas

MEXICO!

Deciding where to go next isn’t something we take lightly. Every trip we take we want it to provide us with a new experience. When presented with an all-inclusive trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with 25 of our friends we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. 

A trip that required zero planning and opportunity to completely veg out seemed like the perfect remedy to our oh so busy lives. Between wedding planning, career switching, honeymoon planning, starting a blog, selling our condo, buying our new home & moving. Sitting on the beach with a Pina Colada in hand seemed perfect!

Expectation

Originally when I thought about how this post would go, I thought I would be talking about travelling with a large group, things to do in Cabo, places to eat etc. My previous trips to Mexico were filled with adventure, history, over eating and sleeping on the beach and I was expecting nothing less. Although, as travelling never goes how we planned, even when there is no planning involved, this post is going to take a different direction than anticipated.

Reality & Breaking it Down

If you’re thinking about you’re next vacation and all-inclusive is top of mind then this is the post for you. I have been on 3 all-inclusive Mexico trips throughout my life. On our last vacation to Los Cabos we got to talking with a couple of our friends about the other vacation opportunities we had. Between 4 of us we spent $6000 for 7 days 😯  which is a ton of money to spend in Mexico! Of course that doesn’t include the Domino’s pizza that we ordered twice {the resort food had made half our group sick} {check out my post on how to prep for & survive food poisoning here} the excursion that was paid for that we didn’t get to go on because of said food poisoning and all the americanized snacks bought at the resort used for recovery from said food poisoning.

 

All Inclusive vs. Build Your Own

All-inclusive resorts sound amazing, unlimited booze, unlimited food, unlimited fun! What good is that though, if the food is cold, bland, stale and makes you sick? You know the pools aren’t clean because you’ve been surrounded by the same people for 7 hours straight drinking and they haven’t gotten out once. The drinks not only lack consistency in what you’re ordering but most of the time don’t come close to tasting or resembling what you ordered (since when is a regular mojito yellow?) 

It was these thoughts alone that sparked the thought “Was this worth the $35,000 spent between the 27 of us? What could we have gotten if we looked at Air BnB?” Typically all-inclusive resorts are located in countries that are cheap to travel to in regards to accommodation, food & alcohol. I’ve done some of my own research looking up what it would cost to plan your own “all-inclusive” trip so you can be the best judge of what vacation would best suit your needs. 

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Planning a Mexican Vacation

Flights

Round trip flights our of Vancouver International Airport to Mexico (Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose del Cabo) range in price anywhere from $300 CAD to $500 CAD. The biggest benefit to not booking all-inclusive is you have more flexibility in days and times you want to travel. 

Accommodation

This was the fun part! Because this was inspired from our group trip to Mexico I thought I would have fun searching for places to accommodate large groups in different parts of Mexico and man oh man… let me tell you I found some stunning places and theres something for everyone and every budget. 

Cancun

Dream View Villa Cancun

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Details

Cost per Night (average): $1300-$1600 ($13,500 for 7 nights)

Cost /person (20 people): $750 

Bedrooms:Beds: 11 Sleeps: 20 Bathrooms:SQFT: 6000

Amenities

Close to beach & downtown, Wifi, Cable TV (80” TV), A/C, Jacuzzi, Pool, BBQ Grill, Nightly Bartender/DJ, Daily Cleaning Services for rooms & pools, On sight butler (to book excursions, transportation, help with groceries etc)

Luxury Mansion-Private Pool

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Details

Cost per Night (average): $300 – $600 ($3500 for 7 nights) 

Cost /person (20 people): $175

Bedrooms:Beds:12 Sleeps:20 Bathrooms:SQFT: 7000

Amenties

24 hr security, Basic breakfast, Wifi, Cable TV, A/C, Pool, Cook available to book (extra cost), Maid

Cabo San Lucas

Villa Viva!

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Details

Cost per Night (average): $1700 (this one offers a 21% discount for booking a full week for a total of $13,300)

Cost/Person (20 people): $665

Bedrooms:Beds:13 Sleeps:21 Bathrooms:7.5

Amenities 

Gated Community, 2 pools with waterfalls, Large Garden, Large Jacuzzi, Wifi, TV, A/C, BBQ Grill, Shared Tennis Courts, Private beach access

Puerto Vallarta

Casa Bahia Linda

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Details

Cost per Night (average):$600 ($5500)

Cost/Person (16 people):$345

Bedrooms:Beds:Sleeps:16 Bathrooms:4.5 

Amenties

Pool, Wifi, Cable TV, A/C

Food & Alcohol

With our flights picked and some fantastic options for accommodation all we have left is making sure our bellies are full and the bar is stocked! Some of the options I listed provided services to grocery shop for you and some even provide a fully stocked bar;  but there are a ton of options like hitting up the local Walmart & Costco for some food and liquor. Depending on the size of the group and what you’re looking for you could easily budget $1000 for food and drinks for everyone for a week. 

Save or Spend: Control Your Vacay

The best part about planning an all-inclusive vacation this way, is that you have full control over your vacation. From bougie to mediocre and everything in between you can truly pick out exactly what you’re looking for. And this is without the worry of pool curfews, food poisoning and in-room theft.

This was done for a group upwards of 16 people but can easily be accomplished for families or medium sized groups. Best part is you will be surrounded by the people you want to visit and vacation with

Don’t get me wrong, we have had some awesome all-inclusive experiences & have heard many stories of our friends and families having fantastic all-inclusive vacations; all though this was sparked from a poor experience, I want my readers to know that even when compared to the best experiences I still think crafting your own personalized “all-inclusive” vacation is way more worth your money & precious vacation time.  

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