Longer trips, also known as slow tourism, was already a travel trend pre-2020. And with the continued restrictions in destinations across the globe, this slow travel trend is making headway. If you’re looking to take that leap and find somewhere to hang your hat for a while, booking a long stay vacation to balance work and play might just be the right move. Here’s just some reasons why Mexico is one of the best places to travel and work remotely.
Why Mexico for a long-term stay?
Planning a long-term stay in Mexico isn’t the same as booking a one-week resort vacation to Cancun. On a longer trip you have to think about managing a similar budget as you would at home, while being somewhere you’re not as familiar with.
Mexico is the perfect place to go.
It has sunshine, seaside views and mountain ranges, delicious food and diverse cultures. But, most importantly, it’s relatively affordable and travelling to Mexico doesn’t require a lot of extra paperwork. Canadians have the privilege of being able to stay in Mexico for 180 days without needing a visa.
If you’re seeking fun, sun, and a little bit of relaxation, a destination like Mexico has it all for an extended stay.
A quick overview of Mexico:
- Stay up to 180 days
- $750 to $2,500 monthly living expenses (depending on where you’re headed and lifestyle)
- Beaches, mountains, bustling cities – whatever your long-term vacation needs.
What to look for in a long stay vacation in Mexico
Ocean-side beaches, scenic views, lush forests, sky-high mountains and comfortable weather, what more would you want in a long-term stay destination? But what makes staying in Mexico even better is the fact that you don’t have to leave all the comforts of home behind.
Not only can you find familiar stores like Walmart, Apple, and Best Buy (though shopping local is highly encouraged) but branches of Scotiabank can be found in popular destinations like Playa del Carmen, Oaxaca de Juarez, and Mexico City.
But those looking to vacation in Mexico long-term need to look beyond their travel plans and shopping options towards work-friendly amenities like WiFi, and practical expenses like electricity.
Electricity, in particular, is an important topic when planning your budget for Mexico. While it’s cheaper than paying a bill in much of Canada, electricity in Mexico can be pricey. This is especially the case if you’re staying in a larger space with air conditioning and a heated pool.
If you’re planning on working and playing in Mexico, you’ll want to look out for a place that:
- Fits within your budget
- Is close to the shops, restaurants, and activities that you want to frequent
- Is easy to get around (how is the public transportation or can you walk it?)
- Has the amenities you want (WiFi, air conditioning, pool, laundry facilities)
Make sure to discuss everything you’ll be paying for in advance when looking at long-term stay options in Mexico.
Most affordable places to stay in Mexico
Playa del Carmen
Nestled one hour south on the Yucatan Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline, the coastal resort town of Playa del Carmen is a mixture of laid back beach living and a bustling nightlife. The best part is, you can choose. And with things like fast WiFi, sunny weather, and a range of accommodation options, Playa is a great destination where you can travel and work remotely.
You can live comfortably in Playa del Carmen for $2,000 a month – you won’t live the most luxurious life around but you’ll be in a nice apartment that’s close to the beach. Plus, you’ll be within walking distance to fresh food at the local market, gyms, banks, convenience stores, and anything else you may need when staying somewhere long-term.
Playa is only a 1.5-hour drive from Cancun Airport. To get there, you can take one of the many shuttle buses leaving from the airport.
Oaxaca de Juarez
The hustle and bustle of city life can be found in a few places in Mexico. But if you’re looking to fly more under-the-radar, Oaxaca de Juarez is the place to be.
The capital city of the state of Oaxaca, Oaxaca de Juarez isn’t as populated as Mexico City but it’s the more affordable choice. You’ll still find deep historical roots here in Oaxaca: living inside and between the brightly coloured buildings is a rich nightlife and delicious foods to sample the diverse flavours of this region.
While Oaxaca city isn’t beachfront, you can get there in a few hours drive. Surrounded by mountains, one of the best pastimes in Oaxaca city is to go on a hike or visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Monte Alban. There’s a vibrant arts and culture scene in the city you need to check out, and you can comfortably live in Oaxaca for under $1,500 per month.
While there aren’t any direct flights to Oaxaca from Canada at this time, you can easily get a flight to Mexico City or Guadalajara and then a connecting flight or bus.
For a truly unique, quiet Mexico experience, there’s Troncones.
Located roughly 30 km northwest of Zihuatanejo in the state of Guerrero, this sleepy beach town along the Pacific coast features some of the last remaining unspoiled beaches in the country. With a small population of less than 1,000, this town is filled with family-owned hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants.
Whether you’re sunning, surfing, or studying yoga on your work holiday, tranquil Troncones has it all. Not to mention you could manage to stay there for under $1,500 per month, if you manage your budget right.
To get to Troncones, you can catch a connecting flight to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo from Mexico City.
Choosing Mexico to travel and work remotely
Mexico is the ideal place for Canadians looking for long stay vacations. Beyond being affordable and easy, the laidback lifestyle is perfect for remote workers looking to get away.
It’s a relatively quick flight from Canada (depending on where you’re headed) and staying there is as simple as landing at the airport, filling out the arrival form, and keeping hold of it until you’re ready to leave.
Canadians can stay in Mexico for a consecutive 180 days as a tourist. Make sure to keep the arrival card that you’ll receive at the airport, as they’ll ask for it upon departure.
The cost of living in Mexico varies based on where you’re located and what kind of lifestyle you have. One of the most expensive parts of Mexico is the Baja Peninsula, where prices are almost on par with many cities in Canada and the US. Smaller cities like Puebla and Cholula just outside of CDMX (Mexico City) are more affordable when it comes to rent, healthcare, and food. But on a moderate budget in a number of destinations throughout Mexico, it’s possible to comfortably live in Mexico for under $2,000 CAD a month.
Where can I travel to now?
Want to read more?
- Get the latest travel COVID advice and news for Canadians
- Looking for more long stay vacation ideas? With a new digital nomad visa, Costa Rica is another destination to travel and work remotely.
- What is solo travel really like? A seasoned traveller shares her top tips and insight.
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