5 Reasons to Mexi-go-go!

Mexico isn’t always the first holiday destination that springs to mind but it’s been my favourite, by far! Here are 5 reasons why…

1) Chichen Itza

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Chichen Itza

I think this is a pretty self explanatory reason to go to Mexico but i’ll continue. Apart from being one of the 7 wonders of the world, it’s an exceptional day out with an abundance of historical knowledge that was surprisingly  interesting. There’s various buildings around the main pyramid (El Castillo) that holds great depth, as well as fantastic photo opportunities. Chichen Itza was a large city built by the Mayans and the pyramid has 365 steps, one for every day of the year. The buildings were used for astronomical purposes and you could supposedly see a shadow in the shape of a serpent at certain times in spring and autumn.  Most tours available pick you up quite early in the morning, around 5/6am. We used Thomson for our tour and it was incredible, they provide breakfast, water and tequila (lots of it). We were able to visit Chichen Itza, a cenote (more on this later in the post), a tequila factory and Valladolid (a town with amazing cultural architecture and a beautiful park).

Top tip: Take a hat, water and plenty of sun cream! There is no shade apart from a few trees at the Chichen Itza site and it can really hot really quick.

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Cathedral of San Gervasio in Valladolid

2) Beautiful Beaches 

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Private beach (Grand Sirenis hotel and spa Riviera Maya).

Before travelling to the Riviera Maya in Mexico, I did a mass amount of research so I pretty much knew my way around the hotel before arriving. I knew the beaches were going to be amazing, but I didn’t really grasp how beautiful and idyllic they were until I was there. White sands, clear water, fantastic scenery- it was perfect! We did a great deal of snorkeling while we were there are tons of fish would swim around you. Great for if you have an underwater camera! I believe most of the hotels in Mexico have private beaches which is brilliant as your almost always guaranteed to find a spot to sun yourself silly as well as having utter peace and quiet. Just don’t forget to put your flip flops on to walk to the bar as the sand gets rather HOT.

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Akumal beach

We took a little trip a few miles down the road to a beach called ‘Akumal beach’. This was great for if you want to go snorkeling/scuba diving in a chance to see a turtle. We didn’t actually do this but I believe they guarantee you’ll see one. It was a lovely long beach with great views, although maybe a bit too busy for my liking as I preferred the one back at our hotel (Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya).

3) The different way of life

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Beautiful flowers in the hotel grounds.

One of the main things I couldn’t get over was how ridiculously friendly the locals were, especially in our hotel. They seemed to be willing to do anything to make your stay as pleasant as it can be. You are never without a drink, always made to feel welcome and everyone greets you with a great big smile. We were told on our Chichen Itza tour that the Mayans and Mexican people are appreciative that tourists give them a chance to show their history and show how much pride they take in their country. It was amazing to try some of their local food, as it was outstanding and always left you wanting more. Our hotel had a Mexican night (which im sure the other hotel do) which you could eat authentic Mexican food, drink tequila and experience traditional Mexican dancing. Everything on the whole was presented and came across fantastically; the food, the entertainment, the cocktails, and the hotel in general.

4) Cenotes

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Cenote near Chichen Itza

Wow- the only word I can think of to describe this. A Cenote is a natural fresh water swimming hole that is formed by collapsed limestone revealing an underground pool. The water is so clear (although you couldn’t see the bottom due to it being so deep- over 40 meters) and has substantial benefits due to the minerals within. I can’t even describe to you how fantastic it made my skin feel and how revitalized I felt. There are many of the Cenotes around Mexico and they are usually included in a variety of excursions. If you did want to go solo the entrance fee is around £3-5 depending on the Cenote of choice. For the more hesitant swimmer (me included) some of them have a wooden walk in and offer life vests.

5) Activities

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Our ride at the Tulum Jungle Maya Excursion

Of course you want to go to Mexico to kick back and relax, sip cocktails and enjoy the ocean breeze but if you like to explore then there’s so much on offer. There’s a variety of excursions to choose from, Chichen Itza, Coba, Eco-parks and for the more adventurous; Zip lining. Some of the excursions combine activities such as spending the morning zip lining and abseiling down minor cenotes, then going to explore historical sites such as Tulum in the afternoon. There’s boat trips, snorkeling excursions and who can forget a trip to the famous Coco Bongos- the ultimate party destination. I would definitely recommend booking up a few of the excursions while your there as they are 100% worth the money and a fantastic experience. If you didn’t want to splash the cash then you could get taxi’s to local towns or beaches. We visited Playa Del Carmen and I loved it, the perfect place to go shopping. It had just about everything, designer shops, high street brand shops and ice cream parlors (the most important). We also went on the Chichen Itza excursion as well as the Tulum Jungle Maya, both of which were booked through our rep at the hotel.

There are considerably a lot more reasons why you should visit Mexico but I thought i’d share my top 5. Hopefully it sways your decision if you’re trying to decide on a destination for your holiday. I understand it can be pricey but look out for the bargains- I did!

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Save money while maintaining happiness!

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Being in your 20’s can mean living life from one extreme to the other, going from partying, spending sprees and travelling to exotic places to having no life, saving every penny you earn in preparation for your future. Saving for a mortgage is hard but you need to find a balance in order to maintain your happiness.

I am in no shape or form an expert on finance or mortgages but I just want to share my experience and tips I’ve learnt so far in hope it may benefit some of you.

Don’t sacrifice being young

You are in the prime of your life and you don’t want to miss out on fantastic opportunities or breath-taking experiences. For me, I wouldn’t have been proposed to on the white sandy beaches of Mexico if we had have been watching out every pound. I like to believe we are continuing making memories while working towards our goal of getting a mortgage. If an opportunity arises, you need to think about whether you’ll get that chance again.

Have a minimum saving amount

Setting up a direct debit or a standing order to ensure you save a certain amount each month is a great idea. If you set it for right after pay-day you will get used to the amount just not being there, making sure you always save money, not worrying if you can’t save any more within the month. I understand that some savings accounts do this, more specifically the Help to buy ISA. This is personally the one I use as it feels like I am being rewarded for saving (and who doesn’t need that kind of motivation, right?). The scheme is available for first time buyers encouraging you to save £200 a month via direct debit and then once your in the mortgage process, the government gives you £50 for every £200 you saved. For example if you saved £12,000, you will get £3,000 extra. By doing this you then have the option to save more in another savings account or just stick to your set amount and enjoy the month.

Piggy Bank

I know we rarely carry cash these days with how easy it is to whip out our debit card and use contactless to pay for some bread and milk. If you do happen to draw out some cash and eventually find that your purse rattles when you shake it, put it in a savings pot (preferably a ‘smash to open pot’)and forget about it. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it can build up. My fiancé read something interesting a while ago. If you get a £5 note in change, put it in your savings pot. It’s an amount you wouldn’t necessarily miss but it seriously adds up when you come to count it after months of saving them. When I break open mine I make a decision whether to save it towards my house or if there’s something I want to use it for such as a meal or a weekend away I wont hesitate.

Cut out restrictions

Saving hard while not allowing yourself to live your life is going to harm your happiness. It’s important to treat yourself and if you have a better half- them too!  Have a date night, get a takeaway, buy those shoes you want. As long as you save your minimum for the month there’s no harm in indulging slightly. There’s just one tip to bear in mind; Before you spend money on new clothes or a spontaneous meal, think about what your saving towards. If you still want to buy that make-up you’ve wanted for months- go for it.

More tips to get the most out of saving while having a life;

  1. Family and friends can tempt you to spend more money than needed with expensive dinners, cocktails and who can forget Christmas time. Letting them know your situation can prevent you from getting unhappy while refusing numerous offers of social outings.
  2. Get a low-budget hobby; Personally I find Netflix the best option, but doesn’t everyone? Find a good TV show, get addicted and time will fly, all the while your saving money. Another hobby of mine is to regularly go to the gym. For me, paying the £20 a month membership is worth it. It’s distracting and I tend to focus on creating workout plans. It keeps my mind ticking preventing me from getting bored and spending money.
  3. Got holiday withdrawals but can’t afford one? It’s worth thinking about getting a 0% credit card and just making sure you pay it off before the  0% period ends. It’s the best of both worlds, you get to sun yourself up while boosting your credit rating which will help with mortgage application. Don’t just think you need to spend it on a holiday or something big, using a credit card for your groceries and paying it back has huge benefits for your credit score.
  4. Set budgets; Have a set amount of money for food and petrol, for savings and for spending. At the moment, my fiancé and I allocate £100 a week for food and petrol and it’s working out well, allowing us to save as much as we can while having some spare to be spontaneous with.

The main thing through the whole process of saving is to keep your goal in mind. I tend to look on Right move A LOT and it weirdly keeps me motivated, reminding me what all the hard work is for.

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