The Nomadic Backpacker shows how to live on 10 USD a day in Oaxaca


Living on 10US$ a day in Mexico. It is outstanding that I can live on this amount. It’s 2021, I remind you. The ultimate place for a long-term traveler.

Though it’s true a few more dollars a day would be better. But I can survive if I need to.

Note on prices: MXN is Mexican Peso sometimes written as $. 20MXN is 1US$

Accommodation costs have always been 50% +/- of my overall budget and this is the biggest outlay. Get this down and you are 3/4 of the way there!

It’s the Covid-19 pandemic. The #NewNormal is travelling slow, laying low and staying put.

I am of ‘no fixed abode’. I have no place to run to. And I have to be somewhere!

It just so happens that Mexico, where I escaped to after Turkey which can also be a cheap option, is or rather can be, super cheap. Especially if you choose well.

Oaxaca, 9 hours south of Mexico City and I am staying at the International Andaina Hostel on Calle JP Garcia. I came here in December for 3 nights before going to Zipolite.

I paid 8US$ a night using and abusing my Booking dot com discount. I learned that the walk-in rate is 190MXN, that’s 9.50$ but if you paid by the week, the nightly rate is 122MXN, ie 6US$ a night and if you wanted to commit to 1 month, it is 3000MXN, ie 5US$ a night.

A small but comfortable, single room with shared facilities.

I love the hostel’s set up. Large communal areas and the rooftop. Plenty of space for all! 

After 1 month in Zipolite, I arrived back in Oaxaca and booked a weeks stay. My second week was discounted at 5$ a night after I wrote a review.

​There is filtered water for free. Had this not been the case, I would have sourced a 19litre bottle where the water itself costs just 15MXN.

There is free coffee. In Zipolite I had purchased a portable water heater and cup and a jar of Nescafé. I use this periodically and am sure the next place won’t have this setup. It was a good purchase

​Laundry in town costs 14MXN a kilo. A 750gr bag of soap powder at the big supermarket, 15 minutes walk away costs 28MXN and this bag will last me 2-3 weeks. I carry an Ortlieb dry bag for storing some of my stuff when travelling in the tropics. It also doubles as my bucket for laundry.

​I bought a Remington 4250 hair trimmer for about 45$ and am using it for about 2 years now, trimming my hair every 10-14 days and my beard too. No visits to the barbers where a buzz cut will cost 5$ or more. No need to buy razors. No need to buy shaving cream.

Saving money is easier than earning money! And I have turned it into an art. Long Term Travel is an Art. Making the money I have, go further.

2nd biggest outlay is on basic survival: food and drink.

Sometimes I eat at the Noviember 20 Mercado. But not every day. Not cos of the cost, though it’s cheap enough. I don’t wanna push my luck in crowded places:

I eat street food. I don’t need to eat that much, 15MXN:

And bought some small avocados. 4 for 10MXN:

And some mango pieces for 20MXN:

Take out snack at the rotisserie, 25MXN:

Here is the video

I do drink beer. Of course, living under 10US$ is a not possible if I drink a beer. The cheapest deal in town is buying 4 cans of Tacate at the OXXO store. Each can is 20MXN in Zipolite, 18MXN here but 4 cans for 58MXN, that’s 14.50MXN a can(I do not go to bars to drink beer. There is a great roof-top here!)

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