Understanding Mexico’s low, low season and how to survive it

Understanding Mexico’s low, low season and how to survive it

If you live here you likely already know this. If you’re thinking of living here, you need to know this. If you rely on the local economy for your financial livelihood, you will find yourself flat on your back from September to mid-December unless you plan.

The areas of Mexico with the highest migration figures — for everyone, not just expats — are also the same areas with the highest economic growth, hence the attraction. Nearly every one of these places will rely on tourism as their primary financial means.

Exceptions will include large metropolitan areas such as Mexico City where the primary financial resources are driven by large industrial companies and international headquarters. This mean that although tourism does play a large part in the city’s financial growth, Mexico City has several industries that can keep folks floating comfortably year round.

This however, is not the same for other regions. Whether on the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Cortez or Gulf Mexico / Caribbean Sea, these regions rely heavily on tourism. So heavily in fact, that low season is often a slow death for many.

While September is low season, the months that follow are even more extreme because October and into November bottom-out the low season. It truly is a time that can alter your life, like a slow death, if not planned for.

While September is low season — everyone is back to work, kids are in school — the months that follow are even more extreme because October and into November bottom-out the low season. It’s important to understand we have two tourist seasons.

Understanding the tourist seasons in Mexico

Mid-December to June is normally when the highest volume of international visitors arrive. For the most part, their home towns and cities are covered in snow, they’re up for a vacation and the kids are on break from school. They come to Mexico.

During June, July and August, domestic tourism is at its highest. During these months, most international visitors vacation in their own countries, take road trips and mini-staycations, go camping, enjoy the short summer holidays they are given. During these same months in Mexico are when Mexicans vacation, heading from their stuffy cities to the coast (in all directions) for a seaside or ocean side vacation.

They book hotels and tours, rent cars, sight-see, fill the restaurants and nightclubs as well as the local shopping malls and other stores. They arrive in large groups of family members that take over the streets and beaches for nearly three months before heading back to their home cities for work and school.

After that, it’s dead.

It is common to see small shops closed up for long periods of time. I also hate to say this, but this is also a high season for petty crime. Some people become so desperate they steal…handbags from chairs, grocery bags from carts, people of money, phones…anything of value.

It truly is a season that can alter your life if not planned for.

So many people say they are going to hop the border and enjoy a seaside or ocean side lifestyle by “opening a little shop”, working a little and living a lot. Boy have I got news for you. Mexico is not necessarily an earning place as much as it is a spending place.

To survive here, you need a solid plan. If you’re not in need of money, then so be it. Kick back and open your little shop while working a little and living a lot. However, if you need to earn a living or even supplement an income (a retirement income, for example), I highly suggest you reconsider this little shop plan of action.

Making a living in these regions of Mexico is tough and extremely competitive at any given time, but during the low, low season, it can be the death of you.