When I lived in Florida, I rarely encountered a business that would give a discount just for living locally. The only exception was when one of the theme parks had a special deal for Florida residents. Perhaps there were more discounts out there — I just never thought to ask.
This is a sharp contrast to what we found when we moved to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Once we transitioned from tourists to local residents, we discovered a world of discounts — several of them in some very unexpected places.
Hospitals and Clinics
This one surprised me the most when we first arrived. We have received discounts ranging from 30%-50% at private hospitals and clinics. We usually ask what the price is first and then ask if there is a discount for locals.
Lab work is relatively inexpensive but we have been able to save an additional 30% by asking for a locals discount.
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Probably 90% of the restaurants that we frequent offer a locals discount of between 10%-20%.
You can get discounts on everything from buses to the ferry to Cozumel if you can prove that you live locally. The savings ranges from 20%-50%.
Hotels and Resorts
During the low season in the Riviera Maya, many hotels will offer discounts for locals. You will have to contact the hotel directly to ask about the dates and conditions. One chain that does this in our area is Iberostar. The requirement was proof that the person resides in the state of Quintana Roo.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Businesses rarely advertise that they offer these types of discounts, so it falls on you to ask. The worst thing that can happen is they tell you no — and that doesn’t happen that often.
If you do ask, be prepared to show them some form of proof. We usually use our local driver’s licenses for this because they have a local address. Some businesses will accept a temporary or permanent resident card, even though there is no address on it.
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