Cheap International Travel
The secret to cheap international travel is the same as the
secret of doing anything for less: Be an opportunist. I went
to Ecuador the first time because it was cheap. Honestly,
aren't there many interesting places to go in this world?
Why not choose one that you can travel to inexpensively. The
other places will still be there in the future, and maybe you'll
have an opportunity to go to those places cheaply at some
point. Opportunistic international travelers get to travel more,
see more and do more. Of course, you can ignore this advice if
you have unlimited funds.
Cheap International Airfare
One of the biggest expenses you'll have when you travel overseas,
is your plane tickets. Use the techniques outlined on the page,
Plane Tickets," to get the best deal. Better yet, search
for fares to several interesting countries. If one is $500 less
than the others, you may want to go there. That $500 will buy
you a few extra days, or even an extra mini-vacation some other
This is my favorite international destination. You can still
get a meal there in a nice restaurant for a dollar or two. U.S.
dollars, that is, since that is conveniently the official currency
of Ecuador now. This is also where I met my wife Ana four years
ago. For more information, see our pages, "Information
On Ecuador," "Mount
Chimborazo," and "Banos
Ecuador." Travel in Ecuador is safe and cheap.
Other International Destinations
Travel in South America in general is inexpensive, and the
most affordable countries are, in my opinion, the most beautiful.
These are the countries in the central Andes mountains; Ecuador,
Peru, and Bolivia. Argentina, due to it's recent economic troubles,
is once again a cheap place for travelers as well. All of these,
by the way, are Spanish-speaking countries.
In Central America; It costs very little to travel and vacation
in both Nicaragua and Guatemala. Nicaragua, in particular, has
become much more stable and safe for travelers in recent years.
Costa Rica is a wonderful place too, but I understand it is one
of more expensive counties of Central America, but that probably
still leaves it cheaper than Europe.
In Asia, India is still low-cost, even more so if you stay
in the numerous hostels and boarding houses. Thailand and Indonesia
are also very cheap. With all of these international destinations,
the plane tickets will be your single biggest travel expense,
but especially with the far east countries. Being there
is cheap, but getting there may not be.
For information on any country, visit the page, "International Travel Tips,"
and use the links there to the State Department web sites. Read
the "background notes," and "consular information
sheets" on the countries you are interested in.
Cheap International Travel Tips
Wherever you travel, there are some things you can do to keep
it cheap. Eat where the locals eat, for example, instead of at
the restaurants that target tourists. Or to keep it really cheap,
eat fruit from street markets and packaged snacks from grocery
With international or domestic travel, try to visit all the
free and cheap attractions first. You never know, but it is possible
that you'll have so much fun that you'll never get around to
doing the expensive things. Higher prices mean better quality
with running shoes, but not with travel experiences.
Busses are generally cheaper than taxis in any country, of
course. See the page "Cheap
Bus Travel" for tips on basic precautions to take when
using busses and taxis in other countries. Walking is even cheaper,
and a great way to really see a city. Ask the locals where the
dangerous parts of town are before you wander too far.
For cheap accommodations when you travel internationally,
find out where local visitors from within the country are staying.
Negotiation on room charges is common in some areas also. When
we were in Banos, Ecuador, we negotiated the rate on our room
down from $12 per night to $6 per night, by paying for several
nights in advance. You may want to consider hostels, as well.
They are much more common overseas.
10 Cheap Vacations