Why International Travel Might Not be Out of Reach

International Travel Might Not Be as Expensive (1)International travel. You might want to move it closer to the top of your bucket list. Why? Not only is travel a fantastic way to expand your perspective and learn more about the world…it can also be a lot more budget friendly than you might think.

Mr. P and I were planning a trip to celebrate our first anniversary*. Neither of us has seen much of either coastline, so we started there. I pursued studied stalked the usual sites: Kayak, Expedia, Travelocity, United Vacations, Southwest Vacations, Groupon, the whole shebang. Not only was I hard pressed to find air and a week’s worth of lodging** for $3,000 for both of us, but that price did not include food, drinks, sightseeing, transportation, nada. I resigned myself to the fact that if I couldn’t even get myself to California or Massachusetts for under those prices, there was no way I could afford to dust off my passport. Right?

Then, one night around 1 am, I found myself back on the website for Southwest Vacations. Out of curiosity sheer frustration delirium, I hovered my mouse over the international vacation packages icon as I had done many times before. The only difference? This time I clicked. And I fell into the world of international travel. 

Here’s what I learned very quickly:

  1. All inclusive resorts really are all inclusive: breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, room service, fancy drinks, non-motorized water sports, really fancy drinks hand-delivered by a butler. Did I mention drinks?***
  2. The Caribbean and Mexico are really affordable in the off-season.
  3. The off-season is summer, exactly when we were able to travel.  
  4. A vacation package for a four-star (4.5 stars on TripAdvisor, thankyouverymuch) resort, airfare (plus Rapids Rewards points), and roundtrip airport transfers for eight days would cost less than $2800 for both of us.
  5. We were going to Punta Cana.

Not only did we have a wonderful time relaxing on the beach and taking advantage of all the wonderful amenities of the resort, we also booked a day trip that took us to a mango grove, a sugarcane plantation (also used to make rum, in case you wondered), and a coffee and cocoa bean farm. Plus, we were just a stone’s throw away from the markets and shops in the nearby town. It was the perfect combination of relaxation and culture.

So the next time you’re contemplating your bucket list, don’t rule out international travel. Instead, research the peak and off-peak times. Look for ways to score miles or points through a rewards program. Consider the fact that in many regions of the world, food and lodging cost just dollars a day. And remember that, above all else, travel is good for the soul.  

*We are also both teachers. Once we got married, we made a promise to forgo presents and put the money towards the cost of a summer vacation.

**Much to the chagrin of Mr. P and frugal friends everywhere, I.Don’t.Camp. But I will do motels. And even those were crazy costly.  

***Tips are theoretically included, but I would suggest tipping anyway. If you want to break the internet and keep your clothes on at the same time, start a post about tipping at all-inclusives on TripAdvisor.

So Tell Me…What’s on your bucket list? Would you consider cashing in some of your savings to travel? Do you have any favorite domestic or international destinations?

Why International Travel Might Not be Out of Reach

10 thoughts on “Why International Travel Might Not be Out of Reach

  1. I’d love go back to London. I haven’t been since I was a teen, and my husband has never been there. But right now we have trouble even traveling nationally. Due to some medication issues that are too in-depth to explain, there are a limited number of places he can go. Maybe it’ll get easier over time. I certainly hope so. And by then, we might be able to afford a $2,000+ vacation. (I freaked out at the cost of just taking him to DC. Hotels.so.expensive.)

    1. nancy says:

      Look at hotels in the Baltimore Metro area, but outside of the inner city itself. Try Baltimore County hotels (Essex, Golden Ring area).

    1. Wow. Disney. That kind of strikes fear in my heart. I get that it’s the happiest place on earth, but it seems like one of the most expensive, too. I’d love to hear more about it. Do you have a blog post in your archives?

  2. I would totally cash in some savings for the opportunity to travel. In fact, that’s one of the many things I’m saving towards. I would love to go to Europe, but honestly I’d go almost anywhere. From Canada to New Zealand, if adventure is on the menu, I’m game.

    I’m glad to hear you were able to get such a great deal on your vacation! It sounds like you truly get the most bang for your buck. Plus, drinks hand delivered? Amazing!

    1. Erin,

      I would LOVE to go to New Zealand. Before we got married, my husband had only been on a plane twice…so we’re kind of easing our way into this. The 4.5 hour flight to the DR was agonizing for him, so I’m not sure how we’ll get to Europe or anywhere else. But I figure baby steps!

  3. Definitely depends on where you live in the world, I’m in New Zealand so travel to Europe or the Carribean is pretty expensive, but we can get to the Pacific islands and parts of Asia rather easily and cheaply (also Australia!). There are some amazing resorts in Thailand and Bali which are within reach of the budget. However at the moment all our travel budget goes towards visiting the inlays in Vancouver. They are getting on a bit, so we are making the effort to visit every year. Luckily I’ve been able to pick up flights on sale last two years! Staying with the relatives certainly cuts down on travel costs. But resort life sounds so relaxing!

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