Catching Planes

Cheapest Places to Travel in 2018

2017 is coming to a close and you still haven’t kept your promise to travel more. You see all your friends and friends of friends traveling all over the place and you always seem to have a valid reason why you can’t. I’m not a fan of excuses, but for the purpose of being helpful, I’ll pretend like you’ve been waiting for 2018 to roll around to travel.

Keeping in mind the most common excuse of “I don’t have money” I’ve prepped a list of great destination for budget travel in 2018. And, just so you know, airfares are supposed to drop next year according to the American Express global business travel report and I trust they know their shit. Pair that with the fact that the dollar is on a slight rise and you have the perfect conditions for budget travel.

I know you’re anxious to know where you can travel on the cheap. This means a location that is both cheap and will allow your dollar to go a long way. The below list was compiled with the help of Benet J. Wilson and her site: https://refinedtraveler.co/. She actually has set out a list of 30 possible destinations, but I’m going to drop them five at a time because let’s face it, we’re lazy readers.

Cool, so hold on to your fuckin’ passports because here we go! (Destinations 1-5 of 30)

 1 – Mazatlan, Mexico

Estas no son vacaciones …… o si? 🤣 #beach #mazatlan #sinaloa #vacation

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Yup. Skip Cancun for once. Mexico is affordable as hell. One US dollar is about $20 pesos. You’ll be ballin’. Mazatlan is a cultured beach town and is also home of some of the best Mexican seafood in Mexico.

Hotels and other accomodations are looowwww. How low? Well you can stay at a hotel with 3 of your friends for $100 a night. That’s $25 per person per night. And, I’m not talking hole in the wall.

So, head on over to Mazatlan, Sinaloa. Party it up with some Banda and post a selfie on Instagram. Make sure you tag @Catching.Planes to show me you went.

 2 – South Africa

Start each day with a smile on your face 😊❤️☺️

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US dollar exchange rate isn’t too bad. Hotels are fairly priced and you can get around with Uber at a more than fair price.

If you like wine, you’ll love this place. Wine is said to be cheaper than a can of soda here. And, it’s locally produced. Also, it’s SOUTH AFRICA!

 3 – San Juan, Puerto Rico

🌬🇵🇷

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Yes, Puerto Rico is in clean-up mode after a hurricane. So keep that in mind and maybe check up on conditions of the island before traveling.

Puerto Rico is the easiest way to get a Caribbean experience if you’re traveling from the US. In fact, you don’t even need a passport or need to worry about exchanging currency. Puerto Rico is a US territory, but you already knew that, right?

San Juan, Puerto Rico is a great colonial city surrounded by rich history. The people are friendly and always smiling. Walk around San Juan, grab a beer from a bar and join in on the dancing on the street.

 4 – Chile

Again, great exchange rate. The city of Santiago has a great culinary scene. Enjoy some tapas and trendy spots. You can also go into chill mode by visiting one of the the smaller towns like Puerto Varas on the lake. It’s near where Patagonia starts.

Rent a car for a good price and drive around to food, a volcano, waterfalls and of course more food!

 5 – Crete

Ahhh, Greece is one of my favorite destinations. It has over 1,200 islands, and Crete is a large one.

Ever wondered how you can live to be over 100 years old. This place may hold the secret. Many of the people who live here live rich and long lives. Perhaps it’s their food, perhaps it’s the beach. Find out for yourself.

Head over to Balos beach. Locals are known for welcoming tourists. Just don’t be a douche. Greece is in a sort of economic crisis. This means that your dollar will go a long way.

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There you have it! 5 great destinations for budget travel. There are 25 more to go, so stay tuned. Subscribe to this blog and make sure you’re following @Catching.Planes on Instagram where you can DM if you want hookup on flights.

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5 Things To Do Before Visiting The Dominican Republic’s Northern Coast.

If you’re planning on visiting the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, take a look at these 5 things to have in order before you go. Especially if you’ll be landing in Santiago.

1.  Pre-arrange airport pickup. This is especially important if you arrive at STI (Santiago) instead of POP (Puerto Plata). Santiago is a couple hours drive to the northern coast, and if you try to take a taxi, it can cost you close to $200 dollars. Even though things are cheap in the D.R., taxis are not. They sort of have a monopoly going on there. And no, there aren’t any ride share apps you can use. If you’re comfortable speaking the language and are traveling with a buddy, you could try to figure out the bus system. It’ll be cheaper, but might be time consuming. I usually try to avoid killing time on transportation when I can.

Your best bet is to hire a private ride. You can usually do a quick search online and come across a couple options. My recommendation is to go with Rosario. He’s a friendly independent ride service provider. He’ll pick you up from the airport and the price is reasonable considering that the ride includes an all you can drink bar during your ride. This means that the good times begin as soon as you exit the airport. You can find Rosario here.

Do not rent a car! Unless you’re brave enough to risk your life or know what to expect, do not rent a car. The Dominican Republic is not known for it’s safe driving.

2.  Get the right data plan for your phone. Chances are your current plan doesn’t include the Dominican Republic. If you have the usual major carriers, you’ll still be able to make calls, text and use data, but will get charged a premium. You have two options here. The first one is to contact your current carrier and ask for a temporary passport plan. Most major carriers offer some sort of temporary add on. The second option is to get a hold of an unlocked phone. You’ll be able to purchase a phone chip in the D.R. that will give you data for an affordable cost.

3.  Check out the weather. Depending on the time of year your traveling. You might encounter some rain. If so, you want to be prepared with some waterproof shoes. This is important because the D.R. is a humid place, so if you do get your shoes wet, they may not dry up for a while. Flip flops could work.

4.  Write down phone numbers and address to your destination. More often than not, your ride provider will know where you’re staying just by the name of your hotel. But, if you’re staying at an AirBnB, you’ll want to get as much information as possible in case your driver needs further instructions. Things like cross streets, nearby stores or name of the housing complex will help your driver know where you’re going. Things like google maps may not function like you’re used to.

Getting picked up from the airport and driven to your destinations is one of my favorite parts about traveling. And, so I hate not being able to enjoy that because I have to tell my driver which way to turn next.

5.  Get ready for the “Motoconcho”! The Dominican Republic has expensive taxis, but they have very inexpensive motoconchos. A motoconcho is just a dude on a motorcycle who will give you a ride to wherever you want to go for a very inexpensive amount. The locals use them a lot. I personally did not have the need or urge to ride in the back of a motorcycle helmet-less while hugging a man from behind, but if that’s your jam, more power to ya! Just be smart about it and keep in mind that drinking and driving is common practice in the D.R.

If you’re planning a trip to the Dominican Republic and have questions, feel free to contact me. Happy to pass on any knowledge.

San Francisco (SFO) to Zihuatanejo (ZIH) $214

Round Trip from San Francisco to Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Sample Date for this Deal:

  • SFO – ZIH
  • Round trip
  • Apr 21 – Apr 25
  • Please note: This fare may also be available on other dates outside of the sample date.

Price:

  • This was the set price at the time this post was published.
  • Fares are subject to change after a day.

How to book:

capture

  • To book this deal or search for other deals, you’ll need to do the following.
    • Download the FlyEx app from the App Store. (Currently available on iOS 10.1 or higher only)
    • Sign up in the app.
    • Use Aviator Code: 573FBA0 (That’s a zero at the end)
  • In-App Search
    • SFO – ZIH
    • Apr 21 – Apr 25
    • Economy
  • Book and you’re on your way.

 

Photo by @slspuntagarrobo

San Francisco (SFO) to Dallas, Texas (DFW) or Vice Versa $128

Round Trip from San Francisco to Dallas, Texas.

Sample Date for this Deal:

  • SFO – DFW
  • Round trip
  • May 10 – May 16
  • Please note: This fare may also be available on other dates outside of the sample date.

Price:

  • This was the set price at the time this post was published.
  • Fares are subject to change after a day.

How to book:

capture

  • To book this deal or search for other deals, you’ll need to do the following.
    • Download the FlyEx app from the App Store. (Currently available on iOS 10.1 or higher only)
    • Sign up in the app.
    • Use Aviator Code: 573FBA0 (That’s a zero at the end)
  • In-App Search
    • SFO – DFW
    • May 10 – May 16
    • Economy
  • Book and you’re on your way.