Twelve Tips For Planning a Budget Vacation to Costa Rica

Monteverde Costa Rica Cloudforest

Costa Rica is a beautiful country and a great place to vacation. But before getting on that airplane, you need to have a game plan. Below are twelve tips to help you find the best deals and to make your vacation a success:

Tip Number 1: Saving On Air Fare

With a destination like Costa Rica, flying is about the only choice. Airfares are not cheap, so keep your eyes peeled in advance for any online specials from the various travel sites.

Tip Number 2: Is A Round The World Ticket For You?

Have you considered buying a Round The World ticket? If you travel often, it may be a good option for you. You will have to weigh the pros and cons of such a step; only you know if your circumstances warrant the cost output.

Tip Number 3: Choosing a Backpack

A backpack is a great tool when traveling anywhere. But you want to keep it light. Dragging luggage through airports is difficult enough, without being further weighed down by a heavy backpack. That being said, you don’t want one that is too small either. Spend the extra money and get a backpack made of a lightweight material and one that has wheels so you have the option of rolling it if you desire.

Tip Number 4: Picking a Travel Rewards Credit Card

Travel credit cards are a great way to earn free rewards for spending money. There are several such cards from which to choose so you need to weigh the pros and cons of each before choosing.

Tip Number 5: Avoiding Bank Fees

Using ATMs in foreign countries may be different than in the U.S. They may charge higher transaction fees. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises so check the fees before using an ATM in a foreign country such as Costa Rica. You didn’t save all that money for a vacation just to see it eaten up by bank fees.

Tip Number 6: Hone Your Travel Hacking Skills

What is travel hacking? It is making the best use of your credit cards, awards programs, and deals to accumulate miles and points for free travel. Familiarize yourself with hotel and airline loyalty programs and use them to your advantage. It can save you a lot in lodging and transportation costs.

Tip Number 7: Find Cheap Accommodations

Lodging is probably going to be your second largest expense. But there are ways to cut costs in this area. Become proficient at Internet searches for good deals. You can also look into hostels or even home swapping as an out-of-the-box solution to your lodging problems.

Tip Number 8: Picking Tour Companies

Organized tours can be wonderful or your own worst travel nightmare. You need to do your homework before making tour arrangements. Read the reviews of previous customers of a tour company. Find one that displays a pattern of satisfied customers and weed out those of questionable quality. A bad tour company can ruin a vacation.

Tip Number 9: Buy Travel Insurance

I repeat: Buy travel insurance. Be prepared for any possible scenario. If you get sick or injured in a foreign country you need to know you will get the proper care. Travel insurance also pays your way home if that becomes necessary. The last thing you want is to be so far away and unable to get home. There are many policies available for travelers. Again, do your due diligence by comparing the choices carefully and checking out any customer reviews.

Tip Number 10: Teaching In A Foreign Country

There are many resources available citing job opportunities to teach in a foreign country such as Costa Rica. Many Americans get jobs teaching English. If you are planning an extended stay rather than a vacation, this may be an option to consider.

Tip Number 11: Become a Volunteer

Volunteering is an opportunity to give back. While you are down in Costa Rica, look for such opportunities. Many travelers also take along an extra bag full of supplies, clothing and such to donate to schools and churches to pass on to children and families in need.

Tip Number 12: Eating On The Cheap

Eating local foods is half the fun of traveling, especially in a foreign country. Allow yourself to experiment a little and have fun! You can also save money by eating a late breakfast and an early dinner. This will allow you a taste of these delicious ethnic treats without breaking the budget.

Traveling and experiencing other cultures is a delightful experience. Planning ahead can eliminate the stresses that can spoil such activities. Follow the above tips and your trip can be a success.