Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When Cost Is a Major Factor in Deciding Where to Go

Click on the title of this posting to visit Tim Leffel's Cheapest Destinations Blog. He's a travel writer who has been around the world three times and written from five continents over the last 20 years or so. He's the author of "The World's Cheapest Destinations," currently in its third printing, as well as other travel books.

His blog is full of good advice for getting the most bang for your buck. Here's a sample:

We can debate forever about the differences between a traveler and a tourist, but sometimes it pays to step off the snob stool and just go for the best value possible, especially on a vacation. Unless you’re on a really tight shoestring budget, often you can get a stupendous deal by trolling where the tourists go to book their trips.

Case in point: my just-finished vacation in Puerto Vallarta with my family. I could have booked us into a crappy downtown hotel with barely functioning air conditioning and cramped quarters for around $75 a night for three, nothing included, with the nearby beach choices a few blocks away being lousy. Instead I went onto and scored four nights at an all-inclusive hotel on the Nuevo Vallarta beach for $82 a night all-in. For that amount we got all the booze we could drink, all the food we wanted to stuff ourselves with (three of us!), a nice room with a panoramic ocean view, Wi-Fi, and lots of activities. (The boogie boarding rocked.)

Yes it was cheesy and yes we felt like your average package tourists, but so what? My daughter had a blast, there was a never-ending Negra Modela tap going, and we ate pretty well without ever taking my wallet out of the room safe. I would definitely do it again.

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