Anyone who knows me knows I’m always up for a vacation. As my Mom says, my suitcase is constantly packed and ready to go. So when an opportunity to travel somewhere new comes up, you can bet I’m going to try and rearrange my schedule and work it out. I’ve said before, the key is to be flexible not only with your timeframe but also your location. Here are 3 examples of destinations that are pretty desirable and priced reasonably right now.
I read an article yesterday about Brazil. I’ve been dying to check off any country in South America, preferably soon, and Brazil is near the top of the list, except for the $160 visa fee. I’m already going to have to spend close to $1000 for a flight down there, and I’d rather not lighten my bank account again before I even get to see a single sight! That’s why I messaged my Uncle Bill about the article I read, because from June 1 until September 8 this year, Brazil is waiving the visa fee for citizens of four countries, the US included. This is due to the huge influx of visitors they expect for the Summer Olympics this year. Saving $160 sounds like a gold medal deal to me! Now, you might be thinking, why would I want to go vacation when millions of people are going to be there for the Olympics? And you’re right, to a point. More visitors is going to make it more difficult to find accommodation, plus it’s going to drive up hotel costs. But, the Olympics don’t start until August, and it only January. By planning ahead and buying now for a trip in June or early July, you’ll miss some of the crowds and still get a decent deal on a hotel. You can also save by staying in hostels or using TripAdvisor and AirBnB to book a smaller, cheaper housing option. Who knows, you might even see your favorite pro athlete come early for the Olympic festivities!
Ahhh, Paris. The City of Lights. After last year’s terrorist attacks you might think, that’s not a place I want to vacation now. But you’re wrong. Let’s look at the facts. Flights right now to Europe are very reasonable; you can find flights to London from DC or New York for around $600. Not a lot of people are traveling to Paris right now because of the attacks, but you can take advantage of cheaper prices because of low demand. Yes, you’re taking a risk going to a major European city, but the global travel alert expires in February, and security is heightened everywhere. I went to DC, New York and Las Vegas over the holiday season and witnessed extra law enforcement, but I wouldn’t let the alert change my travel plans, I would just take extra precautions. And, as I said before, low demand for a location brings down prices, so hotels and other accommodations have decreased their room rates. Paris is still very high on my list of places to see in Europe and I wouldn’t think twice about booking a trip there now.
The third must-see destination on my list is Iceland. Now it’s well known that hotels, food and just overall cost of living in Iceland is high, so why go? WOW airlines have started offering $99 one way flights to Iceland from DC and New York, which comes out to $200 round trip. That’s an amazing deal!! Flights to Iceland used to cost as much as European airfare, around $500-600. So you’re saving almost $400 if you book on WOW (weekends are excluded from the deal). Once you get there, you can use that extra money to book a tour to see the Northern lights, visit some of Iceland’s famous waterfalls (Gullfoss is #1) or visit the hot springs. Accommodations will still be slightly more expensive than other destinations but look at all of your options before you book; since you have to fly on weekdays with WOW, rooms are usually cheaper than on the weekends.
A way to get an even better deal on these and other vacations is on Living Social.com. From January 6 until the 8, you can get 10% off all vacations by using the code TRAVEL. There’s a 6 day Iceland trip on the site right now for $999 that includes flights, hotels, and a Northern Lights tour! With the promo code the entire trip is $900. There’s also an Ireland vacation that includes flight and car rental for 8 days, $899 and a Machu Picchu hiking trip with flights for $1365. All great destinations at a great deal. So think about it, and book your next vacation today!!