Gone are the days when you could make trips to Costa Rica without much of a plan because the trip was cheap. Presently, a trip to Costa Rica is quite expensive, and you have to work with a budget close to the one you’d have traveling to South Pacific, Europe or North America. But, with the breathtaking beaches, wildlife and rain forests, this is to be expected.Eight tips on how to organize a trip to Costa Rica with style but without breaking the bank.Take a look at my top travel to Costa Rica.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t travel because of your tight budget. As a frugal traveler, consider the following travel tips:
1. Plan your trip during the rainy season/ off-peak season
As someone once said, timing is everything. Just as your tax advisor Toronto will advise on paying your tax deductions or your investor’s take on investment in stocks – you have to make a move at the right time.
If making plans to travel to Costa Rica, you should consider heading there during the off-season months which run from May, June, August – to November. July isn’t on this list because, though it is a rainy month, many tourists from North America are on their summer break, and the prices go up during that time.
The most expensive time to make a trip to Costa Rica is during the major holidays running from November to the end of April. This is the high season, and the whole of Costa Rica is crowded and expensive.
2. Get a local SIM card
International calls are expensive when using your phone number registered in your country of origin. But, once in Costa Rica, you are better off using a Costa Rican SIM or card/ chip. It is the cheapest option for communicating for as long as you’ll be in Costa Rica. Just make sure your phone is unlocked.
3. Use the local currency – Colon
When making an international trip, for leisure or business, you shouldn’t brandish the locals with your fancy foreign currency. Once the locals know that they are dealing with a foreigner, they will upsell their goods and services. So, in Costa Rica, make sure you trade as a local does, with Colon, and you will not be exploited.
4. Ditch your Visa and Master Cards for Cash
Carrying a lot of cash makes you vulnerable and a target for thieves only if you make it obvious you are carrying a lot of cash around. While making payments with your card is an option, it is expensive. Every transaction completed via your card attracts a commission. In the end, you will incur high costs in commission.
5. Look for cheap flight tickets
With more and more people making travel plans to this Costa Rica, there has been an increase in demand for flights to the country. Due to high competition, you can easily find legit companies offering great deals.
6. How to save on hotels
Naturally, the cost of accommodation is high in a tourist destination. But, this doesn’t mean that you spend a lot of money on accommodation. There are numerous lodging options including Couchsurfing and Airbnb. For couchsurfing, try Tico Houses.
There are other alternatives for cheap accommodation which include:
• Signing up for newsletters of hotel booking websites to get insider information on deals and discount alerts.
• Check out hotels’ social media pages for information on deals and discounts
• You can also sign up for hotel discount websites, and you may also want to consider looking for hotels that offer deals and discounts when you book directly.
7. Eat from Sodas
To save money on meals, you should take your meals in sodas. Sodas are simple, restaurant-style food shops that sell fresh home-cooked meals. Though they aren’t luxurious, they serve great meals with specialties for different days. Besides a full stomach, you will also learn more about the local culture, and it doesn’t hurt learning a few local words for foods, does it?
If you have to cook, shop from the supermarket and prepare it yourself. There is little risk of exploitation when you shop at the supermarket.
8. Skip the tour guides and their vans
Even though you traveled with a travel agency, you shouldn’t consider taking their tour guiding package as it is often too expensive. Public transportation is the cheapest way for you to travel through the different towns.
Lastly, be nice, it doesn’t cost a thing. You should learn to mix well with the locals and the foreigners as well. These eight tips will ensure that you don’t break the bank. So, put out your best face and get ready to meet the rest of the world.