It’s cheaper to holiday in a foreign country than stay home?
Preposterous! This writer is insane! What’s wrong with him?
Hold on, hold on, put your knives away.
I know it sounds ridiculous. How could it possibly be cheaper to leave the country for your holiday than taking a domestic trip? It turns out, it really can be. Let me explain, in a bite-sized list format, because lists are trendy and this blog is super trendy. Possibly. Anyway, here we go!
1. Prices are lower abroad
So, it depends on where you live and where you’re going, right? But let’s assume you live in North America or Europe for a moment – if that’s the case, everyday life (including restaurant meals, hotels, trains, etc.) in MANY other countries is cheaper than it is where you live. Have a look at the price index that the always sexy OECD put together:
The point is – if you live in the Czech Republic, and you go to Iceland, prices uh, won’t be cheaper. Sorry about that. Abort ship. But if you live in Iceland and go to the Czech Republic, they will be. Significantly cheaper. Plus you get to drink wonderful Czech beer and walk around beautiful towns literally dripping with history. Not literally. But they’re very historic.
2. International flights have never been this cheap
Even just a few years ago, the gap between international and domestic airfares was massive. These days however, international flights are cheaper than ever – in fact, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2016 that international air fares are at a “30-year low.”
That, combined with the profusion of budget international airlines – it’s a traveler’s paradise. WOW Air has been making waves with $99 (USD) America to Europe airfares. And in March, British Airways announced their new budget airline, Level – which launched with $149/ £99 fares from California to Barcelona. Sí, por favor.
By the way, all this assumes you’re actually paying for your tickets in the first place. With a well-timed credit card signup bonus or two, all your international flight tickets could be free. Free! Yes. I am a big fan of letting miles take me and my family on vacations for pennies. I won’t dive into the brilliance that is the miles and points game here – instead I will refer you to the experts. Try Million Mile Secrets or One Mile At a Time to get the lowdown.
3. Exchange rates change everything
Letsg.ooo users probably saw this one coming…but for those who are new here (welcome, by the way!), let me explain. Timing will dictate how much your entire holiday costs, thanks to exchange rates. Go somewhere where your currency is strong, and everything you do will be cheaper than it usually would be. You can’t play this little game by staying domestic, and you risk missing out on some serious savings. You can read a longer explanation of how it all works here, or just dive in and see what countries are “on sale” for you.
4. Oh, right, uh…number four
Do you really need a number four? I felt like 1 – 3 were pretty compelling. Come on, come on…don’t let that passport get dusty – let’s gooo!