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7 Tips on How to Travel in Costa Rica on a Budget

Costa Rica is a popular tourist destination worldwide! It is the most visited country in Central America and the most sought-after country by tourists from Canada, Europe, and the US. A pioneer of ecotourism, Costa Rica draws tourists to its extensive series of national parks and protected areas. It is a mix of nature, biodiversity, waterfalls, volcanoes, hot springs, rescue centers, beaches, and much more. Something for everyone!

Now, if you are someone looking for a vacation in Costa Rica, but have a tight budget, here are a few tips that will help you save money.

1. Plan Ahead

Making last moment bookings burn a hole in your pocket. Not only do you spend extra on flights, but you also miss out on hot accommodation options, as they are all taken. It is always economical to book your flight tickets and hotels in advance, as prices shoot up close to the travel date.

2. Travel During Off-Season

Avoid traveling during peak season. One, you will find all the accommodation options booked, and two, you will pay nearly double what you would have otherwise, on accommodation and travel. Moreover, every place you go to is packed with tourists, and your experience is spoiled.

Summers, ie. December-March is a busy time in Costa Rica. Though this is a good time to visit, the rainy season (May-November) has its own charm too.

3. Keep An Eye On Discounts

If you wish to travel in the coming months, keep an eye on the airline and hotel fares. You may be able to find some nice deals or see an unexpected drop in fare. Be quick to book there and then, as these prices are not there for long. A little alertness can save you a lot of money.

4. Take Public Transport

Ditch your private vehicle or private taxis for your commute. Take public transport whenever you can. Public transport is undoubtedly the cheapest mode of transport. It is also a greener mode of transport and your carbon footprint is less.

5. Look For Cheap Accommodation Options

Stay in a hostel or bed & breakfast that offers accommodation for cheap. Hostels are a cheap and popular option among tourists in Costa Rica. You can also try CouchSurfing, where you can request to stay with someone at their house for free.

6. Carry Your Own Gear

If you are planning to go for adventure activities during the trip, it is always better to carry your own gear with you. Rented gear will cost you extra. So, plan ahead and make sure to pack gear that is easy to carry. This will help you make the most out of your trip at no additional cost.

7. Eat Local

Wherever possible, eat local food at local outlets (called Sodas in Costa Rica). This way, you will get to savor the local cuisine of the place, blend in with the local culture, and most importantly, help support the local economy. You also save money on expensive dining in high-end restaurants.

For ideas on where to travel in Costa Rica when on a budget, read our article about 3 cheap Costa Rica vacation destinations

ICT’s “Vamos a Turistear” campaign also offers advice, recommendations and travel deals for Ticos and foreigners alike. Click here for more information. 

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