This post probably applies to a lot of people: students looking to expand their language learning for class, professionals looking for a way to beef up their language skills, parents looking for cheap family summer vacations or summer activities ideas, or basically anyone looking for ideas for travel destinations for summer vacation.
If you are in between school or college years, sure, you could work a job at or close to minimum wage and maybe save some money (or probably spend it if you are like I often did!). But wouldn’t you rather have the experience of your life? Hmmm…serving ice cream or hamburgers or, umm, having an awesome time, meeting new friends, and starting to learn a new language!
Or if you are a parent…instead of doing the Disney thing (again…my goodness people!), imagine how much Spanish your kids could pick up in just a few weeks of studying and living abroad in Latin America.
The first couple of things that people mention to me when I start to talk bout traveling abroad are time and money. If you are looking for summer travel ideas, you must at least have a week or two in mind that you can use to travel (and I hope you have more…if not, well we’ll just have to help you quit your job at some point and get you to be a traveling bum…hmm I’ll have to write about that in another post).
As for money, if you stay in the United States, you are almost guaranteed to spend as much as you would traveling. If you are single and traveling alone, just think in your head of how much you spend on food, drinks, movies, clothes, shoes, the gym, activities, going to birthday parties, etc. etc. etc. Even if you try to watch what you spend you probably find it hard not to.
Heck even if you take your car in for an oil change, you can accidentally spend up to a couple hundred on useless crap like engine flushes and what not that those punks try to sell you (most of which I have been told by mechanics that you actually don’t need by the way). And if you are a parent, think of the food bills alone.
If you are like most moms (or dads, I know a few of you actually do some shopping out there. , a trip to the supermarket, even with coupons, can get out of hand. First of all, if you are in this situation, please send me an email and I will try to help you find a supermarket or other market that can save you hundreds on produce and meets. I am not a representative of any market or company, I just hate to see people throwing money down the toilet because they go to the typical American supermarkets when probably within a mile there is a better place to go. I may not have been to where you live but I will do my best to figure it out and give you some options.
In any case, let’s be honest…you are going to spend some serious loot this summer. A single trip to the beach or somewhere else is going to set you back at least a fifth of what you will pay for your language learning trip, so let’s get planning! A good place to start looking for flights is Cheapo Air.
If you are going to seriously think about a language trip this summer, you should try to block off as much time as possible. Remember that the air fare is often one of the most expensive parts, so once you are down there, if you add a week or two to the experience you are probably going to do much better than if you tried to take two small trips during the year.
Also, some places, like Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras not only tend to be cheaper in terms of schools, etc., but also the air fares are reasonable (and by the way, you might not have been told, but those places are absolutely gorgeous…I have lived in two and have friends who have lived in the others).
The first time I went to Venezuela flights were crazy cheap, maybe $400 just few years ago, but I think they have gone up considerably. And if you decide on Mexico (which I love), a cheap place to fly into is Puerto Vallarta (cheaper than Mexico City usually when I look). In any case, experiment with different places, and if you have questions feel free to ask!