I planned a 5-day vacation to Cabo San Lucas for $700 including flights — here's exactly how I did it
The secret to budget travel is sharing the costs.
Gathering friends or family together for vacations allows for expenses to be shared among the group. You'll be surprised just how affordable food, activities, and even accommodations can be when you travel in a group.
I once accompanied a friend for a birthday trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with eight other guests. The destination was spectacular: From the famous El Arco rock formation to its adventurous excursions, Cabos San Lucas is an exquisite combination of natural beauty, pristine beaches, and luxurious amenities.
Planning a cheap vacation to gorgeous Cabo is doable. Here are eight ways I kept my five-day vacation to my budget of $715.
1. I bought my tickets early
Buying flights early or with rewards points can save money.
I purchased my airline tickets two months ahead of time for $100 one way from Los Angeles to Los Cabos via United. For the other leg, I used 17,500 United MileagePlus frequent flyer miles.
2. We used Airbnb and bought groceries
Cooking meals was more affordable than dining out.
Half of our group rented an Airbnb near the popular Medano Beach, while the other half (myself included) booked a suite at the Villa La Estancia Los Cabos, which cost $400 per person for four nights.
To save money, we utilized the kitchen at the Airbnb for our meals. We hopped in the rental car (paid for with Hertz points) and went to the local Walmart to stock up. We split the grocery costs between the 10 of us, and it came out to $20 per person for the five days.
3. We walked to the beach
Villa La Estancia is within walking distance to scenic Medano Beach, which is one of the most popular and bustling beaches in the area. We lay out on the sand and ordered empanadas for lunch ($2 each) from sidewalk vendors.
4. We even took a yacht charter
We even fit in a yacht charter.
We took a three-hour yacht charter with Seashine Adventures, which included an open bar, private chef, snorkeling near the iconic Los Arcos, a paddle board, and a kayak. The cost was $1,500, split between the 10 of us.
5. I fit in a spa day
The spa day pass was well within my budget.
I decided to unwind and check out the offerings at my resort's spa after a hot, three-mile morning run around the hotel grounds. The day pass for resort guests was an affordable $35. The hydrotherapy circuit included a sauna, Jacuzzi, and a eucalyptus steam room in a beautiful marble-clad and natural light setting.
6. Our sushi dinner was cheaper than expected
Our sushi dinner was $20 each.
We took a break from communal cooking at the hotel and treated ourselves to a sit down dinner at a new sushi spot, Nik-San, planted in the middle of downtown Los Cabos. We shared tasty dishes like the sashimi salad, pan-fried spicy fish, and sake nigiri in a dimly lit and chic setting. Each of us paid about $20.