2 Exotic (and Cheap!) International Vacation Destinations

If you want to know the secret to budget traveling, it’s traveling during off-peak months. The most expensive times to travel are in the summer and right before major holidays.

And another secret is to travel to countries where the dollar has an advantage over the local currency.

Here are two countries that you can visit for two weeks on a $1,500 budget.


Ecuador is located on the northwestern edge of South America. Ecuador is bordered by Columbia to its northeast, Peru to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to its west.

It is a beautiful tropical country that is bisected by the Equator along in the north. But this country still features an amazing variety of local climates. You can experience warm and beautiful seaside beaches and the steamy jungles of the Amazon at sea level.  And at higher elevations, you can experience breezy and rustic mountain towns and villages and snow-covered mountaintops.

Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is the second-highest capital in the world at 9,400 feet above sea level. Another city, Cuenca, sits at an elevation of 8,400 feet above sea level and experiences mostly intermediate weather climes in the 70s all year long.

The cheapest time to fly to Ecuador is in the winter and spring. During off-peak travel periods, you could buy a two-way plane ticket to Ecuador for anywhere between $100 to $400. And you could stay in four-star to five-star hotels for anywhere between $25 to $55 per night.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small Central American country that is in the middle of a chain link of countries that connect North America to South America. Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to its north and Panama towards its southeast.

And the Caribbean ocean borders Costa Rica to its east while the North Pacific ocean borders it west.

You can take a zipline ride in the jungle and in cloud-covered, aesthetically breathtaking rainforests.  Or you can relax near warm, turquoise-blue waters at one of Costa Rica’s many beaches. You can even hike with experts up some of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes.

Costa Rica is sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of Central America because of its tendency to remain politically neutral, its banking system, and great medical system. Many of Costa Rica’s doctors are U.S.-trained and its hospitals maintain affiliations with the United States.

The best and cheapest time to travel to Costa Rica is during the winter and spring, which is the dry season in the country. You can probably get a two-way ticket for less than $500, or even less during off-peak months.

And you can snag a room at three and four-star hotels for anywhere between $27 to $50 per night.