The best tool I use to find the best flight deals hands down is Google Flights. The reason why Google Flights is so convenient and useful to finding the best deals is because it allows you to search multiple cities as origins at the same time to different cities on a map view to get the best price out of all the cities. It’s kinda like a “bird’s eye” view of different countries can you travel to with all the prices indicated next to the city on the map. The images below shows about 13-15 cities in various countries including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Caribbean islands, Colombia, and Ecuador that are under $300 round trip from either Tampa, Orlando, Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale. Ft. Lauderdale tends to be the cheapest option most of the times so I plan my commute there.
I usually travel only on weekends and would sacrifice 1-2 days tops of taking either a Friday or Monday off work or take no days off and find a flight that leaves in the evening on Friday and comes back late on Sunday. All of these different traveling options allows me to travel at least 10 times a year using up to 2 weeks of PTO. The key is mixing a little short trips with a little bit longer trips. For the smaller trips (2 days) I might not use any PTO and have it set up to where I won’t have to take time off work because I will leave on a Friday evening and come back Sunday evening. Those trips have to be dirt cheap like under $200 roundtrip and my sole purpose would be to party or site see, mainly PARTY!!! Lol. For longer trips, I try to take Friday completely off and look for flights that leave Thursday night so I don’t have to take Thursday off and can have a whole complete Friday. These are the best types of setups because it gives you more time in the country for the least amount spent. If I take two days off work, I’ll take a Friday and Monday, or just Thursday and Friday. 48 hours is usually the average amount of time I spend in one country and honestly, 48 hours is all you need to experience the culture, sightseeing, and nightlife. Having an itinerary and travel schedule allows you to hit all the key points you wanted to experience in that country in a short amount of time.
I decided to enter my 30s with a bang and have many places planned to travel in order to start my travel blog experience. One of my main goals is to learn Spanish so hopefully going to all these countries I pick up on the language more fluidly. I’m traveling 6 different times throughout the year going to countries like Panama, Colombia, Europe, and Ecuador.
Below are the final destinations I am using for the remaining of my 2017 PTO balance with 4 days during the Barranquilla Carnaval. I only live once and I wanted to experience the 2nd largest carnival in the world. Worth the PTO.