In my previous blog I talk about making the choice to travel and the importance of making what makes us happy a priority. When it comes to traveling, this takes a little more effort because, for most of us, leaving on a whim is not a possibility. In a future blog post I will talk about how to plan and finance big trips and some of the ways I make travel affordable for myself. But in this blog, I want continue talking about making travel a possibility. I think for most, traveling means going to a new city or visiting an exotic place. A trip that takes months to plan and plenty of resources. I myself used to define traveling that way. However, I have begun to think of it as experiencing a new city or rediscovering an old one. I have come to realize that while I would like to leave work and travel for months at a time, sometimes we have to say yes to those random spur of the moment trips that can be planned in a weekend.
I recently took such a trip. One of the craziest trips I have taken is going to Mexico City for the weekend. I did not think going was a possibility. I had gone to Mexico City in July of 2017 and was just getting back from a two-week trip in Asia three weeks before this trip was supposed to take place. Not to mention I was about to start a new semester of grad school and that in itself is a pretty penny. Going to Mexico wasn’t really option, but it also wasn’t completely off the table. My cousin was turning 15 and celebrating her quinceañera. My sister and I did not have quinceañeras, another story for another time, and so the fact that she would be having a big party was a big deal for my family, not to mention that turning 15 is a pretty big deal in Mexican culture. It was a party that I had heard about for about a year and knew that most of my family, even the ones I hadn’t seen in years, would be there. I said I couldn’t go pretty early on, but my family continued to ask if I was sure I couldn’t make it work. They asked probably up until 3 weeks before the party when I finally bought the ticket.
I know it was important for my family that I go and most importantly for my mother. While it was nice to see my family, I wasn’t necessarily concerned about seeing people I didn’t really know. but these were the people that had raised my mother and I knew they were important to her, so I started to seriously look into how I could make going a possibility. We began by tracking flights and seeing how much it would cost for a round trip ticket to Mexico City. Having flown out of San Francisco for my trip to Asia, we decided to not only look for flights out of Reno, but include nearby airports as well. Bigger airports often offer cheaper more direct flights than the ones we can get leaving out of Reno. An average flight to Mexico City out of Reno is between $400 – $600 depending on the time of the year and how far in advance you buy it. This can go as high as the $700s during busy times, such as Christmas, and can be as low as within the $300 rage when flying during a non – peak time. All of these flights include a layover since Reno is not an international airport and so the shorter the layover the more expensive the ticket.
We decided to look into flying out of San Francisco. That turned out to be an excellent deal. A round trip ticket from SFO to MEX cost us about $220 each and we paid $30 to park the car for the weekend. My boyfriend, sister and brother also came along for the trip and we saved an average of $200 per ticket by not flying out of Reno and were able to split the price of gas and parking between the 3 of us. Once we got to Mexico we had a place to stay and didn’t have to pay any money on food. Overall, a pretty great deal.
In total we spent about 250 dollars each for a weekend in Mexico City which is probably only slightly more than we spend going out to eat and drink on the weekends.
My point with this story is that often times it is easy to say no. It is easy to say it is expensive, or we don’t have the time. Or maybe we have to make extra effort to make it a possibility (like driving 4 hours to get a cheaper flight) but when we sit down and look at the numbers it is often the case that it does not cost much more than a night of bar hopping would; Maybe the cost is giving up a night of sleep to hop on a red – eye to Mexico City (totally worth it). We are not going to remember the sleepless nights but rather the random adventures we said yes to. So the next time you feel like you have to say no even though you want to go, ask yourself, “how can I say yes? How can I make this happen?”
Please leave a comment below if you’ve taken any fun weekend trips you’d recommend.