I planned a 5-day vacation to Cabo San Lucas for $700 including flights — here's exactly how I did it

Adrienne JordanThe secret to budget travel is sharing the costs. (Pictured: Villa La Estancia Los Cabos.)
  • Planning a cheap vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico isn’t as hard as it seems.
  • Buying your tickets early, picking accommodations where you can cook, and splitting the costs among the group can significantly reduce costs.
  • I planned a five-day vacation to Cabo San Lucas for about $US700 total – 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 $US715.

1. I bought my tickets early

Zodiacphoto/ShutterstockBuying flights early or with rewards points can save money.

I purchased my airline tickets two months ahead of time for $US100 one way from Los Angeles to Los Cabos via United. For the other leg, I used 17,500 UnitedMileagePlusfrequent flyer miles.

2. We used Airbnb and bought groceries

Luis Ascui/Getty ImagesCooking 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 theVilla La Estancia Los Cabos, which cost $US400 per person for four nights.

To save money, we utilised the kitchen at the Airbnb for our meals. We hopped in the rental car (paid for with Hertz points) and went to the local Walmartto stock up. We split the grocery costs between the 10 of us, and it came out to $US20 per person for the five days.

3. We walked to the beach

Adrienne JordanMedano Beach was a walk away.

Villa La Estancia is within walking distance to scenicMedano 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 ($US2 each) from footpath vendors.

4. We even took a yacht charter

Adrienne JordanWe even fit in a yacht charter.

We took a three-houryacht charter withSeashine Adventures, which included an open bar, private chef, snorkelling near the iconic Los Arcos, a paddle board, and a kayak. The cost was $US1,500, split between the 10 of us.

5. I fit in a spa day

Dragon Images/ShutterstockThe 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 $US35. 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

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for KatsuyaOur sushi dinner was $US20 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 $US20.

7. We partied

Adrienne JordanWe often got free shots from promoters.

We bar-hopped along the downtown Cabo San Lucas tourist district, a two-block stretch surrounding Plaza Bonita which has plenty of bars and lounges that play music ranging from salsa to American hip-hop. Our large group was attractive to promoters, who stood at the doors and ushered us in. Many of them offered free house shots, so we rarely had to buy drinks.

8. My pre-flight snack was $US10

diak/ShutterstockWe went to a market before our flight.

Before catching our flight home, we stopped by theEl Merkadomarket, which is 20 minutes from the airport. At the market, vendors served up big tortillas with vegetables inside and beers from a local microbrewery. I spent about $US10 for a pre-flight snack.

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