En Route to Costa Rica


We got the green light!

Had to make sure a few things lined up, but I’m happy to say we’re planning our first international jaunt of 2017.  We’ll be flying down to Costa Rica for a few days in April, just at the end of the dry season!

Hopefully by then we’ll have more trips planned too, but this is all we have on the calendar so far, so I’m extra stoked for this one.  We’re going to try and squeeze another international trip in towards the end of the year if we have time, and I’ve got a few shorter domestic trips on the list for 2017 too.

Costa Rica, here we come!

A couple of things make this trip easy to plan (and easy on the wallet), Southwest flies there, (Companion Pass, remember?) and flights happened to be super cheap in April over school vacation week, so I figured, why not?

I’ll see my new country for 2017, and the kiddo will get to see some rainforests!  He’s been wanting to go to the Amazon jungle since he could talk…

We’ll only be there for 5 days, which is shorter than I’d like, but saved me a significant number of Southwest points, as well as a few vacation days from work.  The flights are already booked, April 15th to the 19th.  I booked them as soon as I could with my Rapid Rewards, since you’re able to cancel flights booked with the points up until the day before the flight for free.  I find myself doing that a lot, and I think I’ll really miss the flexibility that the Companion Pass and my stable of Rapid Rewards have granted me over the past year.

Google Map Driving Route.png


Here’s the plan:

  • Fly into San Jose (Alajuela), we’ve got a car rented already, so we’ll stay in that area for the night and drive up to the Poas Volcano early the next morning.
  • After Poas we’ll head to La Fortuna for 2 nights and check out the Arenal Volcano and the hot springs
  • Then onto the cloud forests of Monteverde and Santa Elena, and maybe hit the beach at the Gulf of Nicoya if we have time!

I’m going to really try to keep this trip cheap.  So far we’ve spent $160.62 on flights.  These are taxes and fees for two of the roundtrips BOS-BWI-SJO.  The taxes and fees on the third flight were covered by the airline fee credit from my AmEx Platinum.  We’ll probably book a few AirBnBs, and I have a night booked at the Holiday Inn Express San José Airport Costa Rica with some of my IHG points.  The car rental came out to $215.28 total, but should be covered by the travel credit on my girlfriend’s Chase Sapphire Reserve (she just got it!).  I don’t see food and gas costing us too much, and the only other major expense would be doing things like the Sky Trek or Selvatura style hikes through the cloud forest.

So, what’s the magic number?  5 days in Costa Rica for 3 people.  After hacking a bit, I think I can get it for under $600!  That’s $40 per person, per day.  It’s a stretch, but I bet we can make it!  This is the number I’ll have in mind when planning out the rest of the trip.

We’re really looking forward to it, and although it’s a shorter time than I typically like to travel for international trips, it’ll be a great few days exploring a new place!  If you’ve ever been and have any suggestions on Costa Rica for us, please comment!

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