Author Topic: Mustachian Vacationing  (Read 5862 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Mustachian Vacationing
« on: September 11, 2014, 02:42:22 PM »
Hi all,

I am looking to take a 1-2 break from my current job and vacation. This will occur sometime either late Sept/early Oct or mid - late November. Originally, I planned on going to Costa Rica, but it seems that it will be the wet season and I do not want to deal with a bunch of rain.

A little on myself...I'm 25, I intend on travelling alone, and I intend on spending about 2k everything all in. I do not mind staying in hostels. I would prefer to go to a third world country, but am open to any ideas. I may even try I want to experience the local culture, sightsee, and of course party. 

Please Mustachians, give me some insight into where I can travel and have a good time. If you can, let me know the cheap travel broker websites I should use, where I can find any discounts, etc. I am new to the whole travelling thing..I've really only been to Mexico (outside NA) with family, and have been to 6-7 cities in the US. I live in Calgary, AB currently.



  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 03:28:49 PM »
I went to Costa Rica a couple of years ago.  While we stayed in hotels for the week, I saw hostels that were ~$10 night that made me and my girlfriend wish we had stayed there.  Also, look more at what rainy season means.  Rains may often be a passing storm for an hour or two in the evening.  As far as a travel broker, I'm not sure they would pitch you hostels.  Check Tripadvisor or other forum recommendations online.  We did not take any 'tours' with groups - we were both capable of hiking through parks or up mountains on our own.  If that is your thing though, it is very easy to find tours there.  $2k or less is certainly doable for one person, especially during rainy season.


  • Guest
Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 05:54:36 PM »
Did some of these trips about 10 or so years ago. Fun times on the cheap! And yes, some serious partying.

My sister also did a 3 week trip to Costa Rica with this company (and there are tons of other "adventure travel" companies out there that have budget trips). Her trip included things like hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, ziplining, snorkeling, etc... and all of the sites on both coasts, motels, transportation in country (but not airfare) and some meals:
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 06:07:39 PM by Spartana »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 10:07:05 PM »
I am looking to take a 1-2 break from my current job and vacation.

Days?  Weeks?  Months?  I'm guessing not days, based on the $2K budget, but there's a big difference between places to visit that cost $2K for 2 weeks and those that cost $2k for 2 months.  Maybe you can clarify?


  • Bristles
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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 11:54:15 PM »
Puerto Vallarta? I went there last October. A little rain, but at 90 degrees, you don't get cold. Culture, GREAT food, ocean, clubs, etc. Look into it. A good website with helpful forums is I live on the West Coast and there are many flights to PV. If I lived on the East Coast, I'd do Costa Rica or perhaps Tulum.


  • Stubble
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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 12:09:30 AM »
Go to the library and take out the rough-guide and lonely planet for Costa Rica. Both should give a great idea of places less traveled and suggest some decent and cheap hostels.

Of course the mere fact they're in these books will mean the places you visit and hostels you stay in wont be a complete "hidden gems" but they are also less risky than just winging it - in especially in the off season.


  • Guest
Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2014, 01:16:09 AM »
Also check out Lonely Planets web site and their Thorn Tree forums. Lots of hints there from travelers

Overseas Stache

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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 02:06:12 AM »
If you were thinking Costa Rica but are on a budget I would recommend Nicaragua. Nicaragua has a lot of stuff to do and is very cheap. I went there with my wife a couple years ago and we stayed in a wonderful place that we had completely to ourselves, It was on a volcanic crater lake. It only cost $20 a night for the largest suite and included breakfast. There are many hostels that can cost around 5 per night. We rented a car so we did a lot of driving and hiking which is all free but there is plenty of public transport that would make it really cheap. Food is also inexpensive, you can get some great local meals for about $2. You could easily live a good life in Nicaragua for 500/month.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 02:30:42 AM »
Also, look more at what rainy season means.  Rains may often be a passing storm for an hour or two in the evening.

Check Tripadvisor or other forum recommendations online. 


Looks like November is the tail end of the rainy season, which may be alright. Check more sources to get a clearer idea of this. You might also be able to get better deals if it's not peak tourist season. I would be hesitant to go somewhere if it's going to rain hard all the time, but a little rain here and there is okay, and often makes the scenery more beautifully lush and verdant.

I use Tripadvisor a fair bit, and find it helpful. You can get a pretty good picture of whether a certain attraction/accommodation would suit you, if you go beyond the ratings and really dig into the reviews, and even the reviewers - some may be dodgy, some may be fussy, and there may simply be things that don't matter to me as much as they do to others, and vice versa. Plus you can filter/sort according to your budget. I start from the lowest priced ones and assess which ones suit me best.

For specific questions, I start a thread in my favourite forums (like you are doing now, I guess!) but I also do a google search, there are often existing threads in any number of forums that ask the same thing and have already been answered.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 02:32:39 AM by limeandpepper »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 03:03:23 AM »
November is a great time to go to South East Asia. I'd definitely recommend Cambodia. You can also go to Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. Very cheap cost of living there. The main drawback though is that your flight is going to be expensive.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Mustachian Vacationing
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 02:29:17 PM »
The expensive part of travelling is generally the flight. Once you're in South or Central America, you can eat like a king for $10 a day (4 course meal for $4, giant plate of fried vegetables, meat, and rice for $3) and stay in nice, friendly hostels for $5-$20/night. And here are many inexpensive bus services to get you around between countries as well. If you want luxury you can take lines like Cruz del Sur and ride with all the other tourists. I think a 10 hour bus ride in a luxury coach (with bathroom on board and comfy reclining seats) would set you back about $20 and you can watch movies and be fed during this time. If you want to ride with the locals it's even cheaper. I haven't been there, but I hear that many parts of Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, India, etc) have similar costs of living. Walking around the towns is free and the hostels will give you maps. Cab rides can be similarly cheap. I rode in a taxi on a 90-minute trip between cities for $7 (2 other riders kicked in the same).

Just get your travel shots, be careful about what you eat, drink only bottled water (or treat it yourself), and bring plenty of Immodium and Pepto-Bismol tablets. Even if you're careful, you can still get sick from people not washing their hands properly (food service glove use is rare in some places). I personally got really tired of picking off all the delicious raw vegetables from my plates, so next time I will use the hostel kitchens sometimes to cook a bunch of fresh vegetables from a local market to supplement my travel diet.

You can also spend more money and go to Europe, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune. I spent 4 weeks there for about $4k, again staying in hostels and eating a bunch of trailmix type food I brought with me for lunch (breakfast is usually included at the hostel). Flights inside the EU are frequently cheap (I had a $11 flight from London to Amsterdam) and EuroRail passes are convenient. Hostels are reasonably priced, but food is more expensive, so I didn't really experience much of the local cuisine and bought things at the grocery store.