Skeptical? Doubtful? Good. Two years ago, if I would have read the title of this post, I would have been too.
Back in 2015 after listening to Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Workweek, I began to explore the possibility of living abroad — just to see how possible it actually was. Not being too much of a traveler, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. One thing I did know was Barcelona was on the top of my list.
Without intense price shopping for travel and apartments, I couldn’t believe just how underwhelming the cost was for a one month trip mid-May to mid-June would be.
On this random day in December just before the holidays, this is what comes up on Google Flights.
Try to focus on the price — not the thought of no WiFi for 7-8 hours. The exact cost ($500) is also available for return on Thursday, June 24th. Now, if you’re not already taken back by this number — which, to be honest, I totally was — it gets better. How? Well, in my original search in 2015, rather than Norwegian Airlines being the most cost-effective, Delta was listed as lowest price for the trip at $400! Yes, $400 round trip. I was mind-blown and haven’t seen an offer like that from Delta since! Eager to seize what seemed to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I routed to Delta.com immediately. Before checking out, I couldn’t help but see this…
Now, this is the only time I’ve ever paid attention to an offer like this. Partially because I’m a sucker for a great deal and know of my lack of ability to resist a bargain that sounds so fine. Anyway, this one was on the money. So much that it made me feel like a jackass for being so anti-ad in the first place.
Thinking ahead, I assumed $1,000 would be spent easily. Worst case scenario, I could reserve my AirBnB stay on that card — and that meant, after getting $200 back, airfare from NY to Barcelona would be $200? WTF?! Booked. Talk about getting the customer at the right time! Well done AMEX/Delta. (cue 70’s sitcom clapping)
Now I’m certainly not suggesting opening a credit card to fund a trip for continuous partying if you don’t have the money — wouldn’t put that on a list of wise financial decisions. But, if you have the money, why the heck not redeem a few hundred bucks for purchases you’re going to make anyway? After all, when you can pay it off immediately and close the account before that one year annual fee comes around, you win!
Back to Norwegian Air. Just because they’re not partnered with AMEX doesn’t mean scoring a sweet deal is impossible. There are plenty of deals out there that are just as great. Currently get.com (one of my tools for credit card comparison) has a slew of cards with offers for $150 back after spending $500 in the first 3 months. As long as it’s paid off in the first month, your Norwegian flight from New York to Barcelona that was $500 is now $350. SCORE!
Now, to Ibiza…
From Barcelona, Ibiza is only about a 175 mile swim — or for the drier option, there’s Vueling Airlines (recommended over the swim). They’ve got a round trip one-hour flight for an eye-popping 46 bucks! When I first saw these numbers I couldn’t help but pinch myself. “Is this real life?” I thought. Yes. And if you’re an American with little to no European travel under your belt like I was, it’s just the beginning of short flights and wild nights.
Now I’m not going to play tour guide because I’m far from it — and unfortunately AirBnB’s Experiences hasn’t made it there yet (which I can’t wait for). But for any planners looking for a time-saving tool (and more), I was recommended Google Trips. It makes organizing a piece of cake and is well worth the download. Aside from that, there’s a ton of cool shit to do in Ibiza and the scenery is truly incredible. The mountains, beach, water — unreal. The only place I’ve seen to this date that resembles Ibiza’s landscape in the states is Catalina Island. And now add that scenery with a never-ending party, non-stop music, and sleeping on the beach. Yea, it’s that awesome.
This past year I only spent 24 hours on the amazing island to see the legendary Eric Prydz and deadmau5 go back-to-back, something I’ve waited to see for a while and was so happy to finally had the chance to. The party (at Hï Ibiza) was so intense that Prydz dropped a trailer to his new release Pryda - Stay With Me with footage shot there (see here).
Getting back to it…
To sum it up, travel, specifically international travel doesn’t need to be postponed for your 60s. It’s totally doable and with a little strategy, can cost significantly less than a trip to Vegas or Miami.
Have any amazing low-cost travel experiences? If yes, please share below. We’d love to hear about them!