It is time for a deserved holiday back to France! That trip is part of my 2013 financial goals and I can’t wait to go. May is a lovely season if you remember my travel tips for France, the days are sunny, there are 3 bank holidays making 3 long weekends, and my sister is turning 30. It is a perfect time to go. I have been spending so much time looking for flights to Europe that my head is dizzy.
My options are
1. Go to Guatemala City (9 hours night bus, $15, pretty straightforward) and catch a $1,200 flight to Europe
2. Go to Cancun, Mexico (15 hours, two buses, $50, two border crossings through Belize) and catch a $700 flight to Europe
3. Go to Cancun, catch a $330 one way flight to Europe, a $500 one way from Europe to NYC or Miami, spend a few days there, then fly Spirit for $80 back to Cancun or $150 back to Guatemala. Total around $1,000.
4. Go to the nearby airport and take a $1800 flight to Europe. Yes, they charge $600 more to fly locally, although a round trip to Guatemala City is “only” $300 so I could bundle with option 1 for $1500. I still think it is a steep price for a 300 miles flight to charge $300 since this is the price to fly to the US.
The third option is my favorite so far, but I would have to fly on April 30th to France (OMG that is freaking soon!!), and be back to Guatemala by May 21st to get those rates, afterwards it gets really expensive. I know for most of you 3 weeks holidays are forever but I like to travel slowly and have lots of places to be and people to see. It is the occasion to get back on my motorcycle and do a bit of traveling too, I may go to Croatia or Morocco and would like at least four or five weeks.
I think I could try to negotiate a layover in option 1 since most flights go through the US, although it would probably be Houston or Atlanta instead of New York or Miami. I have never been to the former but am not as excited to visit as I would be the later. I don’t think it would change the price much, and that $1,200 flight don’t get a lot more expensive come June.
If you know about cheap charter companies that fly the Europe to US route I’d love to hear about them! I have looked at Iceland Air and Aer Lingus who both quoted about $500 for a Europe to NY ticket. I also found LAX for $450 but the flight to Guatemala was much more expensive.
The US layover in option 3 would cost $300 compared to option 2, it would not only be a holiday extension but also a shopping trip, to buy a new laptop, a few clothes, some running shoes (because the lack of proper shoes is obviously the reason why I am not running /sarcasm), and a couple more items that are more expensive in Europe or Guatemala. I think I can save about $150-$200, mostly because of the laptop.
Since the shopping savings are lower than the cost of the layover I do need to look for stops in cities I want to (re)visit, not just head to the mall and hop back on the plane.
Once I land, I will get my lovely motorcycle and be independent, which is great since I don’t have to book train tickets on top! Depending on how many days the flight spans over, I am thinking about a few days in Paris, my dearest hometown, few days in the South, stopping en-route to visit my grandparents, then maybe Spain, Italy, Morocco or Croatia to visit some friends. It is going to be an intense month!