Where should I travel?
May 19, 2013 3:37 PM   Subscribe

My roommates and I are going abroad for the month of July. We're American college students; we'd like to go somewhere warm and cheap for a month. The thing is, we're not necessarily looking to go backpacking the whole time. I'm searching for a place that's super cheap, warm, and close to the ocean where we can write/relax/make music for a month. Shoestring budget here, and we don't mind dumpster diving. In the past I've sublet an apartment in Paris for two months for really cheap and just lived there to explore the city. Does anything spring to mind that's coastal and doable?


Two goals of ours:

-Spend at least three weeks on the ocean (we're all from Kansas haha)

-Visit/swim in a waterfall; camping by one a swimmable one would amazing!


More about us, if it's relevant:

My two roommates are both 19 guys and haven't left the country.

I'm a 21 guy, and have lived in Paris for a few months on my own/hitchhiked across parts of Europe.

Also, if it's relevant to the destination country in terms of culture or violence, I'm gay (roomies are straight). For better or for worse, few people guess my sexuality. If it's necessary to hide that in a foreign country for safety, that is ok but I'd like to know! Of course I'll be looking it up myself as well. Thanks!
posted by Shasta to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Come to Wales and rent a caravan for $150 a week each. We got mountains and beaches and a lifestyle that will flood your soul with joy.
posted by BenPens at 3:52 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think they said 'warm' ;)
posted by adrianhon at 4:08 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

Lisbon is a pretty inexpensive option. You can take a $2 train to Cascais (seaside village) or a $2 bus to Costa da Caparica (miles of ocean-facing beaches) from downtown. Grocery store food is incredibly cheap, so if you have an apartment with a kitchen you can get by on pretty little.

Last summer I rented a nice apartment for 500 euros/month (I was only there for a month). It isn't as easy to find such an option as a 60 euro/night hotel room, but there are plenty of hostel options to use while you're looking (e.g., www.jardimdesantoshostel.com). The online classified site casa.sapo.pt has lots of apartment listings. Contact people by phone ("Fala Ingles?") and make it clear you are interested in a short-term apartment. Many people won't rent for less than a year, but some will.
posted by pjenks at 4:21 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Look into - Barcelona, Albareda Youth Hostel
posted by megatherium at 4:37 PM on May 19, 2013

Thailand (maybe one of the islands, like Koh Phi Phi) and Costa Rica (specifically, camping near Playa Naranjo) come to mind. I can't speak to the dumpster diving though.
posted by sninctown at 6:18 PM on May 19, 2013

maybe cambodia
posted by cupcake1337 at 9:36 PM on May 19, 2013

A waterfall in a warm place in the Mediterranean in the summer might be a no-go as it's a very dry time of year, but Lisbon would hit all your other requirements - gay-friendly, near the ocean, cheap if you're sharing a flat/cooking.

Alternately, Mexico is an order of magnitude cheaper, though it will be hot and jungly the further south you go. Hurricanes can be an issue on the coasts as well.

Lisbon. :)
posted by mdonley at 11:14 PM on May 19, 2013

Yeah, my first thought was Portugal, as well, but maybe rather Setubal than Lisbon, given your list of requirements
posted by mumimor at 2:33 AM on May 20, 2013

I'm just back from ten days in Portugal and I'd say it fits your bill pretty well.
posted by Decani at 3:26 AM on May 20, 2013

I spent a month in Nicaragua last July and its amazing. It's rainy season, but that mostly means prices are cheaper, and that it rains in the evenings, but that's really not that much problem when you have a month and can reschedule outings. I swam in two waterfalls there, one of which was up the side of a volcano in Lake Nicaragua, sledded down another volcano, swam through a white water canyon and cliff dived, surfed on the beach in San Juan Del Sur, partied with the locals in Leon and Grenada, gambled in a casino in Leon, and just generally absorbed the local culture and history.

It's also super cheap. You can get by on $15 a day if you stay at hostels and cook your own food, and taking buses from one side of the country to the other will cost you like a dollar or two.
posted by empath at 4:37 AM on May 20, 2013

Oh, and if you just want someplace to relax for a month- Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica. I did nothing for a week there but sit in a hammock and read and go to the beach. It's very quiet and one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
posted by empath at 4:52 AM on May 20, 2013

Probably obvious, but make sure your friends have their passports or apply for them NOW if you are planning to go in July! If they've never been abroad before, they may not know how long the passport process takes.

Pretty much anywhere in the Yucatan peninsula is dirt cheap if you avoid the tourist traps. Lots of stuff to do and see in Mexico, too, though some areas are safer than others.

You can climb up a waterfall in Jamaica if you want to. I'm not very fond of Jamaica myself because the poverty in some areas is deplorable, but as you are poor college students who are not put off by dumpster diving yourselves, you may feel differently wbout that.
posted by misha at 7:32 AM on May 20, 2013

Thanks for the suggestions! We have a lot to look up now. And yeah, the passports are in order.
posted by Shasta at 11:30 AM on May 20, 2013

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