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Visiting the Galapagos Islands on a Budget

Although the Galapagos Islands host some of the most luxurious cruises and nature lodges, it’s also a great destination for those looking to explore the best nature has to offer on a budget. With careful planning and by following our tips, you will come out with an experience to last a lifetime and enough money leftover to buy that expensive airport latte on the way home.

The best way to balance your budget is to plan ahead. A little bit of forward thinking and investigation before your trip can save you a bunch of money on your trip.

Find cheap plane tickets: When booking your airline, look for the lowest prices. The further ahead you book your flight, the cheaper the tickets will be. If you buy tickets last minute, they will often be the most expensive prices, as airlines expect that you have a sense of urgency. Also, look for flights with multiple layovers or red-eye flights (overnight/ late night flights), as these are usually the least expensive tickets no matter when you buy them. Choosing a seat in economy or coach rather than business class or first class can save you a lot of money as well.

Search the web wisely: Using trip planning sites and search engines like, or can help you sort through your best options and deals.

Only pack what you need: Many airlines will allow up to two checked 50 lb. bags, a carryon and a small personal item per ticket. There is no reason to pack more than this for a vacation, and if you do it will cost you. Overweight bags or extra luggage fees can cost you hundreds of dollars before you’ve even left home.

Be prepared, Pack smart: Pack at least a week before leaving. If you realize you forgot something (like sun block or swimwear) once you arrive in the Galapagos Islands, it will be much more expensive to buy it in a store there than it would be to remember it before leaving.