Four years ago this week, as I was starting to wean my oldest daughter, my husband and I decided we deserved a mini-vacation, sans children. An email from Continental advertised a last-minute weekend airfare from Houston to Ixtapa/Zihuatenjo for...$36 plus 10K frequent flier miles (of which we have oodles). That's right, $36, round-trip, for a direct, 90-minute flight to Mexico! I booked the tickets immediately and lucked out again with Priceline, where I scored four nights at the four-star Las Brisas for only $80/night, including taxes and fees. For less than $400, total, the two of us were headed to Mexico for a four-day weekend, hoping for beautiful beaches and lovely views.
We were not disappointed.
Ixtapa's Las Brisas provided the beaches:
|View from our hotel balcony at day|
|View from our hotel balcony at night|
Zihua's many seafood restaurants provided the sunset views:
Ixtapa is commercialized but is also home to the airport and more hotels; Zihua is a sleepy fishing village with lots of charm and superb restaurants. They are only a few minutes apart, and taxis are cheap and plentiful. Service and seafood were excellent everywhere. If I were to visit again, though, I would probably try to stay at La Casa Que Canta, a boutique hotel in Zihua where we ate dinner and where some of the above photos were taken. Look at some of beautiful pictures from their website:
Gorgeous! And so accessible from the western U.S.!
The take-aways here: **International travel can be affordable, easy, and convenient. **Sometimes the best trips are the most spontaneous and least planned. **Sign up for the airlines' weekly emails, read the fine print to make sure you understand international fees, and then take advantage of the specials. **Priceline is great for international travel, too, and Bidding for Travel helps demystify the bidding process and ensure you get a great deal. **Finally, keep your passport up-to-date so you can flee the country at a moment's notice!