5 Tips for Saving Cash (and Points) on a Cabo Vacation

Cabo is a great destination if you want an affordable beachside vacation. Having been to Cancun, Maui, Honolulu, and Bali, I definitely prefer Cabo as a relaxing vacation spot. It has great weather, beautiful beaches (that you mostly can’t swim in), a fairly quick flight from the west coast, it’s super affordable, and a great value on points. If you’re planning a trip to Cabo, here are 4 tips for saving points and cash:

1 – Fly Southwest

Cabo is a cheap destination to fly to, especially if you’re on the West Coast. If you can fly an airline that prices redemption rates based on distance or price, you’re golden. This is where Southwest can provide tremendous value. On a $236 roundtrip fare between Los Angeles and San Jose del Cabo, you’ll need just 9,500 points. That’s a bargain, especially if you’re traveling with a family. With the sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can cover airfare for four people – with 12,000 points to spare! If you manage to snag the Southwest Companion Pass, you’ll save even more.

2 – Go All-Inclusive

Staying at an all-inclusive hotel is a no-brainer. The best option for points stays is the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. Free nights cost just 20,000 points, which means the sign-up bonus from the Hyatt Visa will cover two nights. For longer stays, the Ink Plus Preferred Card’s sign-up bonus offers enough for up to four nights at this hotel. However, you can also find paid rates as low as $280 per night through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Center.

What makes the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos such a great choice is that the resort is all-inclusive. All the food, drinks, and entertainment are free. The only thing you’ll pay for are spa treatments and some of the beachfront cabanas. The best part? The food at this resort is top-notch. Seriously, this is not your average cattle call buffet version of an all-inclusive resort. The Hyatt Ziva has themed restaurants that serve up delicious Italian, Spanish, French, and American fare. I’ve had some of the best flank steak at their beachside grill. The ceviche? Obesity-inducing. I’ve never eaten as much food as I have at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. And no, it wasn’t because it was all free. 😉

3 – Save Even More on Hotels

You can’t always control your flight departure/arrival time. Sometimes you have to land late at night and what a waste of hotel points that is! All you do is sleep at the hotel and you’re still paying the same all-inclusive rate. This is yet another money and point-saving opportunity. If your flight arrives later than, say 5 PM and won’t be able to fully take advantage of the resort’s amenities, consider staying at the nearby Hyatt Place for the first night. Normally, I tell people to book a cheap airport hotel – there’s no need here because the Hyatt Place is basically across the street and goes for just 5,000 points per night. You can spend the night there, then walk to the Hyatt Ziva with your luggage in tow the next day. Easy!

4 – Book One-Way Transportation

If you’re traveling with at least one other person and want to save on airport transportation, book a one-way shuttle for your ride to the resort. Why? Because a shuttle ride from the airport costs $16 while a cab costs $60. The kicker? On the return, taking a cab is cheaper at $25 for up to four passengers. So if you’re traveling with another person, you’ll save $8 by opting for a cab rather than a shuttle ride back to the airport.

If you’re looking to explore outside of the hotels’s immediate vicinity, public transportation is readily available and super cheap. Even the ride to Cabo San Lucas cost less than $5 roundtrip. The bus to downtown San Jose? Just $0.50. You don’t expect great bus service in a beach town, but Los Cabos is the exception. Taking the bus is cheap and super convenient.

 

Got any tips for saving on a Cabo vacation? Please share in the comment section.

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