A reader of The Flight Deal reached out to us to see if we had a better way of getting to Buenos Aires from San Francisco for New Years. Buenos Aires, the Paris of South America — beautiful weather, awesome steak, tango in San Telmo and great nightlight. What’s there not to like? It is definitely one of The Flight Deal’s favorite cities in South America — part of the team is actually going to be in Buenos Aires for Thanksgiving. We still remember the steak we had at La Cabrera in 2008.
We priced out the itinerary and the least expensive was $1,500 on TACA.
We look at going on different dates and the price was similar. The challenge was that in recent years, Buenos Aires has become a big destination for New Years celebration. We looked at cities close by — Santiago, Chile, Sao Paulo and Montevideo and then either find low priced tickets or go by land to Buenos Aires. Pricing were similar except for Montevideo. Montevideo is the capital city of Uruguay and only 3 hours by ferry to Buenos Aires. The price to Montevideo was only $1,073 with TACA. TACA is an United Airlines MileagePlus partner. The flights to Montevideo would earn our reader over 13,000 miles and would be enough for an one-way domestic award ticket (value of at least $125).
The ferry is priced at approximately $50 each way. So all in, the price going via Montevideo is $1,173. A savings of $327. Another advantage of going via Montevideo and entering Argentina via the ferry instead of arriving at Buenos Aires by air is the reciprocity fee charge for Americans at the Buenos Aires airport is not collected when arriving by ferry. The fee is $140. The total saving is really $467 — a three hour detour each way to save $467 is worth it.
The takeaway for today’s travel hack is looking at nearby cities is something we all should do when traveling. Another great example is going to Paris. Brussels is only an hour by train and airfare prices are often lower than flying to Paris.
Buenos Aires, Argentina Background Information:
- Visa: Visa is not required for US Citizens. A $140 reciprocity fee is charged when arriving at EZE or AEP airport in Buenos Aires
- Currency: Peso – $1 USD = 4.2 Pesos
Montevideo, Uruguay Backround Information:
- Visa: Visa is not required for US Citizens
- Currency: Peso – $1USD = 19.2 Pesos
If you have a destination in mind and find the airfare to be expensive, maybe we can help. Send us a message on our Facebook Page with the destination and maybe you will be our feature for a Monday Travel Hack!