How Much Changes in Five Years?

This Cheapest Destinations blog has been around since 2003, which gives it a much longer history than most travel blogs out there. Every once in a while I like to look back at what was bubbling up for discussion and see how those issues are playing out down the road.

Five years ago, some things looked a lot different, for others the discussion hasn’t really changed.

What’s different now for travelers

Back then we were just starting to see the emergence of budget airlines in Mexico. Since then a few have gone under, but the ones that are alive now are healthy and expanding their routes. If you plan it right and don’t mind going through a hub, you can now fly around Mexico cheaply.

Five years ago it looked like in-flight internet was going to disappear. Boeing was the only one offering it, through a service that lost $320 million in one year. But other options took its place, at a better price, and now people can send tweets about the physical appearance of their seatmates. What progress!

Peru visitors were bumming that Inca Trail trekking fees were going up. Now trekkers would love to have those rates again—they’ve gone up quite a bit more. You’ll now probably pay at least $500 per person for that hike, which puts it well out of the range of most long-term budget travelers. Here’s a rundown from one company of where that money goes.

A half decade ago it was really starting to become apparent that India was on the rise because all the mid-range hotels started filling up with…Indians. For shoestring backpackers, there are still bargains galore, but at the mid and upper ranges lodging prices have kept rising since then, especially in the large business centers and main tourist attraction areas.

The endless discussion

Some issues were argued about in hostel common rooms when I first started backpacking in the early 90s and most of those issues still ignite heated discussions today.

For instance, do people and places stop being authentic when they get all the stuff we have already?

Should travelers boycott Burma and Tibet?

Is there such a thing as safe or not safe places for women to travel?

I know one thing for sure. Most of us still need a nap.

  1. Henry

    In flight internet is a pretty cool thing to have on an airline

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