SAL and SAP: this weekend in Central America – even under-vacationed Americans can squeeze in adventures

The Rapid Traveler launched Rapid Travel Chai to encourage people to travel the wor’d, even if they can only spare a weekend. Americans feel particularly shackled to their jobs, fearful of taking the multiple weeks familiar in many countries. This tyranny of the three-day weekend as the only outlet limits horizons, leaving people to sigh, “I can’t possibly get away. Too many things to do. Another time, maybe.” That time never comes, instead finding stress rather than joy at peak holiday times with rote trips to the same destinations everyone else visits. And who has ever been thanked at year-end for not taking their vacation?

Yesterday, The Rapid Traveler vowed in 2012 to “go to new places, have a great time, learn and share, do what is needed to achieve this,” wishing readers the same.

So, let’s roll into 2012!

The Rapid Traveler’s employer observes Martin Luther King, Jr Day so he has a three-day weekend while most people are in hibernation following the major holidays, not to reemerge until President’s Day or spring break. Last year on this weekend the destinations were Galapagos and Quito, Ecuador on half-empty flights and deserted destinations.

Continuing the Latin America theme of the past year, this Saturday midday The Rapid Traveler will alight in San Salvador, El Salvador. Nearly all of Delta’s Central America flights are midday which unfortunately costs precious daylight hours.

Hotel reservations: none.

Local transport bookings: none.

Guides: none.

He has 48 hours on the ground to see as much as he can before flying out from San Pedro Sula, Honduras 250 miles north.

Would it be nice to have more time? Yes. Does he have more time? No. Will that keep him on the couch this weekend? Absolutely not.

Copan Ruinas

Copan Ruins, Honduras, photo by Adalberto.H.Vega

Depending on US departure city, Central America airfares can be quite expensive for their short distance, so are a prime miles redemption target. Maintaining his Delta Diamond status is important to The Rapid Traveler so he typically pays for revenue tickets for long international flights, saving his miles for short international flights or family emergencies.

Even Delta often has good low award availability (35,000 miles roundtrip in economy) for about half its Central America destinations (the full list: BZE; GUA; SAL; TGU; SAP; RTB; MGA; LIR; SJO; PTY) and American has even more and those based in Miami or Dallas can probably get great deals with British Airways Avios on these short flights.

He has some ideas for the trip but is welcome to reader suggestions for anything roughly on the line between San Salvador and San Pedro Sula – it just better not take more than two hours!

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  • Glad to see you settled on El Salvador, and at 35K miles, I think it’s a fabulous redemption! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out. Are you transferring through ATL? Maybe we’ll cross paths.

  • great post! I like the theme of this post, about what the point of collecting miles and points is. People can take these short getaways and not worry about cost, even in our overworked lives. I’m planning to link this on my blog 🙂