Nica. Photo: Brendan Simmons

The Inertia

The surf trip is essential to the experience of being a surfer – especially when it’s been flat at home for a while. However, most of us work a nine to five and sometimes we just can’t seem to pull the trigger on a wave-fueled getaway when it comes down to it.

For some, it’s the fear of not scoring waves weighted against the risk of blowing hard-earned savings that keep us from booking that next trip. For others, it can be an inability to get away from work for more than a week at a time. A common thought is that we need a full two weeks away from home to score a proper dream trip, but that’s not necessarily true. Here are five surf trips you can pull off in a week and spend less than $1,000.

Baja Mexico (West Coast)

Photo: Damian Davila

Stating the obvious, albeit good advice, if you’re one of the thousands of surfers in California, just drive down to Baja and go to any one of those empty waves off of Route 1D. Sure, 14+ hours of driving is a lot, but going in a crew of three alleviates some of that challenge. To keep things cost effective, you can negotiate and camp outside on a local property, or stay at a place like Roberts at K38’s. If you’re with your significant other, consider the K38 Surf Houses.


Iceland (East Coast)

Photo: Roxy

“Excuse me? Iceland?”

Yes, Iceland. And for good reason. The last time I checked, a round-trip flight out of JFK to Reykjavík was just $340. Rent a van and drive your ass off. Even if you don’t score, we’re talking about a trip to Iceland. Either way, you’re in for a unique experience.

Costa Rica / Nicaragua (Anywhere)

Costa Rican perfection. Photo: Chandler Williams // @modusphoto

There are regularly round-trip flights to either of these Central American countries for less than $400, and from just about anywhere in the continental U.S. This isn’t a tried and true science, but try a Google search at any random time and scoring a deal is possible. Go ahead, do a GoogleFlights search for next week. Fly into San José or Managua and a couple hours after landing you’ll either be in tubes or sweating, laying in your bed and checking for scorpions because its 2 am and you flew in on Spirit. Once you’re there, there are plenty of options for surf camps and surf lodges to stay at.

Peru (East Coast)


Photo:Garrett Gossett

Take a six-hour flight out of FLL and step off the plane into a completely new world. From the beaches of Mira Flores, drive two hours up to the Mars-esque town of Punta Hermosa. The culture is unique and they tout some sick waves. If it’s summer at home in the states, expect grey and cloudy skies in Peru. But you will score. The summer time is slower (although I’ve been told Punta Rocas is one of the most consistent waves ever) but the weather, the discotecas, the water…pretty much every bit of it it is beautiful.

Vancouver Island (West Coast)

Canada Vancouver Island Empty Perfect Wave

The trees still tower overhead. The mud is still mostly bear shit, and the mountains still squat on the horizon, but finding those empty waves at home isn’t as easy as it once was. Photo: Haro

If you don’t have a warm suit for winter, you’re going to need to find one. This place is freaking sick (and cold). Drive or fly from anywhere in California, Oregon, or Washington. It’s really not far, but when was the last time you saw a bear while checking the surf? There is a lot to explore in this area so the digs are up to you, and camping is always a great option if you have the right gear. Or just be a dirtbag and sleep in your car – you’re a surfer.

Even with the travel time, each of these trips is completely feasible within a seven-day period and for less than $1,000. The reality is that airline prices are always changing, but if you poke around you can often score a last-minute deal. Maybe you can’t ask your boss for a whole week off but perhaps you can take some of your work to go, or just set up a Friday to Friday trip. However you look at it, there is always an opportunity for waves and new adventures. Just driving to the next state with your buddies can make all the difference if surfing has turned a bit dull at home. Get out there and go score.

Just hope the airplane doesn’t run over your boards.

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