The Caribbean has a lot to offer and at affordable prices too, so if budget travel is on your list for 2022 – dig in! The Caribbean is made up of islands, each with many wonders and gems for you to enjoy. You may be looking at your favorite influencer or celebrity and having an incessant urge for their Caribbean vacation. But you think to yourself, I don’t have that kind of money to spend. But the truth is, you can enjoy a lot of the same island adventures as they do without the high price tag.
By eliminating the exorbitant accommodations, you can save a lot right away. But that’s not the only thing you can do to have a nice Caribbean getaway on a budget. Here are some tips for booking your dream vacation on a budget in the Caribbean.
Tips For Visiting the Caribbean On A Budget
Travel During Low or Off-Peak Season
The low season falls between the months of June and August. The high season is from December to March, and this is when everything is expensive, from flights to accommodation to entertainment. If you must travel during the high season, try the first two weeks after US Thanksgiving or the two last weeks of January to get better rates.
When it Comes to Flights – Shop Around
Popular islands enjoy service from major US, Canadian and European airlines, so you will have multiple options. Check the prices for all the airlines offering flights to your preferred destination, and then choose a price within your budget. Remember to expect higher prices closer to your departure date, so you will benefit from searching far in advance of your chosen travel dates.
Leave the Luxury Included Dream Behind
Hotels can be the largest portion of the cost of your trip, especially if you choose an all-inclusive option. You still get to enjoy the waters of the warm Caribbean Sea and eat delectable local foods at lower-priced hotels. You can find affordable all-inclusive accommodation, or you can find accommodation from smaller, more affordable hotels without all the bells and whistles included. Many of these smaller options are full of character, and you will find yourself enjoying your stay as long as you do your research and choose wisely.
You could also consider vacation packages that include airfare and hotels. But always check the costs separately to be sure you are getting the best deal.
Everything for tourists is usually priced higher than normal. When visiting any Caribbean island, eating and shopping in their tourist areas will always be more expensive. You are also more likely to find more authentic island cuisine when you venture to where the locals eat.
Don’t Book Everything Through the Resort
You can get affordable accommodations when you book a resort. Of course, you have to choose the right time of year and use loyalty points etc. But another way you can save is by not booking everything through the resort. Some tours, experiences and restaurants can cost you less when you book directly with the vendor. Always check the fee for booking directly, and compare with what your resort is offering.
Use Loyalty Points and Miles
Put those loyalty miles and points to work for you. If you travel often, you can rack these up on credit cards and reuse them later. If you don’t already have a card that offers you these benefits, now that you are considering traveling more, it may be a good time to weigh the pros and cons.
Choose a Budget Island
Some islands are simply more affordable than others, and that is just the plain, simple truth. Keep reading to find out which Caribbean Islands are the cheapest with crystal clear water, the best beaches complete with powdery sands, the most beautiful marine life and the best island food.
Cheapest Caribbean Islands
Consider searching in the Dover Beach area. Here you will find great windsurfing opportunities and quaint and affordable hotels. Their local bus system is quite efficient, so you won’t even need a car or car service to get around and enjoy your stay.
This is one of the islands in the string of islands called the Grenadines. It features gorgeous palm lined sandy beaches and has the prettiest little harbor. The island is small with less than 5000 residents, but there you will find a plethora of cute apartments and guesthouses with beautiful, laid back beaches just a stone’s throw away.
This is a diver’s paradise, thanks to the many reefs it has to offer. You will still love it here, even if you don’t go scuba diving. Why, the pink sand beaches and pink flamingos are a once in a lifetime opportunity. Walk the main town of Kralendijk, where you will find affordably priced cafes and bars, as well as simple accommodations that will save you money.
This island is affordable if you stay away from Punta Cana. The island has a lot of white sand beaches elsewhere, and you will pay a fraction of the cost to stay at resorts and hotels outside of the town while enjoying the pleasures of its stunning beaches.
Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, and it has a lot to offer, from entertainment to adventure. The more you embrace the local way of life, the less you will spend. Even their capital city of Havana has lots of affordable options to offer. Find nice, private homes for rent under $60 per night, and right in the heart of everything imaginable for you to enjoy for your visit.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The capital city of Puerto Rico is San Juan, and it is quite the fascinating place to stay. It is full of history and has long beaches, such as Condado and Isla Verde, that are known for their beauty. You will find many condos and modest hotels, along with short-term rentals, that offer affordable prices in great locations. Many of these accommodations can be found within walking distance of the best places to eat, with menus and prices geared to residents and not tourists.
When it comes to finding affordable Caribbean vacations, San Juan, Puerto Rico is a great option. This destination has everything you need, from stunning beaches to delicious food, and you can find many accommodations for under $200 per night. Plus, there are a number of free activities to enjoy, such as walking around Old San Juan or visiting one of the many museums.
You can easily find flight and hotel deals to Jamaica because of this destination’s popularity. Save money here by staying at smaller properties, or even air bnb’s. Forego the rental as they drive on the left here. You will be able to find transfers easily that can be as cheap as $20, depending on where you want to go. You can additionally opt to stay in a town that has everything within walking distance, so you can forego transportation costs altogether. Consider Montego Bay and Negril on the west coast of the island, away from the island’s busy business center of Kingston.
The capital of beautiful Curacao is the vibrant Willemstad. Here you will find colorful buildings against a stunning blue ocean backdrop. You will find a number of charming accommodations within your budget, offering free breakfast, so that’s one less meal you have to worry about. Good food will not be hard to find, nor will it be hard to find affordable prices when shopping. A matter of fact, Curacoa is well known as a cheap shopping destination for many other islanders.
Grenada has everything you need within walking distance of the Grand Anse Beach. This means you won’t have any transportation costs, which can easily eat a big chunk into your vacation budget. You will be able to find a number of hotels priced less than $200 per night that are in great condition, with great amenities, so you can make the most of your vacation here on budget.
The British Virgin Islands are a great place to visit if you are looking for natural beauty without the crowds. You can find many affordable accommodations, such as apartments and guesthouses, that will save you money. There are also a number of cheap restaurants, so you can easily stick to your budget while still enjoying the best this destination has to offer.
Island Hopping on a Budget
So you can’t make up your mind on which Caribbean island to choose for your next getaway? How about visiting a few? You could island hop for cheaper than you imagined. The key to island hopping affordably is not to use major airlines. Instead, check out InterCaribbean Airways. They offer flights starting from $50, with over 15 existing routes, 5 being planned routes and 2 being seasonal routes.
Simply typing in “cheap flights to the Caribbean” into your preferred search engine will give you a long list of websites where you can find flight deals. You can also use Google Flights, which will yield results from all major airlines, so you can choose the best option for your needs. You can additionally choose to book with a travel agent that specializes in affordable Caribbean travel.
The Dominican Republic is the cheapest island to visit in the Caribbean. Falling closely behind in this list are Curacao and Jamaica for affordable Caribbean destinations.
Mid-April to mid-December is generally considered the best time to find cheap travel deals to the Caribbean. You will find the lowest rates during this time, as it is not high season. However, you can still find great deals during high season if you book in advance or are willing to be flexible with your travel dates.
The best way to get around the Caribbean islands is by flying. This is generally the cheapest and most efficient option, as many of the islands are quite small. You can also take ferries between some of the islands, which can be a more affordable option than flying, although it will take longer.
Some tips for saving money while traveling in the Caribbean include staying in smaller towns or villages rather than major cities, eating at local restaurants instead of tourist traps, and taking public transportation instead of taxis. Additionally, consider visiting during the shoulder season or low season for cheaper travel deals.
The Bottom Line
If you are ready to return to travel or are just starting out, we understand why you want to take the budget-conscious approach when visiting the Caribbean Islands. You can most definitely visit the Caribbean on a budget. Saving money doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a good vacation. Use your hotel points, choose budget accommodations, forego a car rental, and book during the low season to take advantage of the best deals. Be sure to book those flights well in advance, so you can get the best prices. While on vacation, remember to vibe with the locals and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Now that you know all about how to visit the Caribbean on a budget, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!