Affordable Destinations in the Caribbean
Everyone needs a break now and then, right? After grinding hard for 300+ days a year, it’s only natural to crave a beautiful beach somewhere, with crystal blue waters where you can just relax and unwind from the stress everyday life has.
The problem is, these “paradise islands” and destinations tend to cost more than just a pretty penny.
For many, this makes the thoughts of sitting on a paradise island with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other a dream and nothing more. But what if we told you that there are pristine beaches out there, which you can travel to without burning a hole in your wallet?
The Caribbean, famous for it’s white-sand beaches, amazing culture, and paradise-like islands is a place that is considered to be out of the price-tags of many hard-working people just like you.
But did you know there are actually tons of budget-friendly holiday deals that you can jump on? Check out our list of the cheapest and best-value places to visit in the Caribbean below:
1. The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has been gradually increasing the “wow” factor, which is driving more tourists to visit its pristine beaches and exotic resorts. Oftentimes, when planning way in advance, you will be able to find some pretty amazing weekly package deals.
This is thanks to two of the biggest resorts in the region, Punta Cana as well as Puerto Plata. These two hotels have an inventory of over 70,000 rooms which helps them keep pricing affordable.
One of the main reasons why the DR is so cheap though is due to it’s close proximity to the U.S. After all, it is only a three-hour journey from the East Coast.
You can use travel websites like Expedia and TripAdvisor to find great packages that suit your travel dates.
Of course, if you do plan on traveling to the Dominican Republic, there are a few things that you should know to keep track of your finances.
Prepare To Invest Some Dough In Water
No one wants to suffer from a stomach bug while on vacay, right? Well, the big thing about the DR is to avoid drinking their tap water. There are plenty of access-friendly places where you can buy bottled water. Just be prepared to budget a bit of cash to make sure you have water on demand.
The Local Currency Is Only Available In The Country
The Dominican Republic Peso cannot be imported or exported. Which means, when you leave the country, you will need to exchange your left-over pesos back to USD. The problem with doing this is that you will lose almost 30% to fees and currency conversion.
Which is why it is recommended to work out a strict, yet fair budget of what you will be spending, and only convert what you need. This will avert any unnecessary wastage.
Ah, the land of the hippies and Ganga lovers. No, but seriously - if you want some of the most beautiful beaches in the Carribean, tied with an amazing cultural experience, Jamaica is an amazing place to book a holiday for.
Being famed for it’s beaches, you can find plenty of really awesome budget-friendly packages for you and your loved ones. However, from experience - try to aim to go in the Summer, as there is so much you are going to want to do there, as long as the weather permits it.
The most popular destination in Jamaica is the beach town Negril. There are tons of accommodation types available here. From all-inclusive resorts to backpackers and house stays. Of course, all of this competition has forced the island to keep competitive rates for tourists.
Some tips if you are planning to head to Jamaica:
Traveling In The Country Can Be Really Expensive
The biggest thing that will break the bank for you in Jamaica is transportation. Taxis can cost an absolute fortune. Something you will find out when you need to take the 2-hour taxi to get from the airport to your accommodation - “been there, done that.”
Our solution was renting our own car when we wanted to go sightseeing. However, it was one scary trip as drivers can be super aggressive here. Also, remember that you should stick to the left side of the road (kind of feels strange.)
Another idea is to go for bus tickets. This is by far the cheapest form of transportation. But be sure to do research into the bus company that you decide to go with.
There Is Good News - The U.S Dollar Is Widely Accepted
One benefit for tourists traveling to Jamaica is that unlike the Dominican Republic, there are no fees for currency conversion. In fact, a ton of places accepts the U.S dollar. However, we recommend keeping some local currency on hand for when shopping at street stalls. As well as basically anything that isn’t a tourist trap.
3. St. Croix
St. Croix is one of the lesser known destinations in the Caribbean and it is also one of the most under-rated. This budget friendly island is in the shadow of the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands, and due to the lesser tourist numbers you are guaranteed a really authentic vacation.
There are lots of attractions, beaches, outdoor activities like swimming and snorkelling and also lots of good value hotels and resorts to choose from. Flights here, especially from the United States are great value and as this is a US island, if you are a US citizen, you also don't need a passport!
The Bahamas is one of the most famous islands in the Caribbean with over 6 million tourists visiting every year. These Caribbean tropical islands are popular due to the ease of getting here, flights from Miami are just one hour and are very cheap!
There are affordable fares all year round into both Nassau (New Providence Island) or Freeport (Grand Bahama Island) with several airlines offering journeys. Both islands offer different experiences, Nassau is lively with bars, entertainment and nightlife whilst Grand Bahama is more relaxed and quiet.
Hotel prices are competitive especially compared to similar Caribbean islands nearby.
5. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a beautiful Caribbean island with beaches, mountains, waterfalls and a tropical rainforest, colonial buildings and lots of resorts.
There are a range of experiences available, from exploring the lively capital and largest city San Juan, to going off the beaten track into nature and spectacular scenery.
Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, U.S. citizens do not a passport to travel here. Flights to Puerto Rico are affordable and hotels are really good value.
Other Caribbean Islands to Consider
Hopefully our list of the cheapest places to vacation in the Caribbean has given you hope you can visit this beautiful region on a budget. Now go search for flights and accommodations and start planning your dream trip today.