Who’s not dreaming about the perfect beach vacation in the Caribbean? Here we share how we could afford our first vacation to the sunny islands in the Caribbean Sea without the fear of bankruptcy.
Quality has its price, right? So does a vacation in paradise, right? Not necessarily. When we plan a vacation we put a lot of time into all the preparations and are always conscious of our budget (reasonably). It’s really just about traveling smarter, and for that reason we want to give you an overview about how to become a Smart Caribbean Traveler. Traveling on a tight budget and need some tips? Here is how to save with…
...the Airfare. Trips to certain islands are better values. Always check for lower fares between all those you are considering.
...the Cost of Living. Not every island is equally as expensive (e.g. the Dominican Republic has some of the lowest hotel and resort rates)
...Package Deals. Booking your flight and the hotel (maybe even a rental car) together can often bring you a better deal.
...Freebies. Some hotels and resorts offer a complimentary extra night when you stay a minimum number of required nights.
...the Exchange Rate. It can play a vital role if you can pay in your own local currency rather than paying extra fees to exchange money.
...taking a Cruise. If you want to see more than one island a cruise can save you a ton of money and travel planning.
...the right Travel Time. Remember that winter and holidays are the busiest time of the year and also the most expensive.
...everything via Haggling. In the Caribbean pretty much everything (local and native) is negotiable, so don’t be shy to ask for discounts.
...Tipping. In most restaurants a service charge will automatically be added to your bill.
...choosing an All-Inclusive Resort. All-inclusive means you don’t have anything to worry about and you can enjoy as much food or as many drinks as you’d like without watching your wallet.
...the Stuff you bring with you, because…
The Final Bag-Check for Your Caribbean Trip: You’ll need…
...Lightweight Clothing. The average temperature in the Caribbean is 82˚F.
...Comfortable Shoes. Because there are so many possibilities of what to do and what to see, you’ll be on your feet more than you think.
..No Camouflage Clothes. Camo clothing is strictly prohibited. (Aside from being banned, who wants to hide in the Caribbean anyway?)
...Multiple Bathing Suits. It takes them longer for fabrics to dry in these highly humid areas.
...a Bottle Opener (or bottle opening skills). Most beverages are mostly served in glass bottles without twist-off tops.
...an Umbrella. In some areas you’ll see a little rain almost daily.
...Snorkeling Gear. High fees for renting snorkeling gear often surpasses its purchase price.
...Beach Towels. Some resorts and hotels don’t allow you to bring their towels with you to the beach, and you have to rent special beach towels for an extra fee if you don’t want a sandy crack.