The Caribbean is an extremely popular destination for both American and European travelers, especially during the winter months. These islands offer warm waters, beautiful sunsets, and relaxing R&R or all night parties, whichever you prefer. The best way to travel the Caribbean on a budget is through all inclusive deals. These packages are exploding in popularity in this region, providing everything from room and board to activities and sometimes even flights.
One type of all inclusive trip is a cruise. There are hundreds of cruise ships all throughout the Caribbean as just about every major cruise line has at least one route in the region. Most leave from Florida, but there are are ships that leave as far north as Baltimore, MD and cruises to Mexico that leave from California. Cruises are a very affordable way to travel and experience the Caribbean. Not only are they all inclusive, but the entertainment and transportation comes as part of the package.
One downside of cruises and other all inclusive packages is that you’ll most likely end up spending all your time at the resort. If that’s what you’re looking for, then it’s a perfect match, but for those looking to explore the island, try other restaurants and activities, all inclusives can feel a bit restricting.
If finding your own activities and exploring is more of your style, then head to some of the cheaper islands where you can eat and play to your heart’s desire while not breaking the bank.
Halfway between Punta Cana and Puerto Plata on the island’s northeast coast is the Samana Peninsula. This paradise is where the locals vacation and thus has the best deals. You can go horseback riding, explore waterfalls, or see whales from January to March. Cheap 3-star hotels average around $55 a night in this area of the DR.
Head to Jamaica’s south coast which is far less touristy. Cheap 3-star hotel average around $77 a night. For cheap grub, hit the roadside stands at the public beaches where Jamaicans serve up local favorites: curried goat and jerk chicken. Make sure to also make a visit to YS Falls for swinging on rope vines into secluded swimming holes.
Fly into San Juan for the cheapest tickets, but then head west to the little coastal town of Rincon. This is most popular surf spot in Puerto Rico, so make sure to head out into the water for some fun after an inexpensive surfboard rental. Rincon is also a great spot for seeing the humpback whale migration in the winter. Cheap 3-star hotel average around $120 a night here.
The Caribbean is a popular tourist destination for good reason, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether you’re looking for an all inclusive relaxing vacation filled with laying out in the sun and drinking Pina Coladas or want a more DIY mixed bag of activities, you can certainly do the Caribbean on a budget.