Who hasn’t wanted to take a Caribbean vacation and see what the warmer, milder side of the world has to offer? It’s the perfect place to visit during cold winters when you want to get away from the freezing snow and icy winds. It’s also a great way to give yourself a break after some grueling spring cleaning. If you want to get out of the house, away from all your chores and responsibilities and enjoy the Caribbean weather, then try these cheap travel tips.
Prepare for Your Trip
You’ll want to start by setting things in order before you go. Make sure you have a valid passport and make sure your house is pleasant to come back to. James from Airbnb Cleaning Service by Diamond suggests “You may want to hire a cleaning service to take care of things for you while you are gone”. You’ll also want your pets and plants cared for in your absence.
Pack some sandals and light-colored clothing to keep cool in the mostly sunny weather. Also check up on the weather for the places you plan to visit. It’s a good idea to take an umbrella and a raincoat to deal with the sudden and regular downpours. This area of the world is pleasant, but often rainy, particularly during the fall and winter seasons for the rest of the world.
Your cheapest option is to travel off season, during the fall or spring. That’s when there are likely to be fewer travelers, so hotels and flights will be cheaper, as travel agencies look to book as many travelers as they can by enticing them with cheap prices.
Look for package deals on transport, accommodations and flights, and consider taking a boat instead of a plane, if you have the time, since it will usually save you a bunch of money.
Make Your Own Meals
It can be very expensive to go out to eat for every meal. You can save some money by getting a place to stay that serves you breakfast. For your other meals, you may want to consider buying a few simple groceries and making sandwiches or some other easy-to-prepare food that negates the need to eat out. It’s so easy to overspend when it comes to your meals, and you’ll be enticed by every delicious-looking food you come across.
If you want to enjoy the local cuisine and still save money, then go for street food, which can be as cheap as $1 a meal in many places. Don’t eat at just any street vendor, though. Go for the ones that have lots of people around them, as they are likely to be better quality and less likely to make you sick.
You can save on drinks by taking your own bottle and refilling it at your accommodation, if the water there is drinkable. In some cases, it is better to pay for bottled water that you know is safe to drink. Do your research here and focus more on safety than saving money. Otherwise, you can spend a lot of your vacation sick.
Use Free Medical Care
If you have an emergency while travelling the Caribbean, take advantage of the free medical care that most countries in the region offer. There are private clinics that offer paid services and shorter wait times, but you can get the same quality of care for free if you go to a public hospital.
If you need refills on medications while you are travelling, you can do that for free or very cheap at government hospitals as well. It doesn’t matter that you are a visitor. They will still treat you for free like they do their own citizens.
Visit Landmarks and Travel by Foot
If you are physically fit, you can save a lot of money on your travels through the Caribbean. Try backpacking from one place to another instead of taking transport. If you need to go long distances, instead of renting a car or taking a taxi, you can travel in mass transport, which is ridiculously cheap in most of these countries. Get information on public transport routes from the bus terminals and tourism information boards to help you along. You can also ask most bus drivers for directions and get help that way too.
Also, instead of visiting museums, attractions and shopping centers, you can go to landmarks, visit historic sites and walk the city streets and take in the culture that way. You’ll save a lot of money and still enjoy your trip by finding free things to see and do rather than looking for one expensive experience after another. A trip like this does not have to be costly, but you have to plan ahead and make a determination to not spend money unnecessarily.
Visiting temples, beaches, forts, walking paths and harbors gives you a unique insight into what these island nations have to offer. You get to experience the culture on display and get to know the people without having to spend much cash. You’ll also get a different experience than people who take guided tours or who just visit the tourist hotspots. Keep in mind that most places recommended to tourists are designed take your money, and you will often be charged special tourist rates that the locals do not pay.
That’s why it is better to avoid most paying activities altogether if you are travelling without a local guide or a friend who is from the area. It’s very common practice for vendors to spike their prices when they see a tourist, and you’ll save a lot of money by being cautious about who you hire services and buy from. Chain stores and those with printed prices will often give you better rates than roadside vendors and those without posted prices.
It may not exactly be cheap to visit the Caribbean, but it doesn’t have to be overly expensive either. Just use the tips we have given you and spend your money wisely to save on your trip and get more out of your travel budget.