The Caribbean on a Budget – Money Saving Caribbean Tips

I’m all about a good deal. Here’s how I’ve found good deals for the Caribbean—whether on a cruise, all-inclusive, or just heading to an island. There are so many incredible spots in the Caribbean on a budget you can visit!

Puerto Rico, Cuba, St. Maarten, and USVI are some of my all-time favorites and no matter the island you choose, these money-saving tips will help you visit the Caribbean on a budget.

 

 

Be Flexible

Check different websites for the best deal and don’t be committed to a specific island. I’ve booked through Cheap Caribbean—they offer good deals for cruises, all-inclusive resorts, and travel packages. Travelzoo also has a lot of good deals and offers on cruises (It’s worth it to use Travelzoo). Cruise critic can also help you find a good deal and give more tips on cruises.

 

Wait for a sale

There are always big sales for Black Friday (like an all-inclusive for $100 a night I booked once!) and right after New Year’s (everyone’s New Year’s resolution is to travel). Fall and spring are good times to look for a sale as well since they are considered shoulder season and cruises can often be less full. I’d recommend signing up for Travelzoo and Cheap Caribbean for great deals.

 

Drive instead of flying to your cruise port

I know flying saves tons of time, but if you are within a day of your cruise port, driving can be really cheap. Parking near the cruise port can be as low as $6 a day (in Miami at least!), and this makes it wayyy cheaper than flying. Always check for flight deals, though, because saving time is also awesome.

 

Check frequently on different sites for a cheap flight

I have my own method for finding cheap flights, and it truly works. I will always check more than one site, though, before I buy anything. You can often find cheaper deals by looking at a few different websites.

 

 

If you drive, park in a lot outside the cruise port

Just like airports, cruises will charge you more to park. There are usually cheaper places to park close to the port. We paid $6 a day to park in Miami in a lot not too far from the port. They were charging $15 a day at the cruise port.

 

Book tours independently

Don’t book tours through the cruise or all-inclusive resort. They are more expensive and usually very crowded because a lot of people book this way because it’s fairly hassle-free. If you want to save, book on your own!

 

Book a highly-rated group tour/excursion, not private

I always look for small group tours that have high ratings on websites like Trip Advisor and Viator, I choose one that’s having a sale, or the cheapest in the 4 – 5-star range with lots of reviews. This usually guarantees a good time, but you don’t have to spend too much. 

My favorite tour I booked for our whole cruise through the Caribbean was this day tour around St. Martin that was only $35 a person. It ended up being Elizabeth’s favorite, too. We visited so many cool places and two beautiful beaches. Cheap and wonderful.

 

Eat on the cruise or resort

We ate all the meals on the cruise or at our all-inclusive and asked locals the best place to find the food we had to try—we knew we had meals included, but also wanted to try out local food. For example, we ate on the cruise then split a plate of conch fritters and conch salad at a local restaurant.

 

Don’t be afraid to barter

We bartered down the price of souvenirs, massages on the beach from $50 to $30, and rental beach chairs from $40 to $20 (the rule of thumb is to at least start at half the price. Mike even goes as low as 1/3). Saved us lots!

 

Research beaches in national parks

There are many national parks in the Caribbean that offer cheap entrance fees to access gorgeous beaches as well as cheap snorkel rentals. I went snorkeling at a beach in Nassau that was in a national park for just $20 (including snorkel rental). There were beach chairs, four beaches, and great snorkeling all right there in the park and because it was a national park, it was well taken care of and practically empty.

 

Go where the locals go 

There are great beaches, restaurants, and events that are cheap. Research before you go so you can find cheap and fun things to do!

 

 
I’m all about a good deal. Here’s how I’ve found good deals for the Caribbean—whether on a cruise, all-inclusive, or heading to an island.
I’m all about a good deal. Here’s how I’ve found good deals for the Caribbean—whether on a cruise, all-inclusive, or heading to an island.

Visiting the Caribbean on a budget doesn’t have to be hard! Enjoy your vacation with these tips.

Meghan