Discover the Caribbean on a Budget
In the current economic climate you would be forgiven for thinking that a holiday to the Caribbean was out of reach, however by doing your homework, shopping around and being flexible, there are some bargain holidays to this most desirable of destinations.
Where in the Caribbean should you go?
Made up of more than 7,000 islands, you are not short of choice in the Caribbean when you are trying to decide where to go. Some of the most reasonably priced package holidays to the Caribbean are to some Cuban resorts as well as the Dominican Republic. If you are looking to save money while you are there then keep an eye on the exchange rates for Sterling against both the Dollar and the Euro. French Caribbean islands such as Guadeloupe use the Euro so it is worth doing some homework on the currency. In comparison with other islands Barbados can be expensive so it is worth researching what is on offer there and seeing if it can be matched on other less expensive islands.
Shop around to book
As with any holiday it pays to shop around before you book by looking at both websites and traditional travel agents. Popular destinations offer the same hotels through various channels and the price variations can be considerable. If you find a good deal on the internet do not be afraid to see if your local travel agent can match it. The Caribbean is one of those destinations where it is still probably cheaper to travel on a package rather than trying to travel independently as independent travel in the region can be difficult and most visitors like to have the security of a tour operator. For those who do want to travel independently, reasonably priced accommodation can be found on the local tourist board websites or by renting accommodation directly from the owners.
Best time to travel
The most popular time to visit the Caribbean is unsurprisingly during the UK winter when the weather there is at its best. If you do not want to pay a premium then avoid travelling between mid-December and late April, however if you do not have the restriction of school holidays then you will find the weather in early December or early May is as good as during the peak period. If you are holidaying with children then late August can be a reasonably priced time to go.
Saving money while you are there
If you have managed to get to the Caribbean then you probably do not want to spend more than you need to while you are there. If you are not on an all inclusive package and decide to eat out then it is invariably cheaper to eat at local restaurants. Head for fishing villages on some of the islands for reasonably priced seafood and in Cuba there are a number of restaurants in private homes. For getting around, while a rental car can be a good idea it can be expensive to have one for your whole holiday. You would be better to choose accommodation that is conveniently located for local amenities such as shops, restaurants and bars or alternatively to use public transport.
So, it is possible to do the Caribbean on a budget if you do your research beforehand. This means you can make sure you get the best deal possible on getting there, somewhere to stay and ensure that you will be conveniently located so you can save money while you are there as well.
Lloyd is a freelance writer and blogger, he focuses on travel and culture. He is currently working on behalf of the cruise comparison site, cruise.co.uk, click here to find out more.