Expenses

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Apr 10th, 2011, 08:13 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Expenses

My husband and I are trying to plan a vacation to the Caribbean this summer. We really had our heart set on Grand Cayman for the snorkeling and possibly diving (never done it so would need to get certified). We're not sure if we can afford it now though because we are reading that everything there is really expensive. The prices to get there and stay are a bit high but we can handle it fine as long as we're not talking hundreds per day in food/other expenses. Can anyone help me out with more info about costs? Is it possible to eat for reasonable prices? I'm sure we'll have a few expensive meals and a big activity or two, I just need to know if there is cheaper options and where. Also, if you have experience in other islands that would be welcome too. Thanks so much!
Jodi_K is offline  
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Apr 11th, 2011, 05:34 AM
  #2
 
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You can visit Grand Cayman on a budget, but if it is really tight there are other islands that may be a better buy. GC does not really cater to the budget traveler, but sometimes you get what you pay for; as the from shore snorkeling is excellent and the diving very good.

Here is a link to a website that has menus and prices for many of the restaurants on the island. You can get an idea of the cost. The prices are in CI $, so you need to add 25% to convert to USD and about the same for CAD. Most restaurants automatically add 15% service fee/gratuity.

http://www.caymangoodtaste.com

Many folks choose to stay in condos since they have full kitchens and provide for an easy way to eat-in and save some money. Grocery prices are 25%-40% more than most areas of the US. Liquor is heavily taxed so it is the most expensive item out there at about a 50% premium to most of the US.

A car rental would be a bout $300 for a week. Gas is about 25% more than US averages. There are public buses that are convenient for those staying in the Seven Mile Beach and George Town area and cost about $3. If you do not plan on exploring all over the island these would be fine in place of a car if you stay in the main tourist areas. Buses serve just about the whole island but are not really practicable if staying outside of GT or SMB.

A visit to Sting Ray City is about $40-$50 pp.

You can sometimes get great deals at the Marriott (usually listed as the 5*), Comfort Inn or other hotels using HotWire or PriceLine, especially in the off-season/Summer.


Good Luck!
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Apr 11th, 2011, 08:20 AM
  #3
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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We did AI in Grand Cayman and it was the best choice for us on a budget. Look at the Marriott on 7 Mile Beach they have an AI plan. The US dollar is worth less there, making the prices higher. Others chose to rent a condo and cook in for breakfast and lunch and then go out for dinner.

The bus/van from 7 Mile Beach to Georgetown was $5 for 2 people. I wouldn't rent a car for the entire trip. Maybe 2 or 3 days to do some sightseeing, go to Rum Point or go to many of the shore snorkeling sites.

We did an Island Tour and the trip to Sting Ray City. Enjoyed both.

Have you budgeted in for the cost of diving? That will be a good chunk out of your budget.

We have been going to the Playa del Carmen area of Mexico for the last 10 years because it is very cost efficient. Tons of great AI options, 5th Avenue for dining out and tons of things to see and do off property. That is area is very budget friendly and you will get more for your money there.
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Apr 30th, 2011, 07:18 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I would definitely rent a condo. You can eat breakfast and lunch in the condo and have dinner out. The supermarkets are well stocked with American food. There are good restaurants where you can get dinner for about $25 per person or less.
Condo rates in the summer for a 2 bedroom can be as low as $250 per night off season. Sometimes you can get a free night if there is a special.
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May 1st, 2011, 03:37 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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utiladivecentre.com Utila Honduras

best cheapestdiving school around

if you want some cheap wonderful diving.

also seagraperoatan.com nearby.

For the Carib best cheapest diving for me St. John

Westin from $80/nt betterbidding.com

Maho.org

Vrbo.com cheap condos there.

If you cook in you can save a tonne.

Happy Planning,
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May 1st, 2011, 03:38 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Spirit.com for supercheap air out of FLL.
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