Wanted: Inexpensive Caribbean Destination

Sep 6th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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Wanted: Inexpensive Caribbean Destination

I'm 25, poor, and in need of a relaxing vacation to the Caribbean. My flight will be covered by airline mileage, so airfare isn't a factor. I would love any and all suggestions for beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and great food. Is it better to B&B, rent a villa, or stay in a hotel? All-inclusive is an option, but would I be missing out on the island experience? The only time I have available for travel is the middle of November. I hear that some Caribbean islands are not as affected by hurricane season? HELP!!!
alaskanjewels is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Help indeed! I'd love to know the answer to this as well!

What do you consider to be "inexpensive" ?
JAGIRL is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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November is typically the cheapest month in most of the Caribbean because it's hurricane season. If you take your trip before Thanksgiving, you'll be able to get the best hotel rates. The cheapest island in the Caribbean is typically the Dominican Republic, but you'd almost certainly have to stay in an all-inclusive if you were on a budget. You do miss out on the "island" experience, but that's not really why people go to the DR. You might also look for a hotel room with a kitchen or a small inn, but in most cases you have to rent a car if you stay in a B&B, and that would certainly affect your budget. Carringtons in St. Croix is nice and inexpensive but far from the beach.

Jamaica can be cheap; there are some inexpensive places in Negril, and if you eat more local food, you can keep within a decent budget.

Puerto Rico can also be reasonly cheap outside of San Juan. I'd suggest you look at the Rincon area.

If you can get to Grand Turk (it would require a flight on a small airline that wouldn't accept miles), it's a pretty cheap and beautiful island with lovely beaches.

Those are my best suggestions. Anyone else?
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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Aruba is out of the hurricane belt and can be affordable.... but you need to define afforadble for us
Costa Rica is pretty cool and very affordable (thought I believe Nov might be their rainy season)
TXgalinGA is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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Fly into Cancun, take a shuttle to Playa Del Carmen. Stay in one of the great hotels there right on the beach -- Shangri-La Caribe, Playa Maya, etc. etc. It's the Mexican Caribbean so may not 100% fit yoir criteria but hands down the least expensive location I can think of.
eileen is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Although your air is free, flying time might come into play as to how long your vacation time is going to be? Are you flyng from Alaska? In this case I would take flying time into consideration as well. I agree Playa Del Carmen is one of the cheapest and nicest beaches, although it is Mexico.
diann is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Well, I suppose that I would LOVE to spend less than $100 a night on lodging, $35-$45 a day on food, and still be on the beach with a great island experience (and NO RAIN)!!! Any more comments on Aruba or other places outside the hurricane belt? Money issues are slightly negotiable, hurricanes are not.
alaskanjewels is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 11:13 AM
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PR would be my suggestion but you'd likely need a car. See my prior response to the cheap lodging on PR question.
SAnParis is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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That's not a reasonable budget for Aruba, though you could do it in Bonaire, which doesn't have such nice beaches. You may have the greatest difficulty with your meal budget unles you get a self-catering apartment. Take a look at Grenada. There's a thread about some budget honeymooners, and a poster suggested Grenada, which is a wonderful place and fairly cheap once you get there. And there are great simple, self-catering places either on or close to the beach that would help you meet your budget.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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The worst part of hurricane season is usually Sept. & Oct. Your chances of a hurricane are a lot less (but not guaranteed.)
Carrybean is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Guadeloupe and Martinique have lots of accommodation for the budget traveler. You can rent a studio or 1 bed apartment from about EUR300 per week. For example in Guadeloupe, http://www.im-caraibes.com/residence...l/index-gb.htm or http://www.jacky-location.com/ or La Dunette St Anne Martinique. None of these are not luxurious by any means but are by gorgeous beaches. Local food can be inexpensive.

Odin is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 04:27 PM
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Once you're there more than reasonable. Airfare is the expense.
vinceygirl is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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Actually, you might be able to get a room at La Cabana or Mill Suites in Aruba for under $100. Both are across the street from the beach, but it's a quiet street. We stayed at the Radisson (got a deal for $150/night) but those two hotels looked nice and clean, and were convenient to downtown Oranjestad. If you don't need to eat at the five-star restaurants, you can probably stay under $40/day. It sounds like you're realistic about the sacrifices you need to make for a budget vacation

Curacao is also out of the hurrican belt and has some budget hotels under $100. Usually has low rates on Expedia. Haven't been to Curacao, but but friends of ours recently went and loved it!

We also stayed at the Costa Real in Cancun. It was a small hotel, but clean and friendly, and the two restaurants were good. It cost us $740 all-inclusive, with airfare included. For that price, it's pretty easy to justify leaving the hotel to eat now and then! (If I'd been staying at Sandals, I probably would have felt obligated to stay put.)
karameli is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Look into hotels in Isla de mujeres in Cancun. The prices are pretty reasonable.
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 10th, 2006, 08:10 PM
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Tobago is fairly safe from hurricanes and I think it suits your needs.

You can easily get a room for $50-60/night and there are lots of places selling meals for about $7. Normally when I go for a few days we make a grocery run and cook breakfast. But conceivably, you could get by on about $20-25/day buying all three meals.

Check out www.mytobago.info, it's a great site to find accommodations. For somewhere cosy and comfortable you could try Candles in the Wind guesthouse. It's about 10 minutes walk from Store Bay.

For food, definitely have crab and dumplings from Miss Esmie, also on Store Bay.

And the best part, in my opinion, is you'll be going somewhere that's not a crawling tourist trap (yet).
phototakeouter is offline  
Sep 11th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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I 2nd Eileen's suggestion. Playa del Carmein in Mexico has that beautiful Caribbean water, and is friendly, great food, safe and you can find cheap lodging.
Check out the Luna Blue Hotel (a very simple hotel) and the Playa Maya hotel, each has rooms for under $100...

Little_Man is offline  
Sep 11th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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You know, lodging under $100/per night and $35-45 for food is infinitely doable just about anywhere. You won't be staying anywhere posh, but if it's just a place to flop and if you are not too picky about breakfast and lunch, you may still have enough leftover for a decent dinner. You have to be prepared to live somewhat like a local. November is a terrific time IMO, not too warm and not the height of tourist season. Look at www.caribbeandays.com for a range of rentals. You will see that some places work out to around or less than $100/per night.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Sep 14th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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If you are set on Aruba, take a look at Bananas Resort. We stayed there a couple of years ago and it was lovely. Not right on the beach, but a short walk from one and we always get a car anyway. In the off season, their rates are as low as $455/week!!!! Nice pool, quiet, full accomodations, great owners.
shariej is offline  
Sep 14th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Why not check out some of the travel auction web-sites like SkyAuction or Luxurylink. I haven't used them for if you do a search on this forum, they seem to be reputable. They have some great buys for the Caribbean and Mexico. We just can't get away with to take advantage of them!
lovethecape is offline  
Sep 14th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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Actually, Skyauction might be more in your price range.
lovethecape is offline  

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