When was the last time you took a tropical vacation? Wouldn’t you like to be able to take one in the next year, well you can. I’m going to share with you our secrets to vacationing on a budget. This is how we are able to pay cash for our yearly jaunts to the Caribbean.
I know this is common sense but planning ahead really does wonders. Every month I put a bit of money into our saving account just for our vacations. Yes… I have a savings account just for the vacations we take!
Traveling is important to us so we make sure to budget for it. Most banks don’t charge you to open multiple savings accounts. Heck, some banks pay you to open savings accounts at their bank, so take advantage of this. You don’t have to add much if you can’t afford to, however, anything is better than nothing. Later in the year when you choose your vacation destination, you might already have enough money saved for a plane ticket or maybe even your whole vacation.
Cheapest Days to Fly
Did you know that there are certain days during the week where flying is less expensive than others? If you fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday it is usually substantially cheaper than flying on any other day of the week. This is just due to the lack of demand. Most people don’t fly on those days making them cheaper days to fly. Plus, who doesn’t love an empty airport? If you are going on a week-long vacation try leaving on a Tuesday and coming back on a Tuesday. If you are going for a shorter period try leaving on a Tuesday and coming back on Saturday instead of Sunday. Not only will your plane ticket be cheaper but avoiding the hustle and bustle of a busy airport is always nice.
Unless you are traveling in large groups where you can split the cost of hotel and other necessities along the way, I recommend NEVER flying during the holidays.
Let me rephrase that, I NEVER fly during holidays, even in groups.
Flights are outrageous during the holiday seasons. It doesn’t matter how far ahead you book your flight, it’s not going to be budget friendly. Also, any type of lodging is going to be double the cost of what it normally is. Try going a month before or after any holiday and I promise you’ll spend a lot less.
Off-Season vs Peak Season
Everywhere in the Caribbean has two different seasons, off-season and peak season. Peak season isn’t only unaffordable but hotels are packed and flight prices are ridiculously expensive! Not to mention that the temperature is only a few degrees warmer than it is in the off-season. Peak season usually starts the first week of December and ends shortly after Spring Break.
Traveling during this season usually costs double the price of traveling during the off-season. If you want to take a nice Caribbean getaway during the winter, I highly recommend doing so the last week of November or the first week of December. You’ll thank me for this!
Drinks and Food
Does anyone ever feel like they just eat and eat on vacation? Sometimes I feel like we just bounce from one restaurant/bar to the next. Although this is fun and it’s nice to experience the island’s cuisine, it’s not needed for every meal.
Pick which days you want to eat out and then buy food at a local grocery store for the other meals. Doing some cooking at your villa or kitchenette in your hotel will save you a lot of money. Another way to save is to buy your own liquor at a liquor store instead of drinking at a local bar every night. It will save you a ton of money on vacation. Island drinks are expensive! They charge anywhere from $6 to $9 per drink. Try out a local drink and get the recipe from the bartender then head to the liquor store and make your own island drinks all week-long for a fraction of the price.
Simply look for inexpensive things to do on your trip and plan your days ahead of time. On a tropical vacation, the beach is a must and probably where you’ll spend a majority of your trip, with your yummy homemade drinks, haha.
When we go anywhere in the Caribbean we spend a majority of our time in the water snorkeling. You can usually rent snorkeling gear for cheap for the week or bring a set from home if you have them. It can also be really fun walking around town taking in the island culture. Also, hiking or taking in popular unforgettable sites is always very memorable. Most importantly strike up conversations with the locals, they’ll help you find all the hidden gems your vacation destination has to offer.
Taking a nice vacation is something that we think everyone should do from time to time. If you use the advice above and work it into the budget, your next tropical vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. Try some of the tips above and maybe the next time we are on vacation we will see you there!!
Grab Your FREE Printable Budget Binder