Islands bathing in the sun, graceful palm trees casting shadows on the sand, colorful hammocks and sparkling seas. Neither experienced globetrotters nor occasional vacationers can resist such a vision. People tend to think holidays in exotic places cost tons of money and only few can afford them. Hard workers save up their pennies in a jar all year long. They then end up spending it all on an annoying trip to a neighboring village. This is because they believe going to faraway places is out of their reach. Cheap tropical vacations sound like something impossible.
If the phrase “exotic holidays” makes you think of luxurious resorts, Hollywood stars walking on the beach in high-heels. And you also think of wealthy yacht owners and fancy yuppies sipping colorful drinks in lounge bars, then no wonder you’d rather stay in your country and visit this auntie who lives in the mountains. Forget this vision for a moment. You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a perfect time. You can even spend it in an idyllic location. There will be no Champagne, no famous restaurants, and no five-star hotels, but there will undoubtedly be an adventure, lots of stunning views and relaxing afternoons. Here’s a list of practical tips to help you organize perfect and cheap tropical vacations.
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Choose cheap tropical destinations
Not all tropical can are madly expensive. In some countries, you can even find affordable all-inclusive resorts. Caribbean countries are usually thought to be costly, but it’s not always the case. For the best deals check places like Cancun, Dominican Republic or Aruba. Southeast Asia is a great destination for vacationers on a budget. In Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam or Philippines you can get a bit of luxury for an acceptable price. Food out there is as cheap as yummy.
To make sure what the prices in a given country are, you may use Numbeo.com. It won’t show you prices of hotels and typical tourist attractions. But you’ll find out how much transportation, groceries, and entertainment cost. Forums, where travelers share their experiences, are an excellent source of advice. You can always join an online discussion and ask what average prices in a destination you’re considering are. Other tourists will provide you with up-to-date, first-hand information.
Look for affordable lodgings
As mentioned above, all-inclusive resorts are sometimes affordable. If you dream to experience a bit of high life, you may find them. Keep in mind though that no matter what a great deal you’ll see, it’s most likely going to be more expensive than, let’s say, a simple country guest-house. Therefore, to make your trip cheap, stay in guesthouses, hostels or use holiday rentals. Take a look at websites such as Airbnb or HomeAway. There are lots of elegant penthouses and rooms that look like royal chambers, but you can also find lots of lovely and straightforward accommodations for prices lower than those offered by hotels.
If you appreciate privacy and comfort, a thought of hostels might make you tremble, but give them a chance. Nowadays there are lots of cozy and pleasant hostels, not as crowded and chaotic as you might imagine. The recent trends gave them a name: poshtels, a combination of boutique hotels and backpacker hostels. They’re creatively designed, cozy and besides of dorms often feature double rooms, separate and private.
Dine where the locals do
Avoid tourist restaurants. They’re not only expensive but also less authentic than places where locals use to eat. It’s not always easy to spot the most excellent eateries in a new location, but a solution to this problem is straightforward: ask the locals. Speak with your hosts if you use holiday rentals, ask hostel staff or just stop someone on the street and tell them what you’re searching. You can also look for the information online, on forums and websites such as LikeaLocal.com. Staying in a hostel or holiday rentals has one more advantage, you usually have access to the kitchen and can cook by yourself. You don’t have to spend days preparing meals. But the possibility to make a simple dish from time to time is very convenient.
Use free attractions
Swimming in the sea costs nothing (usually), sunbathing is free, strolling around beautiful historic towns too. Many museums are available for free once a week or month. You can participate in traditional festivities and listen to live performances on the beach. You can also go clubbing and learn how to dance salsa without paying for a course. Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean giving up on entertainment. You don’t have to be melancholic and watch wealthy tourists drinking the finest wines. Check what’s going on in the city you’re visiting. Relax, follow the locals and have fun with them.
Search for cheap flights
Transportation might turn out to be the most expensive part of your journey. Don’t lose hopes though. Once in a while, it’s possible to get a great deal on flights to fascinating destinations. You may get from Europe to Thailand for 300 Euros or to Mexico for 400. Residents of western countries spend tons of money for holidays in their regions. You may stay in France, for example, and go to the coast, but you’ll pay so much for a hotel it’d be enough to cover both the ticket and accommodation in Asia. Calculate carefully, and you might realize 500 USD for a flight isn’t that much because later on, you’ll save on local transportation, food, and lodgings.
As you can see, it’s all doable. Don’t tell yourself cheap tropical vacations make any sense because if you go somewhere, you want to enjoy all available attractions completely. You can’t have it all anyway. Don’t promise yourself you’ll go when you become rich. Save a bit, use the resources you’ve got and have an unforgettable time.
6 Cheap tropical destinations
Clear blue waters and glamorous palm trees casting shadows on the golden sand. Delicious seafood, drinks served in dandy glasses and sipped through colorful strolls. Hammocks hung between exotic trees and endless sunshine. Sounds this all too good to be true? Well, it’s not. People tend to believe spending holidays in a beautiful, warm place must cost a fortune. But that’s just a stereotype thought and nothing more.
With a bit of research and planning, you can organize cheap tropical vacations and have the time of your life. Being a millionaire is not at all obligatory. Here’s a list of 6 fantastic, affordable locations that can steal your heart without taking your wallet too.
The largest island in Thailand is Phuket. This island is great not only when it’s about the size, but also the countless attractions it offers. As one of the hottest tourist spots in Thailand, it’s full of fancy hotels, resorts and all sorts of amenities designed to make a vacationer’s dream come true. The nightlife is sizzling, so are the beaches. After a night danced away in trendy clubs, groups of glamorous tourists head to the beaches and sunbathe until all the tiredness is gone. Just to once again begin the party madness as the evening comes. Sporty travelers dive, snorkel, windsurf and spread their energetic vibe all around.
There are lots of wealthy holidaymakers with their rented yachts and jet-setters in fashionable swimsuits. But even though Phuket is known for the luxury, it offers, relatively cheap tropical vacations are still possible. Prices can be higher than on the mainland. But it isn’t as expensive as one would think, considering the stereotype claiming Phuket is such a luxury seeker’s paradise. That’s the place to get a glimpse of high life without spending a fortune. Staying in towns is usually cheaper than in the beach resorts. Besides, to make a quiet break from the hustle and bustle and save some money you’d otherwise spend on colorful drinks, you can always make a trip to the less touristy parts of the island.
One of the Bay Islands located on the Caribbean Sea; Roatan is the most developed and largest of them. It’s quite peculiarly shaped: long (approximately 80 kilometers) and thin (about 8 kilometers in its widest point), so almost the whole land is one big coast. Not only there’s so much of the seaside than other places, but an incredibly diverse reef surrounds it. While vacationers rest on white sand beaches and surfers catch the waves, much colorful fish move around the turquoise waters, and so do the scuba divers.
You can now understand why it’s heaven for beachaholics and water sports enthusiasts. The island’s interior, even though modestly small, has lots of treasures surprisingly. There are pine-forested hills and lovely towns with great restaurants and bars. The cost of accommodation starts from prices as low as 4$US. Most of hotels and hostels are in the West End, the island’s busiest spot. That’s also where you’ll find many shops, cafés, and clubs filled with happy backpackers.
With two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Palawan province is full of natural wonders. The UNESCO World Heritage sites are the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. Including the island of Palawan and several smaller islands, the area’s quite large, but sparsely populated. The wildlife, both terrestrial and aquatic, is astonishingly diverse. This abundance of exotic species, together with gorgeous beaches, cliffs, lagoons, and rivers, make nature-lovers fall for the island. It’s hard not to fall in love with a place of such a beauty and character. Palawan’s not only pretty, but it’s also wonderfully tranquil and welcoming.
Puerto Princesa is the province’s capital, often claimed to be the cleanest and greenest of all Philippine towns. It’s lovely indeed. Many restaurants are serving heavenly dishes. These dishes are so tasty that Puerto Princesa is considered to be not only Palawan’s administrative, but also culinary capital. Coron lies on the Busuanga Island. Coron is the island’s largest town and a top destination chosen by the majority of tourists. Water-sport enthusiasts especially like it for the fabulous snorkeling and diving opportunities It offers. Smaller towns all across Palawan are enchanting too. Rural areas, sleepy villages and the quiet ocean-front, Palawan is the best anti-stress treatment.
Jamaica is a dream of many travelers all over the world. The reasons vary: be it the fantastic beaches and captivating landscapes. Or a variety of activities the island offers or its rich musical traditions. Whether you’re going to dive deep into the Jamaican waters or search for Bob Marley’s legacy, the island’s fantastic. Have a glass of the excellent rum. Dance to the mesmerizing, energetic rhythms of modern dancehall. Or get some dreadlocks and move slowly with the sounds of reggae floating around you. Explore the nature. Be lazy on the beach. Pick one of these or try everything, but first of all, enjoy the fantastic, relaxing atmosphere of this sunny island. Jamaica is THE spot for cheap tropical vacations because it’s not only affordable, it’s also diverse and fascinating.
This marvelous coastal city has a complex character. First, there’s the dazzling touristy side with luxurious hotels and all-inclusive resorts situated right in front of the white sand beaches. Vibrant nightlife adds some spice to the innocent beauty of nature and the countless restaurants too, as they serve real delights. In this part of the country, seafood plays the main role in the spectacle of Mexican cuisine. It’s all joyful, but in case you feel like to discover more, the second part of Cancun awaits with all the fascinating authenticity of Mexico.
Salsa clubs, lively squares, streets filled with jazz and cheerful locals, that’s the heart of Cancun. The city’s also an excellent base for discovering the Quintana Roo state. You don’t have to go far to find yourself in the wondrous national park of Isla Contoy. So whether your goal is spending lazy, cheap tropical vacations, or experiencing a Mexican adventure, Cancun is the right place to go.
Do you like mountains, beaches, or perhaps some stunning architecture? The Dominican Republic is like a plate full of appetizers, a main curse plus a drink and delicious dessert. It’s more than just a good looking island with rural coastal vistas. Well, there’s nothing wrong with being “just idyllic,” but if there’s even more than that. What you get is a genuinely captivating destination. There are nine (sic!) national parks and many fascinating cities. Neither nature-lovers nor cultural explorers can possibly get dull moments in this incredibly diversified country.
Santo Domingo, the country’s capital, is a lively city with beautiful monasteries and charming cobblestone streets. It’s the oldest European town in the Americas. So historical sites are outstanding and the spirit of ancient times can still be felt in the colonial zone. Both in Santo Domingo and smaller towns you’ll always be tempted by the bars with all-night merengue. Don’t hesitate and enjoy, in the Dominican Republic partying is more than just drinking to forget. It’s a part of the culture, the expression of Latin America’s temperament.
So are you going to make your dream come true? Which one of these cheap tropical destinations would you choose if you could go for holidays right now?