Ask Uncommon Caribbean: How to Travel the Islands on the Cheap
You are adventurous. You’re always ready to travel, you love immersing yourself in foreign cultures and you really dig the authentic West Indian vibe we put forth in this spot each and every day.
One problem: you are also broke.
This was the scenario presented to me recently by Katrina, a friend and UC reader whose recent graduation from EMT school has left her as long on a need for an escape to the Caribbean as she is short on cash. My suggestions…
Yes, you can camp on many Caribbean islands, though it’s always a good idea to check in with the local tourist boards on permit requirements. One of the best and most convenient camping areas is in St. John – Cinnamon Bay Campgrounds. Being part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are no worries on passports for U.S. travelers. I definitely recommend you still bring yours, though, as the British Virgin Islands are right next door and well worth checking out.
That’s right, this low-budget option more closely associated with Europe is also available in much of the Caribbean. (Remember this hostel in Martinique where you can also learn French?) Our friends at About.com’s Go Caribbean offer a good rundown on the options, many of which you can book right here.
Hurricane season officially starts June 1, but things don’t generally get hairy until September, which is why you’ll typically find the lowest prices of the year on hotel stays throughout the Caribbean in the fall. It’s not uncommon to see rack rates reduced by 40-50% during this period. Sales and special promos slash prices even further. In recent years, several all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay like this one have discounted to the tune of 70% off in the fall, making a fall escape to Jamaica more affordable than staying home for most Americans!
$100-Per-Night Private Islands
Okay, I didn’t tell Katrina about this option, but longtime readers will recall this April 2011 post on Little Cay and Sandy Cay, two tiny private islands 20 miles off the coast of Honduras that can be all yours for around $100-per-night! Actually, the costs are closer to $150-per-night now, still a great bargain for a dream escape. Click here for more details and updated pricing.
So, which option did Katrina run with? Well, at last check, she was hoping to stow away in my suitcase on my next adventure.
Hmm, maybe we need to give her more suggestions. If you have any, feel free to leave us/Katrina a comment below, and keep an eye out for our mostly intermittent Deal of the Week series for more of the best bargains on Caribbean travel.