Money Saving Tips for your Next Caribbean Trip

I’m all about a good deal. Here’s how I’ve found good deals for the Caribbean – whether on a cruise, all inclusive, or just heading to an island.

  • Check different websites for the best deal and don’t be committed to a specific island. I’ve booked through Cheap Caribbean  – they offer good deals for cruises, all-inclusive resorts, and travel packages. Travelzoo also has a lot of good deals and offers on cruises. Cruise critic can also help you find a good deal and give more tips on cruises.

 

  • Wait for when you know sales are happening. There are always big sales for Black Friday (like an all-inclusive for $100 a night I booked once) and right after New Years (everyone’s New Year’s resolution is to travel). I’ve also seen a lot of good sales in the spring getting ready for the big travel for summer, but have found the best deals on cruises/all-inclusives during the winter – they want them full in the summer!

 

  • Drive instead of flying to your cruise port – I know it saves tons of time to fly, but if you are within a day of your cruise port, then driving can be really cheap. Parking near the cruise port can be as low as $6 a day (in Miami at least!) and this made it wayyy cheaper than flying. Always check for flight deals though because saving time is also awesome.

 

  • Check frequently on different sites for a cheap flight. I found a ticket to Nassau for just $70 one way using Google flights and not on a cheap budget airline either. Momondo also has cheap flights all the time!
  • If you drive, park in the lot off the cruise port. Just like airports, cruises will charge you  more to park. There are usually cheaper places to park close to the port. We paid $6 a day to park in Miami in a lot not too far from the port. They were charging $15 a day at the cruise port.

 

  • Don’t  book tours through the cruise or all-inclusive. They are more expensive and usually very crowded because a lot of people book this way because it is hassle free. If you want to save, book on your own.

 

  • Book a highly rated group tour/excursion, not private – I always look for small group tours that have high ratings on websites like Trip Advisor and Viator, I choose one that’s having a sale, or the cheapest in the 4 – 5 star range with lots of reviews. This usually guarantees a good time, but you don’t spend too much. My favorite tour I booked for our whole cruise through the Caribbean was this day tour around St. Martin that was only $35 a person. It ended up being Elizabeth’s favorite. We visited so many cool places and two beautiful beaches. Cheap and wonderful.

 

  • We ate all the meals on the cruise or at our all-inclusive and asked locals the best place to find the food we had to try – we knew we had meals included, but also wanted to try out local food. For example, we ate on the cruise then split a plate of conch fritters and conch salad.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to barter – we bartered down the price of our massages on the beach from $50 to $30, souvenirs, and rental beach chairs from $40 to $20 (the rule of thumb is to at least start at half the price. Mike even goes as low as 1/3). Saved us lots!

 

  • Research beaches in national parks. There are many national parks in the Caribbean that offer cheap fees for gorgeous beaches and cheap snorkel rentals. I went snorkeling at a beach in Nassau that was in a national park for just $20 (including snorkel rental). There were beach chairs, four beaches, and great snorkeling all right there in the park and because it was a national park, it was well taken care of and practically empty.

 

  • Go where the locals go. There are great beaches, restaurants, and events that are cheap. Research before you go so you can find cheap and fun things to do!

 

Have you all found other ways to save in the Caribbean? Let me know!

Like this article? You might also like…

  • These are great tips for Caribbean travel. As someone who lives here and spends a lot of time traveling in the region I can attest that they all work!

    • Yay! So good to hear from a local that it works. Thanks for reading!

  • Good tips. I’ve not really been to the Caribbean (unless you count Cuba, which I don’t) and would worry about it being a bit of a money suck. Local food is always a winner and I love haggling too.

    • It can definitely be a money suck, but also budget friendly. It’s also gorgeous. I love the clean and clear beaches there.

  • I’ve not looked into a Caribbean trip before, but these tips sound fantastic for saving money. They are probably good tips for other places too.

    • Yes definitely! There are lots of ways to save on travel.

  • These tips are really helpful. I am from India. If I lookup the tour packages for caribean they are so highly priced. I think when I plan my trip, I will do my calculations using your tips.

    • Oh I could see that happening. Glad it was helpful. Thanks for reading!

  • These are such helpful tips. My fiancé is Puerto Rican, so we visit the island regularly. Our goal is to now island hop a bit each time we go down to visit his family. Will definitely bookmark this for when we start planning our next trip!

    • Thank you! I am jealous – you get to visit such a beautiful area over and over. I love Puerto Rico! Glad these tips were helpful and good luck planning your next trip!

  • Thanks for these tips! We’re thinking of heading to the Caribbean during the Thanksgiving holiday next year. I’ll keep these in mind!

    • I tried island hopping on my last trip and couldn’t find anything for cheap! Would love to know what site you use to find cheap ferries.

  • Very helpful tips and I use many of them. Definitely need to shop around and be careful if it sounds too good sometimes it is. Island hopping from one main island stay can also be a cheap way to see more of the other islands (ferry’s etc.)

    • Thank you’ yes shopping around is so important (and waiting for a sale). Island hopping is a great idea too!

  • Getting any travel deal is always a good thing! I haven’t been on a cruise but I’ve gotten some pretty good deals on all-inclusive vacations – yay!

  • Great tips. We just took our first cruise last summer, but it was in the Mediterranean not Caribbean. We just have one side note, have you ever tried going through a travel agent? I just became a travel agent and I can officially say that we save more with travel agent deals than when we planned and budgeted all our trips on our own. We still do a little bit of both because sometimes one is better than the other at times. Just our two cents as travel bloggers too 🙂

    • meghanramsey1@gmail.com

      I have! Most of the time I have found them to be more expensive, but sometimes they have good deals! I found a great deal to Paris (feel free to check ou the post) for just $500 through a travel agency, but have found the Caribbean to be very expensive through travel agents.

  • I’m a fanatic when it comes to finding good deals on airfare! You’re list is spot on. I’m going on a cruise this month and was just looking at the prices of excursions through the cruise line itself…WOAH! No way i’m paying those prices, so I’ll be heeding your advice about booking my own tour!

  • Tony Wilson

    It’s next on the agenda. Just done an Australia East Coast Barrier Reef Cruise and now looking at Caribbean. Thanks for the tips.