The Best and Cheapest Island Vacations
Start Your Next Adventure, Even On a Budget
Traveling to tropical islands with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and gorgeous views are often seen as destinations that are ultra-luxury, expensive and reserved for special occasions. You might be surprised to learn that in and around the USA, there are some of the world’s most beautiful islands, which happen to be affordable too! There are a few tips and tricks to booking an island getaway though.
Although our list of cheap island vacations below are budget-friendly year-round destinations, if you’re planning to visit typically pricey islands (think St. Lucia or Turks & Caicos) you can tip the scales in your wallet’s favor by booking in low season and staying in vacation rental properties rather than resorts, halving the cost of your trip while still offering the chance to experience the spectacular beaches, ocean, jungles and attractions on your dream island.
Antigua is a popular vacation destination famous for its world-class beaches – 54 miles worth, to be exact! A relatively small island, Antigua is easy to travel around and has loads of great things to do and some great, affordable accommodations no matter what time of year you visit. The island is surrounded by colorful coral reefs, home to tropical fish, playful dolphins and other marine life, which you can spot while swimming, snorkeling or diving. Sunset cruises, island cycling tours, kayaking or just sunbathing on the sand are all at your fingertips here.
Although there are a multitude of luxury resorts, Antigua is consistently popular, so you’ll want to minimize costs by staying at a vacation rental. You can find some gorgeous ones on the island, from five-bed villas to cozy waterfront cottages, there’s something to fit everyone’s budget. From drinking rum punch at a beach bar to hiking in the rainforest or hopping around the 51 islands just off Antigua’s shores, this is a cheap island vacation you’ll never forget.
The Dominican Republic draws millions of visitors each year and will rank high on any search for cheap Caribbean vacations, currently making it the most popular Caribbean island to visit on vacation. You may be thinking this has led to expensive hotels and resorts that will price out most people, but the good news is that it’s the total opposite! The huge amount of tourists, particularly in areas like Punta Cana, means affordable guesthouses, all-inclusive resorts and rental properties are abundant, such as this one in Semana. The short distance from the US also means flights are generally wallet-friendly (just avoid New Year’s and Spring Break!).
Impossibly blue water, hidden coves and golden beaches are yours to enjoy in the Dominican Republic, not to mention the gently swaying palm trees, waterfalls and sparkling lagoons. Drinking, dining, shopping and nightlife have crept onto the island, ensuring you have everything you could possibly need for the vacation of dreams.
Puerto Rico is so often overlooked as a vacation destination, yet it has as many, if not more, untouched beaches, rainforests and attractions than any of the other popular Caribbean islands. It’s ideal for a cheap tropical island vacation throughout the year, thanks to affordable flights from around the US, either direct or with a stop in Miami. The best part? You won’t need your passport, because Puerto Rico is a US territory. San Juan is the best place to stay for budget hotels, as it’s also bursting with history, delicious Latin-inspired food and virgin beaches. For more peace and quiet, Isabela is home to cute guesthouses and social hostels, plus secluded bays, where you can chill out in a hammock and watch the sunset.
Key West, Florida
Off the southernmost tip of Florida, Key West offers a captivating blend of culture and laid-back island charm. Its sun-kissed shores are surprisingly affordable for discerning travelers, making it a dreamy escape for anyone searching for a cheap tropical vacation close to home. With well-priced and accessible flights from across the USA, once you arrive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover accommodation for every budget, including local hotels, Airbnb and vacation rentals.
Explore the historic Old Town, relax on pristine beaches or head out onto the waves with surfing, snorkeling or kayaking, all without breaking the bank. With an array of wallet-friendly dining choices and activities, Key West allows you to indulge in the best it has to offer without worrying about your budget. Just a short hop from the Sunshine State, you can unwind and create lasting memories without the heavy price tag, which is a win in our book.