I will be in Mexico this week on my own perfectly inexpensive tropical getaway, so Juliette is taking over with her tips on how to do the same!
Even though most of us have abandoned our beach body dreams come October (hello, holiday season!), it’s not too late to plan your tropical getaway. There’s nothing like the cold, dreary days of January to get you in the mood for a little sand action. While I love me some snowy mountains, many resorts and cruises offer serious bargains that are too good to pass up. Here are my top pick’s for escaping winter and scoring the best deals.
The Velas Vallarta Resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Source.)
Like many island stays, Mexico offers an abundance of all-inclusive deals that can be worth your time if you’re looking to eat, drink and relax. If you’re unsure of where to stay, read reviews of other guests’ experiences to make sure you’re trip fits your wishes. Keep in mind, for most trips you’ll likely be spending your time on a closed resort and forgoing any interaction in the actual country. It all depends what you’re looking for.
South Padre Island
Just off the coast of Texas, this island was known for being taken over by spring breakers come March. However, the crowd has shifted and the activities here now appeal to all ages, from horseback riding and golf to luxury spas and deep sea fishing. Compared to other beach destinations, the prices here are far more reasonable. Many stores and activities on the island offer valuable deals to keep guests coming back for more.
One of Groupon’s most abundant deals, the DR is perfect for an all-inclusive vacay. These gorgeous resorts really stretch you dollar with all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink specials. While this trip is perfect for the beach bum, it can get increasingly more expensive for the adventure. Keep in mind any extra excursions, like ziplining through the rainforest of cliff jumping, will cost you a pretty penny. You can save big my participating in resort activities like dance classes, free kayaking and windsurfing. Contact your resort directly to find which activities they include.
Similar to Kayak for flights, Cruise Critic allows you to fine the perfect cruise for your availability and budget. If you have a flexible schedule, aim to save even more by booking one of the unused seats at the last minute of a variety of cruises. You can also compare fares for last minute deals using CruiseSheets.com, but if you’re traveling alone, be sure to factor in “single supplement” fees for solo passengers to make up for the non-passenger in your room- it could be steep!
Blogger Nomadic Matt has a helpful guide on how to snag cruises for $30 a day, it’s a great resource, and his book Travel The World on $50 A Day has been great!
If leis and luau are on your mind, aim to visit Hawaii in-between the seasonal holiday travelers and the spring breakers. To find current deals all over the state, plan to use a discount airline and be selective with activities. Known for incredible hiking and beautiful scenario, you can certainly experience Hawaii on a budget.
The gorgeous white sand beaches of Florida, and you don’t need a passport! (Source.)
If you’re short on time and want to stick to the mainland, Southern Florida can fill your Vitamin D needs for a long weekend, or more. Fodor’s has a great list of the 7 best beaches in Florida, so check it out!
Funjey Vacations is a great resource to build your own itinerary and will also match any lower prices you find on similar vacation packages. Since Florida is drivable for many, look to book a private cottage or partake in some adventures that the extra cost you would normally spent on airfare. Count me out on the swimming with sharks, though.
Other Helpful Resources:
The Points Guy – Great for anyone interested in travel hacking and using credit cards to accumulate points for free airfare and hotels.
Groupon – Several personal finance bloggers we’ve read swear by Groupon Vacations! You can find a good deal- but heck, for an international or tropical vacation for $300, you at least will have a good story!
How do you escape the winter blues?
Originally from 2013’s snowiest city in America (hi there, Syracuse!), I’m quite the pro at escaping blizzards. While the Caribbean is always a peaceful trip, I’m hoping to finally make it to Key West this year to relax before the mayhem of the new year begins!