Travel Hacking is a term that surfaced recently that refers to travelers uncovering ways to travel for free, cheap or just make travel easier. Things like accumulating airline miles for free (opening a credit card, sign up for email lists, etc.), couchsurfing/WOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and genius packing tips all fall under the banner of a good Travel Hack.
The Caribbean can be an expensive destination in which to travel, but here are 5 Travel Hacks to make your money go further when traveling in the Caribbean.
Book through a local: I’ve found, especially in destinations like the Caribbean, the best information is word of mouth and the locals are in on those important conversations. Here you’ll find many nuances to specific locations (the beach can be amazing in one place and rocky 100 meters down the beach), exclusive accommodation options not heavily marketed online (some villa owners are particular about who they will let book) and which boats to are best to charter or guides are best to hire (these guys are so good they don’t really need to advertise). For the best experience, and the best prices, go with a local.
Travel during the off-season: Yes I know this tip is an oldie but a goodie, but the savings for traveling during the low season in the Caribbean can be significant and shouldn’t be overlooked. For example, a great week to travel to the Caribbean is the week of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. You’ll sneak in right before the peak Holiday rates take effect (you’ll pay about half of what you’d be paying for accommodations two weeks later) and the weather across most of the Caribbean is great.
Book a villa, but take advantage of hotel amenities: According to Paul with Villas of the Caribbean, my go-to Caribbean villa expert, many hotels in the Caribbean welcome villa guests to use their beaches and amenities.
So instead of paying $1,700 per night at La Samanna on St. Martin, plan to spend one day on their beach and using their beach services for a fee. This luxury resort offers packages that include a beach cabana, champagne, use of iPads, a flat screen TV and wait service all for US $325 to US $600 per day depending on the travel dates.
Be flexible: If you can travel last minute, be sure to scour sites like Jetsetter and Luxury Link for last minute or limited time offers. Savings are typically about 50% on these flash sales and special offers.
Eat what you catch: Book a boat tour or fishing trip? Cook and eat your dinner. This is a perfectly efficient way to enjoy the freshest seafood available and save money at the same time.
While this isn’t a budget travel blog, I do believe that it’s better for travelers to be getting out and traveling as much as possible. In order to do so, I want to help you make your vacation funds go further by being smart when planing and booking travel. Watch this space for more Travel Hacks!
How else have you saved money when traveling in the Caribbean?