Fall is here and winter getaway plans are heating up. Though many Americans will be heading home to visit with their families for the holidays, others are eyeing the perfect tropical getaway. Hey, if you can afford it, why not do both a family trip home and an escape to a balmy destination?
There are so many travel sites and options that planning a simple trip to beat the winter blues can easily become overwhelming. What’s more, there’s such a wide range of costs. A trip to say, an island in the Maldives or the Seychelles is probably not within the budget of the average American –yet these idyllic getaways are still marketed like crazy.
So where can one go to get out of dodge during the colder months and enjoy some time in the sun? GOBankingRates consulted travel experts to get their insights on the best beaches and islands for a winter getaway that won’t break the bank.
“While Palawan is a little more expensive than other islands in the Philippines, you can still have an amazing holiday on this island for only $50 per day,” said Lena Mrowka, the travel blogger behind Not Another Backpacker.
“This cost includes activities such as island hopping tours and transport to the most beautiful beaches on the island.”
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
“While there are pricey all-inclusive and high-end resorts on St. Thomas, there are also budget hotels and affordable vacation rentals to suit any budget,” said Brodi Cole, the owner of the family travel site Our Offbeat Life.
“Excluding flights, one could easily spend less than $50 per person daily on the island and have a lovely winter vacation.”
“When it comes to places to stay in Cartagena, and on its neighboring islands like Providencia, you can secure luxury accommodations for as little as $137 a night, offering the best value in unique and high-end experiences,” said Julia Carter, the principal of Craft Travel.
“On average, you may expect to spend even as little as $30 a day per person on daily expenditures such as basic food and activities, with meals costing, on average, around $6 and transportation costing as little as $5 per day.”
Riviera Maya, Mexico
“Travelers can expect to spend an average of $175 per day for solo travelers or $300 per day for couples, depending on your vacation style,” said Allison Sicking, a Playa del Carmen, Mexico-based travel blogger at Viva La Travelista.
“In addition to being affordable, Riviera Maya offers countless options for both relaxation and adventure. From lounging on picturesque beaches and visiting ancient Mayan ruins, to adrenaline-pumping water sports and eco-tourism, there is something for every type of traveler in Riviera Maya.”
Golden Isles of Georgia, United States
“This group of islands just off the coast of Georgia includes St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Sea Island,” said Amar Hussain, a seven-continent world traveler, adventurer, speaker and entrepreneur who founded the travel site Only Wanderlust.
“A double room for 2 costs as little as $67 per night at some motels and inns on St. Simons Islands. A cheap eat will set you back $10-12 for a main meal.”
“Puerto Rico is the most amazing island to visit from the U.S. in winter.” said Josh Band, a full-time traveler running the site A Backpacker’s World.
“I would say it costs roughly $100-$150 per day, the prices are similar to the U.S, so budget how you would for a trip within the U.S. The great thing about Puerto Rico is that the flights are so cheap in December.”
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