Spring Vacation Planning: 5 Most Affordable Countries To Visit (and How Travel Insurance Factors In)

Group of vacation objects on the beach of Grand Bahama island in the Bahamas.
powerofforever / Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you’re planning an international trip for the spring, you might experience sticker shock as you begin pricing out your dream vacation. Based on research by InsureMyTrip, overall travel costs are up an average of $1,800 in 2023.

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However, as a savvy shopper you can find bargains on travel to certain countries. InsureMyTrip found the cheapest spot to vacation this year will be Honduras, at $3,858 (on average) for a pre-paid, non-refundable trip. Meanwhile, Antarctica tops the list as most expensive, at $22,719 on average.

The figures are based on the past six months of travel insurance data and cover the costs for transportation, accommodations, flights, and more, per Meghan Walch, director of product for InsureMyTrip.

What are some of the best places to see — and things to do — in the top five low-cost international vacation spots? And how much will the trip cost?

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Honduras ($3,858)

InsureMyTrip listed a vacation in Honduras at $3,858, on average. A trip to the country’s Bay Islands can bring you encounters with dolphins or whale sharks, birdwatching adventures, scuba diving and more. For a laid back day, consider a trip to the Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum and the Butterfly Gardens on Roatan.

Dominican Republic ($4,143)

A popular vacation destination for U.S. travelers, the Dominican Republic provides relaxing white sand beaches, a vibrant nightlife and family activities. You might consider an all-inclusive stay at a Punta Cana resort to help you stick to your budget during a trip. But be aware of what’s included — and what’s not — in your vacation package to help control costs.

Aruba ($4,466)

You wouldn’t be wrong to surmise that the Caribbean is one of the most affordable destinations for a tropical vacation, and Aruba is a top choice for many travelers. LonelyPlanet suggested that the fall is the cheapest time of year to visit, but you can seek out deals in late April, May, and June, too, especially if you book in advance.

Bahamas ($4,472)

Just southeast of Florida, the Bahamas is an easy to reach destination for U.S. travelers. Like other Caribbean islands, it boasts many options for all-inclusive resorts and other travel deals. The country’s capital of Nassau is recognized as a party hot spot, while Harbour Island is hailed as a haven for celebrities. You can travel between the two islands on a ferry in less than two hours. If you’re looking for relaxing beaches and a family-friendly resort, consider Atlantis on Paradise Island.

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Puerto Rico ($4,668)

Adventurous travelers may plan to spend spring break in Puerto Rico for a fun and affordable getaway. The city of Old San Juan boasts historic architecture and exemplary local cuisine. The El Yunque Rainforest offers options for hiking, ziplining and sightseeing, according to Discover Puerto Rico. Don’t forget to leave time to soak up the sun on the island’s beaches.

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Why It’s Wise To Purchase Trip or Travel Insurance

Wherever you choose to go, it’s wise to insure your trip, according to Walch. “Travel insurance can help provide reimbursement for unexpected issues while traveling,” she said. This can include flight delays, which are especially prevalent in recent months, as well as illness or injuries experienced while traveling abroad. “Most domestic health insurance policies will not cover medical bills overseas,” Walch advised.

Before you rush into purchasing a policy, though, keep in mind that not all travel insurance is the same. A comprehensive plan will cover most contingencies, including trip cancellation, interruption, baggage, medical, dental, emergency evacuation, 24-hour traveler assistance and accidental death.

However, you might not be covered depending on the reason for the cancellation. Walch recommended “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage if you want the freedom to cancel regardless of the reason. “If you qualify for this coverage, CFAR can help to reimburse you up to 75% of your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs,” Walch said.

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Travel insurance can add between 4% to 10% to the total cost of your trip. Alternatives might include booking refundable flights and accommodations, or relying on the travel insurance coverage provided by your travel rewards credit cards. Keep in mind that parts of your trip may not be covered unless you used that credit card to pay for the trip in its entirety. Also, travel insurance offered by credit card companies is not typically tailored to meet more specific needs.

While a short domestic trip may only require lost luggage and flight cancellation insurance, a journey abroad may call for a more comprehensive plan.

“Every traveler is different,” Walch said. “We work to help you find the right coverage to address all your concerns.”

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Top 20 Travel Destinations for 2023 and the Average Cost of a Trip

Dominican Republic$4,143
Puerto Rico$4,668
Caribbean (broadly)$4,981
United States$5,810
Cayman Islands$6,059
United States (Alaska)$7,603

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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