I couldn’t imagine many whoBeautiful Beach Overlook wouldn’t fall in love with the warm laid back vibes of the Caribbean.

The tiki torches swaying in the breeze accompanied by the gentle rolling of the waves against the shoreline brings the most stressed out individual into an almost immediate and stress free state of mind.  The best part is it doesn’t matter where in the Caribbean you go; whether it be a Cuban Holiday or a cruise in the Bahamas, that tranquil state of mind is always possible to reach.

While it might be true to say that this is a part of the world where you could literally bankrupt your savings account, this represents only a small side of the Caribbean.  What many don’t know is that you could literally go right around the corner of the typical tourist trap and find yourself in a local environment where budget friendly travel is possible without hindering on your Caribbean experience.

Not convinced that this is possible?  Here are a few tips on how to make it happen for cheap:

Travel by the Seasons…

Like most places, the price you pay for a Caribbean vacation varies greatly depending on the season.  However, given the fact that the weather is sublime most of the year around, there’s no need to follow the herd of tourists traveling here when they’re recommended to.  

Try booking during the off season between the beginning of July and the end of September.  Not only can you benefit from more secluded beaches and beautiful weather, but also discounts of up to 50% and sometimes even more.

Be Flexible with Your Accommodation…

Be sure to look into all available options, which doesn’t just mean every class of hotel.  Across the most popular Caribbean resorts there are thousands of places to rent condos, villas, apartments as well as staying in hostels or CouchSurfing.  

Being flexible on where you stay can be way cheaper than hotels depending on where, when and for how many people are with you on the trip.  As far as groups go, renting a villa can sometimes be cheaper than all of the above after the price is split between everyone.

Choose Your Activities Wisely…

The beaches, villages, city streets and the general atmosphere alone are enough to keep even the shortest of attention spans happy and busy.  There’s really no need to spend money on entertainment in the Caribbean but if you must do so, try to shop around as thoroughly as possible.  

Talk to the local businesses and see if they’ll match their competitors prices.  Most times they’ll even lower your price of attendance providing you convince other travelers to come with you.  Also, don’t be afraid to talk to the locals.  Out in Kauai, Hawaii I found a local cab driver to take us around the island for half the price of the tour companies. 

Dine with the Locals…

Mango BurgerThose in the know swear by the real Caribbean experience of eating is where the locals eat; from street food vendors and the tiny shanties all over the place grilling whatever came in fresh that day. The upmarket restaurants and cafes are pretty sweet, but for a fraction of the price you can dine exclusively on the true taste of the Caribbean.

Find Drinks the Smart Way…

And finally, why pay bar prices when you can pick yourself up a bottle of local rum for less than a fiver.  Add along a few limes with a bottle of Coke and you can have your own party when and where you want.  If you’re absolutely convinced to hit the local pubs, go only during happy hours.  I’ve found 50¢ beers down in Panama doing this…now that’s perfect for a cheap night out!

What are your tips for going on a cheap Caribbean holiday?