Essential tips for traveling to the Caribbean on a budget
Travel during the low season
Travel in the low season makes everything cheaper. There are fewer tourists, so hostels are not crowded and you can find the best deals. The low season in the Caribbean is from May to October, but keep in mind that June to October is also hurricane season. If you go south of Dominica it is very unlikely that you will be hit by a hurricane. If you head north from there, keep an eye out for the weather reports. The showers are normally late in the afternoon and the sky is clear for the rest of the day.
Bringing a tent or camping hammock is one of the best decisions you can make to save money. Some islands are better than others for camping. I found camping areas in Martinique, St. Lucia, and Dominica with all the necessary facilities and very affordable camping costs. Some islands may not have camping grounds, but they have plenty of beautiful and secluded beaches. Safety can come to mind if you plan on camping on the beach, but it is very unlikely that you will have any problems. Just try to find a beach without a city nearby. I really enjoyed free camping on the beaches of Carriacou, the Grenadines, and Barbuda. And if you’re in the right season, you might even see leatherback turtles at night!
Eat what the locals eat
Whatever it is produced on the islands, it is cheap. The options are not very diverse and rice and beans are always on the menu. The fruit is a great option. Mangoes, bananas, papayas and other tropical fruits are plentiful and delicious. And don’t forget the drinks. Beer and rum are surprisingly cheap. When in a big city, try to visit the local market. There are normally plenty of stands around them where you can get cheap meals and chat with the locals. This is my favorite option.
Use boats if possible
Cargo boats are one of the cheapest options, but they are uncommon and do not go to every island. It is also very difficult to find departure dates or any other schedule if you are not already on the island and going to the port in person. Local boats are usually cheap but are only available on short crossings. It is a great option to travel through Grenada and the Grenadines group as the islands are close together. The quality of the boats varies and they absolutely never run on time, so you have to be very patient. Finally, you can always try to hitch a ride on a sailing boat!
Co-founder of Cycling El Mundo. Addicted to adventure travel and unexpected plans. He is on a mission to inspire you to make your dreams come true with fun stories, beautiful images, and useful travel tips. Cycling worldwide since 2013.