If a tropical island vacation is a bit beyond your budget, there are some alternative vacation ideas that are more affordable while still providing some of the great aspects of a beach getaway.
Cruises are a great alternative to a tropical island vacation. They can generally be very affordable. A 3-night cruise can cost as little as $300 per person. By cruising during off-peak times of the year and keeping an eye open for bargains, you can find a very affordable vacation. Check out our Caribbean cruises section for more complete info on ports and liners.
Of course, the nice part of going on a cruise is that you still get to experience some of the niceties of a tropical island vacation. You’ll spend multiple afternoons relaxing on the beach before re-boarding your ship for the next destination. The cost of a cruise includes everything except alcohol and off-shore excursions.
Planned correctly, a Las Vegas vacation can be very affordable. While you won’t find any tropical beaches in the middle of the Nevada desert, you will find a lively city with dozens of fantastic pools through which the beach experience can be recreated. Airfare to Vegas can be incredibly cheap if you fly during a low-demand time. The summer is the most affordable time to visit Las Vegas as the 100 degree heat tends to cut down on tourist demand. There are more hotel rooms in Las Vegas than any other city in the world, so during off-peak times, rooms can be extraordinarily cheap. A word of caution though, if you go for the absolute cheapest room in the city you may be disappointed at the room quality. Read up on some visitor reviews of the hotel and consider aiming for something one notch above the lowest of the low. There are plenty of great hotels in Las Vegas that are trying to compete and stay relevant. If you’re planning on doing a little gambling while you’re in town, consider giving the casino you are staying at all of your action. By keeping track of your play on a player’s card, they may be willing to “comp” some of your food or even your room expense. But if a cheap vacation is your objective, steering clear of the gambling is probably a wise move!
If flying to Fiji is out of your budget, consider heading to a great beach destination within driving distance. Chances are, you live within a two day drive of a great beach. Florida; Galveston, TX; and California are all options depending on which region you reside in. While a road trip vacation may not be as glamorous as flying to a foreign tropical destination, there are plenty of upsides. Aside from the obvious money-saving benefits, a road trip also provides more flexibility with your vacation. You can plan detours to great parks and maybe even incorporate a camping vacation into your plans. Having a car also enables you to pack food to eat on the road and save money. This is an especially great idea for a family interested in a vacation; it costs basically the same amount for one person to drive somewhere as it does four. This is hardly the case with flying.