Pack your swimsuit, you're going on a cheap tropical vacation

Do you ever find yourself looking at pictures of palm-fringed shores, with white sand, blue sky, and turquoise water, all the while sighing as you tell yourself that such glorious surroundings are way beyond your budget? We’re here to let you know that there’s no need for such dismay. With a bit of planning, and less outlay than you’d think, you can put yourself in that picture. Take our tips for cheap tropical vacations, and before long you’ll be chomping on a mango in the shade of a coconut tree.

It's time to go to Mexico

Well established as a destination for sun-seekers on a budget, Mexico offers a wide range of accommodation options, so you’ll be sure to find the perfect cheap vacation home rental. Ignore the fancy hotels and look for a condo with a shared pool, or a cottage near the shore, or even a jungle retreat—there’s sure to be a place out there for you at a price that won’t make you burst into tears. Save money on food bills by renting a place with a kitchen and picking up a few ingredients from the local market—and when you can’t quite be bothered to cook, you could always sample the country’s legendary street food.

Enjoy miles of beaches at Mazatlán

Nestled just inside the Tropic of Cancer, this lively resort city boasts a boardwalk running alongside 11 miles of beach, so if you feel like lying on the sand, or hitting the waves for a spot of surfing, you’ll be spoilt for choice. It’s not all about the sand in Mazatlán, though. There’s the beautiful Old Town district to explore, its streets lined with historic buildings. Add some hiking trails in the surrounding landscape, and you’ve found yourself the ideal tropical vacation. Visit during the quiet season—June through August—and you could well pick up a bargain.

Combine history with sunbathing in Tulum

Mexico isn’t all about spending time on the beach—with its rich history there are plenty of amazing archaeological sites to explore, and Tulum’s a great place for this. Featuring the stunning remains of a Mayan walled city, this relaxed town will have fans of ancient civilsations in raptures. Not only this, but it just happens to be right beside the sea, so once you’ve seen all the ruins you can, well, spend time on the beach. For families, couples, or lone wolves, this destination has it all, with its opportunities to snorkel in sinkholes, cycle through the countryside, and doze on a sunlouger. Rent a tiny house in the town center, or an apartment beside the beach, and soak it all in.

Best cheap tropical destinations for couples

If you’re looking to get away from it all with that special someone, you can’t get much better than a vacation in the tropics. Whether you’re looking for an apartment with a shared pool, or a cozy cottage with a veranda, you’re sure to find a place with your names on it at a price that will make you happy. With so many amazing beaches to choose from and relaxed towns to explore, you’ll be basking in the sunshine before you know it.

Enjoy the natural wonders of Costa Rica

With its laidback pace of life, along with its countless pristine beaches, Costa Rica is quite the up-and-coming destination for vacationers in search of a tropical paradise at a sensible price. It’s not just about the beaches—with waterfalls, rainforest, and spectacular wildlife, Costa Rica is an all-rounder when it comes to tropical vacations. Rent a condo near the shore in Playas del Coco, or head inland to La Fortuna, where a getaway cabin in the mountains will make the ideal base for adventures, be they hiking around Arenal Volcano, or crossing hanging bridges in the rainforest.

Gaze at the blue sea of the Dominican Republic

It’s no secret that the Dominican Republic is a popular choice for a tropical break, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some excellent bargains. You could rent an apartment with a balcony and sea views in Las Terrenas, with its beautiful beaches lined with bars and restaurants, or try Punta Cana which, by way of no contrast whatsoever, offers beautiful beaches lined with bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for a tranquil break with your significant other, you’ll have picked a perfect spot. Rent a condo near the sand and soak up that sun.