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Cheapest Caribbean Destination: Punta Cana VS Cancun

 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Cancun, Mexico are the best two cheap Caribbean destinations worth checking out 

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So, You are looking for an affordable Caribbean vacation, well, you have two viable options. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Cancun, Mexico are the best two cheap Caribbean destinations worth checking out.

Each vacation spot have their pros and cons but overall, these are the best bets for cheap Caribbean travel. Sitting on either side of Cuba, these gorgeous resort areas have similar year round weather, picturesque white sand beaches and virtually the same resort chains.

I’ll breakdown why you should visit each and hopefully I can help plan your beach vacation.

 maya

Flights

Getting to each destination are both relatively easy and both are accessible.   Cancun is the second largest airport in Mexico, funneling over 20 million passengers each year. This is a crucial aspect to this city, as there are direct flights from all over the states.   The popular Hotel Zone is only 20 minutes from the airport and most resorts have free shuttles. Some visitors will have to take taxis, which can overcharge tourists.

Punta Cana is a little harder to reach, as its airport is much smaller, so less direct flights. With only 6 million yearly passengers, this airport handles much less volume, so expect a higher price tag.   Most resorts here offer free shuttles and only a few make you find your own way, so that’s a plus for Punta Cana.

Advantage Cancun.

 Cheap

Beaches

Both locations have incredible serene beaches covered in white sand and lined with palm trees. The water is turquoise, warm and crystal clear, so both locations will suit a paradise seeker. There are amazing coral reefs for you to snorkel around and these reefs keep the waves to a minimum. Swimming and watersports dominate the coastline of each hot spot.   Not all of Punta Cana’s waters are swimmable, as there are severe rip tides in many areas. Check out the resort first to see if it has a swimmable coastline.

Advantage Cancun.

 

Activities

Cancun is close to many historical tourist attractions as it is near the ancient Mayan Civilization. Punta Cana isn’t near any real cultural attractions, so people typically stay at the resorts.   Cancun has plenty of off site activities like motor sports and shopping. Punta Cana has some shopping but most activities are located at resorts, so why leave them. If you were doing all-inclusive resort life, then I would stay in Punta Cana, because you won’t feel bad about not leaving resort.

Advantage Cancun

 Olympus

Nightlife

Both locations feature all-inclusive resorts, so nightlife is included often. If you are in the mood to party down, then Cancun has way more options. Cancun is known for its spring break shenanigans, so prepare yourself for drunken idiots vomiting and peeing everywhere. Most all-inclusive resorts have clubs, so if you want a party and don’t want to deal with leaving the resort, Punta Cana may be for you.

Advantage Cancun

 

Food

Cancun has plenty of off resort options to eat, especially in downtown Cancun or on the Nichupte Lagoon, where sunset dinners are a specialty. Dining in Punta Cana is almost strictly done at the resorts. Major difference between the two is the amount of off-site dining options. If you are going to an all-inclusive resort, make sure you see some reviews of the food, if you are paying for it, you may as well like what you eat.

Advantage Cancun

 cheap caribbean

Hotels

Both vacation spots have over 100 all-inclusive resorts along its coastlines, so your options are numerous. Overall, Punta Cana is more affordable and has more international guests, so it feels very diverse.   Cancun has so many Americans and is very Americanized, so it feels less like an international location.

Advantage Punta Cana.

 

Both these Caribbean Destinations are great choices for your budget and have all around beautiful resorts. The choice is solely up to you; hopefully I helped make your decision easier. Enjoy paradise friends.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Trip Advisor, riviera, Cheap, Olympus, Caribbean

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Destinations

Western Canada’s Largest City – Vancouver

Located in British Columbia, Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada and the third-largest in all of Canada. It is known for its natural beauty, as it is nestled between the mountains and the ocean. Vancouver’s proximity to the ocean and the mountains provides for…

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Located in British Columbia, Vancouver is the largest city in western Canada and the third-largest in all of Canada. It is known for its natural beauty, as it is nestled between the mountains and the ocean. Vancouver’s proximity to the ocean and the mountains provides for an excellent location: within minutes, you can get from downtown to the mountains or the beach. Vancouver is a dream for city dwellers who need some fresh air but can’t quite move into a rural area. Vancouver’s true appeal comes from this blend of nature and man, where you can go from city to mountain and back all in one day.

 

 

Vancouver is just over 100 years old, and its namesake, Captain George Vancouver, sailed through the First Narrows in 1792. The first settlement on the downtown peninsula was Granville, located on the spot of today’s Gastown. Its location and harbor made it an excellent spot for a port, and Vancouver soon became the biggest port in the region. Today, it is still Canada’s main western port and the launching ground for most cruises up the Inside Passage.

 

 

Vancouver is perhaps best known for its scenic beauty and the opportunities afforded by its natural environment. Surrounded by water on three sides and crowned by the North Shore mountains, Vancouver is a great starting point for discovering the area’s many outdoor activities. Vancouver’s main park is a gem among city parks worldwide. It may not be the biggest, but Stanley Park is second to none. Perched on the edge of the city, this park is an oasis of calm in an already relaxed city. The park has an aquarium, beaches, and miles of trails that let you dissolve into nature while still being a stone’s throw away from the city. It makes for a great mid-day break location, a place to walk or hike, or a spot to just relax. In the park, you hear none of the sounds of the city.

 

 

Vancouver is a hip city, walking around, everyone is relaxed, friendly, and very cool. The buildings are ultra modern, and there are cafes everywhere and outdoor restaurants when the weather is nice. For foodies, Vancouver represents a delight for those who love Asian cuisine. As Canada’s major western port, immigrants from the Far East have long called Vancouver home. This has lead to a city with a high Asian population and Asian food on every corner. Sushi, Chinese, and some amazing Korean food can all be found here. Vancouver is home to the second-largest Chinatown in North America after San Francisco. And there’s also the wonderful Granville Park, a collection of eclectic shops and eateries for the yuppy liberal in all of us.

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Destinations

How To Travel Easter Island On A Budget

Visiting Easter Island is hideously expensive because it’s so remote, over 3,700 kilometers away from Santiago, Chile. Very few crops grow, there is very little industry, and nearly everything on the island is shipped from the mainland at great expense.Geography means that the costs of…

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Visiting Easter Island is hideously expensive because it’s so remote, over 3,700 kilometers away from Santiago, Chile. Very few crops grow, there is very little industry, and nearly everything on the island is shipped from the mainland at great expense.Geography means that the costs of goods are high and it’s not the most budget friendly island in the world. However, it’s not impossible to plan a budget trip there if you do so in advance.

 

 

How to get there

One of the biggest costs of visiting Easter Island is transport. There is just one airline, LAN, that flies there, which means it can pretty much charge what it wants. And it only flies once per day, departing from and returning to Santiago. With the following tips you might be able to cut down the cost of the flight:

  • Book ahead and go during off and shoulder seasons.
  • Stay for a week or more. For some reason the flights get really expensive if it’s a shorter trip. That may seem like a really long time in a place that expensive, but don’t worry, because we’ll make sure you’re covered with the advice below.
  • Check the price of business class. This may sound crazy if you’re trying to save money, but business class tickets can be found that are cheaper than economy class.
  • Use Google Flights calendar function. You can see the cheapest dates all month by using the fare calendar, then book directly on LAN’s website for the best fares.
  • Travel hack – LAN is a part of the Oneworld alliance and, though availability is rare, you can also get seats via points, so if you have miles on LAN, American Airlines, British Airways, or another partner, you can try to score a free flight.

There are occasional boats that sail to Easter Island from New Zealand or elsewhere in the South Pacific that take passengers, but they are priced incredibly high. At this time there is no public boat option from Chile’s mainland, mainly because Easter Island doesn’t have a harbor that can accommodate ships. If you want to sail there, some travelers successfully volunteer as crew as a cheap or free way to travel.

 

Where to stay

You have three affordable options when you’re traveling to Easter Island: book a hostel dorm bed way ahead of time, as there are few and they fill up quickly; camp in a tent; or rent an apartment on either Airbnb or Booking.com. If you want to stay for free, Couchsurfing is also an option but there are only 50-60 hosts on the island, so connect with them well in advance. If renting an apartment: Many places on Easter Island are cabana-style and can accommodate up to seven or eight people. When split among that many people, they end up costing each person less than $20 per night. If it’s low season, it is recommended to book only one or two nights on Booking.com and then workout a deal directly with the owner to stay for the remaining days. Since Booking.com takes a cut of profits, ask if they can pass on a discount to you if you cut out the middleman. It’s nice to have the place booked when you land, though, since they almost always include a free airport pickup in the price, but thereafter try to work out something cheaper. If you’re camping: There are a few camping grounds on Easter Island that also offer hostel-style accommodation for pretty cheap. If you already have camping gear, bring it along. If hosteling: There are a few hostel-style accommodation options for $25+ per night, which is among the cheapest you’ll find on Easter Island. You can also check out private rooms on Airbnb but most rooms there run closer to $50+ per night.

 

What to eat and drink

Eating meals out gets super expensive on Easter Island because it all has to be brought in from mainland Chile, so cut out the middleman and bring your food yourself. Put the food in a box or an extra backpack and check it with the rest of your luggage. Remember that since you can check two bags (25 kilos total), you’ll have room to bring both the food and your belongings. If you do buy food on the island, budget at least a dollar or two per fresh fruit or veggie item, at least $10 per meat item, and $15 or more per restaurant meal. You can also enjoy empanadas, which are only a few dollars and can be found at most small shops.

 

How to get around

Within the town of Hanga Roa, taxis are cheap at just $3.00; bicycles are great as well for the town and surroundings. A taxi doesn’t make sense for longer distances, as the price goes up significantly, and it takes about 90 minutes to make it from one side of the island to the other. To visit the moai and the beach, it is suggested you drive yourself. Tours are expensive, so to get around consider renting a motorbike. The motorbike costs $40 USD per day, and will give you freedom on the island. If renting a car, keep in mind that the price is negotiable and you can probably work out a discount.

 

Activities

The entrance to the national park is $60 for foreigners and is valid for the entire island. For most of the Moai, you don’t need any kind of entrance ticket and can visit as many times as you want, except for the quarry where the statues were carved and the museum at Rano Kau. You can visit each only once and they will demand to see your ticket. It would be a pity to travel all the way to Easter Island and miss these things, so it is recommended that you buy the ticket on arrival. Additionally, besides seeing the famous statues, you can go scuba diving to see the sunken Moai, go surfing, or just drive around to see where the day takes you. Easter Island is a trippy walk through the past. Few of the descendants of the original tribes are still left and nobody is exactly sure how or why the Moai were carved. That’s part of what makes Easter Island so alluring and interesting to visitors, it’s still partially an enigma.

 

By bringing your own food, scoring a cheap ticket, driving yourself around the island, and working out a deal with the owner of the accommodation, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars off of what most tourists usually pay when visiting Easter Island. Through very careful and smart planning, you can visit the island without blowing your budget.

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Destinations

America’s Best St. Patrick’s Day Destinations

St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. Falling at the end of the long winter, March 17th always manages to brighten things up. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin would be the ultimate way to spend…

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St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. Falling at the end of the long winter, March 17th always manages to brighten things up. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin would be the ultimate way to spend the day, but you can find plenty of destinations here in America to revel in the festivities. With 11% of the country’s population being able to claim Irish ancestry, Americans have embraced the holiday with gusto. From green dyed rivers and beer, to annual St. Patrick’s Day parades these cities are some of the best destinations in America to spend the holiday. 

 

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

With it’s large Irish Catholic population Chicago has many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations throughout the city. At the end of the parade, established in 1843, thousands of people gather to watch the spectacle of the river being dyed green. The tradition is more than forty years old, and don’t worry the substance used is safe for the environment. At the Irish American Heritage Center you will find the family friendly St. Patrick’s Festival, which features a craft fair, food, music and dancing. 

 

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Hosting the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country, established in 1869, the city of Pittsburgh holds an entire week of festivities. The parade boasts over 20,000 participants, and 18 marching bands. With easy access to restaurants and bars, and hundreds of thousands of people dressed in green partying from dawn to dusk, you can’t help but have fun.   

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Boston is known as the greenest city in the country, with 20.4% of it’s population being able to claim Irish ancestry. Their St. Patrick’s Day parade, established in 1737, is the longest running parade in the country. The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Boston is steeped in tradition and you will find all the green beer you can drink. 

 

CLEVELAND, OHIO

Unlike other cities, Cleveland will always hold their St. Patrick’s day celebrations on March 17th no matter what day of the week it falls on. The parade, established in 1867, is one of the oldest and largest in Ohio. With up to 500,000 people spreading their Irish cheer this is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America. Make sure to visit Slyman’s Deli for a glass of green beer, and the best corned beef in the country. 

 

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is a different experience, with the temperature in March averaging a balmy 70 degrees. Every year hundreds of thousands enjoy the annual parade, established in 1824. After enjoying the parade, visit the River Street St. Patrick’s Day Celebration to enjoy a full line up of performances and other activities. 

 

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

The Irish Heritage Club of Seattle hosts Irish Week every year, but the events go on much longer than a week. After enjoying the St. Patrick’s Day parade, established in 1971, head over to the Seattle Center and enjoy Irish music, dance, workshops, food and more. This year Seattle’s Best Damn Happy Hour falls during the St. Patrick’s Day month of festivities. 

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