Trinidad and Tobago
The Caribbean can be done a lot cheaper than people believe.
1) Firstly check out charter flights - for example Monarch at Christmas is almost half the price of BA and Virgin. Also sometimes while longer, flying via Miami or New York can save hundreds.
2) On most Caribbean islands you can buy duty free when arriving which is often cheaper than duty free in England. For example in Trinidad you can get a 1litre bottle of rum arriving for £5 which is a lot cheaper than a £12 bottle of Barcadi in Heathrow.
3) When it comes to accommodation a local bed and breakfast can be substantially cheaper than a hotel. Call the local tourist board who can recommend places to stay and give you a star rating. For example in Tobago there are many places minutes from the beach that are much cheaper than the big hotels. Also don’t be afraid to negotiate as often places will have offers or have low occupancy and are willing to drop below advertised prices. Worth asking what discounts they offer for being a member of an organization. I got 10% off Tobago Hilton a few years ago because I prepaid.
4) The taxis that wait at the airport are often very expensive. It's much cheaper to walk out and go to the information desk and ask them to call one to come the airport. You might have to wait 20 minutes but save yourself 50% on the taxi fare!
5) When in the Caribbean I often try to eat where I see locals going to eat - cheaper and often better food (ask locals where they would go for food otherwise they always recommend places for tourists!)
6) Also when doing excursions or renting things always ask about discounts, last year I asked a jet ski operator about when his quietest time was and asked what was the best price he could do. I paid £11 for 30 minutes when other visitors were paying £20.
7) In the Caribbean the disparity in prices between hotel bars and restaurants and places outside can be huge! So don’t be afraid to sample them and they are often better. In St Maarten you can buy a cooler bag for the beach and a bottle of Vodka for $10 USD in the supermarket whereas one vodka drink from a beach bar will cost about $6/7.
Hope this helps to make the Caribbean more affordable!
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org