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The 2021 Guide to Cheap Beach Vacation Destinations

Beach destinations are usually seen as being overpriced and touristy. But some beaches are different.

There are many terrific cheap beach vacation destinations. You can quickly get cost-effective accommodations and thrifty meals, along with all the frills of a beach.

So, here are some of the cheap beach vacation destinations around the world. It will help you enjoy the warm summer that much more.

 

Cheap Beach Vacation Destinations

 

1. Koh Samui, Thailand

 

 

Koh Samui is one of the most cost-effective tropical islands to visit. The low season can fall in December or August, depending on where you are heading in Thailand. So, it is essential to do some research in advance to find the cheapest months.

Koh Samui is one of Thailand's most beloved beach destinations. It goes through the low season between October and mid-December.

October and November can be rainy in the afternoons. But December is sunnier and drier. These are great months to score deals in hotels and flights. 

The nearby island of Koh Tao is a popular day trip destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. But November and December are not good months. This is because of rough seas.

Instead, arrive in the shoulder season from March to May. You will be able to do this at great prices. There will be an excellent chance to see whale sharks near the coast.

 

2. Costa Rica

 

 

Arriving at the right time in Costa Rica will save a lot of money.

From May to mid-December, Costa Rica experiences what is known as the "green season." It has lots of rain, thick cloud forests on green mountain sides, and budget-friendly surf breaks. This is at a time when the big crowds mostly stay away.

Do not let the rain scare you. It is still warm, and you will get plenty of sunny days to enjoy the beach.

The Volcano Arenal is one of the most stunning destinations for hiking in Costa Rica. It is perfect for some budget fun. Just pay the park's entrance fee but skip the guided hikes; it is easy enough to follow the signs on your own.

Most of the national parks in the country charge an entry fee. But the cost is low. You can spend an entire day exploring, canoeing, hiking volcano trails, trying hot springs, or even horseback riding.

When it comes to accommodations, stay out of the main tourist towns. These include San Jose and Arenal. It will land you the best deals.

 

3. Koh Rong, Cambodia

 

 

Most visitors who come to Cambodia make a beeline for the ancient temples in Angkor Wat. But there are a lot of outdoor adventures also. There are white sands, thick forests, and lush green mountains all over Koh Rong.

Cambodia's rugged and undeveloped beaches are a treat for visitors. The crowds are smaller than in neighboring Thailand, and the resorts are cheaper.

Koh Rong is the most developed island in the country. It is a paradise of coral reefs and sandy coves. Here you can sit back to enjoy a mesmerizing sunset. You can even head out for a speedboat tour over the azure waters.

Koh Rong costs a fraction of what a tropical beach vacation in Thailand or Malaysia would cost. This is despite its many offerings.

Here you can hop on a boat for a full-day tour. You can have lunch at a local restaurant for three days in a row. Or you can rent all the needed equipment for snorkeling. All for the cost of what you would pay to see a movie back home.

This is what we call a cheap beach vacation destination!

 

4. Luang Prabang, Laos

 

 

Laos has been a backpacking haven for many years.

You can eat sticky rice, a bowl of noodles, and other quick meals from street food stalls for a couple of dollars or less. Four-star hotels will cost you a third of what you would pay in Europe outside of the capital.

December and January see the most visitors. There are comfortable temperatures in the mid-20s Celsius. Arrive at any other time, and you will see smaller crowds and even lower prices.

Luang Prabang is Laos' former capital and a UNESCO World Heritage city. It is one of the most visited destinations in the country.

The city is a mix of French colonial architecture and traditional wooden houses. Luang Prabang offers a great mix of temples.

This includes the 16th-century Wat Xieng Thong temple. It has elaborate wooden carvings and mosaic patterns and is free to visit.

Mount Phu Si is located just behind the city. It is excellent for hiking and catching the sunset.

Vientiane is the capital city. It is a popular foodie destination and home to several national monuments.

It also has a sculpture garden of giant Buddha statues and the famous Great Stupa temple. These are all free to access.

 

5. Bali, Indonesia

 

Bali is a favorite tropical destination for worldwide visitors.

Destinations in the southern part of the island are usually more expensive. This includes Kuta, Ubud, and Seminyak. Here everything costs double compared to the central hills or up north.

Visiting in the off-season from March to May will save you a considerable amount of money. March and April can be a little rainy. But May offers sun and low humidity.

The rainy season lasts from October to April. It offers excellent deals on airfares and accommodations.

You will still see plenty of sunshine on most days.

All beaches in Bali are public and accessible. But the island also offers beautiful rice paddies and breathtaking mountains for hiking. There are lots of temples and palaces. 

 

6. Palawan, Philippines

 

 

Palawan is another excellent cheap beach vacation destination. This is a small archipelagic province in the Philippines. June to November is the off-peak season. 

It is also monsoon period, but do not let that scare you. It does not rain every day, even during the rainy season. Rains often come as heavy but short afternoon downpours.

Rains do lower temperatures a little. This makes it more comfortable to walk around and explore.

For the best possible weather, arrive early in the season. The heavier storms are usually after September. Airlines and hotels offer heavy discounts during this time. The off-peak prices save you as much as 80 percent compared to regular costs.

Both El Nido and Puerto Princesa offer plenty of budget accommodations right on the coastline.

This means beach bungalows with no luxury amenities. However, it might be enough if you spend most of your time at the beach. Plus, you will still get stunning views once you get back to your room.

All beaches are free to access in Palawan. Visitors can also try other free or very inexpensive attractions.

These include visiting the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center and exploring the Tabon Caves (no tour needed). You can also take a dip in the natural pool at Estrella Falls.

 

7. Dominican Republic

 

 

The high season in the Dominican Republic is not always cheap. But the months of April, May, and June offer the best of both worlds.

There are mostly sunny days and warm but comfortable weather. There are lots of special discounts on accommodations and flights. Prices are reduced by as much as 50 percent from the high-season rates.

June is the start of the rainy and hurricane season. But storms are rare during this month. So, it is a great time to explore for less.

Santo Domingo and Punta Cana have pricey accommodations. But things get cheaper when you head to smaller towns and off-the-beaten-track destinations. Some exciting places are Samana and Bahia de las Aguilas.

 

In many places, all-inclusive resorts can save you money, as eating out will get expensive. There is a 16 percent government tax added to meals. Plus, many restaurants add a 10 percent service charge to the bill. 

 

8. Cozumel, Mexico

 

 

December to March sees high prices in this area of Mexico.

Hurricane season lasts from July till October in Cozumel. But until September, this usually means occasional rains. July and August offer meager prices on flights and accommodation. This is in exchange for some cloudy skies here and there.

Go there between late March and June for better weather and equally great prices. Temperatures can keep changing. But you will get plenty of sunny days and some great deals, plus much smaller crowds.

Cozumel beaches are accessible all year long. So, you can spend entire days enjoying the sun and pay almost nothing.

You can get a day pass at one of the local luxury resorts if you prefer the comfort of a pool. This will allow you full use of their pool and sun chairs without the cost of sleeping there.

The Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park is the second-largest coral reef system in the world. It is excellent for some diving at very affordable prices.

For all these reasons, Cozumel makes it to our list of cheap beach vacation destinations. 

 

Conclusion:

Sometimes, you want a beach getaway. But the usually prohibitive expenses stop you. This is where you need cheap beach vacation destinations.

You do not have to convince yourself that you do not have the cash for a vacation to fill in the blank.

Please take a look at the list of our cheap beach vacation destinations. They are surprisingly affordable.

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