May 28, 2024

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15 Of The Cheapest Islands To Visit Around The World

15 Of The Cheapest Islands To Visit Around The World

Visiting island destinations are undeniably more expensive than strolling around the city. The idea of an island retreat has already been branded a luxurious experience that many penny-saving tourists think twice about. However, what many travelers don’t realize is that an idyllic island vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. While many jet-setters with deep pockets choose the most expensive islands in the world, budget vacationers tend to be a little smarter with their funds to make them stretch further.


Naturally, many cheaper getaways often mean sacrificing luxuries, such as avoiding the world’s most expensive restaurants, lavish accommodations, and fun entertainment. But this really doesn’t need to be the case, for there are more than enough budget islands around the world that offer everything that their pricey counterparts do, but without emptying the wallet. Nothing is more satisfying than enjoying beautiful and budget-friendly vacations (especially as a couple), which is why this list of low-cost vacation spots has been created to help discerning travelers with their hunt for the world’s best cheap island vacation destinations.

UPDATE: 2023/04/09 18:03 EST BY MARIA BOU INK

Now, Here Are 15 Of The Cheapest Islands To Visit Around The World

Summer is in a few months, the sun is shining, and it is getting warmer. What is better than the sound and smell of the ocean, the touch of the sand, and the sight of mesmerizing waves kissing the shores? Who said traveling to an island should break the bank? To prove that there’s no need to spend a small fortune on a paradise retreat, the list was updated to include more cheap islands around the world that can match budget travelers’ preferences and purse strings.

Updated by Lauren Feather, February 18, 2022: As the world regains some normality and travelers scope out the best destinations once more, rumors of the most incredible, yet affordable island vacation spots abound. With more and more jet-setters venturing off to idyllic escapes, it’s only natural that more and more perfect islands that don’t crush one’s purse are being found. To keep up with penny-pinching travelers and their search for low-cost escapades, a few more worthy additions to this list of budget-friendly islands around the world have been added.

Related: 13 Best Islands In The Maldives For Travelers On A Budget

15 Malta

Marsaxlokk, Malta
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Traditional fishing boats in the Mediterranean Village of Marsaxlokk, Malta

Malta is a historically rich and culturally diverse jewel of Europe and one of the finest cheap islands to visit in the Mediterranean. Malta has had a tremendous impact on the histories of Asia, Europe, and northern Africa because of its location at a crossroads for several empires and civilizations. In addition to the beautiful beaches, there are several distinctive sites, temples, and monuments.

14 Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

An aerial view of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
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An aerial view of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

When island-hopping in Thailand or traveling on a budget in Southeast Asia, this little island in the Andaman Sea is a must-visit location. While it’s not the cheapest island to visit in Thailand, it’s definitely among the most beautiful that’s still within many budget travelers’ reach. With its soft turquoise waters and lush green tropical cliffs, Koh Phi Phi is not only breathtaking but also surprisingly affordable. Less than ten dollars a night is what hostels in Koh Phi Phi charge. Tourists don’t need to limit themselves at all because dining out, partying, and purchasing souvenirs are all inexpensive. Additionally, tourists may select boat cruises that take them around the islands, and it can be as cheap as $20 per person for a tour.

13 Turks & Caicos Islands, UK

Aerial view of Grand Turk island, Turks and Caicos
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Aerial view of Grand Turk island, Turks and Caicos

This island lies in British Overseas Territory, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that features powdery white sands and turquoise sea waters. Looking for cheap island to travel to would definitely help tourists stay on a budget. Many hotels operate on the beach, but staying in a vacation rental is a good alternative. In terms of food, it is advisable to go grocery shopping to avoid luxurious restaurants around the Island. The prices of the beach resorts vary; it costs less during spring or fall than during the peak seasons in the months of winter and summer.

Related: 10 Tips For Planning A Trip To The Cayman Islands

12 Puerto Rico, USA

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Photo by Wei Zeng on Unsplash

View from the Malecon, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a stunning Caribbean destination that’s a great alternative to Florida. It’s a cheap island to visit, yet it has it all; perfect beaches; lush tropical rainforests; and a historic old town booming with culture. Located just off the coast of southeast USA, it’s the perfect holiday hub for solos, couples, and families alike, where there’s so much to do and see. Visitors can saunter by the vibrant colonial buildings in San Juan, explore the El Yunque Rainforest on foot, and even marvel at the bioluminescent plankton that glows in the water at night.

Plus, the island is also a fantastic place for backpackers and those seeking an enriching experience in which they give back to the community. There are lots of volunteer opportunities that allow visitors to work with the local people, such as volunteering at restaurants and bars, chocolate and coffee farms, and so many more placements that give a unique, intimate opportunity to immersion-hungry travelers who want to be more than just another tourist.

Related: A Travel Guide To Puerto Rico: Tourists Should Plan Their Trip Around These 10 Things

11 Varadero, Cuba

Varadero Beach in Cuba
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Varadero Beach in Cuba

The 18-kilometer coastline length of Varadero Beach has public entrances, which make it inexpensive. This small town is just two hours drive from Havana; if tourists prefer to commute, the most convenient ride to Varadero is through the Viazul buses; the cost for a one-way ticket is $10. After reaching Varadero, booking beachfront Airbnbs or home rentals for these is less expensive. Varadero also features underwater caves, affordable Cuban food, and a picturesque view of turquoise blue waters. All in all, this is one of the cheapest islands to travel to if tourists want a low-key vacation in Cuba away from the hustle and bustle of Havana.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Traveling To Cuba

10 Isla Holbox, Mexico

A boat on the beach in Isla Holbox, Mexico
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A boat on the beach in Isla Holbox, Mexico

Isla Holbox is a perfect destination to visit for a more retreat vacation. The Island is known for being a “car-free” island, and the only standard modes of transportation here are golf cars and bicycles. Isla Holbox has a lot to offer; it is rich in marine biodiversity and aquatic creatures. Tourists may visit the mangrove sanctuary and watch the whale sharks. Additionally, some flamingos stroll around the Island. Isla Holbox also features a beautiful sunset seeing, bioluminescence, and street art.

9 Isle Of Skye, Scotland, UK

Old Man of Storr rock formation, Isle of Skye
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Old Man of Storr rock formation, Isle of Skye

While Scotland may not deliver an idyllic tropical beach vacation like many of the other destinations on this list, it does provide an extraordinary retreat away from the stresses and chaos of Western life (although it does offer several shorelines said to be some of the most beautiful and best beaches in Scotland). The Isle of Skye is one of the most ideal islands for travelers in search of rugged natural beauty and pure escapism amidst vast green lands and mountainous terrain. It’s a low cost island compared to the rest of the UK and offers an authentic exploration of Scotland’s wild side.

Renting a car is a fantastic way to travel through the island and get to know it intimately, whilst other travelers may appreciate a guided tour. Additionally, one of the best parts about this place is that its most famous and beautiful attractions are produced by nature, which means they’re free of charge to enjoy. Noteworthy highlights to look out for include the mighty rock formations, such as the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing. There are also cascading waterfalls and inviting pools to discover – some of the most impressive being the Kilt Falls waterfall and the Fairy Pools nestled up in the mountains.

Related: Isle Of Skye: This Itinerary Is Just As Magical As Scotland’s Legendary Island

8 Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Sunset on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii
Photo by Shane Myers on Dreamstime
 

Stunning Sunset on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

People often conclude that traveling to Hawaii would be costly, yet many tourists do not know about the wonderful world of being a backpacker in this state. Aside from various cheap incentive flights, the island of Oahu in particular has a lot of more affordable accommodation lodges where camping is also an excellent alternative. If travelers desire to see the cheap island’s beautiful attractions, it becomes cheaper without going with organized tours. The more inexpensive way to enjoy outdoor activities is by renting boogie swimming boards and snorkeling; many food trucks can also be seen everywhere.

Related: Small State Tourism: Top TripAdvisor Attractions In Rhode Island

7 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Puerto de Santiago city, Tenerife, Canary island, Spain
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 Puerto de Santiago city, Tenerife, Canary island, Spain

Among the cheap islands to travel to are these stunning gems in Spain. The Canary Islands’ Tenerife (which offers lots of off-the-beaten-path attractions) is the perfect place for an ideal island getaway. Taxis within the Island are pretty expensive; the best alternative to roaming around the Island is renting a car that starts at around seven euros per day. Tourists also have numerous choices when it comes to diners to fill their stomachs. Restaurants around the Island serve world-class cuisines and local delicacies. Available affordable tours include jeep tours through Mount Teide, whale watching, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Related: Things Visitors Must See At The Canary Island Of Tenerife

6 Ios Island, Greece

Ios Island, Greece
Image by Benjamin Balazs from Pixabay 

A summer party destination, Ios, Greece

Greece is not just all about luxurious beach destinations. Backpackers have been clinging to the gem of the Aegean Sea – Ios Island. The Island is not just home to beautiful beach towns, and fun nightlife, it is home to Homer’s Tomb, which lies in Plakotos. Many accommodation options operate in the city, and the price starts at $15 per night. Visiting the Island would get extra expensive during peak seasons – early bookings would benefit backpackers much more.

5 Sifnos, Greece

Seven Martyrs church, Sifnos, Greece

What is the cheapest island to visit in Greece? Some would say Sifnos – a hidden Greek gem. Branded as one of the cheapest islands to visit in Europe yet serves as a treasure trove is Sifnos Island. From Athens, the most convenient mode of transportation to the small Island of Sifnos is by ferry in Kamares. Aside from its lovely sand beaches, several hiking trails also reside on the islands. It is also known for producing excellent hand-crafted souvenirs. Accordingly, a fishing village near Faros Beach features a picture-perfect town.

Related: Kayak Tours: Get Up Close With The Channel Islands Sea Caves

4 Boracay, Philippines

Boracay Island, Western Visayas, Philippines
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Boracay Island, Western Visayas, Philippines

One of the gems of over 7000 islands in the Philippines, Boracay has bragged about the best beaches globally. Boracay is a small island yet has much to offer, from majestic sunset views, numerous beachfront hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, and fabulous nightlife to water activities and outdoor massages featuring the mesmerizing waves of the waters. Tourists coming from the West would find Boracay as an amazingly cheap vacation destination.

Related: Most Budget-Friendly Places To Visit In The Philippines

3 Bohol, Philippines

Vacationing with kids in the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the Philippines
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Vacationing with kids in the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the Philippines

Unlike Boracay, Bohol is an underrated island destination in the Central Visayas region in the Philippines. One of the best places in the Philippines, this island is rich in aquatic and terrestrial wonders, featuring the famous Chocolate Hills freely open to the public, the Hinagdanan Cave, the Tarsier Sanctuary, island tours, dolphin watching, and snorkeling to the crystal clear waters of the Island. There are also luxurious hotels with a relaxing ambiance that offers low prices. Some restaurants also offer a panoramic view of the turquoise blue waters of the Island, which is, again, very much affordable.​​​​​​

Related: 10 Instagramable Things To Do In The Philippines

2 Aruba, Caribbean

Amazing Palm Beach, hotels and coast on Aruba, Caribbean
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Amazing Palm Beach, hotels and coast on Aruba, Caribbean

Aruba is an Island Country that lies in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea and is budget-friendly for every traveler. Several destinations around the Island are costly, but there are hotels and accommodation places that offer discounts, especially out of peak seasons. For cheaper food, going grocery shopping for restaurants is expensive. Aside from the pretty white sand beaches, other attractions include Balashi ruins, Oranjestad town, and the California Dunes.

1 Unguja, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Kendwa Beach, Unguja, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania, East Africa

Not just for epic safaris, Africa’s tropical island archipelago of Zanzibar is a beach and history lover’s paradise. The islands are beautifully situated in the Indian Ocean and located just off the east coast of Africa. The archipelago’s main island of Unguja is just 15 miles from Tanzania, and thus it’s easy to get a short flight or a two-hour ferry to reach it. The entire place is as gorgeous as it is low cost, with many hostels offering rooms for between 10 and 20 USD per night.

Most of the beaches are free of charge to access, and the historic and charming Stone Town bustles with beautiful architecture and lots of cheap entertainment. Overall, this stunning island is one of the best to visit for travelers who want the perfect exotic tropical getaway in Africa, but at an irresistible fraction of the price.