13 Cheapest Islands to Visit Around the World

Island vacations are most commonly associated with clear, blue water, white-sand beaches, frozen drinks, and total relaxation. Unfortunately, they also have a reputation for having a high price tag — mainly when it comes to accommodations. While there are a number of luxury destinations, like St. Barts and Bora Bora, where visitors continue to pay top dollar for unparalleled seclusion and privacy, there are also budget-friendly options to consider. To curate a list of the most affordable islands to visit around the world, we spoke to several travel experts who provided recommendations for tropical getaways that are just as wow-worthy as the more expensive ones.

No matter which island you choose — more on those soon — our experts shared a few key things to know when planning your trip. For starters, it’s helpful to bake flexibility into your plans. “Being flexible with your travel plans can really pay off,” Expedia travel expert Christie Hudson tells Travel + Leisure. “Try to avoid the peak travel days, especially toward late June, when flights are in high demand and prices skyrocket. If you’re aiming for savings, August is your golden ticket. It’s got the lightest crowds and the cheapest average ticket prices of the whole season.”

It’s important to note, however, that this is also hurricane season in many locations — most notably, the Caribbean. “If you are traveling to an island during the off-season … be prepared, monitor the weather patterns, and, of course, purchase an insurance policy should your trip be interrupted,” says Dana Studebaker, vice president of marketing at CheapCaribbean Vacations. Mina Agnos, founder and group president of Travelive, and T+L A-List travel advisor, also recommends plotting out your travels as far ahead as possible. “For the most affordable options, book early. Many of these lesser-known spots have limited hotel availability.”

With that advice in mind, read on to discover the cheapest islands to visit around the world.

Milos, Greece

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“With all the hype about Mykonos and Santorini, it’s easy to overlook the other Cyclades islands,” says Jay Ternavan, T+L A-List travel advisor and founder and CEO of JayWay Travel. “But Milos might just deliver on your dream peaceful Greek island vacation … and at a far more affordable price.” Even in the height of summer, you can find top-rated accommodations for anywhere between $150 and $250 a night — Golden Milos Beach and Milos Hotel among them. “We’ve been impressed by the blend of high-quality services, authenticity, and sheer natural beauty that Milos provides,” he adds.

Puerto Rico

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“Puerto Rico is a reliably affordable option, especially when compared with pricier islands like the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos,” says Hudson. “For example, last June’s average hotel rates were well under $300 a night for San Juan, while the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos exceeded $500 to $650 a night.” December through April is peak season on the island, and flights and accommodation rates tend to dip from August to November — although travelers are advised to stay abreast of any weather-related news and updates during this time period. According to Expedia’s Summer Travel Outlook, the average ticket price to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) outside San Juan is around $410 — which, while not cheap, is more palatable than a four-figure flight to the Maldives.

Korčula, Croatia

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“Dubrovnik’s ‘little sister,’ Korčula old town, is the ideal place to stay to be in the middle of things without the throngs of cruise ship crowds that swarm Dubrovnik,” says Ternavan. He notes, however, that Korcula is “at least three hours from the closest airport,” so it does take a bit more effort to get there. “That gives an element of exclusivity and a longer-than-average stay than nearby jet-set favorite Hvar,” he says, adding that travelers can still find highly rated hotels for around $175 per night. Aminess Lume Hotel is an affordable option, and it comes with unbeatable access to the Adriatic Sea.


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“Curaçao is another great option — and one of Expedia’s 2024 ‘dupe destinations.’ It’s outside the hurricane belt and has a colorful Old Town area worth exploring anytime you pry yourself away from the pool lounger,” says Hudson, who notes that last summer’s average accommodation rates were under $300 a night. If you’re craving long days spent under an umbrella, check out Avila Beach Hotel or Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Resort; both are highly rated by past travelers and have rooms available for under $300 this summer.

Bali, Indonesia

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If you’ve been actively saving credit card points and airline miles for a special trip, consider using them to fund a trip to Indonesia — specifically, Bali. “Airfare to Bali may be costly if you’re coming from the U.S., but once you get there, your money will go a long way,” says Hudson. “Average hotel rates during the dry season (April to October) last year peaked at $225 per night.” For beach days paired with town access, book a stay at Como Uma Canggu; in July, most nights run between $272 and $328. Bali also has a number of cost-efficient activities, including chasing waterfalls, soaking in hot springs, climbing volcanos, and enjoying blissful afternoons on the beach.

Brač, Croatia

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“Brač is a stunning island with a location that is … easily accessible to Split,” says Agnos. It’s also home to the famed Zlatni Rat, one of the best beaches in Croatia. Prices will vary depending on which city or town you stay in on the island, but for the most part, she says Brač has quite a few options for accommodations and activities. “Unlike, its more famous counterpart, Hvar, Brac offers more local authenticity. Additionally, hotels are available across the island offering town or beach locations. In Hvar, hotels are centered around Hvar town and availability is very limited,” adds Agnos.


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Scheduling some European adventures for the summer or fall? Think about tacking on an island vacation in Malta. There are easy, affordable flights to Valletta — via airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, and Air Malta — from most major European cities, including Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence. “Malta is another great option, with average daily hotel rates much lower than other touristy spots in the Mediterranean,” says Hudson. In fact, she shares that last summer’s average daily rate for accommodations was “less than half the price” compared to Santorini.

Hispaniola (Dominican Republic)

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“Another way to find an affordable vacation is to search for islands that have all-inclusive resorts… [as] you’ll have a better idea of your total trip costs before you even reach the destination,” says Studebaker. One of her top recommendations for this type of trip is the Dominican Republic, a country located on Hispaniola, one of the largest islands of the Greater Antilles chain. “As a destination, the Dominican Republic is home to several quality all-inclusive resorts … and it has direct flights to a number of U.S. cities, so it’s not uncommon to find an affordable flight,” she explains.

Naxos, Greece

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To find more affordable island vacations, Agnos says it’s important to consider longer travel days: “The difficulty of getting to a destination often results in better value.” Case in point: Naxos. Often deemed one of the more affordable Greek islands, Naxos can be reached by a four-hour ferry from Athens. Once you’ve completed that extra leg of your journey, though, you’ll be able to experience luxurious island retreats — like Hotel Kymata or Crystal Mare Suites — from $170 per night in the summer.

Sicily, Italy

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San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel might be completely out of your budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience Sicily in a more affordable manner. “Italy’s largest island is a year-round destination, with the exception of a few coastal towns like Taormina and Cefalù … [and] it’s an absolute pleasure to travel there in the offseason (from November to April), with very reasonable hotel rates and some of the best value dining in all of Italy,” says Ternavan. To save even more cash, fill your itinerary with some of the island’s best free activities: exploring the beaches, local festivals, churches, cathedrals, and markets.


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A more affordable Caribbean vacation awaits in Aruba, especially if you visit between the months of May and September — and no, you probably won’t have to worry about hurricanes in the late summer.  “Not only does [Aruba] have a good amount of direct airlift from the U.S., allowing travelers to find competitive airline ticket prices, but it also happens to be outside the hurricane belt,” says Studebaker. When you’re on the island, she notes that car rentals are relatively affordable and “getting around is fairly easy.” Don’t miss the capital, Oranjestad, which Studebaker describes as a “must-see with its colorful buildings, quality restaurants, and cool cocktail bars for those looking for an evening out.”

Sifnos, Greece

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Swap the tourist-heavy Mykonos for a trip to Sifnos, where Agnos says “the leisurely pace of life draws visitors in” and you’ll find “crystal-clear beaches … exquisite flavors, time-honored customs, and traditional villages.” As with many Greek islands, you’ll come across accommodations on the higher end of the price spectrum, but a bit of research will result in several options with more digestible nightly rates. Smaragdi, for example, will cost around $100 per night in July.


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One of the biggest islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica offers many different types of vacations — from honeymoons to family trips — at a variety of price points. “It’s possible to find accommodations in a range of budgets in Jamaica … and excursions… are [also] affordable, with many options under $100 per person (transportation included) from reputable tour operators like Amstar,” says Studebaker. If you prefer a boutique property, there’s Sandy Haven Resort, which offers a nightly rate of around $278 in the summer. For an all-inclusive experience, Studebaker recommends Secrets St. James: “I love staying at the Secrets St. James in Montego Bay, which, in my opinion, has one of the most picturesque beaches I’ve ever seen.” On Expedia, nightly rates for the all-inclusive, adults-only property start in the low $400s in the late summer.

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