Trips to the Caribbean are often considered among the dreamiest of getaways, and depending on where you'd like to stay, they can also be among the most expensive. But there's a loophole: If you book your hotel and flights as part of a package, rather than separately, you'll reap some major savings. Here are three air-inclusive travel packages that prove you can take a luxe Caribbean vacation without breaking the bank.
From $638: Funjet.com's LAT 20 by Live Aqua package (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)
For those who'd like to steer clear of the massive all-inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya, the 60-room LAT 20 by Live Aqua is a more intimate alternative. Located on Fifth Avenue, it's just a couple of blocks away from the Caribbean Sea on a pedestrian-only street, so you won't have to deal with any noise from vehicular traffic. Through Funjet, we found a rate of $638 per person (based on double occupancy) in a deluxe king room for departures from Milwaukee aboard Delta on May 10 for a three-night stay. All meals are included in the rate; you can dine at four restaurants and at the rooftop bar.
Why it's a deal: For those same dates, nightly rates at the resort are from $246 (or from $740 total). Split evenly between two people, the cost is $370 per person. When you add that to the cost of airfare, which is from $436 for one passenger, the total is $846. In all, you can save more than $200 by booking the Funjet package.
From $1,063: Funjet.com's Riu Guanacaste package package (Costa Rica)
A week in Costa Rica? Yes, please! From $1,063 per person, Funjet is offering round-trip airfare aboard Spirit for June 6 departures out of Atlanta, and seven nights in a standard room at Riu Guanacaste; you'll also get a $35 spa credit. All meals and drinks are included with your stay. Beyond the spa, the property has water activities like kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling.
Why it's a deal: We checked the nightly rates listed on the property's website and found that they're from $238 (or from $1,666 total). Split between two guests, the price is $833 per person. Add that to the cost of airfare -- from $497 -- and the total cost is $1,330. The bottom line: you can save more than $250 with the Funjet package.
From $1,849: CheapCaribbean.com's Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort package (St. Lucia)
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort boasts a white sand beach, a spa, a diving center, and views of the Pitons. If you can hold off on visiting until August, September, or October, the savings are huge -- but you must book by May 3. CheapCaribbean's package is from $1,849 for a five-night hotel stay in a luxury room with round-trip flights out of Fort Lauderdale on August 10, 12, 13, and 28; September 1; and October 1, 5, and 8. During our search, we actually found package rates from $1,611.
Why it's a deal: The resort prices its rooms from $425 on the same nights that are being offered through CheapCaribbean -- for a combined total from $2,125. For two people, the cost is about $1,062 each. Adding that to the cost of airfare (from $762), the total cost of booking hotels and flights separately is $1,824 per person. If you can snag the CheapCaribbean offer for $1,611, you'll save about $200 compared to booking a la carte.