CARIBBEAN VACATION PARADISES ON THE CHEAP

St.-Lucia-Pitons How many times have you been shoveling snow and muttered to yourself, "I would give ANYTHING to be on a Caribbean beach right now"? Every time, right? Sure, but you probably also slogged on thinking a mid-winter escape to a tropical paradise costs a fortune.

Not so. Traveling to the Caribbean can be done on a budget -- you just need to know where to go. (Also, you can't stay at a big fancy resort, but you knew that.) And to help you out, we've put together a short list of the cheapest destinations in the islands.

I dug around for The Thrillist and found the cheapest Caribbean vacation packages known to humanity. Let me direct you to such inexpensive exotic locales as St Lucia, Negril, Cancun, St. Kitts, Rincon, Barbados, Grenada, and more...

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Take Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for example:

Average budget hotel: $34 per night Average daily food cost: $26.75 Cheapest beer: $2 Punta Cana is a sporty part of the Dominican; popular for cheap ziplining, windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing. Oh, and golf. The place boasts some of the best tropical golf courses IN THE WORLD. If you're feeling less sporty, relax on the beach, swim the clear waters, or explore the enchanted lagoons of Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park. And afterward, grab a couple of $2 bottles of Presidente and dinner for as little as $8. What’s the catch: In recent years, American fast-food chains have rapidly set up shop in the area. No más KFC!

Want more? See all the great Caribbean vacation packages at The Thrillist.