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Sailing, Swimming and Snorkeling on a Budget

May 22, 2008
Some of the most popular Caribbean vacation activities are sailing, swimming, and snorkeling. The clear blue waters of the Caribbean are beautiful, and you can see some pretty amazing things under the waves. However, you may end up seeing a pretty amazing bill for your fun, which can quickly put a damper on your budget vacation plans. But don't despair. The following are some easy ways to save money on your sailing, swimming, and snorkeling adventures.

The first way to save money is to look for package deals. Sometimes, you can get a great rate on excursions and activities through your hotel or travel agent. Often, these packages will roll transportation, lodging, equipment rental and activities into one price. If you catch these packages when they're on sale or when the travel agency is having a special promotion, you can save a ton. However, it pays to get a breakdown of what each item on the list costs before you commit to the package. Do your research, and you might actually find that you can rent a sailboat on your own for less.

When it comes to looking for beaches to swim on, find out if your hotel has its own beach. In some places in the Caribbean, it's rare to find a stretch of beach that doesn't have some business or hotel attached to it. Many of the beaches directly connected to a hotel are considered private beaches, and these hotels don't like non-guests to go dipping in the beach associated with their area. You don't want to pay to swim, so keep this in mind when looking at hotels and factor this cost in the hotel price when making reservations.

Sailing can be a lot of fun, but finding a cheap boat to rent might not be. You have two options in this case: rent a boat with a crew to take you out on the waves or rent a boat that you pilot yourself. Renting a crew to go along with your boat is going to be more expensive, of course, but it's also the only option for a lot of people. Time is also a factor here: there are only a set number of boats available, and the cheaper ones are often rented very early in the day. Keep that in mind and make your sailing reservations as early as possible.

Snorkeling often involves a boat, too, especially if you want to get out where the really interesting fish and coral are. Again, get out to the docks and rent your boat early or make reservations as soon as you can. Your hotel staff can help you find snorkeling boats, but it never hurts to do research yourself and ask the locals. Snorkeling is often included as an activity on cruise lines, so look into that as well. Just remember that you might be able to get a better deal yourself instead of going through your cruise provider or hotel vacation package.

Swimming, snorkeling and sailing can be a lot of fun, but if you aren't careful, they can cost a lot of money. Always check around to find the best deals and, once you find them, make your reservations early so no one else swoops in and swipes that great deal from you!
About the Author
Warren writes for a Costa Rica vacation website. The site also has information on other tropical vacation related content.
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