With its white beaches and jagged mountains, shimmering waters and verdant forests, what is there not to love about the Caribbean? Because of its popularity among tourists, a holiday in the Caribbean could be financially daunting, especially if you’re on a student budget. Don’t despair just yet – a vacation need not cost you a limb. Here are tips to help you enjoy the best Caribbean holiday on a student budget.

1. Pick the Cheapest Island

You need to choose your island wisely to find the cheapest Caribbean destinations and first find out which island has the most affordable rates. Though harder to access, some less developed islands have cheaper accommodations and food. To date, Mexico and the Dominican Republic top the list of best-value destinations. Accommodation at a cheap 3-star hotel in Cancun costs an average of £26, while lodging at an inexpensive 3-star hotel in the Dominican Republic ranges from £45 to £50.

All-inclusive holidays are becoming a trend in the Caribbean, particularly in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. If you want to relax in one place, the deal may work for you, as the resort will provide everything. This holiday package, however, is not the most suitable option for those who want to explore the island’s local life.

2. Learn about the best currency for where you’re staying

Be sure to research which currency your island uses. Although most resorts accept Euro, it is still worth having local currency with you as a few places are unable to process credit cards and other electronic payments. Also, ATMs may be unavailable. This practice helps you manage your expenses and prevent excessive tipping and over-paying. Cash also comes in handy if you decide to split costs with your companions.

3. Enjoy the Party

Those who love street dancing can visit Trinidad in time for the Carnival when the streets abound with musical performers, flamboyantly costumed partygoers, and endless dancing. Keep an eye on St. Lucia, a budding nightlife destination that’s becoming one of the best Caribbean gay travel destinations.

The Caribbean has an uncanny ability to unleashing your inner party animal. Who can resist the staccato beats of reggae or the sensual rhythms of salsa? Partying in the Caribbean is very affordable; it’s practically free. There are enough nightspots to keep partygoers busy for nights on end, from the beachside parties in Punta Cana to the swim-up bars in Cancun and Latin dance clubs in San Juan.

4. Go Island Hopping

A trip to the Caribbean is incomplete without touring the islands. However, the cost of a cruise could be tough on your wallet. To save on expenses, you can join as a crew on one of the boats sailing across the Caribbean.

Depending on your skills, you might be cooking, cleaning, navigating, fishing, or helping with general boat maintenance. As part of the crew, you will have free accommodation and meals while onboard. Some even get paid for the assistance they render. Working as a crew may not be a glamorous means to see the Caribbean, but it is truly an exciting experience for students on a budget!