We rounded up the best budget destinations (from beach to chic) perfect for even the cheapest chica around.
This former spring break hotspot has elevated its image with new high-end restaurants and hotels. But even with the makeover, there are deals to be had at this Mexican beach getaway.
Most affordable time to visit:
The best time to travel to Cancun in terms of savings is from September – early December, then again in April and May before the hot, rainy season.
Where to crash: Designed by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, the Dreams Cancun is all-inclusive luxe, offering five actually good restaurants, a private beach, and deep discounts (up to 30%) off-season.
Where to dine: El Rincon de los Antojos has every Mexican staple you can feast on from Gorditas to tortas. You’ll just want to take a beach run after to keep up that bikini bod…
Our fave thing to do here: Catch a bus 20 miles north to the still under-the radar pueblo of Puerto Morelos. While Cancun and Playa del Carmen have blown up as tourist spots, this gorgeous sleepy little fishing village is like a trip back in time.
Hang out at Unico on the beach, and kickback local style.
For more info, visit Cancun.Travel
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
While most weekenders head to Punta Cana on DR’s eastern side, those in the know head up North to Puerto Plata’s 50 miles of insane beaches, loads of water sports, and Brugal Rum factory.
Most affordable time to visit: May and June since hotel rates drop for the impending rainy season.
Where to crash: The all-inclusive Barcelo in Puerto Plata offers free domestic drinks, hola Presidente!, merengue classes, and up to 45% off in summer.
Where to dine: La Casita de Don Alfredo on Cabarete Beach is considered one of the best places to eat shrimp on the entire island, plus its oceanside locale can’t be beat.
Our fave thing to do here: Leave the beach and hike up Mount Isabel de Torres. The stunning 10-minute cable car ride takes passengers up 2,656 feet through misty clouds to the mountaintop with spectacular views along the way.
For more info, visit godominicanrepublic.com
If you’re pining for Paris but don’t have loads of time or dinero, head north to Montréal for an affordable Franco-phile vacation. Just north of the Canadian border, Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world. A combination of old-world charm and modern sensibility, like Paris, it boasts stunning architecture and a vibrant fashion and design scene—you can have the bon vivant vaycay minus the jetlag.
Most affordable time to visit: November to May is considered the “shoulder season” minus the holidays.Where to crash: The adorbs Auberge du Carré St.-Louis is in the heart of the city in the Latin Quarter and in the off-season offers 50% off the third night, perfect for a ling weekend. Where to dine: Mâche located in the lively Saint-Denis Street this gastro-pub offers the best comfort food in town including poutine, french fries topped with brown gravy and cheese curds. Our fave thing to do here: Enjoy movies, shopping, and dining all without braving Montreal’s fierce winter in it’s famous “Underground City.” In the warmer months, do as the locals do and enjoy “river surfing” on the famed St. Lawrence River.For more info, visit Tourisme-montreal.org
Antigua, GuatemalaThis colonial city in Guatemala’s central highlands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a gorgeous getaway for mujeres seeking a cultural infusion. Most affordable time to visit: Besides Easter week and the holidays, Antigua offers great weather at great prices year round.
Where to crash: You can stay at the gorgeous 41-room Posada de Don Rodrigo replete with a cobble stone courtyard and exposed wooden beams for $90 a night. Where to dine: For those wanting to taste the typical Guatemalan food, La Fonda de la Calle Real is a must visit, enjoy arroz con pollo and savory tamales, but save room for postre and locally harvested coffee. Our fave thing to do here: Volunteer at one of the recognized non-profit organizations working in the area, with Familias de Esperanza you can help children learn to read, Guatemala has one of the worst illiteracy rates in the world. For more info, visit counterpart.org