6 Tips to Sail the British Virgin Islands on a Budget
So you want to go sailing in the British Virgin Islands but think it’s too expensive. Maybe you already read our article on the estimated costs of a BVI sailing trip and just can’t swing it. Maybe you want to bring your children along and have to cover their expenses too. Well, the good news is there are plenty of ways you can be creative to make a BVI sailing trip possible for you. Read on as we explore six ways to enjoy a budget friendly BVI sailing adventure.
1. Go during low season
All sailing charters will offer several price “seasons”. High season in the BVI is generally December thru April when the trade winds are consistently blowing. While off season generally correlates with hurricane season, mid or shoulder season often offers consistently sunny and breezy weather with better rates on sailboat charters. Travel in mid or should season can often save you 20% or more on the cost to charter a boat during peak season and there are often more boats to choose from increasing your odds of finding a diamond in the ruff. Sure, you’ll mostly likely see some rain on your trip, but it is usually intermittent. Another benefit of traveling in mid or shoulder season? Airfare will often be cheaper too!
2. Skip the shiny new boat and go for one with character
Sure, those new fancy boats are loaded with luxurious features like air conditioning, fancy stereos, entertainment systems and high end furnishings throughout, but you’re not there for that, you’re there for the sun and snorkeling. So considering choosing an older boat, one with character and refinement! Older boats may have some worn furnishings, lack air conditioning or stereos and often have modest kitchens at best, but they still often the one thing you seek most: a floating home to enjoy paradise in the BVIs.
3. Prepare your own meals on the boat and go into the resorts for dessert
The BVIs are full of beautiful resorts, many with gourmet restaurants in unbelievable locations. And while the food is amazing here, it comes with a price. So if you’re looking for a budget vacation, consider making all your meals on the boat and go into those fancy restaurants for evening drinks or dessert. Best yet, prepare a picnic and have a sunset dinner on an uninhabited island all to yourself, what could be better!
4. Get cozy and charter a smaller boat
Many sailboats have snuck in several untraditional sleeping spots. Most of the kitchen tables fold into a bed which younger kids can easily sleep on. Or consider sleeping in a hammock on deck or directly on the trampolines if you’ve selected a catamaran. And while, yes, there will be a line for the bathroom in the morning, try finding a bathroom line with a nicer view!
5. Cast those fishing lines
Free food! Most charter companies will rent you fishing gear to troll behind your boat. So why not throw out some lines while your cruising from on spot in paradise to the next? Fish tacos await!
6. Book early
As with many vacations, deals can be had when you book in advance. Consider signing up for a newsletter from your favorite charter companies, often they will send special rates saving upwards of 10-20% off charter fees. Many times they will also offer “hot weeks” where you can score steep discounts. So stay flexible and keep and eye out for a great deal by booking early.
We hope you take advantage of some of these tips and make your way to the BVIs and be in awe of its beauty. Do you have your own tips for saving on a budget trip to the BVIs? Let us know in the comments below!