Planning for your nature retreat on the island of Dominica means considering important financial aspects of your trip. You will find that budgeting for your upcoming island getaway will prevent many potential monetary frustrations that go along with being unprepared and will help you enjoy all of the wondrous possibilities of the "Nature Island of the Caribbean."
Vacationers should be aware that it's not just larger items, such as the cost of air travel or of booking a cruise, but the little things that also add up. During your vacation, you should take note of everything you spend to avoid financial hassles when you return. The main expenses travelers should pay attention to when budgeting are the costs of accommodations, transportation, meals, shopping, tips, and other travel incidentals.
Extravagant mega-resorts and hotels are not located on Dominica. Accommodations on the island are geared toward eco-vacations. There are very few all-inclusive accommodations on the island, but travelers can find lodgings that offer package deals. A stay in Dominica's all-inclusive resort costs about $130(USD) to $242(USD) during the high season, which is a lot lower than many all-inclusives elsewhere in the Caribbean.
The majority of accommodations on the island consist of simple inns, cottages, and guesthouses that provide secluded, charming, and rustic lodging. Staying on Dominica usually appeals to visitors who want a tranquil and natural vacation, not a lot of luxurious amenities. The most inexpensive countryside inns can cost as little as $20(USD) and are usually no more expensive than about $65(USD) per night. Moderately priced hotels can cost between $110(USD) to $605(USD) per night, depending on the hotel. The most expensive accommodations on the island are usually the hotels that offer dive packages, which can cost as much as $900(USD) or more.
Food is definitely something travelers should include when planning a vacation budget. Most restaurants on Dominica are rather inexpensive, but meal prices can vary depending on the type of dining you choose. Local vendors sell the cheapest meals, which start at about $5(USD) and go up to about $10(USD). More moderately priced local cuisine can run $10(USD) to $20(USD), and the cost of dining at one of the island's more upscale restaurants can cost up to $55(USD).
Transportation is another important cost to consider when budgeting your Dominica trip. Travelers can choose among several methods of getting around the island, all of which come at a different cost. Taxis are one of the more popular ways for tourists to traverse the island, and all taxis should follow a government-regulated uniform rate. The cost of your journey will depend on your destination, but expect to pay between $8(USD) to $10(USD) for a ride from the airport, and if you want to take an island guided tour, it will cost about $70(USD) to $90(USD) for tours lasting up to five hours.
Buses are the cheapest way to see the island and allow you to do some limited sightseeing. The cost of a bus ride is usually listed in Eastern Caribbean dollars and can cost between $2(EC) to $9.50(EC) depending on your destination. Rental cars are ideal for independent travelers who want to see the island at their own pace, but rental cars can be the most expensive way to get around. Before you can rent a car, you must first acquire a temporary local permit, which costs about $11(USD) to $12(USD). Rental rates start at about $39(USD) per day and can reach up to $79(USD) per day. In addition to the cost of the temporary permit and rental fees, travelers should purchase insurance, which can cost as little as $6(USD).
If you want to do a little island-hopping while on your vacation to Dominica, you can use the ferry service that is available on the island. Travelers can navigate between Dominica, Guadalupe, and Martinique for about $60(USD) for a single trip and $95(USD) for a return trip.
The costs of entertainment and activities should also be factored in to your vacation budget. The price of staying occupied on your trip will depend on your particular interests. If you enjoy lounging in a hammock and soaking up sun, then your activity expenses will probably be very low. Vacationers will have to pay fees for visiting national parks, museums, and nightclubs. Pay attention to how much you spend on extracurricular activities to make sure you're not going over your vacation budget. Daily spending will fluctuate depending on what kind of activities you partake in. A day at the beach is going to cost a lot less than a couple days of shopping, so you should anticipate some variation in your daily expenditures.
Dominica isn't particularly well known for its shopping, but travelers will find a number of shops and markets where they can purchase vacation souvenirs. The most popular items sought by tourists when perusing the local shopping centers are the island's distinct artwork, which includes straw work, and food products that make excellent gift baskets.
When you get ready to leave the island, be aware that there may be extra costs when you return to your home country with some of your purchased items. When returning to the United States, American citizens are allowed to bring up to 200 cigarettes or tobacco products, and two liters of liquor. There are no restrictions on gifts or currency, and perfume amounts must be reasonable for personal use. If you're uncertain about your home country's customs regulations, you should contact your travel commission or embassy.
When leaving the island, all travelers over the age of 12 must pay a $22(USD) departure tax. Dominica also has a 3 percent sales tax on food, drinks, and merchandise as well as a 10 percent tax on all accommodations, as well as scuba diving gear and lessons. Sometimes, these charges are added to your final bill, but if you're unsure, feel free to ask the restaurant or hotel staff because it's always better to ask than to be presented with a surprise charge at the end of your stay.
A little financial planning allows travelers to escape many unnecessary frustrations while on their island vacation. Doing a little research into how much things cost prior to your departure can help ensure that Dominica will be all you ever dreamed it could be.
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