Budgeting is an integral part of travel planning, and allows travelers to research and plan the costs of their vacation in Guadeloupe. Although costs can quickly add up when visiting the islands, careful planning should allow vacationers on a wide range of travel budgets to enjoy a trip to this island in the French West Indies.
The cost of traveling to Guadeloupe by air, cruise ship, or yacht will prove to be significant, and travelers should research a number of options before booking their travel arrangements. Once these arrangements are in place however, travelers must begin the difficult task of budgeting their actual vacation in Guadeloupe. The cost of accommodations and transportation on the islands will be substantial, and the cost of fine French and Caribbean food can also be intimidating. Eco-tourism activities in places such as Parc National de la Guadeloupe may become costly due to the need to hire guides or rent equipment. Other travel expenses include shopping, taxes, and tips. With so many expenses, travelers would be wise to carefully plan and review the costs of each aspect of their trip. Doing so may allow vacationers to save money that can be used for additional activities or amenities.
Accommodations on the islands of Guadeloupe range from chic and elegant beach resorts in Grand-Terre, to natural retreats on Basse-Terre, to a six-room guesthouse on La Désirade. All-inclusive vacation packages give travelers easy access to lodging, food, spa treatments, watersports, and other amenities. These all-inclusive packages can cater to honeymooners, families, and couples. Eco-tourists are likely to choose a resort or hotel nestled in the lush setting of Basse-Terre, where adventure is never far away. Small guesthouses and inns on the Grand-Terre, Basse-Terre, Marie-Galante, Iles des Saintes, and La Désirade give travelers a secluded and intimate experience of this French territory. Rental properties allow travelers to secure a home-away-from-home where comfort and relaxation come easily.
Although accommodation costs in Guadeloupe range from inexpensive to pricey, most lodgings drop their rates by up to 50 percent during the off season from May to November. While hurricane season can pose a significant threat to Guadeloupe, and some establishments may close for construction or renovation during this time, these price drops can save travelers significant sums of money that can be used for dining, shopping, or activities. Rates at hotels are typically set for double occupancy rooms and can include service charges, although some hotels may charge per person or by a different standard. Travelers should inspect the costs and agreements to be sure that they understand what is included in the quoted price. Hotels charge a room tax for each person per day, along with a service charge of 10 to 15 percent. This service charge may or may not be included in the room rate. Guests should tip hotel porters , 1 per bag.
All-inclusive resorts packages start at $1,405(USD) to $1,610(USD) per couple. Air travel packages with a seven night stay at an all-inclusive resorts can cost over $3,000(USD) for a couple. While these rates will may seem steep, remember that they include things such as meals, drinks, activities, and airfare. The most inexpensive hotels and guesthouses will cost travelers from $58(USD) to $72(USD) a night, while more typical rates range from $132(USD) to $156(USD) and up to $265(USD) a night. Rates in Guadeloupe's most expensive resorts will run from $360(USD) to $480(USD) a night. Rental properties, which allow travelers to save money by cooking their own meals, can run from $250(USD) to $5,000(USD) a week during the busy tourist season.
With a number of elegant French and Caribbean restaurants, dining in Guadeloupe can be an expensive experience. Restaurants on the islands reflect a number of cultures, and fast food joints and cafes are found alongside posh restaurants. While travelers can dine at fast food and eatery stands in Guadeloupe for under $10(USD), entrees at moderately priced restaurants start around $16(USD). Expensive meals at the island's finest establishments can run up to $50(USD). Fine wine, cocktails, and a number of meal courses will continue to drive these prices higher. A 15 percent gratuity will be included on the bill, and travelers may tip an extra small amount if the service was exemplary.
With a number of islands and areas to explore, travelers are likely to need some form of local transportation during their vacation. Scooters allow travelers to quickly move from place to place or simply explore the local terrain by way of the road. Scooter rentals run from $18(USD) to $31(USD). Cycling is popular on Guadeloupe, and bikes allow travelers to get exercise while exploring the island for a price of $9(USD) to $13(USD) a day. Rental cars give travelers flexibility and freedom to move around the island and are the most cost efficient option for travelers who will be doing a reasonable amount of exploring. Rental cars cost about $350(USD) a week, but airport surcharges, tax, and a daily collision damage insurance will drive this price upward. Taxis are also widely available at the airport, ferry terminal, hotels, Point-à-Pitre, and Basse-Terre. Fares, averaging between $18(USD) to $25(USD), can quickly add up. Tours of the island by taxi can cost $200(USD).
Since Guadeloupe consists of several islands, travelers may wish to take ferries to explore locations such as Marie-Galante, Iles des Saintes, and La Désirade. The cost of a round-trip ticket on a ferry servicing one of Guadeloupe's outlying islands is affordable, ranging from $25(USD) to $32(USD). Adventure activities, such as guided hikes, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing, and canyoning, will cost extra. Dives can cost from $40(USD) to $50(USD).
In the French West Indies, travelers can find a number of fine French goods such as French clothing, cosmetics, and fragrances. Guadeloupe also has fine art and local crafts, from wood and furniture to fabrics. French wine and Caribbean rum are two other popular purchases. Duty-free shopping is also available on the island.
Some travelers will prefer a slower paced vacation tucked away in a small inn, while others will opt for the appeal of a luxurious resort and adventure activities. Thankfully, with a number of islands, terrains, and settings, Guadeloupe offers a range of options to vacationers on all budgets.
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