10 Money-Saving Tips and Tricks For Your Belize Vacation  

by Larry Waight

Whether your goal of vacationing in Belize on a shoestring has to do with your bank balance or you just love the creative challenge that comes with getting the most amount of value out of your vacation by adopting tips smart travelers follow, we’ve got the skinny on vacationing without emptying your bank account. How to get started? Right here, these money-saving tips will help you keep saving so you don’t have to say no to the occasional splurge during your Belize holiday.

1. Come to Belize during the off season

Sunrise at The Ellysian in October. And yes, they’re open!

That is if your schedule allows you to call your travel shots. May and November offer you the best on flights, digs, and tours and since tourists tend to flock to Belize when it’s frigid back home, you won’t run into crowds but you will run into specials everywhere you go. It rains in Belize between June and October so discounts are even deeper within this slim corridor of time.

2. Don’t pay retail for your plane ticket.

airplane window caribbean

Instead, turn to consolidators who can get you to Belize on discounted flights. There are lots, though direct flights from airlines can go on flash sales, so keep an eye out. For consolidators, consider FareDropJustfly, $49Flights, Kayak, and similar resources. You can also save bucks by flying to Cancun and then taking a puddle jumper flight to Belize to complete your journey.

3. Look for accommodation deals at resorts and hotels.

Jan’s Hotel is a budget-friendly option on Caye Caulker.

Take advantage of current specials or consider staying at a bed and breakfast, a hostel, or make it a camping adventure by going off the grid. Your lifestyle determines your preference, but you may be surprised to find resort packages that are so affordable, you don’t have to settle for less than a luxury. Start your search at hosting sites like Vacasa in Belize

4. Get around town – and everywhere else.

Photo Courtesy ROEming Belize Travel Agency

Because Belize is navigable and small, save a bundle on in-country transport in varying ways. Renting a car in Belize is an option if you insist on having wheels at your disposal 24/7, but otherwise, public transportation just makes sense. Water taxis can get you to offshore spots for about $20. Nonstop bus fares are so cheap you’ll be delighted. All towns have bus stations and on weekdays, buses start running at 5 a.m., so if you want to launch your day early, you’ll be in good company.

5. Tour like a Belizean; spend like a traveler on a shoestring.


The world-famous Placencia sidewalk.

One of the many ways you can see the nation’s most outstanding places without running up a huge bill on your plastic is to share the cost of tours rather than booking solo. You will need guides at some of the locations you most want to see – certain Maya ruins, cave tubing adventures, river and jungle tours. By connecting with others at your accommodation, you can team up to split costs and perhaps even have more bargaining leverage. If you’re staying at a resort and want to check out local towns, borrowing a bicycle not only gets you to exercise but it’s fun to see the countryside.

6. Eat and drink like a native.

Avoid pricey bars and restaurants. You can dine like royalty at places savvy tourists and Belizeans frequent. Expect to double your food budget if you hit high-end Ambergris Caye hot spots but if you opt for Caye Caulker, you’ll eat up while spending less. Street food is awesome; it’s the backbone of Belize cuisine. Large portions, hearty dishes, and affordability best describe the nation’s street food experience and if you stick to Belizean beverages like local rums and beers, you won’t be disappointed – especially if you pair these drinks with fry jacks, johnnycakes, or rice and beans with stew chicken.

7. Water, water everywhere and you’d better drink up!

Why add a tip as insignificant as water to a list of ways to save money in Belize? Because you’ll be on the go from sunup to sundown and if you don’t stay hydrated, your vacation could turn into a miserable experience. Buy half-liter bottles of water to keep illness and thirst at bay? Only if you’re a fool. Purchase a gallon of water and keep them in your room. Bring along a travel canteen or water vessel for everyday use, refilling along the way. Plus, you’re consuming far less plastic, and Belize thanks you for that! 

8. Visit sites that cost nothing.

lazy lizard caye caulker

The Split at Caye Caulker. Photo via Unsplash

And, experience the true heartbeat of Belize. TripAdvisor, the travel authority that so favorably rates Belize resorts, attractions, and services, has compiled a list of offbeat and fun things to do that won’t cost you a dime, so your only out-of-pocket costs will be the bus, bike, or car you’ll need to reach the destinations you want to see. Snap a selfie at the Belize sign monument and send it to friends who are languishing back home. Visit Secret Beach. You don’t have to share your secret if you don’t want to. Stroll art galleries. You may find treasures that are perfect for your home. Roam markets for a taste of authentic life in Belize and ask the people you run into to recommend sites. Trip Advisor’s list of picks can be found here to get you started

9. Don’t forget your friends!

Marie Sharp

Some of the most meaningful souvenirs you’ll find in Belize won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and many of them can be found at open markets where U.S. dollars are happily accepted and everyone speaks English. From touristy bumper stickers that show the world you get around to handcrafted goods like conch and hardwood trinkets, your choices are limitless and they won’t cost a bundle.

art in belize

Add music CDs to your list that showcase Belize’s talented musicians. You don’t have to turn into a Sherpa during your stay if you tote a backpack and look for small, affordable treasures guaranteed to delight everyone on your list. If you’re especially interested in promoting Belize handicrafts, you may even find treasures that benefit causes that are near and dear to the people of Belize, so you not only delight friends but thank the nation for being great hosts, too.

10. Celebrate your return by opening your mailbox and e-mail.

And finding no travel bills in either one of these places. Your goal – to travel Belize wisely, smartly, and economically – has a storybook ending because you watched your finances back while managing to see all of the things on your list without dissolving your kids’ college funds. Unlike neighboring nations, Belize won’t ask you to spend a fortune to have the time of your life. And since you did not get into debt on your vacation, you will have plenty of money remaining for your next visit. 

Header photo courtesy Captain Jak’s/Duarte Dellarole.

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