Finding getaways on a budget

Published 9:37 pm Saturday, January 10, 2009

My girlfriend and I love seeing the exotic above the water bungalows that you always see advertised on TV or on a show. I’ve done a little research and every type of place like that is very pricey. Do you have any ideas on a nice secluded exotic getaway that won’t break the bank?” — Rick

Rick: I believe that you are referring to the islands of the South Pacific. Yes these are lovely romantic destinations and some resorts do offer over the water glass floored bungalows. However due to a variety of factors like distance traveled and their remoteness prices are very high.

What first comes to my mind is one of the Out Islands of the Bahamas. These hidden gems we call The Out Islands come in the form of small remote villages and a simple way of life. Here you’ll find some of the world’s most stunning beaches and secluded sites. You’ll also discover great dive fishing and sailing sites. You can do it all or do nothing at all a welcome mix of relaxation and adventure.

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With 700 or so islands the Bahamas has something to offer for everyone. They are easy to get to only an hour or so flying time east off of the south Florida coast. Part of the British Commonwealth English with a lovely accent is spoken and their customs are similar yet different than ours. When you get away from the hustle and bustle of Nassau and its mega resort casinos you’ll discover a laid back lifestyle and a much more affordable destination.

You’ll need a passport to travel here but then again by the middle of next year you’ll need an official ID card or passport to depart/return to the United States. The weather in the Bahamas mirrors that of south Florida with hurricane season May through October being the least expensive time to travel there. Understandably winter months and holidays are high season and priced accordingly.

One of the places that I stumbled into was Acklins Island. They say that good things come in small packages and I believe they are referring to Acklins. Just 92 square miles and four miles across at its widest point it is off the tourist maps. Since your searching for seclusion this place offers breathtaking beaches, unusual rock formations along with flora and fauna that makes Acklins Island a nature lover’s dream. An exotic location, Acklins is for the traveler seeking solace. In other words, you’ll be making your own adventures on this quiet island with rugged terrain and little development.

I’m not sure what figure you’re referring to as not breaking the bank but Costa Rica, Panama or some of the other Southern Caribbean islands work too.

Another interesting and emerging destination is the Central American nation of El Salvador. Nestled on the Pacific Coast it offers unspoiled beaches, tropical foliage and unique native/Spanish culture.

These are all affordable especially when compared to French Polynesia, Tahiti and other romantic destinations.

For more information on the Out Islands of the Bahamas contact your travel agent or visit

Happy travels. Got travel questions? Email