Going on vacation is something very exciting to think about, because they don’t happen very often. Some people only take them once a year, and others not even that often. If you’ve regularly traveled to the same place, you know exactly what to pack and expect from your trip, but going somewhere new presents all new challenges and things to learn.

Visiting the Caribbean is a vacation that most people have on their bucket lists, but that doesn’t mean you should go there unprepared. Like visiting any new place, whether local or abroad, you should know everything you can about how to save money and be smart while you’re there. Read up on some easy ways you can save on your upcoming Caribbean vacation so you can relax while you’re away and come home with your mind at ease, knowing your financial situation is just as good as when you left.

1. Choose Your Island Wisely

Like many other places you can visit, the Caribbean is made up of many parts that you can see and they all cost something different. What island you choose to see can make or break your budget, which is why you should do lots of research before you make your decision to see what each island could cost you. There are things like plane tickets to consider first, because some are a greater distance than others. Islands focused more on tourists will also be more expensive because of the number of visitors.

2. Try to Visit in The Off Season

It may seem backwards, but most people visit the Caribbean during the winter months, which makes April through December its big off season. During this time, places like hotels can cut their prices from 20 to 50% off, which means that going during the summer is your best bet to save a lot of cash. When you come back and face the winter weather, you’ll have your Caribbean memories to warm your heart.

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3. Be Smart With Souvenirs

According to a recent study, vacationers spend more money on sightseeing than lodging and souvenirs combined. And with good reason! It’s easy to save money on souvenirs if you know what to look for. Things like shopping farther inland will save you more cash on beach souvenirs, and visiting stores that aren’t a name brand chain will be more likely to sell you things of a higher quality.

There’s lots of different kinds of souvenirs you can buy too. Some people love keychains and others love t-shirts. Some love to get jewelry from the spots they’ve visited, and if you’re looking to purchase jewelry that will last a long time, make sure the brand that you get is well respected. Looking for a great jewelry brand is something vital for you to do so you don’t purchase something that’s worth less than what you’re paying for

4. Compare All-Inclusive with Rentals

There are going to be lots of packages online that websites will want you to choose from before you buy your plane ticket. Packages can include a mix of things. Depending on which one you choose, you’ll get a combined price for lodging and food, or lodging and beach space. It may even include tickets for a couple tours, which is supposed to convince you that you’re getting the best deal possible.

Don’t be fooled by travel packages with flashy pictures and lots of features. Some overprice their features in an effort to get people to pay more to cover more things they can do. So when does it make sense to go all inclusive? It depends on what you’re looking for. You may have flyer miles you can use to cover airfare but need help with hotel pricing.

Even if you find a package you fall in love with, you should compare the pricing to rental spaces on the island you’ll be visiting. You might be able to find a vacation rental or condo that saves you extra money that you can put towards food or entertainment, ultimately shaving a few bucks off your bill. It depends on what you want, so look into both and see which one is right for you.

When you’re planning on a Caribbean vacation, the prices can keep adding up until you’re completely overwhelmed, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck paying top dollar for every part of your trip. There are ways to save on your vacation, like being smart when buying souvenirs or comparing travel packages. See which tips you can use for your trip and watch the money pile up in your wallet.

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