Nicaragua during the rainy season (May through November)
Galina-Savina/Shutterstock “You get the same beaches as in Costa Rica—same water, same climate, and for a lot less money,” says savings.com CEO Loren Bendele. “When you start researching Nicaragua, you’ll find ‘Don’t go during the rainy season because it might rain the whole time you’re there.’ But the locals all say it’s their favorite time of year because everything is green and lush, fresh and clear. During the dry season, it’s hot, it’s dry; there’s dust and dirt everywhere. Do the research—don’t stop at the first hurdle.”
Stedwell/Shutterstock Need a beachy winter or spring escape on a budget? Try Barbados. “Bigger islands have the better deals, and smaller islands have more luxury,” says New York Times Frugal Travel blogger Seth Kugel. “Barbados struck me as a very nice compromise, right in the middle. It’s a very manageable island. You have your beach areas and then vast expanses if you want to get away and go hiking. The island also offers a great bus system.” Avoid these stressful vacation mistakes on your next trip.