Where to Splurge and Save in 2015

Here are six budget-friendly escapes to slip winter’s grip. Three of ’em let you save big. The other three are worth the splurge. All offer the quickest getaways out there with numerous nonstop flights. Find more fast flights at

WATCH NOW: Check out our editor-in-chief talking to The Daily Buzz about the hottest spots for 2015 here!

Best of the Caribbean | Easy and Affordable Vacation Ideas | Best Islands to Live On

1. Paradisus Punta Cana Dominican Republic

SAVE: Punta Cana, DR — Paradisus

Punta Cana is a mecca for nonstop flights (see below) and for all-inclusive resorts. More than 40 resorts compete for your vacation dollars. The one we like best? Paradisus Punta Cana, at $207 per person per night. That includes all meals and drinks, and currently, kids stay free. For couples, there’s Paradisus’ Royal Service where unexpected amenities like your own personal butler and private beach areas (yes, really!) make this resort well worth the price. Nonstop flights to Punta Cana from: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo (begins Feb. 14), Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati (begins Feb. 14), Columbus (begins March 16), Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee (begins Jan. 25), Minneapolis St. Paul, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans (begins May 14), New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington-Dulles (begins March 18) Nonstop from Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Regina, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg Courtesy Paradisus Punta Cana
2. Waimea Plantation Cottages

SAVE: Kauai — Waimea Plantation Cottages

Compared to Maui or Oahu, Kauai is quiet and quaint, especially on the island’s west coast where you’ll find Waimea Plantation Cottages. They come in all sizes and are great for groups. An oceanfront six-bedroom house costs $749 per night and accommodates 10 people. That’s $75 per person per night, with room to roam. A former sugar plantation, the resort offers hiking trails and black-sand beaches that you can claim all for yourself. Nonstop flights to Kauai from: Denver, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle Nonstop from Canada: Vancouver Lori Barbely
3. Save Bahamas Atlantis Comfort Suites
This money-saver is a semi-secret. Comfort Suites is located on Atlantis property, and its guests are granted complete access to Atlantis. What this means is Comfort Suites guests pay Comfort Suites’ attractive nightly rates, and get freebies that aren’t easy to come by when staying at Atlantis. Freebies include breakfast, Wi-Fi and the freedom to escape Atlantis’ crowds. Find more here. Nonstop flights to Nassau from: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth (seasonal), Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Washington Dulles, Washington-National, West Palm Beach Nonstop from Canada: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto Courtesy Atlantis
1. splurge maui travassa

SPLURGE: Maui — Travaasa

Travaasa is billed as an “experiential resort,” and the experience begins with a cell-phone check-in. The resort’s staff babysits your phone and will get you if needed. But you’ll likely be busy learning to make a lei, or how to throw-net fish, or paddle board, or horseback ride with a paniolo, a Hawaiian cowboy. The activities abound and are taught by Hana locals. Nightly rates start at $350. Nonstop flights to Maui from: Anchorage, Alaska (seasonal), Bellingham, Washington (seasonal), Chicago (seasonal), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle/Tacoma Nonstop from Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver Courtesy Travaasa Maui
2. Splurge Bungalow 180

SPLURGE: Vieques, Puerto Rico — Bungalow 180

To Puerto Ricans, Vieques is their country’s most revered island paradise. Chalk it up to having some of the best beaches in the world and an island vibe far removed from San Juan’s hustle. Luckily it’s just a 30-minute flight east, one that sidesteps the masses, and can land you in a villa like Bungalow 180. A week’s stay with a group of six starts at $78 per person per night. Nonstop flights to San Juan from: Atlanta (ends March 7), Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers (begins May 3), Hartford, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Tampa, Washington-National Nonstop from Canada: Toronto Courtesy Bungalow 180
3. splurge tahiti

SPLURGE: Tahiti — Paul Gauguin Cruise

Tahiti is expensive. Period. Our best pick for maximizing every penny is with Paul Gauguin Cruises. A weeklong Tahiti and Society Islands cruise, with stops on Bora Bora, Taha’a, Huahine and Moorea, runs $3,995 per person. The price includes airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti, as well as all your meals and drinks. Nonstop flights to Tahiti: Honolulu, Los Angeles Courtesy Paul Gauguin

Email Newsletters and Special Offers

Sign up for Islands emails to receive features on travel destinations, event listings and product reviews as well as special offers on behalf of Islands’ partners.

By signing up you agree to receive communications from Islands and select partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You may opt out of email messages/withdraw consent at any time.