Cheap destinations for 2018 with great weather in March
The month of March is one of the better months for budget traveler. It’s well before the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter crowds in the tropical areas are starting to thin out at the same time. Through much of Latin America and Asia you can find perfect weather with off-peak hotel prices and smaller crowds.
Here are some of the best destinations you should visit in 2018 with great weather in March…
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If you are mainly looking to relax on a beach in the warm weather then the Caribbean is your best bet in March. There are some of its islands that are expensive, while others continue to be great bargains. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica are pretty cheap in general, with a few resort areas being surprisingly inexpensive.
The cheapest option for most people is going to be an all-inclusive resort. Rates are very competitive so they often only cost a bit more than resorts where everything is sold separately. Specifically on the Dominican Republic and in Mexico near Cancun, you can get an all-inclusive room for two starting not much over US$100 per night in March. Nicer places start closer to US$200 per night for two people, and a great deal when it includes all meals and alcohol.
March is still part of the high season in Cancun and all over the Caribbean, but it’s still very good value and prices are lower than during the Christmas weeks. One of the best things about Cancun holidays is that the airport is the busiest in the entire region so it has more direct flights in from key hubs in North America and Europe than any other destination nearby. This makes flights cheaper and easier to find as well. There are many all-inclusive resorts in the Cancun area.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
March is part of the high season in Punta Cana, but it is the best-value destination in the Caribbean for larger resorts and especially for all-inclusive resorts. The rates drop down in summer as it’s also hotter with some chance of rainfall, so March really is an ideal month to take advantage of the perfect dry weather and reasonable prices.
The resort hotels along the stretch of Punta Cana are large and are also very family oriented so they could be ideal for a holiday with the kids or even the extended family. Since many flights fly in from direct hubs, flights into the Punta Cana airport are also among the cheaper fares into the Caribbean.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Located along the north coast of Jamaica, which has a large and busy airport with direct flights in from many destinations in North America and Europe, hence fares tend to be reasonable. The Montego Bay area has hundreds of hotels in all price ranges, from modest places a few blocks off the beach up to luxury resorts.
Also worth considering is Negril or Ocho Rios, which are about 90 minutes from the same airport and each has a different feel. All combined there are about 500 hotels to choose from, including many all-inclusive resorts.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
If you are coming from the western half of the US or Canada, consider Puerto Vallarta. Flights will be shorter and cheaper, and PV has many benefits over the others as well.
Puerto Vallarta is a real historic town with good sights, interesting restaurants, and great shopping. Hotels are up and down the coast, with a new area of posh hotels well north of the airport.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
As one of the most popular provinces in Costa Rica, Guanacaste is a tropical paradise with a pristine shoreline, beautiful mountain ranges and a number of volcanoes. Visitors are drawn to the long summer days, active culture and unparalleled wildlife. Located in the far northwest corner of Costa Rica, Guanacaste’s geographical features are diverse and exotic.
The Liberia Airport is very close to the Guanacaste beach resort communities, so it’s convenient for flying into.
Hotels here run the gamut of prices, from simple and traditional beach shacks all the way up to posh chain hotels with all the luxuries. You don’t have to spend much to enjoy the friendly towns and great March weather.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Even though March is actually the wettest month in Buenos Aires, visitors are unlikely to notice because rainfall is fairly consistent through the year. The temperatures in March are pretty much ideal and many South American tourists have gone back home by now so hotel prices are a bit lower.
Buenos Aires can be compared it to Europe since that’s how it looks and feels, which still makes it a wonderful bargain. Food and drinks are notoriously good and cheap so you will feel like you are splurging even while keeping your budget low.
Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Tenerife is the most popular part of the Canary Islands (off the coast of Africa) for English-speaking tourists, but there are other options with similar weather and prices. It’s not as warm in March as most other places on this list, though at least it’s fast and cheap to reach by plane from Europe, which isn’t true of the others. Compared to Europe, this island is a relative bargain, which helps make it popular pretty much all year round.
Since Rome’s top attractions such as the Vatican Museum and Ancient Rome can be so insanely crowded during the warmer months, March is pretty much perfect for a visit for most people. The crowds are still far smaller than during summer and hotel prices are still way down as well. You can even wander a bit off the beaten track and feel like you are one of the only tourists in town.
Flights to Rome are also reasonably priced in March, so it is a good time to begin a trip here. Easter brings crowds and the city fills up, so March is your best bet.
Most people are aware of Dubrovnik, which is a bit down the coast of Croatia from Split and just a bit warmer as well. But Dubrovnik’s historic center is also much smaller and far more expensive than Split’s, so many people prefer going here instead. The March weather is pleasant, even if you’ll need to wear a jacket or sweater still.
Split is actually even a bit older than Dubrovnik and the white-on-white city center is very similar. Better still, Split is a real city where tourists eat among locals and there is always something going on. Dubrovnik’s walled city is almost 100% tourists, so it feels more artificial even though it’s quite impressive. You can visit both if you are in the area, and hotel rates this time of year are very reasonable. Local apartment rentals called “sobes” are abundant and usually cheaper than hotels.
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Hotel rates in March are quite reasonable in Paris, and airfares are modest as well. This city just doesn’t get much rain at any time during the year, and March is yet another fairly dry month, so you can probably leave the umbrella at home. The most popular attractions such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower are less crowded as well. Consider a Paris Pass if you intend on hitting many of the top attractions in only a few days.
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The best March climate in Spain can be found in the historic city of Malaga along the Mediterranean coast. This is the gateway to the Costa del Sol resort towns, but those tend to be very quiet this time of year so staying in Malaga itself is probably a better idea.
It’s not quite warm enough for sunbathing in Malaga in March, though it can be close late in the month. Even so, this city has a proper downtown with shopping, restaurants, bars, and other attractions. Flights into Malaga are fairly cheap this time of year, and if you are coming from Madrid they can be even cheaper than the train, depending on when you buy.
March is the last full month of the best Northern Lights viewing, which is best done in smaller towns and rural areas far away from Reykjavik itself. Some people visit Iceland in December, January, or February for the Northern Lights, but you can’t do much else in those months because the days are so short. In March the sun is out for around 12 hours each day, although it is low in the sky.
Another reason to visit Iceland in March is that it’s before the busy summer season begins so you won’t be competing with all of the other tourists. Hotel rates are more affordable, although prices have been going up so even the cheaper places may feel a bit expensive at this point. Still, this is an amazing island and it becomes the favorite destination in the world for many who visit, including yours truly.
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