June 27, 2017 by: Brian Harris
Why Belize?: Money
Hello Fellow travelers, We are going to do a few posts of the next few weeks just to give you an idea as to why we chose Belize over another destination to open our business. We had quite a few but probably the first and most important on any ones mind is MONEY.
To be certain, Cost of buying a property was a concern, but our main concern was how affordable is it for our guests to travel to our destination. We are going to talk a little bit about cost of travel (including choices of travel and expenses to our Isla Bonita), cost of food and services on the island, and of course, why you should come to Belize for your tropical retreat as opposed to other destinations in the States and the Caribbean.
1st airfare, This is a reasonable concern when traveling anywhere. Belize subsidizes travel to the country, much like Cancun, So costs are relatively cheap. Airfare for 2 will run you anywhere between $700-$1300 for two people when leaving from St Louis. In comparison, a trip for 2 to Hawaii is double that amount leaving from the same airport. Even if you had to apply for a passport for your travel to another country, you would still wind up paying less for your trip to Belize than to Hawaii.
About that passport, $150 would be your cost per person for that unless you request to have it rushed which will cost you more, so more planning can save you plenty of money in that regard.
2nd, how to get to the island. Your airfare gets you to Belize city, you still have to get to San Pedro. There are two ways to do it. both have their good points.
You can take a water taxi which runs you about $40 per person, but you will have to take a taxi from the airport to the harbor to catch a water taxi. Typically the taxi will cost you $20. For 2 people you are now adding $100 to your trip, but a water taxi will take about 2 hours to get to the island.
My personal preferred method is to fly from Belize city to San Pedro. This will cost you about $150 for 2 people. It is $50 more than the water taxi, but it takes about 20 min to land in San Pedro.
3rd, cost of food, Most people will eat out while in Belize, your vacationing and many don't want to cook while on vacation. Part of what we wanted in a vacation rental was to give people the option to cooking if they wanted and if you like to cook we certainly encourage you to do so. There is no end to the new and exciting things to cook with on the island.
First going out. Belize does not, i can't stress this enough, have any chain fast food joints. The food is not processed and packaged like it is here in the states. That is a good thing if you like us, care about your health, however, there really isn't such a thing as "I'm tired lets just grab a quick bite and go back to the hotel". Expect to sit and eat. There are a few places you can get take out, but it usually will be made while you wait.
There are some amazing places on the island. The cost will be less then you would expect to pay for the same thing in the states, however it will also be slightly more than going to the chain burger joint down the street here in the states.
Best example: There is an amazing place where I got Filet Minion. In the US that would be about $25-$35, in Belize this was $17.50. To me that was cheap for a geat meal, in Belize beef is considered expensive so that gives you a little idea about how much food on the island is.
Buying food, This can be tricky and to be honest, we haven't really figured it out yet. Belize reminds me a lot of old '50s america when it comes to food. You want meat, you go to a butcher, you want veggies, you go to a veggie stand. You need things like drinks, snacks or any other thing you can think of, you go to the super market.
I know there is someone saying "that sounds great" but keep in mind none of this is really close to each other if you want to bargain shop. We will be happy to help you when your here.
Remember, when in Rome, to get the best deals. most Dairy products like milk are kept in boxes not plastic cartons. You can find them in jugs, but your gonna pay for it. Rice, sugar, flour are all put in bags with a tie. You can get them bagged like here in the states but again, you'll pay for it. So just remember "when in Rome" and save yourself the money. General rule, if its imported, its more expensive.
Hopefully you like things like pineapple, mango, bananas and kiwi. Some of the best we have ever had and cheapest can be found in Belize. However things like honeydew and peaches are imported from Mexico. Not only are they expensive, but the quality is usually lacking.
3rd, getting around the island, Cabs are plentiful, usually they will cost you $10 to go some place on the island. Most people get around on the island either on a bike or golf cart.
We have bikes and golf carts for rent at the property and I'm sure at a cheaper amount than you can find them anywhere. We highly recommend renting a golf cart for at least a day or two, Secret Beach is a place you will want to visit and that is 9 miles north of town.
Bikes are $9 daily and $60 weekly
Golf carts are $55 daily and $300 weekly
Last but not least, places to stay. I want to touch just very slightly on this as I feel that because we are one of those places, I don't feel its good form to run down another business over another. I will say that if you wanted you could spend as little as $35 per night for a place to stay on the island. But like the old adage says, you get what you pay for, sometimes you get less than what you pay for.
Be a researcher, we figured this out the hard way. Many people that go to Belize now, have been going for years. They also understand the quality, which in many places as far as American standards go, is lacking. So if they get a decent room, they look at it from the lense of a seasoned traveler to the country understanding what they will probably get. Usually if you get a king room, its really just two twins pushed together. This can even happen at a property that you pay quite a bit for so the only thing I can tell you is research research and then research some more.
As always, please let us know your concerns or questions, we can't wait to help you vacation like you live here!