Kauai, Hawaii (Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson)
Whether you yearn for white-, pink-, or golden-sand beaches, you don't have to wind up in the red to get there. The secret to a bargain-basement beach vacation is good timing. From spring through fall, crowds dwindle and prices dive at an array of tropical seaside spots, including destinations in the Caribbean, the U.S., Mexico, and Central America. The summer sun may bring high temperatures to some of these areas, but a little heat is a fair trade for an inexpensive oceanfront escape. After all, chilled cerulean waters and an ice-cold mojito will keep you cool enough once you've arrived.
Ready to go coastal? Here are 10 places to plan an economical seaside sojourn this spring, summer, and fall.