Renting a private island for your vacation previously seemed like something only the rich and famous could afford. Today, you can find more reasonable options that make private island vacations more attainable for many travelers. Websites like Airbnb and Private Islands, Inc., are great resources to start your private island vacation search. To get you started, here’s a look at four destinations where you can rent an entire island all for yourself.
Belize offers several options for those in the market for private island rentals. Bird Island, off the coast of Placencia, is one that has been featured in several travel publications recently. Starting at very reasonable $495 a night, with a three-night minimum, Bird Island can sleep four people comfortably, in three bedrooms. Gladden Private Island is located approximately 20 miles northeast of Placencia, and rates start at $2,950 a night for two people or $3,550 for up to four persons. This includes a cool 35-minute helicopter ride to and from Belize City as well. Another option for larger groups or corporate retreats is Coco Plum Cay, where you can rent out the 16-18 cabanas for 32 or more guests.
If you’re looking to stick a little closer to home, there are a number of private islands available within the United States as well. Vladi Private Islands has several options on their website, including East Brother Island, which is a cool lighthouse about an hour away from San Francisco. There are four bedrooms, so rent the entire place out if you want total privacy. For those interested in the East Coast, consider Belle Island in the Thousand Islands. It is located in the St. Lawrence Seaway that straddles the US-Canadian border in upstate New York.
Head to the popular dive destination of Utila, where you’ll find several small islands nearby available for rent, including the charming Sandy Cay. One of two very affordable private island rentals listed on Utila Rentals, Sandy Cay is family owned and has a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house on the island. Sandy Caye sleeps up to six people, with rates starting at a very affordable $140 a night. Snorkel right off the island and learn to disconnect as there are no phones or clocks. You radio once a day to the proprietor who will bring fresh fish, firewood, and sundries from his nearby home.
If you’re headed to Asia, consider looking at the Philippines, where you’ll find a number of options for private island rentals on Airbnb. Brother Island is located in El Nido, Palawan, and can sleep up to 12 guests in seven bedrooms. There is a resident caretaker and a cook who specializes in Filipino cuisine. Located about three hours from Manila, you’ll find Sundang Island, which has a beautiful bungalow with one bedroom that overlooks Lumot Lake.
Honeymooners might be interested in Palawan’s Cagdanao Island. It requires a minimum of three nights, and you’ll get your own caretaker and personal chef who will even climb coconut trees to get you the freshest coconuts for your meals.
If you’re planning to travel to a private island, especially during annual storm season, it’s even more important that you consider purchasing travel insurance before departing. RoamRight offers policies that will help ensure you are covered in the event a storm disrupts your travel plans or forces you to seek alternative accommodations in a different area.
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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