It's no secret that discount travel sites such as Travelocity and Expedia can offer some major price breaks on trips to the hottest destinations in the world. From the Caribbean to the Pacific and Alaska to Europe, you'll find deals in every corner of the globe. Considering the Caribbean is becoming a major tourist destination, here are five tourist hot spots dotting the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean sea that are places any palm tree loving beach goer must travel to at least once.

  1. Roatan, Honduras- This hot spot is up and coming. Located along the second largest barrier reef in the world, you can simply swim about 20 feet out from the sand and right into incredible towering coral formations and through large schools of colorful fish. This location is still being discovered, so prices are still reasonable all around. Locals are friendly and not as pushy as at other beach vacations spots in the Caribbean.
  2. Cozumel, Mexico- Crystal clear water and white sandy beaches await you in this Mexican paradise. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Cozumel is its own island, and has been turned into a place where tourists can find any activity under the sun. There are nearby Mayan Civilization ruins if history is your cup of tea. Cozumel also plays host to beautiful snorkeling sites.
  3. Nassau, Bahammas- The richest of the Bahamian Islands, Nassau and Paradise Island are connected by a bridge. Nassau offers the standard turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and colorful atmosphere as other places, but the real draw here is the shopping. From a street lined with Caribbean discount prices on American Designers such as Dior and Gucci to the local straw market, shopping here runs the full spectrum. The straw market is a place where locals sell handmade goods and knick-knacks as well as designer knock-off purses. If you shop here, be sure to haggle a good deal, as the vendors expect to negotiate the price.
  4. Grand Bahamma Island- Locals here are friendly and willing to chat. A popular spot to stay while on the island is in the Port Lucaya area. You'll find rock formations jutting into the emerald waters with colorful fish swimming through them. There are very few beach walking vendors to bother you, and most understand when you pass on their goods or services. The beach itself offers party boat excursions, motorized and non-motorized sports, and beachfront bars and restaurants.
  5. Grand Cayman Island- A beautiful gem of the Caribbean, Grand Cayman Island is highly Americanized, and there is little to no language barrier here. Aside from the beautiful beaches, you'll want to make sure to pay a visit to the Cayman Turtle Farm and the city of Hell. The Cayman Turtle Farm is home to some of the most endangered and rare sea turtles in the world. You'll have the opportunity to hold sea turtles and visit an egg hatchery while there. The city of Hell features rock formations that many say depict what Hell must look like.