There will always be ways that you can do that could help you a go-around costly prices, and still enjoy the beauty of this French-Dutch Caribbean Island. The best way to go about is still a well-researched, and well-planned budget. After all, Saint Martin has every reason for you to spend your money’s worth.
Is Saint Martin Rich or Poor?
Saint Martin is a French collectivity and is thus part of France, however, that does not mean that their economic landscape is the same as mainland France and other overseas French territories. But what makes all French overseas territories the same is that all of them are heavily reliant on one thing: tourism. Both sides of Saint Martin Island, the Dutch Sint Maarten, and French Saint Martin rely on tourism to keep their economy in balance.
The recent hurricane Irma in 2017 devastated the island’s economy and still struggles to recover from the damage it wrought. The Dutch south of the island Sint Maarten is home to the island’s main airport which brings in more income than the French north. Saint Martin is often considered economically weak among the French overseas territories.
The French side of Saint Martin is also reliant on imports which is vulnerable to prices fluctuations of both oil, and other demand for agriculture products, and other food products. This has left Saint Martin on a rather softer ground making their economy weaker.
This, however, does not make Saint Martin significantly poorer than the rest of the Caribbean, despite fluctuating demands, and competition, tourism still contributes to the collectivity’s small economy.
Is Saint Martin Cheap or Expensive to Visit?
Being part of France, expect that prices can be costly as mainland France, but not as expensive as major cities like Paris, or Bordeaux. You can still enjoy lots of things on the island without having to constantly worry about your wallet, or breaking the bank. Saint Martin, just like the rest of the French Caribbean, isn’t exactly cheap, but it isn’t the most expensive island to travel to also.
An average solo traveler, with average spending, can have a budget of 1,472 to 2,624 USD for Saint Martin, which equates to 210 to 375 USD per day, which is enough to enjoy the highs that Saint Martin can offer. To get a better perspective on how cheap or expensive Saint Martin is, we can always compare it to other tourist meccas across the Caribbean, like fun Cancun, and high-heeled chic Aruba.
Let us compare three tourist destinations in the Caribbean, Cancun, Aruba, and Saint Martin. A reasonably priced meal in an inexpensive restaurant in Cancun costs around 5 to 10 USD, while in Aruba it can cost around 10 to 35 USD, and in Saint Martin-Sint Maarten it could cost 12 to 20 USD. Another thing worth comparing is the price of simple grocery store purchases. A liter of milk can cost 1 USD in Cancun, 1 to 2 USD in Aruba, and in Saint Martin, it can cost 3 USD.
You can tell that Saint Martin isn’t exactly the cheapest but it isn’t the most expensive either. Nothing still beats a well-budgeted trip, with good consideration of the local prices of the desired destination.
Is Food Expensive in Saint Martin?
Keeping yourself well-fed and full in Saint Martin is not at all that hard and complicated. According to previous travelers, food prices in supermarkets tend to be lower than in the US. A liter bottle or carton of milk costs 2.83 to 3 USD, cheese can cost around 5.69 to 6 USD, a sausage or cold cuts are around 17 USD.
As for restaurants, an average meal for a single person can cost around 12 to 20 USD, while dinner for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost up to 120 USD, maybe not the best idea if you’re traveling on a budget. Despite higher prices for the Caribbean, there will always be ways you can always do to turn your spending around.
How Much Does It Cost to Live in Saint Martin?
It depends on how long you’re planning to stay on the island. But, to provide perspective, using the estimation of previous travelers to the island, an ideal daily budget for a single person is around 210 to 375 USD, and 1,472 to 2,624 USD for a whole week.
For couples or duos, a weekly budget for two would be 2,784 to 4,764 USD is enough. However, the advantage of traveling in duos or groups is that you can always split most of the costs, and tour packages have special prices for duos and groups.
If you’re traveling as a family, you can expect that the island will be extra-welcoming for families or big groups. Tour and accommodation packages tend to have better deals for groups of more than three.
What Currency Is Used in Saint Martin?
Saint Martin uses the Euros just like mainland France and had established its dominance on the island against the Netherlands Antilles Florin on the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten. This also applies to the rest of the French Caribbean islands across the Lesser Antilles. However, with the common use and growing dominance of the US dollars among the tourists.
Most purchases and services you’ll see on either side of the island, you’ll notice that most of them are already priced in USD and Euros. If you’re staying in Saint Martin or the French side of the island, you can use either Euros or US dollars, while it is safe to use US dollars in Sint Maarten.
What Credit Cards Are Accepted in Saint Martin?
Major credit cards are widely accepted on either side of the island. MasterCard and VISA are the strongest, most common credit cards used on Saint Martin. However, you have to be wary of interests or charges you might incur from every purchase or transaction. It is best to contact your issuing bank before traveling to Saint Martin.