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Bora Bora: Just the name conjures images images of perfect beaches, unbelievably clear waters, and a vacation budget that rivals some small countries’ national budgets. Fortunately, there’s more than one place in the world that looks like a postcard.

To celebrate National Lookalikes Day, we’re offering up some dupe dream vacations—that is, affordable lookalikes of some of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, but for a fraction of the cost. So here’s how to experience the French countryside, Tuscany, and yes, Bora Bora without going broke.

The fine print:All prices were pulled using random mid-week dates in May, and onsite prices are subject to change.

St Barths

Love St. Barths? Save some dough in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Ah, St. Barths—tropical playground of the rich and famous, known for its isolated beaches, turquoise bays and laid-back attitude. You know where else has literally all of thesethings, without the sky-high prices? Puerto Rico. The island of Vieques, specifically. Not only does it also offer some incredible beaches and warm, swimmer-friendly waters, but most of the island is a fish and wildlife refuge, meaning its natural beauty is here to stay. Oh, and it’s also home to Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico’s brightest bioluminescent bay. So book a kayaking tour before you hit the road to paradise.

Vieques

Where to stay: Villa Coral; $89 a night

Located in picturesque Esperanza, this tiny hotel is very near Black Sand Beach, Sun Bay and that famous bioluminescent bay we mentioned. The air-conditioned rooms offer a touch of island flair, and at roughly $90 a night are quite the steal. Did we mention the rooftop terrace?   

Tuscany

Want to see Tuscany’s rolling hills? Head to Sonoma Valley,California

This is the place most people think about when they imagine rustic, farm-to-table living. Tuscany’s picture-perfect rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards are the stuff of storybooks. But you don’t have to leave the continental U.S. to get all that—simply head to California’s Sonoma County. This place is practically best described as bucolic (or ‘Tuscan’, if you’re feeling literal), thanks to its countless wineries, mountainous borders and altogether pleasant weather. And best of all, it’s less pretentious (and cheaper) than Napa, its wino neighbor to the north.

Sonoma

Where to stay: Best Western Dry Creek Inn; $129 a night

This is not your average Best Western. With European-style fixtures and a harvest-inspired color palette, it’s more like a boutique hotel. Combine that with a beautiful pool, outdoor fireplaces and ornamental terraces, and you’ve got a Tuscan getaway in your own backyard.

Alps

French Alps on your mind? Head north to Cote de Beaupre, Quebec

The most authentically French places this side of the Atlantic are clustered in and around Quebec. Cote de Beaupre is perhaps the best of the best, boasting a history that dates back to New France’s earliest settlers (hence the authenticity). When you’re not busy skiing Mont Sainte Anne, check out the gorgeous Montmorency Falls and nearby nature reserves, or simply bumble around this area’s small cluster of towns, where you’ll find a stunning basilica, locally made goods and eateries. Along with heaps and heaps of Provençal French charm.

Quebec

Where to stay: Chateau Mont Sainte Anne

Okay, so this ski-in/ski-out resort doesn’t have a traditional French feel, but it’s about as close to the action as you can get. And with spacious rooms, hot tubs, an onsite restaurant and [some kind of playground], it really doesn’t get better. If you were desperately hankering for that super French feel, grab a room at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec ($187 a night).

Kauai

A fan of Kauai? Check out St. Lucia’s wild landscapes

It doesn’t get much more tropical, expensive or blatantly, painfully beautiful than Kauai. It looks like the land time forgot, thanks to its primeval cliffs, canyons, waterfalls and beaches. In fact, the island itself has practically redefined ‘emerald’ due to its verdant mountains. So why swap all that for St. Lucia? Well, because it has a lot in common with its Hawaiian counterpart: massive green mountains, deep valleys, beautiful beaches and its very own dormant volcano. And the snorkeling and scuba diving are nothing to sneeze at either. And not only are there some dirt-cheap hotels here, but you can save hundreds on airfare alone.

st lucia

Where to stay: blu St. Lucia; $105 a night

Live large, island-style, in this pretty little boutique hotel. After your free breakfast, pamper yourself with a massage and facial before hitting the outdoor pool or grabbing dinner at one of two onsite restaurants. And you can walk to Reduit Beach, theBaywalk Shopping Mall and Splash Island Water Park. 

Burgundy

Is French wine country calling you? Okanagan Valley, BC is your answer

Want to know where you can get a taste of Burgundy’s rolling vineyards, outdoor activities and awesome small-town feel? Look no further than British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. This lush region offers up terraced hills, pretty lakes and, or course, miles of wineries and vineyards. And the hoards of fruit orchards give thisbeautiful valley an extra European kick, whether you’re staying in Kelowna or the surrounding countryside.

French

Where to stay: E’Laysa Guesthouse and Vineyard Retreat; $149 a night

Every detail of this gorgeous, intimate hotel screams wine country. When you’re not lounging in one of six sophisticated rooms or noshing on free breakfast, head out to the terrace to enjoy the view of La Frenz Estate Winery. You can alsocatch some great views of the lake that leads up to Kelowna.

Bora Bora

Dreaming of Bora Bora? Re: Palawan and Malaysia

This one’s a bit of a twofer—yes, Bora Bora is an excruciatingly beautiful destination all on its own, but it wouldn’t be quite as spectacular without its iconic overwater bungalows, right? So we’re comparing destinations and bungalows for the purpose of this entry, and we’ve got two—yes, two—cheaper options for this one.

Bora Bora requires no introduction, but Palawan, Philippines probably does. Often touted as the most beautiful island in the world, its plush hills, spotless beaches and so-clear-you-can-see-the-bottom water absolutely rival those of Bora Bora. Malaysia’s Sungai Pelek is not quite as idyllic—it’s a pretty high bar to hit, after all—and yet the hotel (and the price) make it totally worth it. More on that below.

Palawan

Where to stay: Apulit Island Resort; $460 a night

If you’re thinking this is quite the splurge, you’re right. But compared to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, which averages at $1500 a night, it’s really a steal. And considering the air-conditioned bungalows, private beach, full-service spa, private balconies, beach bar and that view, $460 a night almost starts to feel worth it.

Malaysia

Where to stay for even less: Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort; $115 a night

But don’t worry, savvy shoppers, we’ve got something much, much cheaper for you. Ringing in at a whopping $115 a night, you get a stunning overwater ‘bungalow’ with some luxe features at Malaysia’s Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort—as well as access to six restaurants, a spa, yoga, windsurfing, an infinity pool and a beach.

Keep in mind that with just under 400 rooms, this resort is prettymassive. So if something slower and smaller is more your pace, check out Belize’s oh-so-tropical Thatch Caye (starting at $250 a month.)

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Beach, Caribbean, Cheap Tips, Family, Hawaii, International, Romance & honeymoon, Seasonal, Tips & advice, Uncategorized

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