14 Private Islands You Can Actually Afford To Rent For Family Vacations
Your vacation dreams can actually be a reality!
When you think of private islands, what comes to mind? Likely an aspirational faraway land of mega-yachts and business tycoons, movie stars and royals. Setting foot on a private island — let alone vacationing on one — seems completely out of reach.
Or is it?
These days, not all private islands require a billionaire’s net worth. In fact, all around the world there are floating hidden gems that are downright affordable. Here are 14 private islands available at reasonable rates for your next vacation.
1. Little Peter Oasis, Belize
The bungalow on Little Peter Oasis can house four people, so it’s a great option for a family or a pair of couples. While there, guests can fill their days with a variety of complimentary activities like snorkeling through your private reef, paddleboarding, kayaking and fishing, or swimming in the private lagoon. If that’s not enough, you can book scuba excursions, offshore fishing and tours of Mayan ruins for an additional fee. The all-inclusive package (including a private helicopter transfer from Belize City) starts at $5,995 for five days and four nights.
2. Bird Island, Belize
For travelers looking for a more rustic Central American excursion, Bird Island fits the bill. Located off the southern coast of Belize, this relaxed, self-catered island can accommodate up to six people in three buildings. One is a newly added overwater cabana with a queen-sized bed. While on the island, guests can snorkel, fish, kayak or just relax with no outside interference whatsoever. All this starts at $150 per person, per night for a group of six and children under age 5 are free.
3. Brother Island, Philippines
Brother Island is a secluded island located off Palawan in the Philippines and about a two-hour boat ride from El Nido. While on the island, guests have a full staff to keep everything running smoothly and cater to all their needs. Meals are included in the nightly rate, and the chef primarily cooks traditional Filipino dishes. The best part? This island is made for family groups. Adults start at $95 per person per night for a group of 12, and there are discounts for young children.
4. Sundang Island, Philippines
Sundang Island is located in the middle of the freshwater Sierra Lake, not far from Manila. There is a caretaker who will shuttle guests on and off the island, but it is truly off the grid. For example, power comes from a generator and guests are expected to bring their own food and supplies. The rustic lodging has only one bed, however it can accommodate up to 10 guests with included sleeping mats, and five more people can fit if they bring their own sleeping bags. Rates start at $69 per night.
5. Båtholmen, Norway
If you want to seriously unplug, Båtholmen, located in the archipelago of Hvaler in Norway, is the private island for you. It is self-catered and packed with outdoor activities, such as fishing for your dinner off the dock, walking along the private beach, warming up by the fire pit at night and more. There’s also an on-site motorboat available to explore more of the surrounding area. There’s no running water, so guests fill canisters at the local grocery store. The small cabin can accommodate up to five people — two adults and three children or four adults. Rates start from $70 per person for a family of two adults and three children, for two nights.
6. Melody Key, Florida
Melody Key is a rustic — yet comfortable — retreat for up to eight guests in the outer islands of the Florida Keys. Guests can access the island from Summerland Key, mile marker 25 from Key West, by provided transport. The island is self-catered and includes a heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, air-conditioning, sound system and wi-fi. Additionally, there are kayaks and a larger catamaran for marine exploring. Rates average $10,000 per week for a group of eight.
7. Spruce Island, Maine
Spruce Island is an 80-acre private island off Deer Isle/Stonington, Maine. Stone House, which is actually two buildings, is available for rent by the week in the summer and shorter periods in the off-season. It can accommodate 18 people, and even more with prior arrangement. While on the island, guests can bask in some New England traditions, including lobster bakes and water sports in complimentary kayaks and rowboats. Average rates are around $500 per night.
8. Strand Island, Minnesota
Nestled on a 45-acre private island in Pelican Lake, the Strand Island Lodge in northern Minnesota is perfect for getting away from it all. The historic eight-bedroom cabin has been recently remodeled and sleeps up to 20. There’s an additional log cabin and a separate sauna house also included. The surrounding lake is known for crappie and bass fishing and boating. Bring your own boat to reach the island, or rent their pontoon for $500 weekly. The average rates are around $900 per night.
9. Holly Bluff Island, Virginia
One of a string of barrier islands off the coast of Virginia, Holly Bluff Island is an ideal spot to unplug. The island is a wildlife refuge and features a guest house, which originally was a hunting lodge built in the 1930s, with space for 12. Now it has a modern bath and kitchen, though it is still lighted with propane lanterns. Rates start at $1,800 a week or $300 a night. In fact, the owner lives on the only other residence on the island, and she and another staff member are available to ferry visitors back and forth to the island.
10. Penvenan, France
Penvenan is a tiny private island in Brittany with a quaint five bedroom rental home, advertised as Coz Castel on AirBnB. Depending on the tide, the property is accessible by car or by foot. For a few hours each day when the tide rises, guests get all the seclusion of a private-island getaway, French country-style. It can accommodate up to 10 guests and rates are around $250 per night.
11. Urraca, Panama
Urraca Private Island is located off the northeast coast of Panama. This mangrove island is home to a dozen monkeys and is an eco-travelers dream. In fact, the five bungalows, bar and restaurant are powered by solar panels and use water from a rainwater collection system. Guests can snorkel with provided gear during the day and enjoy the bioluminescent waters with an evening swim or lounge in a hammock. Depending on their size, the bungalows can accommodate two to six people, so you can take over the whole island with an extended family group. Bed and breakfast rates start at $175 for two adults, per night, per bungalow.
12. Plocica, Croatia
Plocica, located between Korcula and Hvar and a 25-minute boat ride from Prigradica, is home to a lighthouse dating back to 1887. Up to 14 guests can stay in the lighthouse’s two apartments. There are several beaches around the island, including a sandy lagoon on the northern side, and guests can take a ferry ride to Split or Vela Luka to stock up on food and supplies. While nightly rates are very reasonable during the low season at $105, nightly summer rates can top $1,200.
13. Tahiti Island, Nicaragua
This recently renovated beach house on Tahiti Island includes four bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a private pool. It also has air conditioning, but the main draw is the beautiful tropical environment. The hammock is the ideal spot to soak up the serenity. Rates start at $215 per night and there is space for up to 10 guests.
14. Kujira-Jima Island, Japan
This uninhabited island in Japan’s Setouchi region can be all yours for a day trip or rustic overnight. Groups of five to 80 can take the short boat ride to the island and camp, barbecue or spend time on the water, kayaking or paddle boarding. Only one group is allowed on the island at a time. Rates range from $58 per child and $97 per adult for day trips, or $97 per child and $195 per adult, per night for camping.