A getaway to the Dominican Republic

Miami.– With most Americans having received a tax rebate of up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples), there are plenty of ways to get the most vacation for your buck, say travel experts. Whether it’s a cruise, a tropical paradise or family travel, these trips can all be done for under $600 a person.

Travelzoo has an air-hotel package to the Dominican Republic for $499 per person, including roundtrip airfare from Miami and New York, five nights at the four-star Sunscape Casa del Mar (all-inclusive). Lie on the beach, visit the clubs or go fishing, rafting, diving or whale-watching.

If you want more than the beach, take the Islabon Jungle River Tour or a scenic drive on the Carretera Touristica Route, a road lined with vendors and scenic views. The Dominican Republic is also home to Columbus Aquaparque, one of the biggest water parks in the Caribbean.

Appealing to first-time cruisers and time-pressed travelers, several cruise companies are offering shorter cruises on older ships for as little as $60 a night per person (based on double occupancy), says Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of CruiseCritic.com. For example, a Caribbean Princess three-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas in May starts at $259 (for a no-frills room).

“There is no other travel option that gives you so much for the base price,” said Brown. “You get all your meals, you get accommodations, you get entertainment and you get to go to a variety of places without having to hop on planes, trains, buses.”

Travelers seeking a longer vacation aboard a more luxurious ship can catch deals in the offseason. A seven-day cruise on Holland America to the Western Caribbean (leaving from Tampa) in November starts at $514. (Transportation to the port, tips and extras like the spa, alcohol and shore excursions will add to your bill.)