"Do your homework and prioritize what's important to you," Sandy Lovick, the owner of Minneapolis-based Travel Leaders, told me. "If it's about price, we're finding that Puerto Vallarta and Punta Cana are still really competitive." Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Panama are also seeing a rise in popularity, she said: "These places are offering five-star service at a more affordable rate than other Caribbean islands."
Once you nail down your port, picking the right resort means sweating a few details. Read the fine print, and don't assume that "all-inclusive" means everything is free. Prices, and what may or may not be included, run the gamut. Your best bet is a low-cost all-inclusive, in a place where you don't feel guilty about eating out when you want to.