Surprisingly affordable private islands you can rent for your next family vacation

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 a few private islands available at reasonable rates for your next vacation.

Little Peter Oasis, Belize

The overwater 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) runs about $1,995 per night on Vrbo. The ratings from people who’ve booked it are flawless!

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 an overwater cabana with a queen-sized bed. While on the island, guests can snorkel, fish, kayak or just relax with no outside interference whatsoever (unless you decide to hire the cook and housekeeper that is an optional addition).

All this costs $1,195 per night on Airbnb. More than 200 guests have rated it so far and they’ve been overwhelmingly pleased.

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 stay is made for family groups. Booking runs for a budget-friendly $352 per night on Airbnb.

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 a remarkable $93 per night and the overall reviews at Airbnb from hundreds of guests are very good.

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. It was closed for the entire 2020 season to undergo remodeling.

There’s no running water, so guests fill canisters at the local grocery store. The small cabin can accommodate up to seven people. One drawback is that it’s not wheelchair accessible but the owner wrote on Airbnb that they hope to have that changed in 2023. Rates are $232 per night on Airbnb.

Spruce Island, Maine

If an East Coast vacation sounds ideal, 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 $916 per night on Vrbo.

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 an extra $700 a week. The average rates for a stay are around $930 per night and the reviews on Vrbo are phenomenal.

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. Plus, the whole island has Wi-Fi, so you never have to feel totally cut off.

Depending on the size, the bungalows can accommodate two to six people, so you can take over the whole island with an extended family group. Rates start at $225 for two adults, per night, per bungalow, or you can rent out the whole island for $1,385 per night.

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.

Inquire at Private Islands Online for an exact price.

Tahiti Island, Nicaragua

This 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 $195 per night on Airbnb and there is space for up to 10 guests.

Kujira-Jima Island, Japan

This uninhabited island in Japan’s Setouchi region is actually protected as part of a national park and can be all yours for a day trip or rustic overnight. Groups from 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. Check out a view shared by the island’s Facebook page:

Will you be renting out an island anytime soon?

About the Author
Taylor Kuether

Taylor Kuether is an editor with more than eight years’ experience writing and editing content, designing and implementing digital strategy, leading teams and executing production. She's written for The Washington Post, National Geographic, The Huffington Post and more. More.