Most people in the US and Canada don’t start planning their winter trips until it’s been cold for at least a month or so, but it might be a good idea to get on the situation earlier this year. You know you are going to want to spend at least a week in the sun at some point, and right now there are some fantastic bargains that mean that you might be able to still afford another trip toward the end of the season.
The key to these great fares is Spirit Airlines, which uses its Fort Lauderdale hub to connect most of the eastern United States with several key Caribbean islands. Right now you can get a round-trip from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico for $210, and to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (which is just next door) for $204.
If you aren’t in New York the fares are similar as long as you are near one of the many airports that Spirit flies into. This fare sale is only for flights through October, after which the prices will double at least. The smart traveler goes just before the high season and just after it ends, enabling them to take 2 trips per year for the same price that most people pay for just the one in high season.
Caribbean in October
Of course the reason that these flights are on sale is that in addition to most people not yet being ready for their winter holiday, some people have this irrational fear of the hurricane season. I’ve said it before, but this is a gamble well worth taking. The risk is extremely low, especially by the time October rolls around, and the downside even if something happens is you might have to come home a couple days earlier or later than planned.
Any potential hurricanes are tracked for at least a week before they approach the resort islands, and in the very unlikely event that one is headed the way of a place you are booked then the resort will know all about it and will be prepared. It’s honestly perhaps a 1% chance at most, partly because the Caribbean is a huge area and there are only a few hurricanes each year, spread out over 4 months. October is near the end of the hurricane season so even if a hurricane appears in that month then it’ll likely have very little power, so it’ll almosts always just be a tropical storm by the time it reaches land.
Resorts are cheap too
So we’ve established that you are taking a very slight gamble that your trip will be changed slightly by a hurricane. In addition to extremely cheap flights you’ll also find hotels to be around half price during these months as well. A beachfront hotel that goes for $200 per night in January will often be $90 per night in October, with the same great service and much smaller crowds.
The package vacations are also a fantastic bargain this time of year. If you book at an all-inclusive resort you can often find deals for around $400 per person for a full week at a 3-star resort hotel, with all meals included. Combine that with a $200 flight and a couple can spend a week at a Caribbean resort for around the same money they’d spend for a weekend break to a big city in the United States.