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Nine months out of the year, Caribbean islands are a postcard-ready panorama of blue skies, swaying palm trees, and cocktail-sipping, hammock-lounging bliss. But from September to November (as in, right now), they are associated with another thing: hurricanes. As we speak, reports are showing that the season’s first tropical storms are already forming.
But for those willing to roll the dice, hurricane season can also yield up some incredible bargains. Flights, cruises, and hotels often go for a fraction of their peak season rates, at a time when most travelers are too spooked by the thought of having their trip washed, blown, or flooded down the drain.
And if you’re worried about showing up to a ghost town, rest assured: of the 25 million tourists who visited the Caribbean in 2012, roughly a fifth of them were brave enough to travel between September and November, the peak of hurricane season.
To give you a head start, we logged onto Expedia and CheapCaribbean and chose some hotel-and-flight packages for a range of dates in late October and mid-November. All packages are priced per-person, based on double occupancy, with flights from Miami. Other departure cities are usually available for more.
Clearly, none of the following destinations can provide guarantees on anything weather-related (otherwise they wouldn’t be offering the deals in the first place!). But with prices this low, you can afford to have your trip cancelled and still have extra cash lying around to re-book the whole thing from scratch. Now, get out those bathing suits! Read more
With temperatures soaring across most of the country, it’s hard for some of us to think about baking in the Caribbean sun. However, cold weather will be here before you know it, and with it a slew of new flights from the East Coast and Midwest to take advantage of tropical destinations.
Booking now for new JetBlue service from D.C. to San Juan (daily) and JFK to Samana, Dominican Republic (twice weekly) will score you big savings. Launching August 23, one-way fares on the San Juan route will be as low as $129 for travel through November 14 if you book by July 13; this will be the only non-stop flight between the U.S. capital and the Puerto Rican capital. Similarly, book by this Friday to secure one-way fares to Samana starting at $169 for flights from the November 14 launch date through February 9.
Talk about arriving in style. As a part of the Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana’s Endless Privileges program (which has some sweet perks), guests who book and stay for at least seven nights in a Junior Ocean Front Suite or higher can be transported via helicopter from the airport to the resort. The 20-minute helicopter ride, which detours for a little sightseeing, can accommodate two people and is valued at $520 for a one-way trip.
The resort, which is on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic, offers a slew of amenities with its Endless Privileges program. Guests can book a 45-minute horseback riding tour (valued at $125/person) on the beach, complete with a guide to teach how to ride. Unlimited premium brand beverages, a 20-minute spa session, daily meals and fresh fruit baskets, and more are provided as a part of the program, for which guests automatically qualify by staying at the resort.
2012 rates start at $284 per person, per night based on doubt occupancy.
Book Early at Barcelo Hotels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic and Save up to 35% off Peak Rates
There is no shortage of deals to sunny destinations in the summer months, but once winter rolls around hotel prices typically skyrocket. Not so this year at Barcelo Hotels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. The premise: the farther in advance you book your stay, the great the discount. Reserve a room more than 120 days in advance for 35 percent off; 90 to 119 days in advance for 30 percent off; 60 to 89 days in advance for 20 percent off; and 31 to 59 days in advance for a 15 percent discount. Reduced rates are available in Mexico and the Dominican Republic from November 1-April 30, 2012, and Costa Rica from December 24-April 30, 2012.
THE VALUE: All-inclusive rates at some of Mexico and the Caribbean’s top resorts start under $100 per person, per night.
THE CATCH: You’ll have to nail down your plans pretty far in advance in order to secure the best discounts. However, there’s no cancellation fee if something comes up closer to the date. There may be minimum stays around the holidays, and rates are much higher during those periods.
THE DETAILS: Go to www.barcelo.com to book, or call 800-227-2356.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights.
Still looking for a Memorial Day weekend getaway? CheapOair has flights from New York City to Punta Cana now through June 14, for just $438 round-trip – including most taxes and fees! Flights in May and June on other airlines are over $857 round-trip, so this fantastic flight fare saves you over 50%. Book by May 13th, and you could shortly be relaxing on the white sand beaches, golfing in the sun, or diving the beautiful clear waters.
THE VALUE: Flights from New York City to Punta Cana average over $800 during this peak travel season, so this deal saves you around $400. Plus, most taxes and fees (including fuel surcharges) are included, which usually tacks on an extra few hundred dollars.
THE CATCH: Government taxes are not included, and tickets are non refundable.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book with CheapOair.
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