Oh Canada, maple and frost country. We will not hide that going away to enjoy the sun can be a miracle for your mind. However, especially in January and February, the prices of most tropical destinations are rising enormously, depending on your stay and the way you want to spend your holidays. If you can not stand the cold and you have to go to the Caribbean, here are some things to consider before packing.
Where will you go and how will you get there?
There are many places to stay when you think of the Caribbean. Jamaica, Barbados, maybe the Dominican Republic? The list of islands and hot places is endless and each of these places has a different cost of travel and life. However, if you are looking to save money, it is good to do some research first. Remember, depending on the website or travel company you book with, if you are going to the Caribbean, you will pay most of the expenses in US currency. With the current value of the US dollar equal to 1.33 Canadian, determining a budget before booking is a smart decision.
In addition, unfortunately, flights from Canada are generally more expensive than flights from the United States. So, if the option is possible, a cheaper way to travel and drive to a place across the border and from there. However, it may not be possible for you. This option still takes longer, driving, passing customs and paying for parking your car, you could leave Canada and you save a lot of hassle. Another way to save money is to choose the day you fly. If you plan on leaving the weekend, it will be more expensive. Booking your flights early and mid-week is the best way to save. Again, depending on which agency you book with, you can save up to $ 30 on your outbound and return flights. This could be invested in a few memories once at your destination. In addition, the prices of airline tickets fluctuate from one week to the next. Check out the different travel sites and book at the last minute could help you.
What to choose: hotel or cruise?
Another thing to consider when going on vacation in the Caribbean is whether you want to go with an all inclusive package or take a cruise to the chosen destination. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s say you are trying to save on the airfare. Most all-inclusive one-week stays in a tourist spot will be around $ 1,000 per person, depending on the time of year you go there, what package you choose, what day to fly and if you stay in a hotel of 3 stars and more. So, in some cases, if you are located near a big city like New York or Boston, going on a cruise could be an interesting alternative. In this case, there will be a lot of places where you can leave your car for the week, you will embark on the cruise ship, sail south and come back a few days later. No customs to pass, no waiting for delayed flights to the airport. Not to mention the cost of your checked baggage, an average of $ 50 for each flight.
Once on the cruise, you will probably have plenty of activities to do. There are usually different entertainment options every night, such as movies and shows, all included in the starting price. A good cruise will dock a few days in the Caribbean and let you go on dry land for a few hours. However, your meals (not breakfast) and your drinks may cost more. You may also have to pay for things like shore excursions.
Maybe an all inclusive is better for you, especially if you are afraid of having seasickness. Of course, you will pay for the plane ticket but with a $ 1000 package everything is of course included. This means round trip flights, food, drinks, basic activities and extras like diving equipment, beach towels etc. Other things you’ll pay for are out-of-resort tours, scuba diving trips, or other overpriced activities. Anyway, if you just want to bask on the beach, an all inclusive hotel can be the solution. After all, sand and sun will be on your doorstep.
Consider leaving in the low season
We all know the disadvantages of cold weather. It can be tempting to book our holidays for the coldest months: December, January and February. But if you let yourself be tempted, you will pay. Although it may be worthwhile to be far away during the Siberian days, know that this is when everyone wants to go. The complexes and the airlines know it too, and will take advantage of it to increase their prices.
So, if you follow a tight budget, it’s good to follow him, to bite his teeth for a few more days, and save extra money for a holiday before or after the high season. Generally, if you book in October-November or March-April, you’ll save hundreds of dollars on airline tickets and vacation expenses.
Beware, some Caribbean destinations experience rainy periods throughout the summer and fall months (June-November). The weather varies from one place to another and is therefore to be considered during your research. Statistics indicate that September is the worst month to visit the Caribbean as it is the hurricane season that begins. So, at this time of the year, even if prices are lower, avoid places like the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica or the central regions of the Caribbean.
Plan your budget efficiently
Depending on your annual income, your vacation in the Caribbean could leave you with a huge credit card bill. So, as with any other financial decision, it is important to plan a budget no matter how much you are excited to go there. In most resorts, you must have extra American money to pay for extra activities and tips for hotel staff. Even if $ 1 or $ 2 here and there is not much, it ends up increasing rapidly when you consider all the outings you will end up doing, such as restaurants, bars, transportation and room service. On top of that, if you do not have cash, you will have to pay with your credit or debit card. With the current exchange rate, get ready to empty your wallet.
However, taking all of this into consideration, you will probably want to bask on the sand and drink even more margaritas. So talk with a travel agent to find the cheapest destination that’s right for you. Once everything is thought of and booked, the only other expense you will need is your new swimsuit and sunscreen.