You can jet away to the aquamarine waters of the shimmering Caribbean even if you're on a budget. Time your dream trip to take advantage of seasonal discounts by booking in the off-season when prices drop significantly between mid-April through early December. Or visit the Caribbean during the shoulder season. And always book as far in advance as possible to make your tropical getaway an affordable reality.
Your least-expensive airfare and hotel prices for the Caribbean occur during the off season when the fewest tourists visit. Avoid December through early April to save money and keep away from the crowds. Sales begin in mid-April and extend through early December. From June through November, hurricanes are a threat, while mosquitoes are a problem to consider in the fall. But you'll find summery temperatures year round -- between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit most days.
You can choose to travel during shoulder season in late April or late November to take advantage of better weather and significantly lower prices than peak season. While you'll pay a bit more during shoulder season than during the heart of the off season, you'll find that hotels offer more services, and more shops and activities are available. You'll get the benefit of peak-season amenities and less rain at a fraction of the cost.
Take a Cruise
Caribbean cruises have two peak seasons -- one for families traveling with kids during the summer and another when the northern United States and Canada are at their coldest. Avoid massive crowds and enjoy the fabulous weather by booking a cruise in Late April or early May, or hold off till the kids are back in school and book between September and early December.
Consider visiting Puerto Rico for cheaper peak-season rates. You can find deals that reduce the sticker shock of prime time by booking two to three months before your desired dates to secure the best fares available. Choose a destination with a high volume of daily flights, such as Puerto Rico, the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic. With more seats available, airfare prices are typically lower and the chance of upgrade is improved.