Cheapest Caribbean destinations are even cheaper in summer
We all know that the Caribbean is at its peak of popularity during the winter months, primarily because it's consistently warm and dry so it's a perfect getaway from the cold weather in the north. However, the weather in the Caribbean is almost identical through the early summer, so it's still incredibly nice if you are staying at a beach resort. Even when school is out for the kids, fewer people head to the Caribbean, so prices tend to come down.
In a year when flights to Europe feel like they are only affordable to trust-fund types, it might be worth considering a cheap week in the Caribbean instead. On most islands you can get a nice mix of culture if you want, or just hang out on the beach during the day and enjoy some drinks and affordable tropical meals at night.
The cheapest Caribbean destinations
Early last winter we researched and published our list of the Caribbean's cheapest islands and destinations. It's very difficult to compare one to another, but since so many people are curious about which islands are the bargains and which are only for the rich, we gave it a shot.
The list contains 32 destinations, including several different parts of a few islands, and Cancun, Mexico because it's cheap and has a tropical island feel.
And now we've run the same price checks on the cheapest 7 destinations to see how things stack up in June. Nearly all of them are cheaper in June than in March, which isn't surprising. Later in the summer prices tend to go even lower as the wet season begins, and many people have an irrational fear of getting hit by a hurricane. We'll cover those topics on an update soon, but for now we'll compare prices even for when the weather is perfect in June. By the way, cheap Caribbean cruises are available all year round, although some seasons are even cheaper than others.
Package deals tend to be even better
It's also difficult to compare package deals because often they include various extras from one month to the next, but generally you can get the best deals by booking a flight and hotel all at once from an online agency. The best of these is CheapCaribbean, and you can view all of their current specials here:
Cheap Caribbean Hot Deals
Cheapest Caribbean destinations comparing March to June
Here is a comparison of the 7 cheapest Caribbean destinations with price levels in March, which is late in the high season, and June, which is early in the low season.
Flight prices are for the cheapest flight from New York City during the period, and all prices are in US dollars.
1 – Cancun, Mexico
- March cheapest NYC flight: $350
- March cheap 3-star hotel average: $36.50
- June cheapest NYC flight: $370
- June cheap 3-star hotel average: $30.50
The bottom price group of 3-star hotels in Cancun are amazingly cheap in spite of generally positive guest reviews. Obviously you “get what you pay for” to some degree, but at least for those looking for a cheap beach holiday in June, it's very affordable.
2 – Negril, Jamaica
- March cheapest NYC flight: $340
- March cheap 3-star hotel average: $66.75
- June cheapest NYC flight: $300
- June cheap 3-star hotel average: $51.75
The cheapest of the main resort areas in Jamaica, Negril is a short shuttle ride from the Montego Bay Airport, which also has lower prices in summer. For a real island feeling, this is a steal in June.
- March cheapest NYC flight: $250
- March cheap 3-star hotel average: $103.50
- June cheapest NYC flight: $200
- June cheap 3-star hotel average: $96.75
Flights to San Juan are cheaper during summer, and resorts along the nearby beaches are a bit cheaper as well, but it's not a great bargain except for those only going for a weekend (a cheap flight and 2 or 3 nights hotel).
- March cheapest NYC flight: $390
- March cheap 3-star hotel average: $64.50
- June cheapest NYC flight: $450
- June cheap 3-star hotel average: $68.75
Interestingly, flights to Puerto Plata are a bit more expensive in June, and resort prices are a bit higher as well, so value-conscious travelers can probably find better deals elsewhere. The DR is known for all-inclusive hotels and packages, however, so those might be bargains even if they don't fit this survey.
5 – Barbados
- March cheapest NYC flight: $410
- March cheap 3-star hotel average: $85.25
- June cheapest NYC flight: $350
- June cheap 3-star hotel average: $71.75
Again, flights to Barbados are cheaper in summer, and the fabulous resorts are about 20% cheaper as well. This island is a bargain all year long and especially during the summer months.
- March cheapest NYC flight: $290
- March cheap 3-star hotel average: $106.75
- June cheapest NYC flight: $310
- June cheap 3-star hotel average: $87.25
On the other side of Montego Bay is Jamaica's second-cheapest resort area in Ocho Rios. Things tend to be at least a bit more upscale here, even with budget friendly prices.
7 – St Lucia
- March cheapest NYC flight: $450
- March cheap 3-star hotel average: $86.50
- June cheapest NYC flight: $440
- June cheap 3-star hotel average: $80.25
Admittedly, prices in this survey are only down a bit in summer compared to March, but it's still worth noting that St. Lucia a bargain island with a surprising number of affordable beach resorts.
Cheap package deals
Top photo courtesy of Lynn Coulombe on Flickr