Shopping for affordable airfare can sometimes be a frustrating process. Airfares rise and fall much like stock prices. However, there are a few rules to follow for getting the best price on airfare to the Caribbean. These include:
- Be flexible in your travel planning
- Check online for the best fares
- Subscribe to airline e-newsletters to keep up on last-minute deals and fare sales.
Here are a few more tips for planning your flight:
Keep your searches top secret
You’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
Traditionally, the Caribbean has always been a more cost-friendly destination to travelers who buy air-land package deals than to independent travelers. It’s not uncommon, for example, to find hotel deals that include airfare cheaper than the published prices for airfare alone on airline websites. Airlines, hotels, travel agencies, and even some destinations offer packaged deals that can save you big bucks on Caribbean travel.
Flying with budget airlines
There are several budget airlines that travel to Jamaica and several other Caribbean destinations. These include JetBlue, which flies to Jamaica, but also flies to Puerto Rico’s regional Aguadilla and Ponce airports, as well as Nassau, Bahamas; plus flights to Bermuda and other destinations. Another discount carrier to check out is Spirit Airlines, serving Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Thanks to its merger with AirTran, Southwest Airlines is also beginning to make inroads into the Caribbean, with flights to Nassau, San Juan, Punta Cana, Montego Bay, Bermuda, and Key West. In fact, Southwest has quickly become a major carrier to the Caribbean.
Traveling off season
The best airfare deals to the Caribbean can usually be found in the offseason – roughly mid-April to mid-December. In some cases, Caribbean destinations will offer “air credits” of up to US$500 to help entice travelers during the off-season.
As with most air travel, be sure to book in advance to guarantee yourself a seat. Non-stop flights are generally more expensive, while multiple stop trips are on the cheaper end of things. Keep your eye out for special airline deals, and check in at Go-Caribbean for upcoming monthly packages and specials from different resorts that may include travel or airfare expenses.