Many people see the Caribbean as a place you only visit in the winter and spring. You go there to escape the cold where you live. The summer is considered the “off-season” for the Caribbean. While it may be a little warmer during this time in the Caribbean, even a bit hot, there may be an afternoon shower for a hot second and of course, you have to be concerned about a tropical storm or hurricane. Don’t let this scare you away. The summer and hurricane season can be the ideal time for a Caribbean vacation.
Honestly, most people don’t think to travel to the Caribbean during the summer, but don’t think twice about hitting the beach for a vacation. You know, sand, sun, warm ocean breezes, and a cool ocean to play in! I can tell you I want to be there and the resorts want you there in the summer, too. Truth is, when it comes to tropical storms and hurricanes, you get a ton of warning. We have found that the resorts will assist if need be in coordinating transportation and reloading to sister sites if appropriate to assist tourists.
So, the next time you’re planning a summer getaway, don’t dismiss the Caribbean. You just might be surprised to find why traveling to the islands during hurricane season rocks.
Pluses of a Summer Caribbean Vacation
The cost – This is the low season for the Caribbean. If you are looking to save money, book an unexpected trip, or want to travel to a resort that otherwise would be out of your budget, this is your chance. Some resorts drop rates as low as 55% below in-season rates, will offer free meals, or will give a credit to use at the resort. By booking at discounted rates, you have more money to spend on additional excursions or resort services not included in your stay. I’m talking spa visits, a babysitter for the kids, a romantic dinner on the beach, or just extending your stay with the added savings!
There are three ways cost comes into play.
- If you’re looking for a deal to sneak in an additional trip or to save money on where you usually go. We saw on Facebook one of our favorite resorts was running a special for the summer months. We received a flyfishing package at Belcampo Belize for 20% off when spending $3000 for a 3 night stay. The 20% off discount is really nice. Needless to say, we booked and are leaving soon.
- If you’d like to upgrade your stay. It doesn’t matter if you want to upgrade your room or your resort. Take advantage of the summer pricing! If you usually stay in a standard room, upgrade to a deluxe room or suite, or go a step further and stay at a luxury resort. Many also offer free nights. If you never thought a private island getaway was in your budget, think again and check out the great prices at the Luxury Bahai Principe Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic.
- If you’d like to add services that you wouldn’t do when paying in-season prices. If you’re blowing your budget by paying full price, you may feel guilty paying for added services. Take advantage of the money you save by traveling during the hurricane season and book some spa treatments, go on an extra excursion, or have a romantic dinner on the beach.
Smaller Crowds – For the most part, hotels and resorts run way below occupancy at these times. Take advantage of the crowds being lighter and take over the resort. Do it all without waiting in lines for pieces of sports equipment or for dinner reservations.
More Pluses of a Summer Caribbean Vacation
Kids’ Clubs have great ratios – We have found that the resorts, especially in the Caribbean, are dedicated to their staff. They do not cut staff during low occupancy times to save money because the overall well-being of the staff is more important. That means that the Kids’ Clubs are fully staffed, but with less kiddos.
The staff has more time for you – As noted above, the staff is there year round and the occupancy is lower. This makes more time and attention for you and your family. We have found that this benefit alone keeps us going back to resorts off season, year after year. The next time it’s like going back to see family.
Not having to reserve pool or beach chairs – Truth is, all resorts have enough pool and beach chairs for everyone all year. But during high travel times you may have to reserve chairs to be in your favorite location. During the lower travel time, there is no need to send down someone in your group to hold seats. Chances are you will have a ton of options.
I cannot tell you the number of times we pay for a cabana on vacations to assure we have a quite shaded spot to relax in by the pool or on the beach. They always come with lounge chairs and often many more amenities. Truth is during the summer months, you can save that money for other activities. We have found that since there are less people, it is easier to find shady places that you do not have to pay for. With occupancy being lower in the summer months, there is no need to rush to get that perfect chaise lounge.
Afternoon showers – I love a nap during an afternoon shower. That’s all! The sound is amazing.
Added incentives – During lower occupancy times, many resorts offer special incentives to encourage you to come. We have received special summer perks like fresh fruit each day, milk and cookies each night for the kids, and free water sports.
When staying at all-inclusive resorts, the two activities that are usually not included are motorized water sports and golf fees. The Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida is offering free unlimited waterskiing during your stay in July and August. Even if you are not a water skier, you have to try it, because it is so much fun.
They are also offering free unlimited green fees from May through October and you know how expensive green fees are! With these , the whole family will have more in their all-inclusive package!
Minuses of a Summer Caribbean Vacation
There are a few minuses I see with traveling during hurricane season. There is a slim chance that you would have to move your trip up or back based on tropical storms. There may be some restaurants, excursions, or activities that close when the occupancy is lower. And, while I love those afternoon showers, not everyone does. You just have to plan your activities around the potential that you might get wet.
Tips for Planning a Summer Caribbean Vacation
- Check your credit card for storm protection and/or trip interruption benefits. If your credit card does not offer them, be sure to purchase insurance when you buy your trip or package and airline tickets.
- Plan extra time for customs and time between flights. Unless you live in a major city, chances are you will need to change planes, both on outbound and inbound flights, so plan extra time. The southern states and Caribbean Islands get small storms that pass through in the late afternoon and early evening that may cause delays.
- Don’t plan excursions until you get there and see the daily weather, especially if there are change fees.
So, what are you waiting for? Get on line now and book a summer family vacation in the Caribbean!