It may be common knowledge that heading to Capri or Corsica in August will set you back a small fortune, but you can still hit up some of the world's most popular vacation spots without taking a steep penalty for clearing out your 401k. According to experts, it all comes down to timing. We talked to hotel managers and industry insiders to get to the bottom of when to head to the world's most popular destinations... without breaking the bank.
Buy your ticket now, because August and September are the cheapest months of the year to visit Miami.
"While hotel prices in other destinations, like the Northeast, soar during the summer, Miami is relatively quiet in the summer," says Alex Furrer, general manager of The Setai, Miami Beach. "August and September nightly rates can reach nearly 50 percent off our peak season prices."
Head over the pond in the winter for the biggest savings. "January through March is a particularly good time to visit London as hotel rooms are at the lowest price of the year," says Philip Morris, global commercial director for the Dorchester Collection, known for its popular central London hotel. "With sterling at a record low, London has never been more attractive for shopping, especially with the big discounts on offer at that time."
3. Los Angeles
Head west for a Thanksgiving plate loaded with mashed avocado instead of carbs. "November and December are great months to travel to the Los Angeles area most affordably," shares Drew G. Berr, general manager of the Cambria Hotel LAX. "Room rates are as much as 30 percent off standard season rates, but you can even call the hotel directly and request a specific rate for your desired dates." Who knew low season meant naming your own price?
4. The Caribbean
Luckily, there are two times of the year to visit Caribbean islands. Experts say the time between Easter and the end of the school year (so, typically the end of April through the days leading up to Memorial Day Weekend) are easy to find good deals for most Caribbean resorts. Joel Bunde, general manager of Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino, says this is his favorite time to score a cheaper rate, flights, and even find yourself with more access to lounge chairs and amenities. The other time to save on Caribbean trips is the last two weeks of August, when he says there are major discounts for couples and groups.
For the Bahamas specifically, late August through November is prime time for popular resorts savings and even discounted flights. "Shoulder season, which means any time that is not a natural holiday break period, will always offer the best rates," says Atlantis Paradise Island C.M.O Lauren Snyder.
"The secret, though, is in the last weeks of August. Not only is the weather beautiful, but the turquoise ocean is a perfect 86 degrees!"
September and October are the most magically inexpensive times to head south of the border, according to Rocio Juarex, director of sales and marketing for JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa. These months "are a little slower with kids back in school — we offer as much as 40 percent off standard rates, and flights are generally cheaper as well," he says. American travelers also enjoy more access to local Mexican tourist attractions, historical sites, and easier dinner reservations during that time. He adds that the current exchange rate coupled with the normally discounted low season in September will make for especially attractive Mexican vacation deals this year.
September is your best bet for this European hotspot. "Early September is the perfect time to visit Mykonos as the crowds have dissipated yet the quality of the destination still shines through," explains Dimitris Christoforidis, owner and partner of Nice n Easy Restaurant Group. Hotels and villa rentals are as much as 50 percent off after the high season in July and August, as well.
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