The autumn here in New York City ushers in much change: I start to put away my shorts, then my short-sleeved shirts; I put away my white-colored clothing for darker attire; the fun of the summer slowly fades away and becomes another memory as preparations are made for the coming colder months. However, one thing that I look forward to each year during the autumn months, from September through November, are the cheaper deals to travel abroad.
Sure, maybe “best time to travel” is not the right term, but that’s how I consider it. It is the best for me because it is often the cheapest, but there are other reasons. September is a perfect example, because it is after those peak summer months when everyone travels, yet the weather is still decent and the daylight hours ideal to get enough of the sightseeing accomplished with less crowds of other tourists; it is a time best referred to as mid-peak travel.
Technically, hurricane season goes from June 1st through November 30th each year, but I am focusing on the latter three months, because that’s when the best deals are to be had. Flights to the Caribbean and South America are ridiculously inexpensive at this time, due to the fact that there is much rain projected during these months, even without a hurricane in the forecast. You may get unlucky and get stuck in paradise while there’s a downpour or perhaps get delayed for your return trip due to inclement weather conditions, but the chances are really slim that this happens.
I booked a trip this month to Barbados, and though I won some sort of email lottery and received $300 off, the ticket was less than $400 anyway. Flights are quite cheap towards any destination in the Caribbean, Central America, and the northern parts of South America, with fares in these regions going rarely higher than $400. Many can be found in the $200 range, even. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago all are in the Caribbean, so most travelers think that these are unsafe bets during the autumn months, but these islands statistically see less hurricane action than the rest.
Keep in mind that there are some extra things to consider when flying during this season. For one, the airlines may cancel the flights, but only sometimes at the last minute, leaving you guessing until then if your trip is going to happen. Another thing is any accommodations that you book; though the flight may have gotten cancelled, some hotels may make it difficult to cancel, especially if you pre-paid.
It is recommended that travel insurance be purchased for trips taken within this season. Though I always feel like I got scammed the few times I’ve succumbed to buying a plan, it does give you peace of mind, and since cancellations are covered, it makes sense to buy during a time that cancellations are more probable.
To sum up, this season has the potential to get you the most bang for your buck while traveling. As long as you stay smart and on top of things, you should find traveling during peak hurricane months to be easy, fun, and perhaps better than the rest.