A romantic Caribbean getaway doesn’t have to break the bank. If you want to plan your dream vacation but it seems financially out of reach there are a few things you can do to make it more affordable. Let me share with you my tips for keeping fun in the sun within reach.
Here’s the Caribbean Travel Queen’s list of 7 easy ways to get discounts on your Caribbean vacation:
- Use your membership cards like AAA Motor Club
If you’re an AAA Motor Club member or a member of any club be sure to check to find out if they offer discounts on travel and hotels. These clubs sometimes offer travel assistance and discounts that can make a big difference in the overall cost of your vacation. AAA offers several vacation packages to the Caribbean including cruises that members can purchase from them exclusively.
When you book directly with Marriott Brand Hotels and are an AAA member you’ll receive a special discounted rate. You can also save on car rentals and attractions. All you have to do is show your valid AAA card. Whenever I purchase anything, including trips, I always ask if they offer a special AAA rate or discount.
- Military or Hero Discounts
There are many hotels and resorts that offer discounts to people who are active members of the military and to those who are retired from military service. First responders can also receive discounts at hotels and resorts. Westin Hotel in Grand Cayman Islands offers a special hero rate on their website for police, firefighters, EMT and military. Sandals Resorts offers a 10% discount for law enforcement and firefighters. We used this 10% discount along with our Sandals select member discount and saved a hefty amount when we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary at Sandals resort in Antigua.
- Reward cards
Sign up for free hotel and airline reward cards. You’ll receive tons of discounts and offers. When you redeem points from your rewards cards you can get free stays, upgrades, merchandise, food and a lot of other goodies.
- Choose off-peak times to travel
We found that May, October, and early November are great times to travel to the Caribbean because the hotels are not at capacity and the airfare is a little cheaper. These are the perfect months to get free upgrades and other perks. At check-in always ask if there are any complimentary upgrades. If you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary let them know. I recently celebrated my birthday in Jamaica. When I booked my room I put in the notes that I would be celebrating my birthday and I received a free upgrade to the Presidential Suite without even asking.
Some hotels, resorts and even car rental agencies offer a special discount if you pay in advance. Make sure you read the terms and agreement on the cancellation policy if you choose to prepay to find out if it’s the best option for you. I rented a car from Hertz and because I chose to prepay online I received a 40% discount.
- Vacation packages and websites.
Always go on the hotel or airline’s website and click on discounts and specials and compare prices. You can sometimes get a better deal if you purchase a package which includes air and hotel instead of booking them separately.
- Opt in
Always opt in for email offers and coupons. Receiving offers can save you a lot of money and you’ll be the first to know about sales and specials. Some sites even feature a particular island or resort which can give you an ideas for a new vacation destinations. Last holiday season after receiving an email about specials, I went online to view JetBlue’s vacation packages deals where they were featuring the island of Grenada. I found and booked a great deal with air, hotel and transportation to Grenada, an island that I hadn’t heard of until then all because I opted in to receive offers from JetBlue.
Do you know any easy ways to save money on trips to the Caribbean? Let’s chat about it in the comments.
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