The cost of travel in the Caribbean is prohibitive. We all know this. Back in April when I covered the launch of the CaribSKY alliance in Guadeloupe, LIAT’s CEO Julie Reifer-Jones pointed out that taxes were a huge contributing factor.
Still, flights don’t have to break the bank. You will not get $9.99 fares or even $99 fares but if you’re willing to book about three months in advance, you can get decent prices.
The price map below comes from Kayak’s Explore tool which allows you to see all the places you can travel to and how much it will cost. You can narrow down by date, budget and other criteria. It’s helpful when you’re not quite sure where you want to go and the price is a deciding factor.
Now onto the list that you came here for:
This is the island I’ve visited the most. The first time I went I paid just over BDS$300 return. Now the cheapest you’ll get is around $400. Hop on a LIAT plane and see the Pitons, take a mud bath in Soufriere or pop into the local eateries around Rodney Bay. Take a selfie on Pigeon Island. You’ll see why many of us keep going back.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Book early and you’ll pay just under $400 on LIAT. My one trip last year was way too short so I owe St Vincent a real visit and Bequia a leisurely do-over. Then I need to sail to the some of the other islands in the Grenadines because they really are ideal for island-hopping.
The cheapest return flights I’m seeing for Dominica on LIAT are around $450. The Nature Isle is perfect for hikers and divers but right now, I would say it also provides an opportunity to give back while exploring a new destination. There are a number of voluntourism packages being offered to help with the post-hurricane recovery effort.
Trinidad and Tobago
Many Bajans are already familiar with Trinidad whether for Carnival, shopping or visiting family. It will cost just over $500 on Caribbean Airlines and just over $400 on LIAT. Go and do the most during Carnival season, take in another festival or just chill and enjoy nature any time of year.
For just over $400 on Air Guyane Express and with less than hour of flying, you can be on French territory. History buffs, people who want to practise their French and honeymooners will love it. To further keep costs down, go during the off-season when many hotels discount heavily.
If you want to go a little further and still stay within your budget, Fort Lauderdale is your spot. You can take in the attractions and take a cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway or you can do what Bajans traditionally do in the States. Buy tings! You’ll find all your favourite stores. JetBlue will take you there for about $450.
Prices, of course, vary throughout the year and as government’s and airports add taxes and fees. However, I’ve found these destinations remain the cheapest when compared to other options.
So, do you plan your regional travel well in advance where possible or do you just opt to go elsewhere? Let me know in the comments.