- Fall is the best season for an all-inclusive vacation, when rooms are often much cheaper.
- Off-site activities, usually limited to a certain number of people, also tend to fill up quickly during peak seasons.
- Seasonal price drops on airfares – on domestic and international airfares – begin in August.
Hurricane season doesn’t really bother Maddie Winters. For the past five years, the Philadelphia-based travel blogger has celebrated her fall birthday at all-inclusive resorts across the Caribbean. And she is not alone.
Fall has historically been a slower time for all-inclusive resorts, but Club Med — the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept — and Sandals Resorts told USA TODAY they’ve seen an increase in fall bookings at recent years.
“This fall season is shaping up to be one of our best ever – and that follows a stronger-than-ever fall 2021 season in which many of our stations generated twice as much demand than previous years,” said Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International.
What makes Winters and savvy travelers ready to travel in a time synonymous with tropical storms? They’ve uncovered one of the hotel industry’s best-kept secrets: Fall is the best season for an all-inclusive vacation. Here’s why.
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1. Rooms are significantly cheaper
According to Amélie Brouhard, vice-president of marketing at Club Med, the increase in fall demand that resorts are experiencing is “fueled by people looking for the best deals”.
Often, rooms are significantly cheaper during the fall months. For example, seven nights in November at the brand’s newest resort, Club Magna Marbella, starts at $2,408. In April, seven nights will cost you $3,729, and in July? Expect to pay at least $4,571. Meanwhile, in Mexico, rates per night in October at the new Hilton Cancun, an all-inclusive resort, start at $462. This same room in January costs $674.
Annie Davis, president of Palm Beach Travel, says the unpredictable fall weather in the Caribbean is one reason for the deep discounts.
“In September and early October, you can see rates as low as 35% or you’ll get a 3rd or 4th night free,” Davis explained. For its customers, bargains are a critical factor when it comes to choosing a destination. “We find that most travelers are looking for more value due to inflation.”
Davis recommends booking in mid-October, near the end of hurricane season.
What to do in the event of a hurricane? To start, we hope you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers weather-related delays and cancellations. Second, take advantage of travel exemptions and be flexible with dates.
Winters said airlines and resorts usually allow her to arrive a few days earlier or later if her original dates fall in the middle of a storm.
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2. Stations are less crowded
“Fall is a wonderful time to stay at an all-inclusive resort because you can enjoy quieter hotels and greater availability for excursions,” said Scott LePage, president of the Americas at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. .
Like many hotel brands adopting the all-inclusive model, Wyndham recently added a new all-inclusive chain, Wyndham Alltra, to its portfolio.
The less busy results are largely the result of the back-to-school season. Most families only travel when their children are on vacation.
Off-site activities, usually limited to a certain number of people, also tend to fill up quickly during peak summer and winter seasons. Brouhard says Club Med guests visiting in the fall can take advantage of smaller groups on excursions. They also have a much better chance of getting their first choice of room and have the freedom to spread out more around the resort itself. Anyone who’s ever been to an all-inclusive resort in the height of summer knows the struggle to find front-row lounge chairs at the pool.
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3. Mother nature delivers
Tropical storms aside, late September through early December can be a magical time to experience Mother Nature.
At Club Med Quebec, which debuted last December, guests staying in September and October are treated to spectacular fall foliage. At Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic, early December marks the start of the whale watching season. Meanwhile in Mexico, October and November are the last two months to observe the nesting and hatching of sea turtles in the wild. They will not be back on these beaches until the following May.
Then there’s the fact that fall weather – storms aside – tends to be more pleasant than the intense heat of summer.
“We see a huge increase in demand as temperatures start to drop and we enter the first quarter of the year,” Stewart said. Autumn in the Caribbean is also marketed as the green season. The plants are lush, vibrant and flowery – in other words, more Instagram worthy.
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4. It’s easier to find deals on plane tickets
The biggest advantage of flying in the fall is paying shoulder season fares.
Data from Hopper, the online booking platform, suggests air fares are set to decline from record prices this summer, averaging less than $300 round-trip for domestic routes booked this month.
“Domestic air fares this fall will fall to $286 in August, down 25% from the peak air fares in May this year, in line with 2019 prices,” the company said in its third-party travel index. trimester. “Air fares will remain at $300 or less through the end of September, before starting to slowly increase in October and November.”
According to FareCompare, seasonal price drops – on domestic and international airfares – begin in August before dropping again in September. If you are going to Mexico or the Caribbean, travel in October (ideally on a Tuesday or Wednesday). This is when fares are lowest, according to research by CheapAir.com.
Considering an all-inclusive in Africa or the Middle East? The same study cites November as the cheapest month to travel. Although fall isn’t the cheapest time to fly to Europe (winter is), it’s much more affordable than summer. For example, on Google Flights, a round-trip ticket from New York to Marbella, Spain, starts at $470 in October. In June, the lowest available rate jumped to $621. Essentially, that’s another $161 that could be spent at the resort.
After all, despite their name, every all-inclusive has at least something that isn’t included.
Contributor: Zach Wichter, USA TODAY