Caribbean

Caribbean

Most likely when you think of “The Caribbean,” your mind conjures up an image of a pristine white sand beach, picturesque palms, and warm, sultry breezes. It’s true it’s hard not to find ideal island scenery just about anywhere you go in the Caribbean. But, “The Caribbean” actually represents a vast area with over 700 islands reaching from the Gulf of Mexico to the north of South America. What separates the islands the most is the culture. The customs, language, currency, even the side of the road you drive on is different from island to island depending on their sovereignty. So, we know you want that white sand beach, but what else will make your honeymoon stay picture-perfect? How do you know which island is right for you? Here’s a quiz to help you decide.

  1. I speak, or am at least comfortable conversing in the following languages:
    1. Spanish
    2. Dutch
    3. English
    4. All of the above
  1. We might want to catch a game while we’re there, our preference would be:
    1. Baseball
    2. Soccer
    3. Cricket
  1. You should see our killer (fill in the blank) dance moves:
    1. Merengue
    2. Club-style
    3. Dirty
  1. Our idea of adventure is:
    1. Horseback riding and zip-lining
    2. Discovering a shipwreck
    3. Taking our chances at the casino
    4. Driving on the left-hand side of the road
    5. Taking a nature hike (complete with monkeys!)

Add up your points:

A’s = 1

B’s = 2

C’s = 3

D’s = 4

E’s = 5

If you scored 4-5 points, the Dominican Republic and/or Cancun is perfect for you. There is no shortage of thrill seeking adventure either place. The beaches are spectacular, the food spicy, and the nightlife abounds with Spanish rhythm.

If you scored 6-7 points, you’ll love the Dutch ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao). The culture is laid back, yet thrilling. Whether you’re scuba diving through a shipwreck or putting it all on black at the casino, you’ll fill your days and nights with lifelong memories.

If you scored 8+ points, you are the type of person that wants it all. We recommend island-hopping, but if that’s not in the plan you should definitely check out Barbados, the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands! These islands offer adventure at every turn, unparalleled beaches, nightlife that’ll keep you going well into the next day – and they speak English!

We’ve got a sweet deal for you now too. The Marriott has gorgeous beachfront properties on the Caribbean destination of your choice – and are offering the following specials!

All-Inclusive Package at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort! Valid through 8/22/17

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Promo Code: NCL

Honeymooning with the kids? Book a massage for you and your honey while the kids are at Kids Club! Valid through 6/24/17.

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Treat your nearest and dearest to five or more nights of Costa Rican luxury, including a daily dining credit, a spa credit, a private golf cart, free Wi-Fi and more! Valid through 12/15/17

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FijiThere’s just something about an island vacation — the beaches? The laid-back island mentality? The knowledge that a body of water is between you and your responsibilities? Whatever it is, there’s no feeling quite like getting out of Dodge and onto an island.

But there is one thing we know: An island vacation is the quickest way to guarantee ultimate R&R, mellow vibes, and a much-needed break from things like lunch breaks and having to set an alarm. And it can also be the cheapest — at least if you stick with us.

Keep reading for the most affordable times of year to visit the world’s best islands.

Fiji: October-November

An IRL paradise known for its coral reefs, secluded beaches, and tropical temperatures, the more than 300 islands that make up this South Pacific country are likely the closest it gets to heaven on earth. Considering the notoriously high fuel costs for a flight from the U.S., tourists looking for that seasonal sweet spot should aim for October and November, after peak season (May to September) and before rainy season (December to mid-April). During these months, visitors can often find more affordable accommodations as well — the extra push you might need to splurge on that dreamy overwater bungalow.

St. Barts: May-June

Caribbean island Saint Barthélemy, adorably nicknamed St. Barts, is a hot spot for celebrities drawn to its beaches, warm weather, and high-end shopping. We love it for the same reasons — especially in May-June, when those of us who don’t have a Kardashian bank account can snag deals on hotels, flights, and tours. Just after peak season, which ends in April, and before the hurricane season brings substantial rainfall and closed attractions, May-June is the sweet spot for deals on tropical temperatures.

Hawaii: April-May, August-September

Sure, Hawaii may be a year-round destination — but for those who want to avoid both crowds and inflated prices, planning strategically can make all the difference between a rained-out mess and a postcard-worthy tropical vacation. The best times to visit are in between the winter break and Valentine’s Day, and then again after summer vacation –during these months, guests can snag deals without compromising on weather. There may be a bit more rain than in June and July, but tropical showers usually don’t drop the temperatures too far and often pass after an hour or two.

Bali: April-May, September-October

Indonesia’s dreamiest island is a portrait of a landscape’s unspoiled natural beauty, popular for its adventure experiences, surf breaks and outdoor landmarks. Those looking for the Bali triple threat (low number of rain days, high temperatures, good waves) should visit in April, May, September and October; these months are considered shoulder season and have fewer visitors and lower prices than July and August.

Bora Bora: November and April

Let’s be real: If you’re going to Bora Bora, you’re going to want to spend some time at the beach. And nothing kills a good vacation vibe quite like getting rained out. Just as in the rest of French Polynesia (including Tahiti), Bora Bora experiences heavy rainfall from December-March; alternatively, high season occurs between May and October. By traveling in November and April instead of the summer, tourists can usually find less expensive flights and less crowded scuba- diving sites, without a major risk of storms.

Santorini: September

This picture-perfect Cyclades Island in the Aegean Sea is one of the most Instagram-worthy examples of Greece’s iconic blue-and-white buildings, rugged coasts, and cobbled streets. The cliffside locale is most popular over summer, but heavy crowds and high prices go out with August; September offers lower room rates without the hassle of off-season closures. This month is particularly ideal for travelers hoping to spend time both sunbathing and sightseeing — average high temperatures range from the mid-70s to near 80, dropping a bit lower toward the end of the month.

Koh Phi Phi: April-May

A collection of islands off the western coast of southern Thailand, Koh Phi Phi — pronounced “Pee Pee” — can be accessed only by ferry from Phuket (most common), Krabi or Koh Lanta and is often toured as an add-on to the mainland. Local tourism centers on two islands: Phi Phi Don, the largest island, developed with resorts and restaurants, and Phi Phi Le, the setting for Leonardo Di Caprio’s film The Beach. Since much of the experience revolves around the water, tourists should aim to visit from April to early May; November-February is the high (and dry) season, and the rainy season starts in late May. During these in-between months, the islands are at their best: dry, warm and serene.

Capri: April-June, September-October

This striking island off the coast of Naples, Italy, is an even more scenic alternative (or addition) to an Amalfi Coast vacation; most tourists are drawn to Capri’s Blue Grotto, cliffside beaches and Roman ruins. High season for this beach destination begins over the Easter holidays and stretches to early November, but July and August are Capri’s most jam-packed — and celebrity-filled — months. Instead, those looking to save some money and still hit the beach should visit in June and September, when temperatures are still high; these months have an average of just two to three rainy days. Travelers less concerned about tanning time — and more concerned about price tag — should book for April, May and October.

Iceland: April-May, September

Iceland’s rise to popularity was swift and dramatic, quickly transforming the island from a niche adventure destination into an uptrending hot spot gone mainstream. Those hoping to catch the northern lights should shoot for early to mid-April, when you’ll be able to see the incredible natural phenomenon without enduring too-hard temperatures. Alternatively, those visiting for other outdoor experiences will find that May and September offer the best balance of moderately high temperatures and moderately low levels of rainfall. Depending on where you’re flying from (Iceland is least expensive from the East Coast), it may even be worth going during high season, when there are nearly 24 hours of sunlight — WOW air offers affordable flights from the U.S. and Canada, and packages can often compound savings.

Enter Honeyfund and Travelzoo’s search for love contest for a chance to win a romantic 6-night Bali vacation!

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