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Heading into summer without a tan is a no-no, so skip the tanning salon and head to the Caribbean for the golden sheen. Though fares are higher than they were last month, we've got good news for procrastinators: They’re more affordable than they were last week.
Many popular Caribbean routes have shot up 19 percent in price since last month. The good news, however, is that there has been a 25 percent collective drop since last week's benchmark. Some of the more significant savings come on the Detroit/San Juan, Washington, D.C./Nassau, and Los Angeles/Cancun routes; the latter two settling down after last week's fare spike.
Here's a snapshot of the many Caribbean routes we've been tracking this spring:
Get some help with the above airport codes here.
Caribbean travel will become less popular as it gets warmer, but if you'd still like to take advantage of island life, continue to track Caribbean fares on your own, and when you see a good fare, book it. If you're struggling to find a cheap fare, you may want to consider an alternate destination. For example, the St. Lucia's rates on our chart are higher than other routes, but there are real deals to be found on airfare to nearby San Juan. If you're not too picky about the destination but simply want to relax on the warm beach, find out which carriers serve your airport and where they go in the Caribbean. The lowest-priced fares will be on the direct routes.
- Find inspiration in the sunny 10 Best Budget Islands in the Caribbean photo gallery.
- You know you want to go, but which destinations have the same fit as your wallet's contents? Read our Top Five Bargain Destinations for Spring 2011.
- Check out SmarterTravel's Caribbean travel guides for general tips such as when to take the voyage.
- Catch up on new Caribbean routes, plus find tips on making your vacation happen on the cheap.
- Skip the stopovers by perusing Budget Travel's handy direct flight tool. Not only will your tan be the richer for it, but also an increase in flight segments translates to higher fares.