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Ride the Shoulder Season and Save Big in Bermuda

SmarterTravel

Closer to Nantucket than the Caribbean, Bermuda can be a viable getaway destination from the U.S. Depending on your departure city, you can visit this infamously pricey British territory for under $500. The best time of year to find deals is during the off-season (November through March), when vacation packagers and hotels put forth their best rates. Go now and also enjoy perfect temperatures for golf or hitting the spa, which will be affordable considering all the money you’ll save on airfare and hotel.

While the best prices favor those on the East Coast, don’t rule out a trip if you live more inland just because the price tag won’t fit under $500. You’ll still avoid the crowds and pay much less than if you went during the busy summer season.

Finding Bermuda deals

The Bermuda Department of Tourism almost always posts promotions on its website. The offer of the moment is a $300 companion air credit. To get the discount, just travel midweek with another person from now through April, and stay for at least three nights at one of nine participating resorts. You must book by March 27.

Though you can make reservations through the tourism site, I found it was easier to search for availability on TNT Vacations, which is also running the promotion. The only difference with TNT is that people departing from Boston get one free flight, while those from all other departure cities get the $300 credit. Either way, the math seems to work out the same.

Of the participating hotels, the Grape Bay Beach Hotel in Paget is the most economical option. And, as far as fitting the package under $500 goes, Boston and New York fared the best:

  • From Boston: $480.60 (Grape Bay Beach Hotel and Delta)
  • From New York: $480.60 (Grape Bay Beach Hotel and JetBlue)

Package prices include round-trip airport and hotel transfers, and all taxes and fees.

A few gateways like Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh went over budget by only about $4 to $6, so I consider them in the game. But if you’re strict about fitting your trip under $500, there’s another way. Through March 31, the Grape Bay Beach Hotel is offering a promotional $99 rate (normally $175). Here’s the math: $99 plus 17.25 percent (10 percent service charge and 7.25 percent government tax) equals $116.08 per night for two, or $58.04 per person. Multiply that number by three nights to get $174.12, or by two nights to get $116.08. The rest of the equation is simple: Those with airfare costing $325.88 or less can stay for three nights, and those with flights for $383.92 or less can stay for two nights. In a recent search, I found reasonable airfare from the following cities:

  • Baltimore: $291 (USA3000)
  • Baltimore: $340 (Continental, Delta)
  • Boston: $295 (Delta)
  • Charlotte: $360 (Continental)
  • Chicago: $326 (United)
  • New York: $315 (JetBlue)
  • Pittsburgh: $347 (US Airways)
  • Philadelphia: $362 (US Airways)

Airfare includes all taxes and fees.

If your travel dates don’t mesh with the special $99 offer, look for other affordable lodging options. For example, BermudaRentals.com has a listing of cottages and apartments for less than $100 per night, and BermudaGetaway.com provides information on a host of affordable properties such as the Barngrove Guest Apartments for $100 per night and the Kingston House Bed & Breakfast for $105.

Bermuda is hardly a cheap destination. However, its proximity to the U.S. makes a quick getaway possible for two or three nights, which can fit within a $500 budget. If you don’t find fares similar to the ones I mentioned, keep checking. Airlines change prices all the time and even release bargain fares at the last minute. And once the hotel promotions have ended, others are likely to jump in and replace them. Good luck. I see pink sand in your future.

For more Bermuda tips, check out my previous Bermuda Escapes Under $500 column, or read SmarterTravel.com’s latest Bermuda Trip du Jour.

Email me your favorite money-saving tips for Bermuda, and I might publish them in a future article. Or, feel free to try and beat my trip price with your own tips, or suggest a new Escapes Under $500 destination.

All prices, dates, and booking details listed here were valid at the time of publication. Some information may have changed since that time.

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