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How to Get Cheap Caribbean Flights and Airfares

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Most rules for getting the best airfares to the Caribbean are the same as for air travel to other destinations: be flexible in your travel planning, check the web for the best fares, and subscribe to airline e-newsletters to keep up on last-minute deals and fare sales. About.com Air Travel guide Arlene Fleming offers more helpful tips. Bargain-hunters also can increase their odds of getting deals by:

Buying Packages

Traditionally, the Caribbean has always been a more cost-friendly destination to travelers who buy air-land package deals than to independent travelers. It's not uncommon, for example, to find hotel deals that include airfare cheaper than the published prices for airfare alone on airline websites. Airlines, hotels, travel agencies, and even some destinations offer package deals that can save you big bucks on Caribbean travel.

Compare Prices on Caribbean Vacation Packages

Flying with Budget Airlines

San Juan is served by ATA Airlines and JetBlue; JetBlue also flies to Aruba's regional Aguadilla and Ponce airports and Nassau, Bahamas plus flights to Bermuda and other destinations. Another discount carrier to check out is Spirit Airlines, serving Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Thanks to its merger with AirTran, Southwest Airlines also is beginning to make inroads into the Caribbean, with flights to Nassau, San Juan, Punta Cana, Montego Bay, Bermuda, and Key West.

Compare Prices on Caribbean Flights

Arranging Travel via San Juan

Aruba's Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (Check Flights) has long been the region's major transportation hub, served not only by major U.S. carriers but by a number of regional carriers. In some cases, it may be cheaper to book a cheap flight with a discount carrier to San Juan and then make arrangements to fly on a "puddle jumper" to one of the region's less-traveled islands than to fly directly or on both legs with a major U.S. carrier. Miami (Check Flights), Ft. Lauderdale (Check Flights), and St. Maarten (Check Flights) are also regional travel hubs that may provide cheaper flight combinations.

Checking Out Charters

Charter airlines serve destinations like Aruba and Bermuda and sometimes offer good deals on airfare, even if you're not traveling with a group.

Traveling Off Season

The best airfare deals to the Caribbean can usually be found in the offseason -- roughly mid-April to mid-December.

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