We've got something to lift your spirits today: As we move into spring break season, resorts throughout the Caribbean and eastern Mexico are likely to be either booked solid, or selling at a premium. Come April and early May, however, we'll start to see those prices go down. For an early spring getaway, plan on kicking back on a remote island in South Carolina, St. Croix, or enjoying a stay at one of New Orleans' most historic hotels.
Edisto Island, SC
With round-trip flights to Charleston at a seasonal low of $315 (from NYC and Chicago) in mid-April, this sunny southern port town is perfect for a visit right now. Located an hour west of the city is peaceful Edisto Island, characterized by wild marshes, pristine beaches, and, the 4000-acre Botany Bay Plantation, a favorite among nature lovers. April and especially May are the perfect months to get a feel for this unspoiled coastal town, which has a series of local events taking place, ranging from the Lowcoutry Classic High School Golf Tournament (April 4-6), an Arts and Crafts Show (April 19), and, later on in May, the Edisto Day Bazzar (May 3).
Deal: Visit the Edisto Beach website for a list of vacation rentals. We found a four-bedroom beachfront house in late April for $700 per week.
We've showed you our tips for a budget-friendly trip to charming San Jose del Cabo, but it's not just rental cars and hole-in-the-wall ceviche joints that make this part of Mexico an affordable getaway. Right now, AMResorts is offering an air credit promotion" that will help save you over $100 on flights. Starting today, travelers who book a stay at any participating property (Zoëtry Casa del Mar Wellness & Spa Resort, Secrets Marquis Los Cabos Resort & Spa, Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort, and Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa) will receive $50 in air credit per room, per night – book 4 nights, for example, and you'll be rewarded with $200 in air credit per room. The offers is valid from now through April 28, with travel dates from through August 22.
Deal: Save serious bucks on a hotel stay in Cabo San Lucas when you book a package through either Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort or its sister property, Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort. Through March 31, rates are discounted up to 45 percent at the all-inclusive resorts, meaning a five-night stay will cost you just $494.44 instead of $900.80. Use the code "SHERMANS10" to take an additional ten percent off the already-discounted rate.
There's major opportunity in St. Croix for savings right now. It's been one of JetBlue's more popular routes since its 2011 launch. The island's rich cultural heritage makes it an ultimate foodie destination, with organic farms, killer seafood dishes, and even a major food and wine festival taking place in mid-April. Now, a joint promotion between island hotels and local restaurants, shops, and attractions, is offering visitors the chance to save up to $500 during their next St. Croix trip.
Deal: With the "Find Your Bliss" promotion, simply book a five-night (or more) stay with a participating hotel (full list here), and choose from four distinct packages to redeem up to $500 in resort credit, as well as vouchers for attractions, restaurants, and shops. Valid for travel between now and May 15.
Compared to other major Caribbean destinations like Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Aruba, the rainforest-and-volcano-filled island of St. Kitts can seem a little pricier, but at the end of the peak season (November-March), rates here become more reasonable. In the winter months, airfares from New York City have been known to climb upwards of $800, but wait a few months and you'll find those prices drop closer to $650-$700, especially with American Airlines, which flies to St. Kitts from dozens of U.S. cities through its Charlotte hub.
Deal: Book four nights at the St. Kitts Marriott and you'll receive three nights free, thanks to the "Super Sand Dollar" offer, valid now through December 20. The deal is offering rates as low as $194 per night, which means your week-long stay could cost under $800. Use booking code ZJL.
March is one of the busiest tourism seasons for New Orleans, thanks to Mardi Gras. But what happens after the bead necklaces and king cakes have been cleaned up? Turns out that the festivities continue in a different form, with the blockbuster Jazz & Heritage Festival, running April 25-27, and May 1-4, including headliners like Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, and more. Though you may have to dodge these weekends to find truly excellent deals, late spring generally means comfortable travel weather and solid value at New Orleans hotels, like the Windsor Court Hotel, which is offering 30 percent off select reservations for its 30th anniversary.
Deal: At the Windsor Court, use the code 1984 to take 30 percent off all suites; the Anniversary Special is valid for travel through May 14, and offers rates starting at $199 per night. Alternatively, if it's some pampering you're after, book the JW Marriott's "Spa Getaway" package, which includes a 60-minute massage in the $189 per night rate (valid for stays Thurs-Sun, through December 30).