Timing, as they say, is everything. It's true of romance, successfully poaching eggs and, of course, booking travel. That's why it's important to know that it's currently shoulder season in the Caribbean. The interim period between peak winter and low summer travel months, shoulder season is the perfect time to visit the region without counting dollars or dodging crowds.
Better still, a number of major carriers are celebrating new routes to hot Caribbean locales with killer fares. From unstoppable rates to Colombia's sexy seaside city, to the first-ever direct flights to Martinique, here are the season's best new ways to save.
Delta: NYC's Laguardia to Bermuda
In April 2013, Delta debuted daily flights to Bermuda out of LaGuardia. With flight times under 2.5 hours each way, Delta's new, year-round service may just be the best thing to happen to Queens since the 7 train. Rates from: $215 round-trip
AirTran: Chicago's Midway International to Jamaica
Chicago winters are the stuff of legend. For Midwesterners in need of a quick dose of vitamin D, AirTran recently launched non-stop service from Chicago to Montego Bay, Jamaica. The new flights operate four days per week, making them ideal for weekend trips. Rates from: $370 round-trip
American Airlines: Miami to Martinique
Located just 150 miles from Barbados, Martinique might seem like a French secret on par with good rosé and aging gracefully. But, with American Airlines' launch of weekly direct flights from MIA to Martinique's Aimé Césaire airport, the Gallic isle has never been easier to reach from the mainland United States. Bon voyage. Rates from: $700 round-trip.
JetBlue: NYC's John F. Kennedy to Cartagena
So, Colombia isn't technically part of the Caribbean, but Cartagena, its UNESCO-approved historic port, has miles of Caribbean coastline. In late 2012, JetBlue inaugurated direct flights from JFK airport, giving New Yorkers easy access to Colombian beaches. Rates from: $300 round-trip
Seaborne: San Juan, Puerto Rico to Dominica, Martinique, and Guadaloupe
Granted, if San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín airport is your home base, you might not need quite as much warm weather relief as your New York- and Chicago-based brethren. Still, Seaborne's new routes are pretty big news. As of April 2013, the USVI-based carrier now runs direct flights to Dominica, Martinique, and Guadaloupe. Rates from: $200 round-trip
Want to get started planning your next trip to one of these awesome destinations? Start here!
Have you flown any of these new routes? How was it?