The Cheapest Time to Visit the Top Destinations in the World
Pack your bags! TripAdvisor Rentals rounded up 10 top travel locales—from Dubai to St. Martin—and identified the most affordable times to visit.
Love glitz, glam, and over-the-top luxury? Dubai, AKA the “City of Gold,” dazzles with its opulent hotels, grand spas, towering skyscrapers, and mega malls filled with designer outposts. But a trip to this posh paradise doesn’t have to come with a premium price tag… that is if you go the second week in February, when rates drop by 58 per cent.
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With its sandy beaches, exclusive resorts, and ritzy nightclubs, it’s easy to see why St. Barts has long been the island of choice for socialites and celebs. Although it was rocked by Hurricane Irma in fall 2017, recovery efforts are well underway—and it won’t be long before sky-high prices and swarms of sun-seekers return. You can save some serious dough (51 per cent) by booking a trip in the back half of October. Warming: It’s hurricane season, so be sure to buy travel insurance.
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Catalina Island, California
Despite its proximity to Los Angeles, Catalina Island feels like you’ve stumbled upon some undiscovered gem. Its romantic ambiance and unspoiled wilderness (88 percent is a protected nature preserve) make it a glorious weekend getaway. Summer sees an influx of tourists, which is fine, although if you’re looking for a more secluded escape (like these 10 exclusive private islands), consider the off-season. There are fewer crowds and costs drop significantly (46 per cent) in January and February.
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Wailea comprises 1,500 acres of golden beaches, championship golf courses, pampering spas, fashionable shopping, chic resorts like the adults-only Hotel Wailea, and swanky condos. This upscale community is the jewel of Maui—and its rates reflect that. Set your sights on September for deals up to 42 per cent.
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Ever dreamed of basking on the same beaches as kings and queens? Ka’anapali—a former royal retreat turned holiday hotspot, on the northwestern shore of Maui—is flashy, splashy, and tons of fun. It’s also a steal (38 per cent off) the second week in November. Don’t leave without experiencing a sunset cliff diving ceremony. Feeling adventurous? Try a zipline tour.
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Colorado is blessed with so many legendary locales, but Aspen is where the jet-set crowd goes to hit the slopes, imbibe in the convivial après scene, and shell out for lavish lodgings. Trade your skis for hiking boots and venture to Aspen in the fall. It’s prime leaf-peeping season. Plus, it’s 37 per cent cheaper the second week in October.
Beaver Creek, Colorado
While you probably think of Beaver Creek as a winter destination, this Rocky Mountain retreat has lots to offer outside of skiing and snowboarding. Spring ushers in lovely weather, scenic trails, and exciting events at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Tempting, right? So are the prices in mid-May, when they are 36 per cent lower.
Saint James, Barbados
Situated on the “platinum coast” of Barbados, Saint James is a blissful mix of beautiful beaches, delicious dining, lively nightlife, and picturesque properties (Sandy Lane is a celeb favourite). Want to play a few holes? Saint James has several great golf courses. And Folkestone Marine Park is a fantastic for snorkelling. Pinching pennies? You’ll pay 28 per cent less the second week in June, which means more moolah for snorkelling gear.
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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Powder-soft white sand, clear turquoise waters, and Caribbean hospitality are just a few of the reasons why people flock to Providenciales. The second week in October yields major savings—up to 28 per cent off vacation rentals as well as stellar deals on flights and five-star hotels like Grace Bay Club and The Shore Club.
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With its pebbled beaches, cubiform houses, and head-turning scenery, Santorini is a postcard come to life. It’s also expensive. Looking for a bargain? Go the second week in November when accommodations are 25 per cent off. Airfare is a steal too! It’ll be a bit chilly to take a dip in the Aegean Sea, but if you ask us, cool temps are just an invite to get cozy in the hot tub. And don’t think of coming back until you’ve seen the top 10 attractions in Athens.
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Eat, drink, and be merry in London, the home of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the British Museum, and Westminster Abbey. Besides beguiling attractions, this multicultural metropolis boasts posh boutiques, acclaimed restaurants, and high-class lodgings. On a budget? You can expect to pay up to 33 per cent less the second week in February.
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Originally published as The Cheapest Time to Visit the Top Destinations in the World on ReadersDigest.com.