Where Should You Book Your Caribbean Vacation Package?

Have you ever wondered which sites have the best prices on Caribbean vacation packages? On virtually every online travel site, you can book a package deal (Flight plus Hotel) to the Caribbean.  However, are these vacation packages really deals, and are the prices for these vacation packages relatively similar across sites?  To answer these questions we have done some research, and the results may surprise you.

In this particular investigation, we take a close look at the the differences in prices for Caribbean vacation packages at some of the best known travel sites and some of the lesser known ones.   We will follow up with another article on the difference in price between booking the vacation as a package and just booking everything separately.

Caribbean Vacation Package Investigation

Before we jump in to the analysis we thought we would give you a quick introduction to the parameters of our research.

How We Defined Vacation Package:

As mentioned in the intro, a vacation package for the most part is comprised of airfare plus hotel.  On many of the big sites, you can also add car rental.   In this example we focus on the flight and the hotel, as those are usually the biggest expenses.

The Sites We Researched:

www.expedia.com

www.travelocity.com

www.orbitz.com

www.bookit.com

www.cheapcaribbean.com

This selection of sites is representative of the market in general.  We included the big 3, a  midsized online travel agency – Bookit, and a specialty or niche travel agency – Cheap Caribbean.

Package Particulars:

This rates shown in this example are vacation package rates for 2 adults traveling from Atlanta (ATL)  to Barbados (BGI) for the week of May 2nd to May 9th (8 days, 7 nights).  We compare the package rates offered by the travel agencies listed above for 3 different destinations in Barbados:  Hilton Barbados, The Crane Resort, Almond Beach Club & Spa (all inclusive).

Results

The first thing to note is that at the time of this research, the price of just the airfare to Barbados was $605 per person, or a total of $1210 for the trip.  This rate was the same across all travel agencies.  All prices shown below are based on airfare for two adults and a 7 night stay in Barbados.

Hilton Barbados:

Cheap Caribbean $2,757

Travelocity – $2,939

Orbitz – $3,432

Priceline – $3,527 (Priceline required an overnight stay on the return)

Expedia -$3,532

BookIt – Hotel not available on BookIt.

Crane Resort:

BookIt – $1,894

Travelocity – $2,241

Expedia – $2,260

Orbitz – $2,584

Cheap Caribbean – $3,295

Priceline – Hotel not available on Priceline

Almond Beach Club & Spa (all inclusive)

Priceline – $2,711 (Priceline required an overnight stay on the return)

BookIt – $3,297

Orbitz – $3,376

Travelocity – $3,512

Expedia – $3,552

Cheap Caribbean – $3,725

Conclusion

As we alluded to in the intro, some of these results are quite surprising, if not staggering.  The variance between the highest and lowest prices were $400, $775, and $1000.  What is even more interesting is that there was really no consistency to the results.  Cheap Caribbean had the lowest price to the Hilton Barbados by almost $200, but had by far the worst price to the other two hotels.  Priceline had the cheapest price to Almond Beach Club & Spa by almost $600, but was out-priced by more than that amount at the Crane Resort.  Relative newcomer, BookIt was best and second best price at the two hotels for which they had prices.

What is very clear from this is that you cannot count on any one site to deliver the best price, and that shopping around can save hundreds of dollars.  We should also remind you that these represent only a sampling of the dozens of online travel agents.

Reminder:

If you are currently looking to vacation in the Caribbean, we have several resources to help you find a great deal. We have tons of Caribbean Vacation Packages on our Caribbean vacation deals page. These deals are updated constantly and we are always adding to the list.  We also have a search feature to help you find deals on vacation packages.  This Caribbean vacation package search will show you some great deals on other sites.

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