Island Time Slower Than The Norm
One of the most important factors to consider when planning a trip is knowing the best time to go. In the Caribbean there is a Low Season and a High Season. Our most recent trip to the islands was during low season, also known as slow or off season (Late July – October).
There are definitely some pros and cons when traveling this time of year. I’d like to share those with you so that you can determine the best time to plan your next Caribbean adventure.
RumShopRyan and I spent a glorious week on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands for our honeymoon.
It was a blissful week of quality time, rest and island fun.
Us two newlyweds spent our days exploring The Baths, soaking up the sun (with some rum of course), hiking and some other unmentionable activities that would make a sailor blush. It was our honeymoon after all. Would you expect anything less?
Now about those pros and cons, here’s what to expect when visiting the Caribbean in the off-season.
Slow season is also rainy/hurricane season. The Virgin Islands were hit by a bad storm the week before our trip. There were a few others brewing out in the Caribbean and we weren’t really sure what that was going to mean for us. When you travel this time of year, you will always have to keep close watch on the weather. We were fortunate enough to have sunny skies for most of the trip. We only had one day that was cloudy with some rain, but we were still able to hike and get some beach time in before the clouds let lose. Getting up early to beat the bad weather is key.
When it rains, it pours…MOSQUITOS! Those annoying little blood suckers are very prominent during this time of year so make sure you pack the bug spray. And not that wussy 25% deet (The tiny vampires will pretty much laugh at you). You’ll want the good stuff (99% deet). The bug spray was a lifesaver during our hike up the Gorda Peak. The trail was a swampy mess from the previous storm and I could actually SEE the mosquitos hovering over RumShopRyan’s head. Blach!
Random thought: I wonder if mosquitos can get drunk off your blood after one too many Pain Killers.
3. CONCH OUT OF SEASON
I didn’t know this was a thing. I thought fresh, delicious conch was available always and forever in the islands. If you see conch on the menu, there is a chance you might not get it during this time of year. Restaurants may still have some in stock but once they run out, they are out and they will smear a black sharpie on the menu, all over your conch fritter dreams.
4. RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES ARE CLOSED
This one was another shocker. We knew some places would close for slow season but we didn’t think two of the most popular ones would – Saba Rock and Bitters End Yacht Club. This was a bigger blow than not having conch every night. (Waa! Guess we will just have to console our losses with more rum at Hog Heaven.)
5. NO CROWDS
Not everything is bad when traveling during slow season. North Sound was a ghost town since most of the restaurants and shops were closed (which was kind of a bummer), but it was great having The Baths and other beaches all to ourselves. For the whole week Virgin Gorda felt like our own private island. We could take our time climbing the boulders and exploring the caves at The Baths. Sometimes there is a huge line of people at the grotto wanting to take their pictures. It was wonderful being able to take our time and take as many pictures as we wanted to without feeling rushed or being smothered by a mob of people. Another plus is you never have to worry about finding a seat at the bar during happy hour. You will certainly have your pick!
6. CHEAPER LODGING RATES
Slow season is a great time to get good deals on lodging. Places that stay open want as much business as possible so you are bound to save some cash during this time of year. And you know what that means…Spending less money on lodging means having more money for…you guessed it…RUM!
You can usually expect to save anywhere from 15% to 30% on average when traveling to the Caribbean in the off-season.
So there you go Castaways! Just some things to think about if you plan on traveling to the islands during slow season. As long as the sun stays shining, you’re with the people you love, and you have a cold drink in your hand, you’re bound to have a salty good time.
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