Imagine you find yourself suddenly compelled to pack a bag, grab your sun hat and fly far, far away from the rainy, drizzly spring season in North America. You love both coasts, from museums in NYC, to all the amazing things to do in San Francisco, but you need something else. You are craving the sun and the sand and the cold drinks that flow all day long. Well, that sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it? It does sound like a great plan, except it’s really, really difficult to get a reservation at an all-inclusive resort “down south” in the springtime.
What’s “down south”? You know, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Most North Americans vacation at these hot spots all winter long. It’s very affordable, a lot of the perks are included in the all-inclusive resorts including unlimited access to beaches and booze.
It turns out that even some of the hottest places on the planet have an “off season”, which might come as a surprise to you. Especially, if you are at your wit’s end with wet and cold North American weather. As we round the calendar from May to June, it becomes increasingly difficult to find all-inclusive resorts taking reservations, and what’s more, it becomes more difficult to find airlines that fly down south at this time of year.
I did some digging into this and found out that you need to book a flight from a pretty big airport in order to even get into Cuba or the Dominican Republic. If you try to fly off the east coast of North America, it’s near impossible to get a flight, let alone get an all-inclusive package which includes flights, hotels, and meals. The further west you go when doing a search for flights, the more options open up to you. Want to fly from the west coast – you should just forget it. Try midwest airports and bigger airlines. The smaller airlines stop making runs altogether.
What’s up with that? At first, it might seem reasonable that, like many tourist destinations in the world, there is just an off-season. Upon further inspection, however, it turns out that places like Cuba and the Dominican Republic experience extreme weather conditions that are actually dangerous to the citizens, as well as tourists.
A friend recently told me that he and his wife were sitting on the tarmac at the Cuban airport when they were delayed due to smoke from a fire nearby. They were shocked to find out that Cuba had a “fire season”. It makes sense though – the temperatures get crazy hot down there.
And that’s not all, as spring swings into summer, Cuba begins experiencing their annual hurricane season. This runs from about June to November and finishes up just in time for the North American population to start gearing up for winter again and start thinking about their sunny escapes.
So if you are thinking that a quick weekend down south is just what the doctor ordered, you might need to reconsider your locale. Or start planning for the dreary days of spring earlier next year so you can claim your spot on the hot sunny beaches of Cuba or the Dominican Republic! They are worth the wait.