December through June. The driest months of the year, December through June also have the best temperatures ranging from about 83 to 87 degrees. The nice temps bring with them cool breezes that help curb the heat, while still feeling nice and toasty.
Most Affordable Time
May through November. With the arrival of devastating hurricanes this season, the potential risks when traveling to the eastern Caribbean during these times are clear. Therefore while it can be very cheap to travel to St. Lucia from July to November, for only slightly higher rates, you can also go between May and June to avoid hurricane season altogether. Plus you’re almost guaranteed more beach time and sunny days during these less rain-ravaged months.
The St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, held in May every year, is a time-honored event spanning nearly three decades. It is a week-long festival featuring an array of musical talents playing jazz, R&B, soul, pop, reggae and soca amidst other food and fashion events. The main concert takes place on the beautiful national landmark of Pigeon Island so you can appreciate the natural beauty while taking in the sounds of St. Lucia.
November through March. These months boast the most comfortable temperatures the island sees between 75 and 85 degrees, as well as the least precipitation of the year. Go any other months and you can bet it will be much hotter and rainier.
Most Affordable Time
Between April and October, hotels in Jamaica offer some sweet incentives for staying, but the rain could put a damper on your beach time. For ideal weather at an affordable price, your best bet is to travel between November and December, but avoid the weeks surrounding Christmas as rates tend to sky-rocket during this peak period.
February. As one might expect, Bob Marley is a legend in Jamaica. That’s why February is dedicated to his memory, celebrating his birthday and his extraordinary impact on the island. There are many festivals across the cities in his name, featuring food, drink, and (you guessed it) plenty of reggae music.
We have been advised that effective October 1, 2017 the Municipality of Solidaridad will launch a new eco tax to help maintain the beaches and ecosystem in Riviera Maya. Tourism and the natural beauty of the area is an essential part of the regions development, and crucial to its preservation.
In order to maintain and conserve the natural beauty of the destination, upon check out the hotels will be collecting 10.00 Mexican Pesos, approx. 0.55 USD per room per night effective October 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, and 20.00 Mexican Pesos, approx. 1.10 USD per room per night, effective January 1, 2018.
This new tax will be deposited in an environmental trust fund that has been set up to protect the area and its surroundings.
This tax has just been imposed, and is not included in packages regardless of booking dates. Please be prepared to pay this new tax at hotel check out.
In less than one year, travel identification used for domestic flights must be REAL ID compliant. Your clients may be ready, depending on the state they live in. But it never hurts to be 100% sure.
What's the deal with REAL ID?The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 based on the recommendation from the 9/11 Commission to prevent fraudulent issuance and use of driver's licenses and identification cards and to further ensure the safety and security of Americans. The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards and prohibits Federal agencies (like the TSA) from accepting licenses and ID cards that do not meet these standards.
The goal of REAL ID is to make the issuing and use of driver’s licenses and other state-issued ID cards more secure and less prone to fraud.
When will this affect travelers?The January 22, 2018 deadline is less than one year away. So on January 23, 2018, if your client doesn’t have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license and they’re planning to fly from Dallas to Chicago, they’ll need to show an alternative form of acceptable ID to get through security. This can be:
If a traveler cannot provide alternative acceptable ID, they won’t be allowed to pass through the security checkpoint. Imagine the frustration this could cause if your client is all the way at the airport, luggage in hand, only to be turned away for improper ID.
The next deadline to know is October 1, 2020. That’s when every domestic air traveler must show a REAL ID compliant license or another form of ID in order to fly.
What states have compliant IDs?Most states are already issuing REAL ID compliant IDs. To check what your state is up to, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a color-coded map to make it easy. Green means the state is compliant, yellow means they got an extension to become compliant and red means they’re not compliant. Click on your state to find more details and deadlines.
If your client isn’t sure if their ID is compliant, there are a few ways to tell. DHS recommends that states adopt a general design marking to show compliance. The initial recommendation is a gold star, but it can vary by color, lettering and/or format. Kentucky, for example, adds a white star in a gold circle in the upper right corner of compliant IDs. But Wisconsin got creative – some compliant IDs have a gold star and some have a black one.
VAX’s REAL ID resource page has more facts and links to give you the answers you need when your clients come to you with questions.
Susan has been in the travel industry for over 10 years and makes it her priority to keep up with the ever changing industry.