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St. Barts
St. Bart’s is the most expensive Caribbean destination, according to the TripAdvisor TripIndex Caribbean. (A TripAdvisor traveler photo)

News Americas, NEWTON, MA, Thurs. Mar. 6, 2014: If you are in the U.S. and planning a Caribbean family vacation on a budget to thaw out this spring, you may want to avoid on the Leeward Islands.

That’s according to Tripadvisor Tripindex which says the most expensive islands are in that Caribbean group with St. Barthelemy (St. Bart’s) being the priciest.

The island tops the Caribbean as the most expensive vacation spot at US$12,486, for one week for a family or group of four.

The costs include the average round-trip airfare from the continental U.S., a seven night hotel stay, dinner for six nights and a half-day snorkeling excursion for four. In St. Barts,the average nightly hotel rate is $844, more than two times the average for the region.

St. Barts is also 17 percent more expensive than the second priciest on the list, Anguilla where the same deal can cost US$10,709.  Airfares to and from Anguilla are also the most expensive at an average fare of $1,316. Round-trip tickets for a family of four – $5,263 – cost more than an entire one-week vacation to the three least expensive destinations on the TripIndex.

The British Virgin Islands round out the top three costliest Caribbean spots at US$9,712 for the week.

The Turks and Caicos Islands came in at fourth with US$8,811.92 followed by St. Kitts and Nevis at US$8,668.05 and the Cayman Islands at US$8,081.53.

Antigua and Barbuda was dubbed the seventh most expensive Caribbean vacation spot at US$7,972.30 followed by St. Lucia          at US$7,627.14.

The U.S. Virgin Islands and Barbados rounded out the top 10 at $6,781.76 and $6,710.30, respectively.

Overall, Tripadvisor found it’s more expensive to vacation in U.K. Caribbean territories, with the average cost close to $8,600 compared to about US$5,600 for U.S. Territories, 20 percent less expensive than the average Caribbean vacation cost.

Savvy spenders can find the least expensive rooms in the Dominican Republic, where a one night stay is around US$177. Travelers could stay nearly five nights in a Dominican Republic hotel for the cost of a single night in St. Bart’s, according to Tripadvisor.

Puerto Rico, meanwhile, was found to offer the most affordable airfare for travelers flying from the continental U.S. That’s less than a one-night hotel stay in the six priciest spots for lodging on the TripIndex.

Puerto Rico is also the least expensive destination on the TripIndex with a total cost of US$4,609. Jamaica ranks as the second best value at US$4,631 followed by the Dominican Republic at US$5,315.

The average nightly rate for a Caribbean hotel during March-April is US$396.

TripIndex Caribbean looks at 20 popular Caribbean destinations, based on spots with the most visits on TripAdvisor from U.S. travelers between November 15, 2013 and January 15, 2014.  Cuba was excluded due to limited direct travel from the United States.



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