Have you always wanted to take a cruise but never found the money in your budget to do so? Believe it or not, a cruise to a stunning destination doesn't have to break your wallet. There are plenty of ways to make cruising an affordable experience, especially when you choose a financially-optimal time to hit the high seas. Certain seasons of the year are more affordable than others, and a variety of reasonably-priced destination spots are available to everyone from big families to a couple on a romantic getaway. This is the best time to book your cruise of choice to avoid digging yourself into debt.
Let's set sail!
Buy Tickets During Off-Season
It's no secret that certain seasons are prime for mass vacations, such as during the major holidays, summer break, and spring break. However, it is the off-season that generally boasts the cheapest prices for cruise lines.
What makes the off-season the optimal time to book?
Since the demand for tickets is often lower during the off-season (and there are fewer travelers eager to hit the high seas), most cruise lines will lower their ticket prices to encourage people to book with them. It's a win-win for anyone who wants to take a cruise on a budget without dealing with big crowds, noisy tourists, or crowded decks.
The off-season is different for every destination. The cheapest seasons to sail to/through each location are often during times of unpredictable weather. For locations in the Carribean, the notable off-season is during hurricane season, particularly at the start of fall. However, August is within the peak window for travelers to the Carribean. If you are looking for some peace and quiet and don't mind chilly water, booking a Carribean cruise December through April can also result in deeply discounted prices.
Book Super Early (Or Super Late)
While most people give themselves plenty of time to plan out a cruise, many people are hesitant to purchase tickets until everything is in place. However, booking your tickets super early (or even super, super late) can be rewarding on your wallet.
What makes booking your tickets early or late so financially-friendly?
When it comes to cruising, the early bird truly does get the worm. Booking your cruise far ahead of time can result in substantially cheaper tickets than those purchased during the regular booking window. Since cruise lines are eager to begin filling up spots on their ship as soon as possible, discounts on early tickets are common.
Are you late to the booking party?
No problem. Booking your cruise at the last minute can result in the same significantly-low prices as booking early. Since cruise lines want to make the most bang for their buck, lowering prices on remaining tickets can ensure they fill up the majority of the rooms on their ships.
The optimal window for purchasing tickets late is 60 days before the cruise departs when people who already purchased tickets are taking advantage of the cruise's cancellation policy. While this time-frame may be jarring for a strict over-planner, it can certainly save you a pretty penny on ticket prices.
Consider Who's In Your Cruising Party
While it's fabulous to get discounts on an expensive cruise, there's no need to settle for a cruise you dislike based on the price. Wasting money on a cruise that you end up dreading won't make any low-price trip worth your wallet.
How do you pick a budget-friendly cruise that's right for you?
Considering both the off-season and the social environment of different destinations can help you make a well-informed decision about which cruising time is right for you.
If you're planning out a romantic trip filled with nightlife and history tours in Puerto Vallarta, the optimal seasonal discount window would be in September or October. However, a family-focused cruise to the Bahamas would have a different discount window entirely.
Additionally, considering your vacation habits can help you determine if a low-cost cruise you're eyeballing is worth your time. If you're looking forward to a warm-water snorkeling adventure more than a chilly beach day, purchasing low-price tickets to the Carribean would better suit you in fall than winter. Understanding the conditions of each destination during their off-seasons can help you decide about where to travel with yourself, your partner, your friends, or your family.
If you're bringing along your kiddos, considering your children's school schedules and holiday breaks can help you purchase tickets early without having to cancel due to school events or educational interruptions. While they may not be able to take a week off to travel during February or April, the late summer off-season can be the perfect time to travel for cheap with your group.
That's a wrap!
Going on a fun cruise to a destination you adore doesn't have to be pricey beyond your budget.
Purchasing tickets during the off-season, booking super early or extremely late, and keeping the members of your cruising party in mind can help you plan the perfect vacation without busting your budget.
Do you have any tips and tricks for purchasing cruise tickers for cheap? Let us know in the comments below!