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Beach Booking Strategy Family Travel

The Dutch ABC Islands: Affordable and Hurricane-Free

Contemplating a fall getaway to the Carribean with your gang but worried about the risk of tropical storms? If so, consider the Dutch ABC islands—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao—which are siutated blissfully far from the hurricane belt.

Contemplating a fall getaway to the Caribbean with your gang but worried about tropical storms? Consider the Dutch ABC islands—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao—which are situated blissfully far from the hurricane belt in the Southern Caribbean. All three islands experience pleasant weather year-round, but the fall is an especially good time to visit the ABC islands because prices are lower.

Fewer visitors in the late summer and fall leave hotels and resorts scrambling to fill rooms. To attract more guests, most properties slash rates, promote special packages, and offer freebies. If you can travel to the ABC islands this time of year, you’ll likely save a bundle.

Where to Find Deals to the Dutch ABC Islands

divi divi tree on eagle beach aruba.

Aruba

Although tiny, this Dutch territory is the liveliest of the three ABC islands. It features huge resorts, dozens of casinos, a lively night scene, and miles of white-sand beaches.

To find accommodations in Aruba, visit the local tourism website, which includes links to hotels ranging from budget properties to luxurious high-rise resorts. The site also lists family promotions at select resorts. You can find offers good through most of the fall by clicking through to a property’s website.

Bonaire

Part of the Netherlands Antilles, Bonaire is renowned for its pristine environment and world-class diving and snorkeling. The island is a good choice for adventurous families who want to avoid high-rise resorts and crowded beaches.

Using Bonaire’s tourism website, I was able to find a directory that listed budget accommodations for North American travelers.

playa porto mari beach curacao aerial view.

Curacao

Curacao is the largest island in the Netherlands Antilles and is known for its shopping, European-style architecture and flavor, and friendly multicultural population. To learn more about the island, visit the Curacao Tourism website. Click on the “Stay” tab to find links to local resorts, hotels, villas, apartments, and other accommodations options.

Although flights to the ABC islands (and the Caribbean in general) do not experience the same kind of major seasonal price fluctuations as hotels, you can still find sale fares if you plan ahead. Sign up for airfare alerts with our sister site, Airfarewatchdog.

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2008. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

By Molly Feltner

Molly has also written for National Geographic Traveler Magazine and Fodor's Gold Guides. Her photography has been published in The Boston Globe Magazine.

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