Best Time to Travel
The best time to visit Aruba is from April to August — a huge window of time when the island's high prices take a holiday. And since the island sits well outside the hurricane belt, there's very little threat of tropical storms at this time. January to March features pleasant weather, but the room prices can soar. You can also find discounts if you travel in the early fall. Whenever you visit, keep in mind Aruba is prone to high trade winds, which makes for a great experience for windsurfers.
There is no bad time to visit the Bahamas — the weather is great year-round and remains relatively consistent, with temperatures rarely dipping below 60 degrees even in winter. To avoid crowds, visit the Bahamas between May and October, the country's offseason. Average high temperatures from December to May range from the high 70s to low 80s. The rainy season occurs between May and November, with the hurricane season starting in June. But despite all the rain predictions, the Bahamas see more than 300 days of sunshine every year.
The best time to visit Jamaica is November to mid-December. That's when the island's already beautiful weather (ranging from mid-70s to the high 80s all year-round) is the most pleasant and the hotel and flight deals are the easiest to find. Rates are also cheap during the summer, but you'll risk the wrath of hurricane season. January to March is the peak travel season to the island — room rates can spike to more than $700 per night at some hotels.
The best time to visit Puerto Rico is from mid-April to June, right after the busy winter season and just before the rainy summer. Spring weather is also very pleasant, barely escaping the mid-80s on most days. The island sees its best weather in winter — which is partly why this is the most crowded and expensive time to visit — but with careful planning you might uncover a pretty good discount during those months as well. You could also plan an enjoyable and affordable trip for the fall, when hotels can be as cheap as $80 a night.
The best time to visit Punta Cana is from March to May, when the peak season rush trickles out of the city. Luckily, the weather is warm year-round, with average highs around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But keep in mind: The Dominican Republic experiences some of the effects of the Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from June to November. And Punta Cana in particular has been known to face severe tropical storms, seeing an average of about 40 inches of rainfall each year. Still, this area stays crowded no matter the season.
St. Martin - St. Maarten
The best time to visit St. Martin and St. Maarten is May and June or between November and mid December. These select weeks are times when hotels advertise their best rates. The island's weather is pleasant year-round, but these are times when rain showers are less likely. Summer and early fall are not good for a vacation; many hotels close in this off-season and there's a chance of hurricanes. Also avoid visiting in winter if you can. That's when St. Martin and St. Maarten milks its wealthy vacationers.
U.S Virgin Islands
The best time to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands is April to June, when you can expect mild weather and very little rainfall. In the USVI's peak season, from December to March, the temperature ranges from the mid-70s to high 80s with breezy evenings. July to October is the region's hurricane season with average temps in the upper 80s.
The best time to visit Belize is from late November to mid-April, during the country's dry season. Although this peak season draws thousands of tourists, dealing with crowds is an easy sacrifice to make for warm temperatures, clear skies and easy access to the country's top attractions. You'll probably want to pass on visiting during April and May, when humidity mists the tropical landscape and temps reach triple digits. Expect showers from June to mid-November and strong winds. If you want to beat the rush of tourists and don't mind packing an umbrella, come during the rainy season in September and October. But keep in mind some establishments shut down during the offseason.
The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season). This peak tourist season boasts plenty of sunshine making it an ideal time for exploring rainforests and lounging on beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular (and expensive) time to visit. Luckily the U.S. dollar goes a long way in Costa Rica no matter the season. You'll have to book your room and tour reservations three months in advance to secure a spot. If you don't mind getting a little wet, visit between May and November when prices are at their lowest. During June and July, rain showers pause briefly, and Costa Rica's forests burst with green foliage.
Rio de Janeiro
The best time to visit Rio is between December and March, when the weather is warm and sunny enough to hit the beaches. The city's seductive samba beat and incredible panoramic views last year-round, but arrive in February to experience Carnival. This four- to five-day festival leading up to Fat Tuesday brings thousands of visitors and locals to the streets for parades, parties and balls. Finding an affordable place to stay during Carnival can be difficult; you should consider booking your hotel and flight up to a year in advance. Between January and March, daytime temperatures can sometimes surpass 90 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer more moderate conditions, visit during autumn (April and May) or spring (October and November), when temps fall back to the 70s and low 80s during the day and the 60s at night.
The best times to visit Cairo are from March to April and from October to November. These short shoulder seasons welcome comfortable temperatures, fewer crowds and low hotel rates on most days of the week. Winter is by far the most popular time to visit Egypt's capital because the days are warm and sunny and the evenings are cool and breezy. If you're planning a trip between December and February, you can expect swarms of tourists. You'll find the best deals on hotels during the summer, but for many, battling the heat isn't worth the savings.
The best time to visit Dubai is from November to March. Weather-wise, Dubai really only experiences two seasons: hot and hotter. During the winter months, the city sees blue skies and primo beach weather. However, this is also peak tourist season, so expect plenty of company on Jumeirah Beach. You can escape the crowds if you visit during the summer months, but be prepared for triple-digit temps and high humidity levels.
The best times to visit Jerusalem are April through May and October through November, when the weather is mild and the crowds are thin. However, make sure to cross-check your travel dates with major Jewish celebrations such as the High Holy Days, Sukkot, and Passover. A strong surge of visitor traffic drives hotel prices up during these holidays. Summer is Jerusalem's peak tourism season, despite sweltering daytime temps. Winters boast good deals on hotels, but the weather remains fickle: One day can be sunny and fairly warm, while the next can be rainy and chilly.
Serengeti National Park
The best times to visit Serengeti National Park are from December to March or from June to October, although you should plan your trip around the movement of the Migration. For example, winter is the best time to see the herd in Southern Serengeti, while the Western Corridor and Northern Serengeti are the best places to spend the summer and autumn months. Most safari operators will have a good idea of where the Migration is headed and when, and most will adjust their itineraries based on the herd's movement. Temperatures remain relatively constant with daytime highs resting in the 80s. You'll find cooler weather at the Ngorongoro Crater due to its higher elevation. April and May see the most rainfall, and many lodges and camps close for this slower season.
The best times to go to Bora Bora are November and April. These short shoulder seasons offer fine weather with temperatures in the mid-70s to mid-80s. High season runs from May to October when rain showers are isolated and the number of tourists swells. Low season stretches from December to March when the weather is wet and visitors become mosquito bait. But really anytime is a good time to visit Bora Bora, since the weather is warm year-round.
The best time to go to Fiji is whenever you have the chance. This is Fiji we're talking about! Temperatures stay pretty constant through the whole year, with highs resting in the 80s; however, from November to April, you might have to contend with some tropical storms. Peak season occurs between July and September, when the weather is dry and sunny. For the Fiji experience that you've always dreamed of, the best time to visit is from July to September, but you will have to contend with sky-high prices. The shoulder seasons are short—May to June and October—but they're nice times to visit since heavy crowds will either have just departed or have yet to descend.
The best times to visit Melbourne are between March and May and September and November. These shoulder seasons feature moderate temperatures and tourist crowds, plus lower airfare rates. In the summer months (North America's winter months) of December to February, Melbourne bursts at the seams with hot, sweaty tourists, while June through August (Melbourne's winter season) affords cold weather and fewer travelers.
The best times to visit Sydney are September through November and from March to May. These months skirt Sydney's high and low seasons, offering visitors comfortable temperatures and manageable tourist crowds. Plus, airline prices fall during these shoulder seasons, making it more affordable to visit in the spring and fall. Thanks to Australia's location in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney's warmest weather and peak tourist season falls between December and February (America's winter). Consequently, the region's low season starts in May and lasts through August.
The best time to visit Tahiti is between May and October. Although the temperatures are balmy year-round, Tahiti's winter season enjoys less humidity. Tahiti really only experiences two distinct seasons: Winter brings less rain and pleasant temperatures while the summertime – November through April – can be unbearably hot and humid, not to mention rainy. But regardless of when you travel, you can expect hotel rates to be high.
The best times to visit Beijing are from March to May and from September to October. These temperate seasons provide the best climate, not to mention colorful scenery. In contrast, summer brings sweltering heat, and winter ushers in cold temps and sometimes snow. While you should be mindful of the weather, you should also steer clear of national public holidays. Millions of domestic tourists flood Beijing's historic and sacred sites. The surge pushes room rates through the roof.
The best time to visit Hong Kong is between October and December. This period boasts comfortable temperatures and reasonable room rates. After New Years, tourism picks up significantly, despite the lower temps, and leads to higher hotel prices and more crowds. Another sweet spot for affordable travel is the short spring. And while summer remains a popular time for tourists, the weather can be stiflingly hot and humid. To protect your wallet, avoid Chinese national holidays and large conventions, when hotel prices soar. Check out the Hong Kong Tourism Board's city calendar for updated information.
The best time to visit Shanghai is from October to November. This short autumn season boasts comfortable temperatures and lacks the crowds and rain showers of summer – the peak tourism season. Winter travelers can encounter chilly weather, making urban exploration less enjoyable. The rising temps of spring offer a short sweet spot for travel, as long as you avoid the public holidays. Note that Shanghai is a business-centric city, so hotel rates usually drop over the weekends.
The best time to visit Tokyo is between September and November. Autumn ushers in colorful foliage and comfortable temperatures. Summer is peak tourist season, which you'll quickly see from long lines at museums and confused subways users. If you can, avoid this time of year; you'll face oppressive heat, humidity and high room rates. On the opposite extreme, winter weather is chilly but still manageable; however, you will not enjoy the beauty of the parks at this time of year. With comfortable daytime temps, spring is another sweet spot for visiting. The city springs to life with the gorgeous cherry blossoms that pervade Tokyo's green space. Seasons play a large role in Japanese culture, so visiting during different seasons will yield distinct cuisine and landscape.