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Crowds/prices in February vs. May

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Nebraska
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48 posts
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Crowds/prices in February vs. May

Another couple and hubby & I are trying to decide whether to travel to St. John either this February or in May.

Hubby & I vacationed there the first week of May this year, and thought it was great. It never seemed crowded anywhere, and I know that our villa price went down the beginning of May.

How much worse are the crowds (tourists) in February? In May, I was pleasantly surprised how uncrowded everything seemed. Are prices for everything more as well? Even harder to find parking? Is it much harder to book tours? We went on a guided kayak tour this May with only three other people in the group. So far airfare is slightly higher in Feb than May.

What all should we be considering? Cost and crowds are our main concerns.

Thanks!

CT
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for St. John
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1. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

February is a very busy time. Presidents week more so than the others because of school vacation.

On Season pricing for accomodations is much higher. We do not travel in high season because of it.

I would stick with May, you get much more bang for your buck and this island will be less crowded.

Holland, MI
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2. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

We were there in late Feb this year and again in June. We found it much more crowded in Feb plus we had more wind and high northshore surf. June was much less crowded and the ocean quieter and warmer. We are going next year in May. Hopefully we won't have the rain that STJ had this past May.

Given the choice between Feb or May. I'd choose May.

Des Moines, Iowa
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3. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

While I don't disagree with any of the prior comments, I personally prefer February. Stastically, February is the driest month of the year. in St. John, which is important to me after a few rainout trips. We had a somewhat rainy trip in May one year. The ocean is more subject to northern swells in winter, but I'll take that over the rain (others might not). Finally, it is incredibly satisfying to leave the bleak midwest winter behind in February.

Things are somewhat more crowded in February, but its not like Disney World at Spring Break. You can still walk into most restaurants without a reservation. You can still get a parking spot at the beach.

The biggest negative to February for me is the villa/hotel cost.. Most of the other costs are the same (food, airfare). Car rental is just slightly higher in season. Either time is nice to visit St. John.

Bristol, Indiana
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4. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

We went the second week of May. It rained so much, the mosquitoes were terrible. We are going in March 2010. I will fight the crowds over the rain and bugs!!!

Hollis, New...
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5. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

"Finally, it is incredibly satisfying to leave the bleak midwest winter behind in February."

I agree with IowaGuy, although the winter I leave behind is New England's. I love where I live, but there's nothing like the magic of going from deep winter to troipical paradise.

St. John makes me look forward to February, which is no small trick.

The difference in prices is a very significant consideration. As to the crowds, I can't compare from personal experience because I have been only in winter (and usually during Presidents Week, unfortunately). However, I have never found the size of the crowd anywhere (except at STT airport on Saturdays) to be troublesome at all.

Boston
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6. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

This will be our third trip to STJ the first week in Feb. We have never run into crowds or had to wait anywhere for service. Only once last year did we have to deal with the North Shore swells so we went over to Vie's beach and it was heaven. I am sure it gets busier the further into the month you travel. It really is a perfect winter getaway!

kod
cherry hill
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248 reviews
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7. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

I went mid May last year and the rain was way too much. I can handle intermittent showers but it was pretty steady rain for way too much of our vacation. I'm trying early April in 2010. But I have to say that 2 years ago we went on May and it was absolutely perfect weather.

Syosset, New York
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8. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

May is usually the rainiest month...I always go during July or August for 2-3 weeks...I love it! If I had to choose, I would choose May because it is cheaper and there are less crowds. I hope this helps!

Helen

Nebraska
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9. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

Thanks to everyone for the input. I will factor in everyone's points. Villa cost in Feb vs. May may serve as the biggest factor, as well as the fact that I am finding availability scare in February already in a lot of the villas that I have looked at so far.

You're right though about the rain in May. When we were there this May, it did seem a bit rainy. And the bugs ate me alive on one of the beaches. IowaGuy has a good point about the bleakness of the midwest (we're from Nebraska). Decisions, decisions...

Thanks so much!

Des Moines, Iowa
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10. Re: Crowds/prices in February vs. May

Honestly, St. John is nice any time of year. I didn't mean to overstate the rain in May---you often have beautiful weather in May --its just there is a littlle more risk of rain.

One last tip---if you're looking in February, Caribbean Villas has been fairly aggressive in discounting unrented villas in season---take a look under last minute discounts. Enjoy.