Crane Beach, Barbados
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Our bags are packed!

By Marisa Spyker

White sand, warm seas, endless sunshine … there are plenty of reasons to book an escape to the Caribbean year-round. And if your destination is the island nation of Barbados, here’s one more: Starting this year, traveling to and from paradise will be a whole lot quicker and simpler.

In response to Barbados’ surge in tourism in the past year, American Airlines is beefing up its nonstop flight traffic to the island, with up to 28 weekly flights from the U.S. The latest reveal is a nonstop flight from Charlotte to Barbados, which will run daily beginning December 19. This comes just a month after the airline announced a third daily flight to Barbados departing from Miami.

Other carriers have also hopped on the Barbados bandwagon, with nonstop flights from U.S. hubs including Fort Lauderdale, Boston, and Newark.

Related: The Ultimate Vacation Guide to Barbados

Easy flights make the island the perfect jaunt for a long weekend getaway. In addition to the island’s pristine turquoise surroundings, Barbados is a drinking-and-dining haven (with its own Zagat guide!). Pop into a hole-in-the-wall rum joint or get dressed in your best and head out to one of the island’s Bajan-style fine dining restaurants. On Friday night, party with the locals at the popular Oistins Fish Fry.

Ready to book? It may be high summer, but something tells us come December, you’ll be glad you did.

Related: How to Make a Caribbean Bushwacker: