Caribbean Travel Tips – A TOURIST IN THE CARIBBEAN

Caribbean Travel Tips

  • Getting Inspired
  • Planning your Trip
  • Airline/Airfare
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Controlling Vacation Money
  • Mixing with Locals

Getting Inspired

If the Caribbean is your vacation destination then you have made the right choice” Voila and welcome to Paradise!  With so many choices to choose from planning a vacation to the Caribbean is not going to be easy, probably because you will be thinking which one will be best for you. 

While all the islands are beautiful, in their own way, they are very diverse, filled with fun pack activities, wonderful beaches, and gorgeous weather.  We would like to objectively tell you about some of the amenities of the islands, based on our various travels, and hopefully, you will be able to choose the island that is right for you, to get you inspired before you embark on that sunny vacation in the beautiful Caribbean. 

Here are our Top 5 Caribbean islands for the most desired categories:

Family Friendly Islands US Virgin Islands, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas. St Kitts/Nevis.

Activities and Adventure St Kitts/Nevis, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Grenada.

Nature Lovers Puerto Rico, Martinique, Anguilla, Dominica, and St Lucia.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, Aruba, US Virgin Islands, Curacao

Best Beaches Barbados, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Grenada.

Water Sports Bahamas, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands), British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic.

Nightlife Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Antigua, St Maarten.

Island Hopping St Vincent & The Grenadines, Curacao, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Grenada.

History and Culture Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Antigua, Haiti.

Festival and Cultural Attractions Trinidad and Tobago (Carnival), Jamaica (Reggae Sunfest), St Lucia (Jazz Festival), Barbados, (Crop Over Festival), Antigua (Sailing Week).

Romantic Islands St. Lucia, Jamaica, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, Grenada

Shopping Curacao, St. Maarten, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Aruba.

Planning Your Trip

Everything is now in place for that exotic island vacation and its just weeks before you touch down, and just about ready to start planning that long-awaited trip.  The key is to try and do as much research about the island as you possibly can. There are plenty of travel books on Caribbean vacation and the world wide web where you can get lots of information. You can also get some helpful ideas from friends and family who have visited the islands. Here are a few pointers to begin planning your trip:

  • Choose your travel dates wisely You cannot predict the weather but you can always get an idea as to what the weather will be like around that time of year as the weather in the Caribbean is basically the dry season and the rainy season
  • Entry information Find out what is the island or islands (if you are island hopping) entry information before you make your booking.  Some islands may require a passport while others simply an identification card from your home country.  Also, check with the island or The World Health Association (WHO) to see if you require any vaccinations to enter that country. If you are island hopping (i.e. visiting more than one island), each island’s entry information should be checked separately.
  • Travel Insurance Do you need travel insurance?  Will you be traveling with valuables that have to be insured?  Ask yourselves those question and then you can decide if you do or do not need it.  If you do there are plenty of companies out there to assist you.
  • Credit Cards Decide on what credit or debit cards will you be using on your trip. Always remember not all islands are big on credit cards so you will need to carry an adequate amount of cash for your period of stay.  Also, check the availability of ATMs close to your accommodation as some ATMs close at night.
  • Type of Clothing In the Caribbean we say ‘less is better’ so pack plenty of cool clothing like tank tops and shorts, bathing suits, enough to take you through those long hot island days.  And for the classy men and women, you should bring along at least one ‘dressy’ outfit with appropriate shoes and accessories. On the whole, casual is the way to go in the Caribbean.
  • Lotions and Sprays  Like the saying goes, ‘don’t leave home without it’ that holds true for North American and European visitors so be sure to pack waterproof sunscreen, body lotions, bug spray or insect repellent and a first aid kit will help as well.
  • Gadgets and Electronics  Make sure to check out the islands on this website that will tell you all about the electrical outlets and the telephone systems in each country.

Airline/Airfare

After you have made all your planning arrangements it is now time to book your flight.  There are plenty of options out there either ‘do it yourself’ way or you can also go through a travel agent who will be glad to assist you. Look for flights that suit your timing, your needs, and your availability.  Today there are plenty of flights to Caribbean destinations with major airlines.  Check with your airline to see if you are entitled to frequent flyer miles, upgrades, or other travel perks while booking a flight to the Caribbean destination.  Also, check with airlines to see how many pieces of luggage are allowed and their required weight.  Most of this information about booking can be found online. The key is to do your homework early to get good deals.

Accommodation

Most would say this is the most important part of a trip and I tend to agree.  Choosing the
The Caribbean was the right choice as there is plenty of housing accommodation available on the islands.  From luxurious resorts to hostel rooms, and all in between, including rooms in family homes where adequate housing accommodation are available at reasonable rates.  Again, the key is to start planning early, while exploring all the possible options available for your Caribbean vacation stay.

Transportation

On this website, we outlined most of the different means of transportation available on all the islands from rental cars to private and public transportation vehicles.  You will also find age eligibility and conditions to rent a car on each island.  Feel free to look at the Transportation Section of the island to see what options are available to you on the island.

Controlling Vacation Money

The last thing you need while on vacation is to run out of money.  You don’t have to be miserly on your vacation but you should take the necessary action to set up a realistic budget for each day or each week. Avoid expensive theme parks and look for inexpensive things to do like the beaches, state parks, and open picnic areas. Using local groceries and dollar stores to purchase items can save you a lot on dining expenses. Keep it simple enjoy the islands like locals do. 

Mixing with Locals

It is a great way to know what’s happening on the island.  The locals are a great source of free information and island people are very chatty and friendly to tourists.  It is said that Caribbean people are some of the warmest and friendliest people in the world and I can attest to this. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with the locals.  Start with the receptionist at the hotel if the taxi driver who delivered you to the hotel did not already tell you about the entire island.  If that doesn’t work the maid who cleans your hotel room is sure to tell you about the comings and goings in the city.  If none works then just wander outside and to the local park or bus area and you sure to meet friendly locals who will be happy to welcome you and give you all information you need for a perfect vacation on their island.

Bon Voyage !

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