Is your passport ordered and tickets purchased? Are you hoping your new red bikini will be a hit at your adults-only resort? It’s time to relax and embrace the beauty of the Caribbean Islands. Whether you are headed to Jamaica, Barbados, or St. Barts, enjoy the relaxing, laid-back atmosphere of the islands.
Even though relaxation is usually the first thing on anyone’s agenda who is planning a Caribbean vacation, it is essential to do a little research on your destinations, so there are no surprises when you arrive. Here are points to ponder regarding the Caribbean islands.
1. Travel safety
Visit the U.S. State Department website to see if there are any specific travel advisories for the countries you will be visiting. From this source, you will learn about travel advisories, severe weather information, and any potential outbreaks of disease.
2. Check out the drinkability of the water
Do your research for each of your beach destinations, but in general, be wary of drinking the local water. Also stay away from fountain drinks and ice. One quick way to ruin a vacation is being forced to spend it in the bathroom. Instead, drink bottled water, soda in cans or bottles, or rum. Rum is always a safe choice.
3. Watch out for bugs
While you are exploring the natural beauty of the Caribbean, be aware of the danger of insect bites. If you know you are going to be spending time in a particularly buggy area, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Purchase bug spray when you arrive at your location and use it.
4. Use common sense
Use common sense when exploring the islands. Ask trusted locals or check the State Department website to discover which areas to avoid. Don’t bring valuables with you. Use hotel safes. Do not leave items in your rental car that can be seen by criminals. Be aware of your surroundings. Most say that tourists are safe as long as they stay around resorts and other tourist destinations.
5. Drugs in the Caribbean
Contrary to popular belief, drugs are illegal on every island. Don’t purchase drugs.
6. Caribbean climate
The Caribbean peak season occurs from December to February. Not only is the weather moderate in the Caribbean during this time, but the 80-degree weather provides a fantastic escape to northerners, who during this time are facing brutal winds, ice, and snow. Be aware that hurricane season can last between June and November. Even though you can get better travel deals during this time, know what risks you are facing from booking a vacation to this area during this time. Even though most of the time the temperature doesn’t go past 90 during the summer, the humidity of the region may cause you to sweat more than you may want to on vacation.
7. Accommodation options
While most think of booking rooms at all-inclusive resorts while staying in the Caribbean, there are a variety of options for accommodations. One such option is booking a home or room through Airbnb. This option allows travelers to cook a few meals at your home base, and thus save some money. There are also small hotels that offer upscale service, and of course, you could also cruise from island to island.
8. Caribbean currency
Understand the currency conversion before arriving at your destination. After you drink a few cocktails, you begin not to care as much if you are being cheated or not, so it is a good idea to do the research when you have a fresh, sober mind. While many Caribbean islands accept the U.S. dollar, make sure you are clear of the conversion rates. Also, when negotiating with locals, make sure you are clear what type of currency you are discussing.
9. Food tours
Take a food tour. Food tours are one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry. Food tour guides not only serve the best of local foods, but they are also knowledgeable of the history, architecture, art, and culture of the area. They point out things that the average tourist would never be able to find out on their own. Book your food tour early in your stay. Your guide will be able to recommend off-beat attractions and restaurants that you would enjoy during the rest of your vacation. The Caribbean is known for some of the best chocolate, coffee, and rum in the world. Enjoy the local food.
10. Natural beauty
Embrace the outdoors. Some visit the Caribbean and hardly leave the resort’s bar. You can find a pool-side bar almost anywhere. The Caribbean is one of the best places in the world to see underwater creatures that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. Did you know about the waterfalls in Jamaica?