The Caribbean has so many natural wonders to offer. But before you take a vacation in the Caribbean, here are some things you should know.
Are you dreading the harsh winter that lies ahead? Book a tropical Caribbean vacation and get away from the cold and snow.
What better way to end the year than with some sun and good old vitamin sea? Not only will you get to escape the cold, but you’ll get to explore another corner of the world and cross another place off your bucket list.
But there are a lot of misconceptions about taking a vacation in the Caribbean that could leave you with some snags on your trip. Instead, you’ll want to be prepared and do your research before you leave.
Keep reading to discover 8 things you need to know before taking a Caribbean vacation.
1. The Islands Are All Different
With over 7,000 islands, including Aruba, Jamaica, and The Bahamas, you’ll have tons of options to choose from when traveling to the Caribbean. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking they’re all one in the same.
While they share similar qualities, like a tropical climate and breathtaking beaches, they also have many differences. Some are better for romantic honeymoons while others are known for scuba diving and snorkeling. Ideally, you should pick one or two islands that meet your travel goals.
2. There’s More to Do Than Hit the Beach
Of course, you’ll want to spend your fair share of time on the beach – who wouldn’t when you’re in paradise? But there’s more to do when you travel to the Caribbean than lounging in the sand.
Create a list of all the things you want to do. This could include taking a cultural tour, snorkeling, or seeing wildlife. Then find an island that will let you do this.
Don’t forget to do extra research to uncover any hidden gems or unique activities on the island you chose. To avoid spending all your money on vacation, consider looking for free activities too!
3. The Weather Does Vary
One of the main reasons you’ve probably chosen the Caribbean for your next vacation is because of the warm weather. But know that they don’t experience perfect sunny days all year long.
Winter is a popular time to visit because this is when the weather in the Caribbean is at its peak. If you’re looking to save a little on hotel and airfare, you can get good deals and nice weather by going during the shoulder season.
However, June through November poses a potential problem as this is hurricane season. The last thing you’ll want is to get stormed out of your tropical vacation.
4. There Are Many Levels of Accommodation
Do you have this image of giant all-inclusive resorts dotting the beach? While there are many resorts to choose from, they aren’t your only option.
There’s accommodation to meet many different budgets when you vacation in the Caribbean.
You could opt for an all-inclusive package (which may seem expensive, but also includes food, drinks, and airfare), or opt for a budget hotel. But make sure everyone is on the same page with this aspect before you start planning your trip.
5. The Local Food Is Amazing
If you’ve decided to stay in an all-inclusive resort, you’re probably planning on eating most meals there. But don’t be afraid to venture off the resort a few times and try some authentic local cuisine.
Most islands have Creole or Latin-inspired cuisines that contain local ingredients, such as spiny lobster, goat, and red snapper. Part of traveling is experiencing life in a different country – so, take a leap and try something authentic and different. Look for travel tips to help you decide what foods and restaurants you must try when you’re there to ensure you get the best local food.
6. You Can’t Always Rely on Walking
Do you have a busy itinerary planned for your trip? Don’t forget to see how far apart your activities are. There’s a good chance you’ll need to organize transportation.
While you’ll likely be able to walk to the beach and local restaurants, you may need to rent a car or call a taxi to take you to your various planned excursions. This can add up quickly, so don’t forget to include it in your budget! However, you can save some money and help the environment by taking public transportation.
7. You May Need Vaccinations
When traveling from a first world country, many people forget about getting vaccinations. However, in certain areas of the world, these are extremely important to get before traveling.
The CDC recommends certain vaccines when traveling to the Caribbean, including Hepatitis A and Typhoid on top of routine vaccines. You’ll want to know this information with plenty of time to spare as many insurances don’t cover these voluntary travel vaccines and not every doctor’s office administers them.
8. Know What to Pack
Creating a comprehensive packing list is one of the most important things to do before you vacation in the Caribbean. Forgetting one important item could mean you have to waste your time on vacation looking for a replacement.
You’ll want to bring at least two bathing suits (so you always have a dry suit to put on). And pack plenty of shorts and lightweight clothing to keep you cool in the Caribbean heat. Plastic flip-flops are a must for the beach, although you should still pack sneakers or hiking shoes if you have an active itinerary planned.
Also, don’t forget your essential toiletries, including sunscreen and bug spray. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is painful sunburn or itchy bug bites everywhere. If you’re prone to sunburn, pack some aloe vera gel or another sunburn relief cream, so you’re prepared to soothe your burn right away.
Preparing to Vacation in The Caribbean
If there’s a Caribbean getaway in your future, you’ll want to make sure you do the proper research and planning before you go. One slip-up could cause your trip to take an unexpected turn.
So follow our guide to the things you need to know before taking a vacation in the Caribbean to ensure you’re well-prepared for your luxury getaway.
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