The Caribbean, which is considered part of North America, includes over 700 islands, islets, cays, and reefs, many of which form archipelagos. It is famous for its tropical climate, biological diversity, and many attractions. Many of the world’s coral reefs and tropical fish can be found in the Caribbean. The islands were all European colonies at one point, so many of the inhabitants understand and speak languages like English, Spanish, French or Dutch. Many of them are also popular vacation spots. A Caribbean vacation does take careful planning, and you should consider the following:
1)Think about what you want.
There are literally hundreds of possible destinations to choose from, so try narrowing them down. For instance, if you want to stick to places where many of the people speak English, your choices include Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, and many other places. Getting to the Caribbean requires taking a plane or a ship, and the latter is probably more desirable if you’d like to visit several different islands. Think about cuisines you’d like to sample, places you’d like to visit, and activities you’d like to try and plan accordingly. Also, visit Travel.State.Gov to check the rules on items like whether you’ll need a passport or not. CaribbeanTravel.com is the official tourism website for the region. Start by clicking on “Destinations” and then the name of the desired island to access information like airlines, activities and entry requirements.
2)Consider the timing of your trip.
Going during the fall can provide some advantages like less humidity and cheaper rates. Unfortunately, it is also the peak of hurricane season (June 1 to November 30) with September getting the most hurricanes. If you go during hurricane season, you will have to take precautions like buying travel insurance and trip-cancellation insurance. The latter will ensure that if you have to suddenly cancel a trip because of a hurricane you will get your money back from the hotel, airport, and/or cruise company.
The Caribbean also has its share of festivals, many of which revolve around music and food. They are generally rowdy and very well-attended. If you hate crowds, you may want to make sure your vacation doesn’t coincide with a festival.
3)Choose your accommodations.
The Caribbean offers countless options in places to stay, ranging from the basic to the luxurious, so there is something for just about every budget. If you’ve got money to burn, check out an all-inclusive resort that boasts amenities like an on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi, or spa. If you’re the adventurous sort, you can go camping. The various campgrounds provide options ranging from a site to pitch your own tent to a cabin. Most are near a beach, and they are all inexpensive. Other possibilities include bed & breakfasts, villas, and hotels.
4)Bring your sunscreen.
The Caribbean has a notoriously strong sun, and few things can ruin a vacation as much as getting a bad sunburn. Regardless of where you go and what you plan to do, you will need sunscreen, so it is arguably the one must-have when packing. Everything else depends on your itinerary. The Caribbean is in the tropics and tends to have a casual dress code. If you’re going on a cruise, you should bring a light sweater or jacket for the evenings, for it tends to be cooler at sea than on land. Some experts also recommend bringing your own beach towel on a cruise, for some ships require passengers to return public towels at the end of each day, which means the passengers have to pick up new towels the following morning. By contrast, land-based hotels let people keep their towels for the duration of their stay, so you don’t need to bring your own.
5)Don’t spend the whole vacation at the resort or on the beach.
The Caribbean is packed with natural wonders and boasts centuries of history. There are also many activities to pick from like snorkeling, river rafting, sailing, kayaking, and riding horseback. You can also explore jungles, listen to reggae, or visit a turtle farm or one of the world’s oldest rum distilleries.