What to Know Before Planning a Trip to the Caribbean

What to Know Before Planning a Trip to the Caribbean

It’s finally time to enjoy the Caribbean again. Now that it’s here, it’s essential to get everything right as you plan your trip. The last thing you want is to hit a snag or two along the way, and that’s what the following is for.


The Money

It’s important to know where you’re going to be so that you can figure out the money you’ll be using. Remember that there are 13 different currencies throughout the Caribbean. The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and some of the other regions have their own money. If you’re going to Cuba or the Dominican Republic, you’ll be using pesos. The good thing is they all accept US dollars, but if you want to make things easier for yourself, you’ll exchange some of your cash for the appropriate currency.


The Passport

You’re going to need a passport if you want to enjoy everything the Caribbean has to offer. You’ve got a lot of tiny islands to visit, like Guadeloupe and Dominica. Each place is a new place, and you’re going to be asked to show your passport. It’s a trusted form of identity, but one thing you should know is that you don’t necessarily need the passport book. You could just get the card. The main difference between passport book and card credentials is convenience. The card is an enhanced ID that you can just keep in your wallet. People lose the book quickly because they aren’t used to having that with them.


The Languages

If you know which islands you’re going to, you might be able to figure out what you’re going to do about the language barriers you might encounter. For example, if you go to Guadeloupe or Haiti, you’ll find that most people speak French. If it’s Cuba, then you’ll find that Spanish is the primary language. Dutch islands have English and Dutch speakers. If you don’t have time to learn a new language, at least try to learn some basic phrases for the region you’re visiting, just in case. Focus on phrases that could help you out if you get lost or need to find your way back to your hotel. It might also be a good idea to have a translator app on your phone. These don’t work perfectly, but it’s something, and apps should get better as time goes on.


The Hurricane Season

Everyone considers visiting the Caribbean during hurricane season. It does make sense, especially when you start seeing the price difference. If you decide to go during the hurricane season, you’ll be spending a lot less money getting there and back. Granted, the idea of experiencing a tropical storm while you’re on vacation does seem like a bummer, but one thing you should know if you’re thinking of taking the risk is that not all islands experience the same level of risk. Barbados, Aruba, Bonaire, and Trinidad and Tobago don’t get hit the way the other islands do, so just keep that in mind as you plan your trip. If you get this right, you’ll be able to get a cheaper flight and still get all the perks you’re hoping to get from this vacation.


Touch of Safety

It’s important to bring a good bug repellant because there are bugs, a lot of them. Part of what makes these islands beautiful is their natural beauty. You’re going to be in the middle of so much water and rainforests that you won’t know what to do with yourself. That much beauty makes your vacation feel more special, but all that beauty comes with a ton of bugs. Depending on the bug, you could get things like dengue fever or the Zika Zika virus. Also, it would be a good idea to bring sunscreen to protect your skin as long as it’s coral reef safe since a lot of them are dying, and common chemicals in sunscreen like oxybenzone and octinoxate could harm coral reefs. You might harm them as you swim because some of the substance might come off.


If you want more information, talk to a travel agent, or check out travel forums to talk to folks who visited the Caribbean. You could never over-prepare, so make sure you do all of this as you plan your trip.

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