You’re looking forward to your special trip and you’ll surely have a wonderful time. To help make that upcoming trip event more special, I’d like to offer my top Caribbean vacation tips to make your experience even better.
I specialize in honeymoons, destination weddings and romantic vacations and my experience with thousands of couples over the years has helped me the develop suggestions for creating the perfect vacation.
Some may think my Caribbean vacation tips are just common sense items, but honestly they’re not. Vacationers get caught up in the moment and can lose sight of some simple things that can derail their vacation.
My Top Ten Caribbean Vacation Tips
- Your passport has to be valid for at least six months after the date of return from your trip. It is really frustrating for you to get to the airport and be denied boarding because your passport expires too soon. It means arriving for your honeymoon or vacation late (if you are lucky) or not at all. You would have to go to a passport agency and arrange a rush on your passport. St. Lucia, in particular, is one of the places that is really strict on this.
- With all of the excitement of the wedding and seeing many friends and family you haven’t seen for ages, perhaps you go to the airport without your passport. Many times the airport is an hour to an hour and a half away and you miss your flight. If you miss the original flight you would need to stand by for a later flight. It seems that the planes to tropical destinations travel full these days, so getting another flight is not always easy. I suggest that passports be put with travel documents so this does not happen to you.
- Perhaps you oversleep or allow another reason prevent you from arriving at the airport on time. I always let my couples know that they need to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to departure. There are good reasons for this. Many times airlines have last minute schedule changes and your flight may leave earlier. Also there could be unexpected delays getting through security and other bottlenecks. If you are not onboard the plane twenty minutes prior to fight time, you could lose your seat Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at your destination very late in the evening (if you are lucky) or even a day later and losing all that precious vacation time.
- Use proper sunscreen. The sun is very hot in tropical destinations – much hotter than most places in the U. S. A nice tan is lovely but sun burn and sun poisoning can spoil your entire honeymoon. I always recommend using at least number 30 sunscreen. You will still have a beautiful glow and enjoy your time. Sunburns and sun poisoning are very painful and may even cause illness.
- Please be careful of not consuming too much alcohol. The tropical drinks taste wonderful and go down easily but they hit you fast. Nothing is worse than missing a day because of a hangover or actually being sick. Everything is best in moderation. Also, please drink plenty of bottled water.
- Be careful of what you eat and drink off the resort in foreign countries. Most of the major resorts have purified water to clean vegetables and to add to drinks. Many roadside stands are not the same. The water is not always pure enough for our systems and one never knows exactly what is in the drinks. Don’t let an upset stomach or an illness sideline you when you are supposed to be having the time of your life.
- Buyers beware! Many times you may purchase something for a souvenir on a roadside stand that is not what you expect it to be. For example, jewelry is sometimes represented to be real silver or coral. Many times red coral is not really coral and it is just some beads that turn your skin red. What is represented as silver may turn your skin green and discolor quickly. I have heard of people buying wooden goods that have termites in them. If you see ten t-shirts for $10.00, they are probably not a good deal. They may look nice but once they are washed, they can become one-tenth the size. It is best to buy from a reputable store just like in our country. The price may seem great, but remember the old saying “you get what you pay for”.
- When someone offers you some kind of free gift, there is more than likely a catch. Many times they are trying to sell a time share and will want you to go to a long drawn-out presentation. Who wants to spend one to three hours of their valuable time going through a high pressure sales presentation? There are many timeshares that people never use and cannot resell and there are very high fees with them every year. Besides, you may want to go different places every year. I have heard nightmares of people trying to use their timeshares and not being able to do so. In the heat of the moment it may sound good but everything is not always as it seems.
- Be careful of who you get in a car with. Someone may be offering you a private tour. Everything may work out well but many tropical destinations are in very poor countries. Sometimes people are not what they seem. Unfortunately, not all people are honest.
- The last of my Caribbean vacation tips is to use the services of a good travel professional. Many online photos look wonderful but a picture does not always tell the correct story. Work with a professional who keeps up with resorts and destinations. Their service is immeasurably valuable especially for a trip celebrating a marriage, an anniversary or a special getaway just for the two of you. The service of a professional travel agent is completely complimentary to you as they are paid by the resorts.
Most of all enjoy your time away and enjoy the destination itself! There is no greater vacation tip that I could offer than this one.
Get to know some of the people and their customs. Try the local cuisine and enjoy the culture of the destination. These are some of the things that make seeing the world so wonderful. Every country is different and all of the people in those countries are special in their own way.