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Visiting the Caribbean Islands – Tips for first time travelers

By Kach Umandap April 13th, 2016 Posted in Caribbean Travel Blog, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 3 Comments

The Caribbean is that one place on Earth that can offer you everything that you were looking for – perfect beaches, amazing cuisine, incredible history and friendly people are all waiting for you in all Caribbean islands. However, if you want to enjoy your exotic getaway more, and if you are planning to travel there for the first time, you should know a few things which might help you improve your stay there radically. For this reason, below we are going to share a few common and perfectly working tips you should remember while booking a perfect Caribbean holiday this or any other summer!

Caribbean Cruise of Kach and Jonathan

1. Choose where to travel first

First things first – if you want to have a perfect time in the Caribbean, you have to choose the island you want to do first. And that is important, because of them are perfectly suitable for family trips, while other is a dream come true for all party lovers. On the other hand, if you are a budget traveler, we have some new for you as well.

Caribbean Cruise of Kach and Jonathan

For instance, because of its closeness to the United States and a sheer number of nonstop flights, San Juan, Puerto Rico, is one of the least expensive Caribbean airports to fly to. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Nassau, Bahamas, and St. Thomas in the picturesque Virgin Islands are also perfect for cheap but perfect Caribbean vacation time.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Santo Domingo, Nassau, and Bahamas.

2. Check when is the right time to travel

Timing in there is also crucial when it comes to when to fly to it, and when to return. For instance, it is believed that the average cheapest day to depart for the Caribbean is Tuesday (up to $25). While the most affordable day is Wednesday, with saving up to $37. Of course, prices might vary, but if you book your plane smart, you can save even more in there.

On the other hand, season timing is also very important if you want to save money. That means that you should try all your best NOT to travel in the Caribbean during the peak season, which happens to be around the winter holidays and February. So – maybe plan your winter getaway to another country. The good thing is that this expensive period ends up around mid-April, and stay like that until December. During that time, prices are pretty low, and you won’t find tons of tourists there as well. Sounds great, isn’t it?

Mersur - Clothing Sponsor Caribbean Cruise Wedding

However, take notice that traveling off season means unpredictable weather conditions. So we would like to recommend you getting travel insurance which will help you get your money back if there is sudden hurricane season happening in those islands.

3. Look for the right accommodation type

Surely, if you are going to travel to the Caribbean for a while, you will need a nice place to stay at too. Probably the first thing that comes to your mind, in this case, is a hotel, and that is pretty natural. However, again remember that during the peak season all hotels raise their prices, so if you want to get cheap hotels – travel there off season and book your stay at surprisingly low prices.

Caribbean Cruise of Kach and Jonathan

On the other hand, if you are a super budget traveler, consider vocational rental options. This is a pretty widely popular way of getting super cheap accommodation for a few nights, and it will help you stay on a budget even easier. Such sites like Airbnb or Home Away can offer you a wide range of option where you can stay at without opening your wallet that much. This trick might even work if you want to travel during the tourism season in Caribbean’s too! Moreover, these vocational rentals offer to provide people with essential stuff like small kitchen too. That means that you can cook your meals in there and avoid eating at the expensive restaurant during the whole stay.

So, simply, make your priorities and choose the best accommodation option for you – all have some pros and cons, and everywhere it is possible to save money. You can check all of our recommended hotels in different Caribbean islands/ countries, here.

4. Maybe consider all-inclusive deals too

This might sound not like such an idea at first, but think about it – you pay only once, but get everything from the room, meals, drinks, activities, transportation and any other inclusions the resort throws into the deal. But while searching for the right hotel, do your homework and make sure which amenities are needed and which are not. In some cases, you might pay for stuff you won’t even want to use – so don’t! And once again – we won’t stop reminding you to check for off-season rates, which can reduce prices by up to 40%, meaning that you will get everything you wish for without spending all that you have!

Caribbean Cruise of Kach and Jonathan 2

5. ..or Consider going on a cruise

Another pretty budget-friendly way to explore the Caribbean is to travel where with a cruise ship like Carnival Cruise Line. Let’s think about it – with it; you are buying everything at once prices – you will get your room, transportation, restaurants, and activities for one price and you won’t have to be worried about anything at all. Also, it is just perfect if you are interested in visiting not one, but a few different island and enjoy a real Caribbean tour on a budget. Usually, these cruises offer pretty great tours with professional guides as well, so you can learn a lot and see a lot in a short time.

Caribbean Cruise of Kach and Jonathan 5

However, keep in mind that sadly – most cruises are not all-inclusive. Things like excursions to the shore, specialty restaurant fees, gratuities, drinks and other extras are not accounted for in your base rate. But this is just a perfect way to explore the Caribbean for less than $100 per person, per night, get a tan, see everything and don’t worry about anything at all. You could also find cruise deals like the Royal Caribbean Promo codes on the different coupon and deal sites.

6. Take note of about the exchange rate and the local currency

Expat Guide To Money Management

And finally, the last thing a first-time traveler to the Caribbean should know is the exchange rate. It indeed can play a role in how much you pay for your Caribbean vacation, so it needs a bit of your time to learn about it for sure. The good news is that if you are American, choosing an island is easy because many islands accept American dollars as a currency. On the other hand, in some island, you might need to know the exchange rate and know the local currency and the U.S. dollar at a fixed rate. Also, don’t go to specialized money exchanging station and better use locals ATM instead to avoid service fees.

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3 thoughts on “Visiting the Caribbean Islands – Tips for first time travelers

  1. Hey Kach. Loved your blog. I have been to St. Lucia n Caribbean a lot of times and I totally love it there. I am yet to visit other places. Thank you for sharing these amazing and useful tips.

  2. Very well written! All of us have a traveller captured inside of us. And It surely becomes a nightmare to choose from the various range that the internet shows. That is why we should always be careful while booking a villa.

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.