Are you planning a trip to the Caribbean for the first time? If so, continue reading on for a few helpful and moneysaving tips.
Making Your Travel Arrangements
It is easy to book a Caribbean vacation with family because one family member is paying for the trip (your children are just along for the ride). Planning a Caribbean vacation with friends, on the other hand, can be harder. You need to make your travel plans together if you want to share rooms. If you opt for an all-inclusive resort, more than just a room is included, but each person gets access to the same inclusions; therefore, just spilt the costs evenly.
Keep times that are convenient for you in mind when booking your trip. We are often so focused on getting the best deals that we rarely take the time to coincide our flight times with our hotel or resort check in and out times. For example, what would you do for hours if your flight arrived at 11am, but you couldn’t check-in until 3pm? The same with departure times; if you need to be out of your room at noon, but your flight doesn’t leave until 7pm, what are you going to do for those seven hours? If you have no idea, try to coincide your flight times with your all-inclusive resort or hotel.
Packing for Your Trip
Many American travelers flying to the Caribbean are in for a long flight and possibly some layovers. For that reason, bring lots of small items to keep you occupied. Magazines, books, mp3 players, or portable DVD players work great and they are easy to carry around.
Only pack what you need. You can get a good idea of the clothes needed by checking the weather forecast. Pack an extra sweater if you want, but not two. Save extra room in your suitcase for souvenirs. Plus, remember airlines charge extra for luggage, so try and limit what you bring. All resorts should have onsite laundry facilities, meaning you really don’t need two or three outfits for just one day.
Pack all necessary travel documents in your carryon bag, wallet, or purse. You need to show your driver’s license and passport at the airport. Prevent delays by making sure these items are easily accessible.
Arriving at Your Resort
If you opted for an all-inclusive Caribbean resort, most of your trip is preplanned and prepaid for. Your stay should include your room, snacks, drinks, food, tips, and some forms on onsite entertainment. Get a list or chart from the main office detailing what is or isn’t included. This is a great way to save money. Why pay extra for an activity, like snorkeling, offsite when your resort enables you to enjoy that activity without extra costs?
Start your day early if you want to get the best spot by the beach, the best lounger by the pool, and so forth. These are all popular activities at all-inclusive resorts and hotels. Of course, there is plenty of room to go around, but ensure you aren’t settling for second best.
Venturing Off Hotel or Resort Grounds
One of the reasons why all-inclusive Caribbean resorts are recommended is because you never need to leave to have a good time. All-inclusive resorts are home to multiple restaurants, swimming pools, gyms, spas, and more. These are just the facilities you gain access too; wait until you see all available activities. Either way, you may wish to venture off the hotel or resort property. This is okay, but spend your money wisely.
If you didn’t take the time to research offsite activities and attractions before departing, ask your hotel or resort staff for suggestions. Hotel lobbies are also home to travel brochures that may outline nearby popular restaurants or attractions. Look at these brochures for moneysaving coupons too.
As you know, the Caribbean is a safe place to visit. With that said, you always need to display some caution when leaving home (whether it be walking down the street or leaving the country). Never bring large amounts of cash with you or carry valuables. Leave anything you would be devastated to lose in your resort or hotel safe; better yet leave valuables at home.
By keeping the above mentioned Caribbean travel tips in mind, you are sure to have a great trip. Most important tip of all? Remember to have fun! Enjoy yourself!