Are you someone who enjoys planning? For instance, does the idea of taking a trip excite you because you also get to research the areas you’ll visit and find all kinds of things to see and do? If so, you will want to roll up your sleeves and do a bit of Caribbean travel planning for this year or the next.
As people begin to think about the places they will go later in 2020 or at the beginning of 2021, they are being steered towards the Caribbean. This is for several important reasons:
- For decades Caribbean travel has meant year-round good weather. Yes, there may be a tropical storm season, but most islands have excellent beach days almost 365 days per year!
- The region has a long history with combatting illness and disaster, and many experts predict that the region will weather the current pandemic far better than other areas not used to coping with contagious disease. After all, many islands in the Caribbean have faced challenges similar to the global issues we witness today, and have recovered in a single season.
- A Caribbean travel guide makes it easy to see that each island is a unique entity with a lot of different activities, sights, culture, food, and more. Planning a journey to the Caribbean region means having access to a diversity of peoples and places.
- When looking into a Caribbean holiday, one fact quickly emerges – it is home to world-class accommodations that are not so easily found elsewhere in the world. The abundance of luxury rentals on many islands makes it an opportunity for a truly unforgettable getaway.
A Quick Guide to the Caribbean
When we say the Caribbean, we mean the entire region around the Caribbean Sea, as well as the area that includes islands with coast along both the Caribbean and Atlantic waters. It is a zone full of islands, cays, and reefs that may have unique names. For example, Jamaica is in the West Indies, while Turks & Caicos are in the Lucayan Archipelago (even though they do not technically have coast on the Caribbean Sea).
When looking into a Caribbean adventure, it helps to know that there are around 30 territories and overseas departments that make up the area. So, you will find French, English, Dutch, Spanish, American and other cultural and political influences as you explore the area.
Caribbean Travel Tips
How do you begin to make your plans for a Caribbean vacation? Many travel experts suggest you read the best Caribbean books. These are not all going to be fiction works, but will instead be something like free Caribbean travel guide books with lots of colorful suggestions and stories. A good “short list” of the best Caribbean books would include:
- Caribbean by James A. Michener
- Island People: The Caribbean and the World by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
- The Middle Passage by V.S. Naipaul
- An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude by Ann Vanderhoof
- Hurricanes & Hangovers: And Other Tall Tales and Loose Lies from the Coconut Telegraph by Dear Miss Mermaid
- Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
- Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
- The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
- Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Reading such works is not the same as visiting sites like caribbeantravel.com for Caribbean vacation tips, but it does offer you insight into places, people, communities, and ideas that greatly enhance a visit. As an example, reading Michener’s enormous work about the creation of the Caribbean and right up to the near modern era helps you to get a good sense of the history of several islands, and this can only help you make great day trips as you visit different locations.
User-Generated Travel Tips
Of course, one of the best things to do is use a resource like the caribbeantravel.com site mentioned, as well as basic search engines. Why? Many people are not fully conversant with the “cariben” region and a quick search of the most popular islands can be a good jumping off point.
As an example, Jamaica and Barbados are two of the most heavily visited islands, and yet they are very different spots. Sitting across the Caribbean Sea from one another, Barbados is radically smaller and extremely opulent when compared to the more family-friendly Jamaica.
Reading opinions and suggestions from people who have authentically visited the islands is a good way to begin making plans. For example, if you google the best beaches, you will get a lot of personal opinions. These are valuable if you want to know the best beaches for specific activities. After all, fellow travelers who have also visited those spots to find the best beaches for sunbathing, snorkeling, shell hunting, wind surfing, and so on, will leave information behind.
Making Lists and Then Making Plans
What this says about Caribbean travel planning is simple: Start with the activities you hope to enjoy, and then do a search for the best islands for those specific activities.
Also pay attention to the seasons. If your ideal tropical holiday is warm, humid, and during the low or off season, you may want to consider a visit to the Caribbean during the peak of the northern hemisphere’s summer months (late June through early September). If you want dry and in the 80s, however, that is the standard winter or peak season running from late November through early May.
Once you know what you want to do, the kind of weather you hope to enjoy, and have a general idea of the islands that offer you the best options, it comes down to accommodations. We’d always recommend considering some private villas as well as traditional accommodations. This is because the Caribbean offers many amazing places to stay, with many right along the sands. A home-like, private property that opens directly to the beach is one way to make your Caribbean adventure and travel planning a full success.