It is extremely challenging to discuss the word “safe” when describing travel these days. With the ongoing pandemic, safety in travel means a lot more than whether or not a region has crime, risky weather conditions, or political problems. Safe now means healthy or virus-free. And so anyone eager to know about the safest Caribbean islands has to consider the “typical” factors relating to safety, as well as the individual island’s history with the novel coronavirus.
The Trending List of Safest Caribbean Islands to Visit
Historically, and even today, a basic list of the islands that rank high in every aspect of health and safety includes (in alphabetical order):
Crime and the Safest Caribbean Destinations
It is very important to note that any dialogue about crime and the safest Caribbean islands should also include all of the Caribbean islands. As one report indicated, “violent crime rarely touches the 28 million or so tourists who visit the Caribbean every year. And reports of violence are mainly confined to inner-city areas which see few tourists.”
So, the reality is that petty street crime may occur, but it is rare. And just as you are always encouraged to never leave valuables unattended in your accommodation, the same would apply in the Caribbean islands. Anything appealing to thieves should never be left in a room, a rental car, or anywhere considered open to them.
It is also advisable to hire local guides whenever traveling far off the beaten path on many of the best Caribbean islands to visit. Just as you would not wander into the woods of Colorado or northern Maine, nor should you wander into the wilderness areas of even the safest Caribbean islands.
Weather and the Safest Places in the Caribbean
When planning a visit to the Caribbean, many travelers take advantage of what are known as the shoulder seasons. These are times at the beginning and end of the bad weather months. Running from June to November, these are dates when tropical storms may become a problem or threat. Yet, this season actually peaks around August through October, meaning the safest Caribbean islands to visit will not generally have bad weather earlier in the season or towards the end of it.
If you want to avoid any risk at all, just book travel insurance to cover all of your costs should weather ground a plane or make travel difficult.
Health and the Safest Caribbean Islands
Historically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. (known as the CDC) have always suggested that people get routine vaccinations in advance of any trip to the Caribbean. They also suggest a talk with a physician ahead of time to guarantee that they are in good health and will not need any further inoculations before paying a visit.
If a traveler falls ill during a visit, there is no need to worry as healthcare throughout the entire region is excellent, and the safest tropical destinations often have hospitals equal to those in the U.S. Again, travel insurance is a wise investment as it can help offset any costs associated with medical care or hospitalization while abroad.
Of course, health and safety has to also include a look at the pandemic. As of early-May 2020, the entire region had an astonishingly low number of cases (estimated at less than 7,000 total). However, experts were worried that the region was more “vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic, and could face even more serious economic consequences compared to larger regional economies.”
It is important to remember that the region is familiar with handling infectious diseases, including things like zika, dengue fever, and other highly contagious conditions.
The Safest Islands to Visit
So, which are the safest Caribbean islands to live or visit? We looked at that list above, and while it was in alphabetical order, the islands that are deemed the absolute safest Caribbean countries include those with the best beaches. For example, Barbados frequently tops the lists.
This is because a large amount of the island’s economic base is focused on travel and tourism. With around one million people paying a visit annually, it offers some of the finest beaches, amenities, activities, and services. It is also noted for its premiere accommodations, including a huge variety of luxury rentals available in the very best neighborhoods.
Turks & Caicos
With around 40 different cays and islands, this British Overseas Territory ranks at the top of the lists of safest Caribbean destinations. An extremely family-friendly spot, it has some of the finest beaches and calmest seas for swimming. It is also home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Grace Bay Beach – as well as some of the finest shops and eateries in the entire region. It too is host to a large number of private villas that offer safe, private, and appealing accommodation to thousands of travelers every year. It is also deemed among the safest because it rarely experiences poor seasonal weather.
Noted as the most exclusive of all of the islands in the Caribbean, St Barts is also among the safest destinations in the region. Popular with the jet set, it is a French Overseas Territory and offers travelers some of the finest marinas and beaches as well as loads of shopping and dining.
There is almost no crime reported on the island and it is not unusual for those who reside year-round to leave their homes unlocked and unguarded. It is still wise to use caution with valuables, but also note that this island is remarkably safe.
While it may be challenging to pay a visit during the pandemic, it is likely that travel will resume as soon as quarantines are lifted. As a report on this issue in Forbes indicated, the pandemic is likely to have a “unique toll on the islands” of the Caribbean. As they are used to preparing and showing resilience after disasters, they are likely to be better prepared than many areas for the impact of the novel coronavirus. It will be the decline in tourism that harms the islands more than the disease. That means travelers eager to pay a visit should make plans to do so as soon as it is deemed safe to travel again.