The tickets have officially arrived, the countdown is on, Caribbean here we come! The only thing left to do is dig out that suitcase and pack for your much anticipated vacation.
After having the distinct pleasure of living in the Caribbean for seven years I elevated my title from tourist to Local, which truly was an amazing experience.
Along the way, I learned many valuable lessons when it comes to traveling to a Caribbean destination. Although the Caribbean itself is beautiful, there are certainly some things you can do that may help to eliminate any unwanted stresses, and allow for even a more enjoyable experience.
1. Pack light:
How many times have we packed for 14 nights when the vacation is really for seven? The Caribbean offers bright sun, beautiful beaches and warm water. Chances are most of your day will be spent enjoying these treasures in a bathing suit and cover up. Most places allow for casual clothing in the evening, therefore light shirts and shorts, summer dresses are appropriate. Avoid jeans as the material is heavy and takes up extra space in your suitcase. Keep in mind the comfort of your feet, most days will consist of wearing beach sandals, a pair or two of shoes is fine for evening wear. I always suggest bringing a pair of sneakers as well especially if you plan on adventuring out or maintaining your daily exercise routine.
2. Bring home goods:
So you forgot your lip balm, no problem, the resort has a gift shop. The fact of the matter, though probably true, the prices are much higher for everyday home items. Take a moment to think about where you will be spending most of your time throughout the day and make a list of the selected items. Although one can never determine if these items will ever be needed, it’s better to be safe than sorry should the need to use arise. Such items to pack may be sunblock, lip balm ,aspirin, medicines, Pepto Bismal gum, candies, books, magazines, pool floats, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, aloe vera, toothpaste, razors, Band-Aids, topical ointments
We all love the warmth of the sun, however it is very easy to forget how strong the Caribbean sun actually is. Although most will say that the sun is at its peak from 10am until 2pm, while in the Caribbean those hours need to be extended. Sunblock is an absolute necessity for all, even those who are already sporting a lavish tan. While being surrounded by the sparkling waters the reflection of the sun works rather quickly. The best sunblock to purchase is water resistant, also being sure that you have a high enough sun proof factor as well. Most of all be sure to reapply often to avoid an unwanted sunburn.
4. Hydrate Often:
Drink plenty of water throughout the entire day. It’s very easy to indulge on a frozen drink or cocktail however its always best to continue to consume water while doing so. The hot temperatures can cause dehydration very quickly, especially as an elevated body temperature causes excess perspiration. Be sure to carry a bottle of water around with you at all times.
5. Know your surroundings:
Take the time to research the area you are traveling to. Are there any day excursions of interest? What is in the immediate walking area of the property? Is it a safe area to journey out to experience the local life style? Are there any local shopping areas to buy unique souvenirs? Where is the nearest hospital? Be sure to also look out the window on your travels from the airport to the destination, this is a great way to catch a glimpse of the local culture and community. Being well prepared will help to put your mind at ease and may give you excess opportunities to experience even more than what you bargained for!