An American Citizen’s Guide To Caribbean Vacations: What You Need To Know

If you’re like tens of millions of other American adults, you work full time. You probably have a job that gives you a certain amount of paid vacation every year, but most Americans don’t use all their downtime. They’re just not always sure where to go. That’s a shame, considering that some of the most idyllic destinations in the world are just south of the mainland United States, as the many islands of the Caribbean. If you’ve never thought about vacationing here before, or you’re not sure, have questions, or are curious about it, then keep reading for a brief guide to Caribbean vacations.

What Is The Caribbean?

Geographically speaking, the Caribbean is a sea of water east of Central America, south of Cuba and other islands, and north of South America. Approximately 40 million residents call this region of the world home. It’s comprised of over 700 islands, reefs, islets, and cays. There are over 30 territories in this area. Many are independent nations, but some are dependencies or overseas departments of nations from elsewhere. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are among many countries to maintain official soil here.

The Caribbean islands are often broken up into the Greater Antilles to the north with the Lesser Antilles to the east and south, which is where you would also find the Leeward Antilles. Technically speaking, the Bahamas are in the Atlantic and not the Caribbean, but socially, culturally, and politically, they are considered a Caribbean state, as are the Turks and Caicos Islands. In a broader sense, even continental nations like French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and Belize are considered members given their regional ties with the islands.

Why Do People Vacation There?

American citizens love vacationing there for several reasons. The first is often the climate. While some of the islands do have actual seasons, truly cold temperatures are rather rare, and the warm and sunny weather is common most of the year. Anyone living in the snow belt or a place that has long nights and cold winters is likely to enjoy getting a break from the miserable weather someplace tropical.

Proximity is another reason. Getting to these nations doesn’t take very long, as compared to more exotic locations like Australia or many Pacific Islands. Residents of Florida can actually board cruise ships for weekend trips to some destinations. Going most anywhere in the Caribbean means flying more north/south than anything, so time changes are minimal and jet lag does not occur much.

Currency is a consideration in some places. Some nations, like the Bahamas, have their currency pegged to the American dollar, so they are interchangeable without having to pay exchange rates or fees. Many places just accept American dollars willingly, and in places like Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands, American currency is the legal currency given the fact that they are American soil in the first place.

Are There Linguistic Difference?

Several dozen languages are spoken across the Caribbean, and they vary based on the country. Some places are monolingual predominantly, such as English in the Bahamas or Spanish in Cuba. However, some places are multilingual, such as the many languages spoken in Aruba or English and Spanish being spoken in Puerto Rico.

Do I Need Travel Papers?

Most nations welcome tourists and visitors with an active passport without arranging paperwork or transit visas in advance. Tourism is a huge industry in the Caribbean, so getting to most countries is not a problem. Having said that, some nations, such as Cuba, might take a bit more work. Also, islands ravaged by recent hurricanes might not be open to international visitors as they pull themselves back together.

How Do I Get There?

The two primary ways of visiting the Caribbean are either by air or by cruise ship. Flights out of Miami or Gulf Coast cities such as Houston and New Orleans can take you to major islands and their capitals. From there, you can take local flights to smaller islands. Many folks just head to the Gulf Coast or Florida to board cruise ships that set sail all over the Caribbean.

Finding Out Things To Do In The Cayman Islands

If you’re going to the Cayman Islands, you may want to know what there is to do there. You can find a lot of ways to have a good time there, actually. If you want to find out more, then just read on.

Before you go anywhere, you should try to find a review on the place before you spend your money with them. For instance, if you’re wanting to go surfing in the area and want to know where to get a board, you should look up store reviews. That way, you don’t end up in a tourist trap where you have to pay more because they know you’re not from around there. Look into places that have good reputations and you also won’t have to fear wasting your money on getting bad services and/or products from them.

You can take part in water sports. For some, water skiing or diving are enjoyable activities. When you go do this kind of activity, make sure you go with a guide that can tell you what to do if you’re new to the activity. That, or at least look up tutorials and try to train yourself in the right way to do things right so you don’t end up getting hurt while you’re out and about. Be careful when renting equipment, too, because you don’t want to break anything and then have to be responsible for a large repair bill.

You can visit historic sites by going on a tour to them. When you are planning to go on a tour, call the company that hosts them before you decide to go with them. You want to ask them questions like how much it’s going to cost and how long the tour is going to be. There are a lot of them to choose from, so if you don’t like what one place has to offer you can work with another. You can also find out where the best historic spots are on your own and do your own tour with your family.

Museums are scattered across the Cayman Islands so if you are into history or art you’re going to be able to have a good time at one of the museums in the area. Before you go to one you should contact them directly to see when they are open. There are some night activities that you can do, these are some ideas at night Sometimes, the information you can get about a place online is no longer the truth and they may close or open at a different time. You don’t want to show up ready to go only to find out you have to wait until later in the day or for the next day to visit.

See what kind of places there are to eat in the area. You can try some local Caribbean cusine You can find a lot of restaurants if you use websites that let you look at the different places to eat along with reviews on them. You want to go with what is going to be in your price range and what other people have said that they have liked in the past. You don’t want to go to a restaurant that is known for being bad just because you didn’t take a few minutes to do a tiny bit of research on where to go.

When you’re going to do anything in this area, it’s helpful to have a plan of some kind so you know what your days will be like. You don’t want to show up and then do all of your research, because that cuts into your time while you’re there. Try making a list of each place that you’re going to go and what the times are you’re going to spend at them. Then, it should be a lot easier to plan out your trip and make sure that you get everything in your interested in doing.

Now that you know what there is to do in the Cayman Islands, you can plan a trip there easily. Make a list of what sounds exciting to you and then go find out more about each of the activities. Use the advice we gave you and you’ll always have a good time.

What to Do When Vacationing to Grand Cayman

When it comes to taking a vacation, everybody seem to have their own idea of where to go and what to do. For some people, it may be a winter vacation to the mountains in order to do some skiing. For others, it could be more of a staycation and exploring their local area. If you truly want to get away from it all, however, the Cayman Islands are calling. They are a Caribbean paradise and Grand Cayman is a place that you should certainly consider visiting.

On a vacation to Grand Cayman, you will discover a tropical paradise that is unlike any other place you have ever visited before. On this island, you will find beautiful, turquoise blue beaches surrounding the white sand where you can dig in your toes or perhaps lay out to tan yourself in the southern sun. For some people, a vacation on Grand Cayman means flying into the area and staying for a few days or perhaps even a week. For others, it means taking a cruise to the Caribbean and stopping by Grand Cayman for a visit during the day. In either case, there are a few things you should consider doing.

One excursion that you are absolutely going to want to take when you are on the island, regardless of how long you are staying, is stingray city. It will take some time for you to get to this area as it is accessible by boat. Once you are there, however, you will be amazed with all of the stingrays that are in the area. You will be able to feed them small pieces of squid and come in contact with the stingrays that are swimming around you. You can also do some jet skiing, snorkeling or scuba diving or perhaps just stay on the boat, enjoy a drink and watch the world go by.

The Queen Elizabeth II botanical Park is also something that you should consider doing. While in this area, you will be able to explore many beautiful plants and orchids on the trails that pass through it. There are also some lizards that are well worth seeing as well.

Additional items are also available but it really depends on what you enjoy doing. Perhaps you would like going to a museum or taking a catamaran trip out on the blue sea. Regardless of what you do, however, you will find that the island is one that calls you back time and time again.