It sounds like a dream come true – lounging on a beautiful beach next to turquoise seas, sipping a fruity drink with an umbrella in it without a care in the world – when folks think of a vacation in a tropical paradise, chances are at least one of these images come to mind. Especially as we head into the colder winter months, escaping to a sunny Caribbean Resort sounds pretty wonderful!
And it can be – as long as your vacation is the right one for you. As with most travel, visiting the Caribbean is not “one size fits all” – and what was perfect for your neighbor’s best friend’s cousin, may or may not be perfect for you. Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when planning your perfect Caribbean escape.
So Many Resort Offerings – Caribbean resorts aren’t all the same. Be sure to research and choose a resort that aligns with your interests and needs. Some cater to relaxation and wellness, while others focus on adventurous activities. A thorough understanding of what each resort is like – what it focuses on, and what its “personality” is like (yes, resorts have personalities!) will ensure your expectations are met.
What’s Included – An “all inclusive” resort sounds pretty great, right? But what exactly is included? Some include dining – but you’ll have to pay extra for the restaurants you really want. Some will include “drinks” – but that glass of wine you want with dinner is an additional cost. Some include “activities” – but that snorkeling you’ve been wanting to do is extra. And often, when you add up all those extra costs, you’ll be paying more than you would at a truly all-inclusive resort. So, watch out for those fabulous deals that your neighbor got on Groupon, and be sure to read the fine print.
Pick the Right Time – The Caribbean weather varies throughout the year, so choose your travel dates wisely. Hurricane season runs from June to November, so if you don’t want your trip to be disrupted by a tropical storm, consider visiting during the drier, more temperate months of December to April. That being said, it’s also important to note that pricing may also be lower during hurricane season (for obvious reasons), so if price is a consideration, don’t rule that time of year out. Some islands like Barbados and Curacao are not in the “hurricane belt” and so might be a great option if you really want to travel in late summer or fall. The “best time to go” for your sister-in-law, may not be the best time to go for you.
Your Caribbean adventure should be as unique as you are, so tailoring your choices to your interests and needs will ensure a vacation filled with unforgettable memories – and will be one that is perfect for YOU!