When you think about a blue turquoise scene for your next vacation, the Caribbean is a place that is overflowing with exotic wonders for tourists to behold. The breathtaking images see on travel sites, and postcards give a dreamy view of El Caribe that is truly amazing. While this picturesque view of the islands is well-deserved, there are more things to consider when traveling to the Caribbean.
Before you set sail to the Caribbean islands, there are some things that you need to consider genuinely. There are a host of misconceptions about the islands and many things that are overlooked.
Every Island is Original: While there is a uniformed beauty of the shores and beaches of the various islands in the Caribbean. There are, in fact, over 7000 islands in the Caribbean—some are more well known than others. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that all of the islands are the same. Take into consideration that each island has its own culture and customs that differ from the others. There will obviously be many similarities, but the subtle differences mean everything to the locals.
Be Aware of High-Crime Areas: Crime is not something that tourists in resorts tend to worry about, but it should be understood that many areas beyond the resort contain residents that are impoverished and needy. This is a recipe for criminal activity, particularly theft. The State Department website will give you all of the information needed to proceed on your island getaway with the proper perspective on crime in the specific area you will be traveling to.
Don’t Mock the Local Expressions: If you are heading off to Jamaica, keep in mind that mocking the accent and phrases do not always go over very well with many of the locals. It is common to see tourist mimic the accents and phrasings of native Jamaican residents. Even if your Jamaican tour guide tells you about these phrases, other locals may feel like you are mocking their culture if you continue to keep saying “yeah mon!”
Local Cuisine is a Treat: The resort experience has a predetermined menu that most travelers stick to. When it comes to enjoying a more immersive experience, it is advised that you give the authentic local cuisine a try. The Caribbean islands have a cuisine that is inspired mainly by Latin and Creole recipes. Seafood like lobster, red snapper, and shrimp lay an important role. Goat is also a favorite in this region. If you want a genuinely enriching dining experience, consult with the locals for a great restaurant to visit.
There is More to Explore than the Beach: Spending time at the beach is pretty much a given on a Caribbean vacation. On the other hand, there is so much more to do than loaf around on the beach. Do some research on about the various activities available in the area you are visiting. Compile a list of fun things that you can do beyond the shore.
Don’t Swim in Waters that Have Red Flags Posted: Keep an eye out for flags posted at the beach. These color-coded flags give indications of how safe the water is for swimmers. A green flag denotes a low hazard significant for swimming, a yellow flag means the is a medium-level of risk, a red flag means the conditions are hazardous, and double red means do not enter the water by any means. Heed the warnings that these flags indicate for the safety of you and your loved ones.
Use Sunscreen: The sunshine in the Caribbean is one of the most beautiful parts of vacationing in this region. However, the intensity of the sun for sunbathers is nothing to take lightly. A little fun in the sun can quickly turn into a bout with sunburn. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the sunscreen behind. Sunscreen contains a formula called SPF50 that keeps the skin from being burned by the sun while you are getting a suntan.
Conclusion: If you plan to visit the Caribbean shortly, it will behoove you to keep the tips mentioned here in mind. Thoroughly research the customs and lifestyle of the locals in the communities that you will visit. Being culturally aware and sensitive to the desires and expectations of the natives is a beautiful way to approach your trip to any Caribbean paradise.