The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing the Caribbean Like a Local

Your bags are packed, you are ready to go, all that is left is to make the final touches on your Caribbean itinerary. Except, if you want to really understand the culture of the Caribbean, it is best to forget strict timings, take off your shoes, and just go with the flow.

For more ways to make the most of your trip, read on for the ultimate guide to experiencing the Caribbean like a local.

1. Know how to stick to a budget.

Locals in all places tend to know the tips and tricks essential to living on a budget day-in and day-out. If you really want to experience this region like a local, then it is critical to overlook the tourist traps and those things deemed “must-sees” and instead open yourself up to getting into the local groove.

To visit when there is the least amount of tourists, opt to travel during the off-season (during the North American fall and winter), as you will not only be able to bypass hoards of tourists, but you will also be able to save up to 30% on the costs of your accommodation.

Additionally, one of the best ways to keep your costs down and to get some exercise (see #2) is to choose to walk around your locale as much as possible. After all, the weather is so perfect, you may as well take advantage of it as much as possible!

When walking around a new destination, you are able to witness and appreciate the slower, more authentic moments of the local’s life, and you are more likely to find yourself facing opportunities to speak with new friends. Those from the Caribbean are known for being friendly and hospitable, and they regard the broader community in the same way they do their family, so put on your walking shoes and get out there.

2. Ensure you stay healthy.

For many people, traveling to a foreign destination means forgetting all about health and wellness; however, if you want to stay healthy while in the Caribbean, it is indeed possible. Your first step is merely to believe that you can do it and to create a plan in advance so that you are prepared upon arrival.

Luckily, the Caribbean is usually considered a healthy environment with an abundance of clean water which means the “tropical diseases” that many other places experience aren’t a problem for those who visit these islands. However, it is always recommended to stay up-to-date on any travel warnings and health recommendations.

In addition to walking as much as possible, do like the locals do and make swimming a daily activity. Whether it is in your hotel pool or in the sea (it does have an 83-degree year-round water temperature!) getting in some laps surely won’t feel like a chore in the Caribbean.

In fact, it is hard for anything to feel like a chore when you are in a place that has such a fantastic work-life balance. This is one of the main reasons that foreigners are interested in second citizenship programs to the Caribbean and consider securing Antigua citizenship by investment or a second passport in St. Kitts, for example.

3. Always opt for the local food and drink.

 

When it comes to really living the local life in the Caribbean (or wherever you are traveling), the key is to always opt for the local food and drink. Not only is Caribbean cuisine delicious, but it will also be the most cost-effective way to eat. By consuming the local specialties, you will get a deeper insight into the country and its people.

So, what should you be eating and drinking?

While all the countries in the Caribbean have their own variations of dishes, you can be assured that fish is one of the most important staples for everyone in the region. Due to the proximity to the ocean, Caribbean cuisine is known for its usage of fresh fish, conch, and other seafood.

Additionally, other local specialities include jerk chicken, roast pork with rice and beans, pepperpot (a rich and thick stew), and goat stew. Whatever dish you opt for, you can guarantee that it is going to include a lot of spices. Throughout the Caribbean, you will notice small roadside cantinas which offer home-style dishes — make sure to indulge in at least one meal here. And don’t forget to try the rum!

Have you ever traveled to the Caribbean? What do you do to ensure you are able to live more of a local life when traveling? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below!

 

 

AUTHOR BIO
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.

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Travel Guide for Your Winter Holiday 2016

 

Winter is a great season and everyone looks for trips with loved ones, time off from work and the daily grind. Well, you too can certainly plan a sneak escape from it all this winter! Wish to beat those winter blues? How about a fantastic holiday! As the days are shorter and darker, taking a quick winter sun break becomes a must but choosing where to go for the sizzling winter sun is still an intimidating decision. Selecting a perfect warm destination to bid goodbye to dark days and chilling temperatures is the real big task. We’ve tried to take the efforts for you.

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Here’s a brief rundown of a few best destinations across the globe that could be just ideal for your winter vacation 2016!

  1. The Canary Islands, Cape Verde

This is quite like a secret paradise! The Canaries has 10 main islands which are scattered all along the coast of Senegal. Miles and miles of creamy white beaches definitely lure you. To add to the delight, you can simply enjoy a dip in the warm, clear emerald waters. Just sit back to relax on some beach, and gather plenty of sunshine!

  1. Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt

Such an unusual destination! Right? Egypt has a magnificent historical and cultural background. But that’s not all this place has! It has more than historical treasures – miles of warm water beaches, excellent diving sites, fishing areas, and what not. Avoid summer crowds in sunny places and let the sun work out on your tan!

  1. Lapland, Arctic Circle

Lapland, fondly known as the Santa Claus’ homeland, is a lovely vacation destination during winter. Tucked away in the northernmost Finland and deep inside the Arctic Circle, Lapland is no less than a book stuffed with fairytales. Long stretched forests that are snow dusted and super cozy log cabins that seem too pretty make your holiday with your kids memorable. The best thing here in Lapland is that you’ll see more reindeer than people. You can be adventurous with some winter sports and be a part of a few exciting festive winter activities!

  1. The Exotic Caribbean

The Caribbean is the land of exotic beauty. It makes a perfect destination for a winter sun holiday and relaxation. The daytime temperature typically remains well above 200C so you can sit and relax under a palm tree in Antigua or cruise around Barbados. Reach the peak of pleasure and relaxation at a spa resort in St Lucia. Pristine beaches, serene sea waters, amazing tropical flora, charming holiday resorts, and beachfront royal boutique hotels make the Caribbean a blissful relaxing escape from the rest of the world.

  1. Dubai, UAE

Dubai is no doubt one of the top holiday spots in the world. This ultra-modern city is set upon miles of shining golden sand and offers the best of luxury to everyone who visits. Everything in Dubai is spectacular and luxurious including its skyscrapers, hotels, and shopping malls. In winter, the weather is just perfect for holidaying. Wander around the modern and the old city, eat at the best restaurants and street food joints, shop in huge malls as well as traditional souks, and visit the most desirable structures and mysterious museums! Apart from all this, there are a few must do things including the best desert safari in Dubai. Desert safaris, especially overnight camping is an unforgettable experience to cherish for the rest of your life.

  1. Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, popular for its culture and more luxurious than Dubai, makes an ideal holiday destination in winter. Unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi offers more true luxury and less of glitz & glam. The typical Middle East character of this city is worth admiring and it bridges between the Western and the Eastern worlds. Marvellous beaches, world class adventures sports, magnificent world-class museums, shopping malls, impeccable restaurants, and what not; Abu Dhabi is worth checking out!

  1. Florida

You’ve no doubt heard of Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, and Universal Studios? Yes, Florida is the place! A superb destination stuffed with a plethora of natural and manmade attractions, Florida makes a wonderful vacation destination and has a lot more to offer its visitors – Orlando, the famous Seven Mile Bridge, fascinating amusement parks, lakes, waterways, stunning coastline, forests, fantastic hotels, great shopping spots, virgin beaches, gorgeous coral reefs, exciting water sports, rocking night life, and top notch tourist facilities.

  1. Reykjavík, Iceland

In spite of being one of the coldest spots across the Europe, Reykjavík in Iceland has plenty of natural hot water springs to warm you up! It’s a fantastic winter holiday place offering a plethora of winter sports, spectacular celebration festivals, geothermal swimming pools, and of course, those most sought after warm water springs.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

If the both of you are seeking a super romantic, fairytale vacation this winter, Prague is that destination! Indulge in stunning architecture, pretty old town, snow-capped spires, and fascinating winding streets. The best thing about Prague is that it’s almost tourist free during the winter months. Wonderful restaurants and cozy cafes help you plan a few romantic evenings with the love of your life.

  1. Nagano, Japan

This former Winter Olympics host city is a lesser known vacation spot among tourists. Nagano is a fabulous base for adventure freaks who wish to explore ski resorts located nearby. After a hectic day on the snowy slopes, it’s quite worthwhile to enjoy in the natural hot water springs. A few of the sites you must cover include beautiful, snow-covered Buddhist temples and the Togakushi Minzoku-kan folklore museum where the ninjas were once trained.

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Here’s the checklist you should keep handy while planning a winter vacation!

  • Figure out what exactly you want from the vacation
  • Set a firm budget for the tour
  • Do your research properly – places to see, eat, and stay at
  • Sort out all your clothes that you must pack for the tour and confirm if it fits within the luggage allowance
  • Confirm your transportation
  • Check out what holiday extras you can manage well in advance
  • Get up-to-date with your passport and any visa that may be required

So, are you ready to fly somewhere sunny, hot, and too beautiful?

Book your favourite tour and start packing your bags!