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Caribbean Holiday

Major Mistakes to Avoid when Travelling to Caribbean

By traveldecorum | Caribbean

Vacations make everyone excited because it Is when you get to spend ‘dream time’ away from routine life. However, if you are planning a trip to the Caribbean, it is great. But you should be prepared well before having a Caribbean vacation. First time travellers make a lot of mistakes unknowingly and if you are one of them do continue reading to know such mistakes.

Not Everyone Speaks English!
Not Everyone Speaks English

Originally, Caribbean was colonized by the French, Spanish, Dutch and English, the better part of the past millennium. So, people here do not speak the same language and the dialects of their communication languages are different. For example, English is the prominent language in the British West Indies. The accents locals use might be hard to understand.

However, Dutch is convenient in the Leeward Antilles, but when it comes to the common language of Aruba, it is Papiamento. You also get to hear different versions of French patois in Haiti, Martinique, St. Lucia, Dominica, and other French territories. It is good to know that many Caribbean people are tend to speak three or four languages here. However, you should not assume that they will converse in English only.

‘Seen One, Seen Them All’ Approach!
‘Seen One, Seen Them All’ Approach

If it is your very first time travelling to the Caribbean off the side of a cruise ship, you may think that the Caribbean is all about marshlands and straw markets. It is possible because you may find it all in the major areas and that is what stick to your memories. But the more you get to travel in the Caribbean, the more you find that no two islands are the same.

Even within the same territory or country, you will come across the difference. While some of them are rough, others are densely populated like the Cuba. On the other side, there are few islands which you will find are of turquoise waters and Turks and Caicos can be seen as the white beach paradises. If you observe closely, you will find that culture, geography and people of every island are entirely different. Thus, you will have a new experience every time you visit to Caribbean.

Expecting Fast Services like Cities!
Expecting Fast Services like Cities

Caribbean people have been habitual of living on islands, and that is why they are never in rush to do anything. Imagine you are already enveloped by ocean, where else you want to go. It is totally futile to expect waiters to come to your table quickly. You may find it strange why bartenders are not quick enough to get you another savoury.

For example, most of the American visitors are accustomed to Starbucks offering you chai latte in two minutes, you might feel little frustrated being in the Caribbean. Time is also a relative term in the Caribbean. If someone shares you that they will arrive at 1 pm, it could legitimately mean any time around 1 or 1-3. The only time they strictly follow is quitting time, so when you get to know that a shop closes at 5, it’s of no use showing up after 5.

Willing to Drive by Self!
Willing to Drive by Self

Caribbean holiday is a dream to many travellers worldwide and hence, they wish to make the most of it. You may feel like driving on your own here. But it is good to know that most of the people here drive on the left side of road. It means to turn the windshield wipers of your car every time you use the turn signal. But if it turns out worst, you may have a head-on collision because you turn into an exit. So, do not try to drive as it may bring anxiety in your relaxing vacation.

Even if you are expert in left-side driving, you still have to learn how to drive on the islands as many islands do not have stoplights. It means you will require to learn to direct roundabouts which flow clockwise. Traffic laws in the Caribbean are just suggestions and yields and stop sings are mere a coin flip. However, on the mountainous islands, you may find yourself travelling step hills on one-lane roads which are known as semi-paved. If you see a car approaching a hairpin turn because you go up, it will be a rush of panic. Hiring a driver is the best thing you can do here.

Not Preferring Cash!
Not Preferring Cash

You may think that carrying cash is obsolete but actually it is not. Reason being is that not every business in the world is always equipped with high-speed internet and have access to PayPal and especially, not on the islands. You may not require cash at big resorts, hotels or restaurants. But carrying cash always come handy when you wish to stop into a funky roadside bar or eat some local delicacies near the ocean or want to have alike experiences.

Another reason is that not each country in the Caribbean is empowered enough to accept your currency or US dollars. It is better to check ahead on local currency or just grab a couple hundred dollars’ worth before your arrival. Most of the islands run on tips so if you are not tipping off your servers, guides, bartenders then be ready to experience a little deteriorate level of services.

Relying On Wi-Fi and Cell Service!
Relying On Wi-Fi and Cell Service

On a serious note, you are on your Caribbean holiday just for relaxation and to unwind yourself. So, you would not like to worry about Wi-Fi being on vacation. However, if you are unable to leave the work at the office, you should not expect to be able to log on whenever you feel like. Though in some spots like the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic and the USVI and, you can always find restaurants as well as coffee shops with Wi-Fi facilities.

But there are some less developed islands, and the hotel you are staying in might be your solo point of connectivity until you have an international data plan for your cell phone. The islands are majorly enveloped by two providers, Flow and Lime. They work pretty well but on mountainous islands, you cannot be always sure of accessing them since they are especially away from population centres. So you never know when you will be out of range on a good amount of the island. So your main idea on the vacation should be relaxing and spending whole trip without searching for a signal.

Taking Help for Directions!
Taking Help for Directions

It is normal in America to ask for direction and people help you find out the particular place. You may get to hear stuff like, ‘go down, make a right and go on left. However, in the Caribbean, it goes little different like, ‘you can take the road down a bit, then go up to a hill, after that around a corner. You going to find a goat there. Now go past the goat to the red car and then make a left. That is the spot’.

However, if you cannot decipher such direction, then it might be so difficult for you. Another option is that you should be clear about the fact that driving here is tough and you may not always be able to access GPS on your phone because it is out of range. So, it is good to take a taxi rather than putting yourself in dilemma in an unknown place.

Segregating the Luggage!
Segregating the Luggage!

If you are flying a nonstop from anywhere in the US, this is not a major mistake. If you come across the terms like ‘Seaborne’ or ‘LIAT’ mentioned on your itinerary, make sure you should have a toothbrush and a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage. It means that your bag will be two days behind you.

Caribbean airlines are not going to be careless with your luggage. It only means that small planes have to follow low weight restrictions. Even if you see you bag on the tarmac once you board the plane, there is no surety that it is going with you. So, always carry on everything once you leave home and simply resign yourself to purchasing sunscreen on your arrival.

Not Conversing with Locals!
Not Conversing with Locals

Caribbean islanders are known for their friendly nature. You may not assume what they think of tourists. Their laid-back demeanour, wide smiles and hearty laugh may appeal you. Do not hesitate to have a conversation with them because you may have the best conversations while travelling to an unknown place.

Much of the Caribbean is actually made up of developing nations but besides a handful of neighbourhoods in the large cities, the islands are considered as safe places. If you do not take time to be familiar with the islanders here, you are sure to miss out one of the most memorable parts of your travel.

So, make sure not to make any of these mistakes on your Caribbean holiday and take back home only memories.

Tagged: cheap flights to caribbean from uk , flights to caribbean from London , london to caribbean direct flights
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