5 Tips for Planning Your Next Caribbean Vacation

We are heading down to Puerto Rico for a little vacay in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait!       I don’t even remember the last time I saw legitimate sunshine, let alone a tropical beach. It’s been a looooong winter and this trip is much needed! Since I’ve never been to Puerto Rico, it was a fun trip to plan, with lots of research.

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Here are 5 tips I learned that I want to share with you when planning a Caribbean vacation:

1. Know what vibe you want.

For this trip, we really wanted an adventurous, fun, outdoorsy trip. That immediately helped us narrow down our choices to Puerto Rico (surfing & rainforest), Belize (snorkeling & diving) or Bahamas (boating & swimming with dolphins). Considering I went to Bahamas for college Spring Break & the boyfriend loves to surf, PR was the easy choice. If you’re unsure, see this list for help.

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2. Research the weather.

Now, this may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Between hurricane season, rainy season, smoldering hot season, seaweed season & buggy season, there’s a lot to consider. And let’s be honest, there’s no point in spending the time& money to go to the Caribbean if it’s raining, windy, or too hot to even enjoy being outside. A few helpful resources can be found here, here and here.

PicMonkey Collage

3. Consider flying options.

Luckily, living on the East Coast makes traveling to the Caribbean relatively simple; however, there are only a handful of places you can fly directly, without spending a fortune, including Cancun, Aruba, PR & Bermuda (see full list here).

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4. Want all-inclusive? Research. Research. Research.

To me, these all-inclusive resorts are a double edge sword: sure, they’re inexpensive and convenient, but you’re also stuck in one location for the entire trip. You better bet your ass that if I’m stuck on a resort for 5 days, it’s going to have an infiniti pool(s), stellar service, amazing ocean views/access and *at minimum*, food & drink that is better-than-decent, and with options. It just breaks my heart to hear of stories about people who spent thousands on an all-inclusive, only to have a rock hard bed, shitty ocean “views” and an episode of food poisoning. So sad.

I’ve always found TripAdvisor, Fodors and Travel & Leisure to be quite reliable. Word of mouth is always a good idea for these types of trips also.

PicMonkey Collage

5. Don’t over plan!

Sure, you want to have flights & accommodations planned (be sure to check airbnb & vrbo if you want a non-hotel stay),but half of the fun is living in the moment! The Caribbean lifestyle is laid back, relaxed & adventurous. Talk to the locals. Immerse yourself in the culture. Explore. Most of all, have fun!

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(The above was an AMAZING beach trip with my best college girl friends!)

 What’s your best travel tip for planning a Caribbean vacation?!

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