I like to keep my promises, folks, so today I am bringing you another traveling on a budget post – this time with a little Caribbean flair!
Since I live in Grenada, I think it would be a crime not to share the things I’ve learned about Caribbean travel, at least on my little island. Below are my top tips for having an enjoyable vacation when you come down to the islands, mon.
Traveling is stressful for everyone, but when you are headed to the Caribbean, it’s time to relax. Know that the locals love tourists since tourists bring great business to the island. In Grenada, all students and locals have to pay customs fees on our computers and other electronics. However, if you are a tourist, you should be able to breeze right through customs without any trouble provided you don’t have anything illicit in your bags of course! Also, if your plane is on time, you’ll likely be greeted with great music and a rum punch to start the vacation off right. Perhaps you’ll visit so much you’ll be like me and write sappy posts about calling two places home.
2. Haggle Like It’s Your Job
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grabbed a cab at a restaurant or at the airport and been quoted an outrageous fee because they think I am a tourist. Usually, I just politely say, “Can you negotiate please? I live here,” and they oblige. All that to say that most cab drivers will quote you the highest rate. Don’t be afraid to ask for less. The worst they can say is no, and that’s unlikely given how friendly they are here.
3. Avoid The Touristy Hotels
Just like the tips I shared for traveling to the Middle East this past Monday, you should avoid touristy hotels in the Caribbean too. Places like bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals are much more affordable and can actually give you a more authentic Caribbean experience. Many of the locals I know who run small hotels have guests that they consider friends who come back year after year.
4. Head To The Beach
Most people head to the Caribbean to enjoy some sunshine. The best place to do this is definitely at the beach. Ask a local where a more private beach is. I know that in Grenada my favorite beach, Magazine Beach, is quiet and serene whereas Grand Anse beach, the popular, touristy one, is full of people trying to sell you things. They are only minutes apart, but one is more well known and more crowded than the other. The best part is that here, as with many other Caribbean countries, the beaches are free and open to the public.
5. Go To Market
When you are looking for gifts to bring back to your friends and family back home, I recommend visiting a local market. This is where you can buy local handicrafts, spices, and other accessories for better prices than you would find in a hotel or airport gift shop. Plus, you can learn about the culture and the sense of community while you shop!
So now that you know what to expect here in Grenada, I want you all to book tickets and come visit me. Who’s first?