Packing for a Caribbean Vacation

You’ve booked the flights, you’ve got a place to stay (thanks to those sweet hotel discounts you found online), and now all that stands in front of you and laying on the beach on your soon-to-be-fabulous Caribbean vacation is the dreaded thing we all try to put off as long as possible — packing. But, don’t worry too much about it, getting everything together and shoved into those old bags you still haven’t replaced won’t be nearly as hard as you might think. So take a breath, close your eyes, imagine yourself snorkeling with all kinds of different magical-looking fish, and let’s do this.

Packing for a Caribbean Vacation

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No Passport Needed

There are some interesting things you need to know about getting into the Caribbean as far as passports and visas go. First off, if you’re American and a full-fledged U.S. citizen, you don’t need to have a passport if you’re flying into Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes the trifecta of St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix — the others require you to have more than basic U.S. IDs (driver’s license, etc.). If you’re hopping on a cruise, you can actually visit more of the islands without a passport, but be sure to double-check where you’re going before assuming you’re all good.

Caribbean Weather

Another important thing to thing to do before you start packing is familiarizing yourself with the weather happening for wherever and whenever you’re traveling in the Caribbean. There’s not a lot of major differences between the temperatures from one to the other and the average temperatures are around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit most days, but depending on the month you’re traveling you might have more or less rain, which is a good to know. Brief showers happen nearly every day on most of the islands, too but not enough to pack any legit rain gear.

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Packing Light

It’s easier said than done, but thanks to the consistently hot climate, the Caribbean is a place where less is more. In fact, many people who are traveling for a week or less easily get away with packing a couple of carry-ons, wearing a light jacket, and keeping it simple. Depending on your needs (I know, shoes)  and length of stay you could easily get away with not checking any bags, which would also save you a lot of hassle and potential delays if you’re flying.

Your Itinerary Determines Your Needs

Are you planning on doing some hiking? You’ll need some active clothes and a pair of good rubber-soled shoes that can give you the support you need. Are you just going to lounge on the beach all day and drink cocktails? You can probably get away with packing not much more than a couple of swimsuit options, flip-flops, and one or two pairs of shorts or dresses to wear when you’re not listening to the waves. There’s no one perfect list for this since each trip is unique, but think through what you’ll be spending your time doing and pack accordingly.

Toiletries

Your toiletry needs will pretty much be the same, but you might want to throw in some extra sunscreen, lip balm, or aloe/lotion depending on your plans to get out into the wild or your skin tone. It’s going to be hot and sunny most of the time, so ease into it and remember, you can always get more sun the next day, but it’s hard to deal with a really bad sunburn.

Gadgets

Last, but definitely not least, don’t forget to pack in your cameras, selfie-sticks, GoPros, Kindles, or any other electronics that you feel like you can’t live without. You’ll probably want to keep the phone off as much as possible, but it’s your Caribbean vacation, not mine, so you can do whatever you want.

5 reasons to take a Caribbean vacation in 2016

At this time of year many people are still putting together their last minute plans for vacation, or planning ahead for later in the year, but the obvious, and difficult decision, is always in terms of where to go. While the US is full of great places to get away for the weekend or take an adventure, let’s face it; nothing beats the excitement of boarding a plane and taking off for some place tropical.

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Here are 5 reasons to take a Caribbean vacation in 2016:

Variety and quality of resorts

Few places in the world can rival the Caribbean when it comes to the variety of resorts; from the budget vacation packages on Aruba, to the high end luxury hotels in Punta Cana, there are options to suit all styles of travel, all budgets and standards.

In fact, it is not just the variety of resorts which is so appealing, but rather the quality. Whether you decide to go all out and book Live Aqua in Cancun, the more modest Barcelo in Punta Cana, or something even half the cost, you can usually expect a high standard in the Caribbean, with spacious rooms and friendly staff.

Affordable Caribbean vacations

As mentioned above, there are many affordable options in the Caribbean and some islands are less popular, and cheaper than others. However, the real advantage when you book a Caribbean vacation online is not just the selection or the number of providers offering to help you out; but rather the re-emergence of travel membership clubs.

Hotels Etc is a travel club which offers their members a simplified process in which you sign up, pick a destination, and make huge savings. Yes, it really is that simple. Hotels Etc provides hotel discounts and vacation packages with between 60 – 80% off. You can sign up for a free trial here.

Things to do in the Caribbean

Another highlight of a vacation to the Caribbean is the wide variety of things to see and do. White sandy beaches are synonymous with every destination, but there are also many options to take adventure tours and participate in local activities.

Volleyball, golf, tennis, scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating are just a few of the activities available from most resorts, while there are usually some excursions to parks, reserves or natural attractions in the nearby area.

The beaches and relaxation

Maybe this should go without saying, but it certainly should not be ignored; the Caribbean is home to many of the finest beaches in the world, where white powdered sands stretch on a far as the eye can see, next to an alluring ocean, with several shades of blue.

The beaches in the Caribbean are the ultimate place to unwind, relax and forget about the stress of modern day living. With no distractions and the soothing sound of the ocean, this truly is the highlight of any Caribbean vacation.

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All Inclusive savings

Hotel discounts and package offers are the best way to get your vacation off to the right start, but all inclusive resorts can also play a big part in the success of a vacation. With so much included in the cost of an all inclusive vacation, planning a trip could not be more convenient; food, drinks, spa treatment, laundry, even tours; an all inclusive vacation in the Caribbean is hands down, the easiest way to save on costs, and the best value for money vacation.

Sign up now for Hotels Etc membership and find out how 4 million members are getting their dream vacations, at affordable prices.