First time Travellers to the Caribbean

Why go to the Caribbean?

For Australians, it is easy to picture yourself lying by the beach with a cocktail in hand, because of the abundance of beautiful island destinations in and around Australia. However, the Caribbean is continuing to be a fast-growing destination for Aussies, due to the world cruise circuit, as well as its close proximity to the United States of America, making it the perfect side-trip, the next time that you are over there. It is a vast region, spanning many countries and islands, but first time travellers to the Caribbean should not be intimidated.

Getting There by Air

Air Tahiti Nui and Air New Zealand have daily flights from Australia to Los Angeles to connect with Air Jamaica and other Caribbean airlines. If you prefer, you can fly with Qantas or Virgin Australia via New York, for a nice stopover, on the way there or back. Flight time from Australia to most destinations in the Caribbean is between 20-22 hours.

Cruising

We would be remiss if we did not mention that the Caribbean is one of the most beautiful and famous regions in the world to go for a cruise.  Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises and even Disney are great options for couples and families alike.  Popular ports for departure to the Caribbean are Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Cozumel (Mexico) and New York.

caribbean-travel-guru

Region and Location

There are over 7000 Islands in the Caribbean. As a region, it consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America. Some popular destinations are Jamaica, Bermuda, Barbados, The Cayman Islands, Cuba, Honduras, Martinique, Trindad and Tobago, The Virgin Islands and Saint Lucia.

Culture

There is a wide array of culture on display in the Caribbean region. A cornucopia of colors, cuisine, cultures and colonial history converge to splash themselves across the Caribbean, painting in each island and country a distinct picture, with a world of adventure to be explored.

Climate

The Caribbean climate is tropical (think the islands in Central and North Queensland), although climatic conditions are strongly dependent on elevation. At sea level, temperatures range between 24°C and 32°C. In the mountains, temperatures can reach as low as 10°C.

Travelling through the Caribbean

Some countries require a visa for tourist travel, whilst others require a visa on entry. You can check these details ahead of time here.

For Electricity, American style 2 pin plugs are used so it is recommended to purchase one of these ahead of time, before you depart Australia.

As with any island destination, alcohol can be pricey, so it is recommended that you take the maximum amount of alcohol in to the country, that your duty free allowance permits.

Medical and health

Similar to if you were travelling to most parts of Thailand or Bali, the standard of medicine it not quite up to Western standards. For first time travellers to the Caribbean, it is recommended you book travel insurance through Covermore, as they offer plans with comprehensive cover.

Are you planning a trip to the Caribbean soon?

If you are travelling via the USA, don’t forget to apply for your ESTA visa waiver before you leave.  We have also compiled a handy USA tipping guide, so that you don’t end up finding yourself in any unnecessary embarrassing situations while you are over there!

If you would like some assistance with planning your trip, feel free to contact one of our specialists. Alternatively, if you are someone who prefers to book most of your trip on your own, please visit our online booking section, for access to some great deals on accommodation, tours, travel insurance and car hire.