Island hopping in the Caribbean
Dreaming of the crystal-clear waters, powder white sandy beaches and the laid-back attitude of the Caribbean?
With so many islands in this part of the world, with each offering a different culture, experience and heritage, which do you, choose?
Thanks to the proximity of most of the islands, hopping multiple islands and countries within one trip is possible, and a topic we are highlighting today.
Here is what you need to know about visiting multiple Caribbean islands in one go.
When is the best time to visit the Caribbean?
The weather in the Caribbean is great all year round; however we recommend that you go in the spring or the start of summer. Hurricane season starts in June and runs till November, although most of the storms hit in the peak, around August to October.
What is the best way to get around the Caribbean?
There are 3 main ways to travel between the islands;
Ferry: there are many ferry services and boat trips that can take you from island to island. This route is the most scenic. Be sure check the ferry services that travel to and from your islands of choice if you wish to travel this way. Not all islands have a ferry service, and some may not travel on certain days, or to your chosen islands.
Pane: We would save this option for those who want to travel between islands that have large distances between them, or where there are not ferry connections. Regional airline schedules can change with little notice. It is at this time you need to embrace island life! Some planes will stop at multiple islands on route, sort of like a bus. So, if you were travelling from St Thomas to Trinidad, you could stop at Antigua, St Lucia and St Vincent before you arrive!
Cruise: A Caribbean cruise is another popular way to hop around the islands. These cruises are comfortable and stylish with great entertainment. You often travel during the night and wake up docked in a new location.
How long do I need for my Caribbean trip?
We suggest that you have a good 3 days at least on each island to fully explore and enjoy the beaches, towns and everything else there is to offer. Then take into account travel time. How far apart are the islands you are planning to visit? How long will it take to travel? Are the travel services available on the days you wish to travel?
Unless you have unlimited time (and money) you need to choose between the islands which are important for you to visit.
Which Caribbean islands should I visit?
Choosing which islands to visit is a tough one! Do you want to explore the natural sights? The culture? Relaxing on beaches? Where MUST you visit?
We recommend letting geography help plan your route also. If you are limited on time, pick islands that are closer together to save travel time between them. Check how you travel from one to another is it easy or do you need to go via another stop?
Our tips for booking a Caribbean Island hop:
Book internal flights early: If you are planning to fly between islands, booking early is important, around two or three months in advance is recommended. This will give the best prices before they sell out or come with a large price tag.
Wear sunscreen at all times: The weather is beautiful in the Caribbean, which can catch you out in the sun. Always wear sunscreen.
Mosquito repellent: Mosquitos can carry infections in the Caribbean, with new cases being reported. Make sure you always have repellent which includes DEET on your skin and clothing.
Bottled water: Always carry this with you as a source of clean, fresh water.
Travel and Medical Insurance for the Caribbean
The Caribbean is home to some of the most expensive medical treatment in the world, so it is important to have travel insurance in place.
If you are travelling between multiple islands, chances are that you will be entering different countries with individual boarders and laws. For this reason, we recommend you purchase a multi trip travel insurance policy. Find out about our travel insurance products here
Some Caribbean countries are US territories, some are French, Dutch and so on. Make sure you select the correct travel areas when you take out the policy.
For certain islands you will only have your visitor’s visa approved upon proof of travel insurance.
The Caribbean is made up of over 700 islands with multiple territories within. The Caribbean isn’t a ‘country’ itself, therefore you will need to make sure you have the correct visa requirements, if needed, for each of the islands you are planning to visit.
There are many different currencies used within the Caribbean. The US dollar is widely accepted, but we recommend that you have at least a small amount of local currency for things like taxi drivers and small purchases.
We hope this has sparked you on your way to booking an incredible trip around the Caribbean! It has us! #AdventureAwaits