Traveling to the Caribbean: Insurance Information & Travel Tips
With white sand beaches, abundant sunshine, and fancy umbrella drinks, your trip to the Caribbean will be a fantastic way to relax and reset! We know how much you’re looking forward to your trip. Still, you may have forgotten one crucial element of planning your trip: travel insurance. As you prepare for your relaxing vacation, let’s look at travel insurance – what it is, how much it costs, and if it’s necessary for your trip. Then, we’ll review some of our top tips to make sure your Caribbean vacation is unforgettable!
Caribbean Travel Insurance
As you already know, traveling is an investment that requires your precious time and money, and it’s likely that you haven’t even thought of something going wrong during your trip. And we don’t blame you!
But, in the event that something unexpected occurs during your trip, such as an accident or injury, a hurricane, or baggage loss, travel insurance can protect both you and the money you’ve invested into your vacation. Peace of mind is priceless, and knowing that you’re insured in the case of a medical emergency or sudden cancellation makes travel insurance an incredibly valuable investment.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to the Caribbean?
No, you don’t need travel insurance to go to the Caribbean. However, it’s in your best interest to get yourself covered. Even if you’re sure you won’t need to cancel your trip unexpectedly, travel insurance also provides coverage if you lose your belongings or passport, run into problems with your reservations or delays, or if you need emergency medical care. Not to mention, if a natural disaster occurs while you’re in the Caribbean, like a hurricane, travel insurance can provide you with compensation for losses you incur, as well as a way to get home.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for My Trip to the Caribbean?
The cost of travel insurance can vary by company, and depends on the type of coverage you choose. Basic coverage is typically 3-4% of your total trip cost, while premium coverage will run between 10-12%.
With so many options available, it’s not hard to find coverage that meets your needs and your budget. Our travel insurance comparison engine is an excellent way to get quotes from a variety of different travel insurance companies. Simply input information about your travel itinerary, your travelers, and what options you’d like to have, and you’ll be able to easily compare plans and prices. The best part is, you can purchase your travel insurance directly from our site online with a lowest price guarantee. It’s a one-stop-shop designed to deliver great coverage, as well as peace of mind!
Now that your travel insurance is taken care of, let’s focus on the fun part. Here are some of our top travel tips to help you navigate your Caribbean vacation!
Money: Currency & Tipping
Depending on which Caribbean island you travel to, you’ll run into different currencies. For example, the Eastern Caribbean dollar is used in many countries, while the Antilles uses Netherlands Antillean Florin (also called Guilders). There’s also the Barbados dollar, the Jamaican dollar, and the euro.
Fortunately, the U.S. dollar is the most widely accepted form of currency on most islands, regardless of the official currency. The only exception here is where the euro is the official currency, which means you’ll need to convert your U.S. dollars into euros. Local shops and restaurants may show their prices in their local currency but will accept U.S. dollars. However, be aware that any change you receive will be given in the local currency.
To make sure you’re getting the best conversion rate, it’s a good idea to have some local currency on you. ATMs are available throughout and will probably have better exchange rates and fees than any commercial hotel or exchange site. Credit cards are also widely accepted, so you shouldn’t run into any issues if that’s your payment of choice.
When it comes to tipping, it’s customary in the Caribbean for hospitality and service industries, and the percentage varies depending on which island you’re on. Across all islands, the average tipping percentage is around 15%. But you should always check your bill before leaving a tip to ensure that gratuity wasn’t included in your total.
What to Pack for your Visit & Weather Conditions
With one of the best climates on the planet, the Caribbean pretty much sees 24-29 degrees C (75-85 degrees F) temperatures year-round: not too hot, and never cold! The best time to visit is between December and April when the weather is slightly cooler, especially in the north, and less humid. May to November is considered the rainy season, and you can expect hurricanes between July and October on a few of the islands, especially in the south.
Unless you’re planning your Caribbean vacation during hurricane season, you’ll want to pack for warm summer temperatures and frequent visits to the beach! Clothing made of polyester or synthetic fabrics is better since cotton soaks up sweat. Throw in a big floppy hat, your sunglasses, and don’t forget your sunscreen, and you’ll be good to go!
Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture
Sure, visiting the Caribbean can be all about laying on the beach, soaking up the sun, and splashing in the pool or ocean, especially if you’re staying at a resort. But, if you’re looking for a truly immersive experience, each island of the Caribbean has a unique culture ready for you to explore. Nearly all Caribbean islands are territories of larger nations and have a history full of colonization stories. Many places have combined their native cultures with the traditions of their empirical ancestors. In Barbados, try to catch a Cricket game and then head to the Friday Fish Fry. This Bajan tradition is like a street party, with music and dancing that you won’t want to miss.
In Puerto Rico, take a road trip through Ponce, where you’ll experience ornate buildings, and check out the Museo de Arte de Ponce for one of the best collections in all of the Caribbean! If you’re heading to Jamaica, check out the rasta culture and the roots of Bob Marley at The Culture Yard, which includes the old Volkswagen van that Bob Marley and the Wailers used when touring in the 1960s. If you’re heading to Trinidad in February, you have to experience Carnival! With the calypso singing and steel band competitions, street parade, and tons of dancing, it’s an experience you aren’t likely to find anywhere else.
No matter which island you visit, there are tons of cultural and immersive experiences waiting for you. All you have to do is venture out from your resort and get to know the locals!
Islands of the Caribbean
- Antigua & Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
- Navassa Island
- Nueva Esparta
- Puerto Rico
- San Andres & Providencia
- St. Barthelemy
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Martin
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Sint Eustatius
- Sint Maarten
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- U.S. Virgin Islands