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Many travelers rush to the Caribbean during the holidays to escape the hustle and stress of the season (not to mention the frigid temperatures).

If you’re headed down south this year, pay attention to the following tips in order to get the most out of your Caribbean vacation.

Villas and Condos Versus Hotels

Even in the off season you may find the hotels on most Caribbean islands to be on the pricey side. Fear not, however; you don’t have to choose between beachfront property and affordable pricing. Rather than staying at a hotel, consider renting out a condo or a villa. This is an especially affordable option if you’re traveling with multiple groups or families, as many villas can sleep up to twelve to fifteen easily.

With the rise of the Internet it has become relatively easy to bypass the tourism industry and find locals willing to rent out their condos while they’re away. The trade off is you lose the amenities hotels have to offer, such as concierge service and dining options. However, most condos and villas have a full kitchen, meaning you can save even more money by cooking at home.

Image of Vacation Villas and condos in the Caribbean

Be Water Conscious

It’s a no-brainer to keep your drinking water limited to the bottled variety when travelling abroad, but there are other safety concerns to think of when in the Caribbean. For example, when you first arrive at your accommodations, it’s a good idea to let the showers and faucets run for at least five minutes while unpacking. This will allow any spores that might be growing in the plumbing to be flushed out. These spores could possibly lead to Legionnaires Disease, a nasty condition that can cause hospitalization and even be fatal. The bacteria that causes the disease thrives in the water systems of tropical climates. Even after flushing out the water system, you should still be vigilant about swallowing water during your bathing routine. A simple fix? Keep mouthwash in your mouth while showering.

Check Out the Sunday Markets

If you’re looking for souvenirs, skip the stalls that line the streets and wait for the Sunday markets. Here you can find seafood buy the pound and enjoy relatively cheap feasts on the beach. Scores of unique artwork, artisan goods, and exotic spices can be found from local purveyors at these markets. Spend some time perusing the different offerings, and if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen, stock up on local ingredients so you can eat deliciously at your home away from home.

Pack for the Atmosphere

Many people pack light for their Caribbean vacation, expecting to spend most of heir time in their swimsuit, frolicking in the ocean or sipping a margarita at a beachfront cantina. However, there are some essentials you should not overlook when preparing for your vacation.

For one, don’t neglect your rain-wear. You don’t have to pack full battle rattle, but a simple poncho and maybe a small travel umbrella would be a good idea. Some Caribbean islands are so small you’ll end up traveling by foot everywhere, and wouldn’t it be a drag to get caught in the rain holding all your shopping bags?

Also be sure to bring protective footwear for the beach. The sand often hides jagged pieces of coral and scores of crabs, all looking to dig into an unprotected toe. The water’s not a safe place for feet either, with jagged rocks lying in wait just below the water’s surface.

Ride Around On a Scooter

When deciding how best to travel around your island, you have several options. However, none are as efficient, as practical, and as affordable as a scooter. Renting a car can be expensive and difficult as a majority of nations in the Caribbean drive on the left, which can be hard to get used to. Taxis sometimes have fixed fares, but you’ll still end up spending a pretty penny if you rely on them everywhere you go. Finally, some islands feature bus routes as public transportation, but they don’t travel everywhere and then you’re bound to their schedules. Scooters are fast and easy to maneuver, and most hotels offer daily rental services. If you’re renting a villa, there are still many places around town that rent scooters by the hour, day, or week.

Author Bio – This article is written by Dillon Michaelson working for Insanely Cheap Flights. If you’re looking for cheap airplane tickets to various destinations like Orlando, Las Vegas, New York etc., do check out his travel portal today.

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