Saturday, February 28, 2015

6 Things to Know About Your Dream Caribbean Vacation

Even back during the colonial times, American visitors have always loved to visit the Caribbean. These islands have been the favorite place of many for their dream vacation. In the past 50 years, tourism to the area has increased greatly, and today millions of U.S. citizens visit the islands every year to enjoy all that the islands have to offer – beaches, fun in the sun, exciting water adventure, and communing with nature, as well as local culture and food.  

But just what is it that makes the Caribbean so spectacularly different from all other vacation destinations out there? And how could you maximize on fun during your Caribbean dream vacation? 

On to the Old ‘West Indies 

The first set of explorers who came to the shores of the Caribbean was Europeans. At the time, they were seeking a sea route to India and when they found this tiny group of islands in the middle of the vast sea, they called it simply as the “West Indies,” thinking that they had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of south and east Asia) when in fact they had reached the Americas. Later on, it was changed to the Caribbean, after the Caribs who were one of the dominant Amerindian groups in the region at the time of European contact. 

The Caribbean is actually a region of tropical islands in the Caribbean Sea. It is situated between North and South America and east of Central America. Its more than 7,000 islands extend for nearly 1,700 miles from Cuba in the west to Barbados in the east and are bordered by several islets, reefs, and cayes. There are a total of 25 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. 

Each one of the islands of the Caribbean has their own individualistic flairs and styles. No one island is the same and you get a different experience as you hop from one island to another. It has a wealth of cultures, languages, natural environments, scenery, activities, and entertainment all worth checking out. Whether you want the adrenaline rush of extreme sports, being at one with nature up a hiking trail, complete relaxation under the sun, or a night of dancing and grooving at a rave party – the Caribbean has it all. 

How do you know what you want to see and where to go find it? How do you know which one’s the best out of all those myriad of options? There’s so much information out there there’s no telling how long it would take for you to go through all of them. And that’s exactly what this page is all about. Here you will find a list outlining all the highlight attractions throughout the various areas of the Caribbean. This list will help inform you and guide you along your path to re-discovering these islands of dreams. 

#1 -- Life is a Beach 

Are you a sun worshipper? Are you all for having sand between your toes and the sun beating down on you? Hardly anyone ever goes to the Caribbean if not for its spectacular beaches. In fact, beaches are the one thing that most people look for in a vacation. And in the Caribbean, the beaches come a plenty.


Let’s start with Aruba, an island in the Caribbean with a rich cultural heritage that runs from piracy in the old days to music festivals almost any month of the year in the present. Known for its pristine beaches, the island of Aruba is also perfect for hiking, riding, and exploring the natural beauty of rock formations, natural pools, and more. 

The best beaches to relax and have fun in Aruba include popular Palm Beach. With its soft sand and palm trees that draw crowds, it’s no wonder that Palm Beach is the most popular beach in this gem of an island. Next to it sits Eagle Beach, pretty low-key compared to its highly populated neighbor. The beach offers the same sweet sandy stretches and shady palms but without quite as much bustling, making it perfect for a secluded holiday out in the sun. 

Another island that is just teeming with gorgeous beaches is the Cayman Islands. Crystal waters, beautiful marine life, enchanting sugar sand beaches, these are what makes the Cayman Islands famous among visitors and locals alike. But these aren’t all that the Islands have to offer. When you’re not busy playing in the water, there is also lounging on the beach or seeing some land attractions.

#2 Time for a Little “Alone Time!” 

If you’re tired of the living the busy city life of a working man or woman, then you’ll find the escape you’ve been looking for at the Caribbean. Ask anyone. You’ll find that the name of the place has become synonymous to “rest and relaxation.” 

One of the best islands to search for solitude or perhaps, just a bit of “alone time” is Barbuda in Lesser Antilles where sand and solitude are one inseparable entity. Its curative quality for modern angst is deeply profound, offering you the best setting for a relaxing dream Caribbean vacation. Whatever Barbuda may lack in nightlife, or, for that matter, paved roads, it makes up for it’s finely texture seaside grains. The island has so much sand that it’s the leading export, shipped throughout the Caribbean to replenish eroding shorelines. Even so, visitors to one of Barbuda’s three exclusive resorts or its handful of guesthouses aren’t getting shortchanged. 

As the northern outpost of the Leeward Isles, Anguilla is another island that offers not only solitude in the Caribbean but seclusion as well. Only a sprinkling of luxurious hotels mar the tropical landscape, giving it a whole exclusive feel to it as you gave at mile upon mile pristine sands and offshore coral cays. 

One of the most southerly of the Caribbean islands, Grenadines is a string of pearls afloat on the sea of lapis lazuli. An island superbly undeveloped, it is a favorite among escapists who love the supremely unspoiled and sufficiently inaccessible. On these gorgeous islands, nightlife is conspicuous in its absence, peace and solitude are unsurpassed, offering that other side of the Caribbean for the solitary connoisseur. 

#3 Groove to the Caribbean Beat 

If you think that the Caribbean is all about beaches and solitary communion with nature, think again. Because you’ve never been more wrong in your life. At night when the sun takes a dip in the shining waters of the Caribbean Sea, the islands come alive with a dynamic nightlife that keeps you on your feet all night long. 

Who said the Caribbean is only for the sun worshippers? There’s enough room for the party animals and the night owls who love the excitement that a Caribbean night offers. The casinos, bars, pubs, restaurants, shows, and music of the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Aruba, and Puerto Rico will keep you going way after the sun goes down. The islands, after all, are known for its many different music genres, from meringue, jazz, and reggae to rock and roll.  

Aruba might be known for its beaches, but it holds nearly the same reputation for its nightlife. At least ten casinos present stage shows in addition to the gaming tables. Varying from Las Vegas-style shows to themed entertainments, featuring folklore, steel-pan bands, maybe even limbo, you never have a lack for things to do for fun at night. And if that isn’t enough, there are weekly street festivals showcasing local dance, food, and arts and crafts. 

They say Puerto Rico defines nightlife. Well-known for its many upscale casinos with plenty of sideshows to entertain you between placing your bets, or instead of doing so, people are right in saying that the island is a hopping place to be when the sun goes down.  

#4 Heed the Adrenaline Rush! 

Perhaps your idea of fun is enjoying the more extreme side of life? Then head on to the Caribbean and get wet, get sweaty. Feel the adrenaline rush from a mountain bike ride down rugged landscape of Trinidad and Tobago, the land of Limbo, calypso, steelpan, and Carnival.  

Tobago is known for its beautiful rainforest, coral reef, tropical birds, white sandy beaches, and heavenly blue waters. It has beautiful fauna and flora and a lot of sportive activities to do aside from mountain biking, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing, horse riding, hiking, tennis, and golf. All of this in one beautiful unspoiled tropical island. 

Scuba diving is another strong draw that brings people to the islands of the Caribbean. There are several fabulous sites on the island where marine life is rich, perfect for a scuba diver. The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis for instance, though not a major Caribbean scuba diving destination, but they do have a spectacular coral reefs, providing you with an excellent diversion. Other notable islands is St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands) which boasts of a deep ocean trench of up to 5,000 feet deep.


The Lesser Antilles islands are located in the Eastern part of the Caribbean region and an excellent site for a real Caribbean adventure. This group of island is a fusion of the rich cultures of Africa, Europe, and East India. Island hopping in cultural extremes can never be as enjoyable as you experience the intensity of these islands’ Carnival tradition and breathe in the warm Caribbean breeze. 

#5 Have Fun with the Family 

Are you looking to bring your family with you when you go on the ultimate Caribbean getaway? No problem then, because the islands have everything you could ever want in a family vacation destination.  

Being the second largest island in the Caribbean, Hispaniola, Dominican Republic is one of the hottest destinations for families on a Caribbean vacation. To the north, you’ll find Amber Coast in Playa Dorado which is only about 20 minutes away from La Union International Airport. The coast is ideal for those traveling with kids or traveling in a group as the choppy seas provide the perfect environment for windsurfing, boogie boarding, and playing in the surf. When not in the water, families can even explore the ancient town of Puerto Plata, founded in 1504 and famous for its many historic forts. 

Another great destination for traveling families is Grenada. Dubbed as the “Spice of the Caribbean”, Grenada in St. George is alive with the sounds of young laughter. Mile wide beaches and sparkling waters provide an enchanting backdrop as you shell-walk with your kids down Grenada and its sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Acknowledges as having some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean, this travel destination will let you test your snorkeling and scuba skills on clear waters featuring the 600-feet Bianca C Shipwreck. 

#6 Love is In the Air 

But if what you’re looking for in a vacation is to spend some time with your special someone, check out the luxurious offerings in Puerto Rico, the land of romance and salsa. 

A destination full of color, culture, sassy music, historic landmarks, tropical rain forests, smaller island excursions, scientific research centers to tour, exotic wildlife, pristine beaches, great cuisine, and plenty of nightlife – that is exactly what Puerto Rico, the Jewel of the Caribbean is all about. The island is so replete with all things bright and beautiful there truly is no better place on earth for romance to bloom. The sunsets and sunrises just don’t get any better and many visitors find that they never want to leave the streets and beautiful plazas of historic San Juan. The colonial city is one of the most beautiful of all the major Caribbean cities and can charm you in a way few tropical destinations can. From narrow cobblestone lanes and wrought-iron balconies, archways, and plazas, it doesn’t take long to realize you are in an 18th century Spanish colonial city alive with antique shops, art galleries, and small, attractive sidewalk cafes.  

Other Caribbean destinations worth checking out are Antigua, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and St. Croix.
The great thing about the Caribbean is that you never have a lack for fun things to do. Life may be a beach, but that could get boring. So why settle for only one thing when a cornucopia of options is being put on display for you?

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Caribbean’s Lesser and Greater Antilles


The Caribbean island grouping known as the Lesser Antilles consists of three smaller island groups: the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, and the Leeward Antilles.
The Windward Islands include Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.
The Windward Islands are the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles island group in the Eastern Caribbean. They are so named because the trade winds touch here first, placing these islands upwind from the Leeward Islands. The term dates back to the days when explorers and merchants relied on the trade winds to carry their ships across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

The Leeward Islands include Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin/Maarten, St. Barts, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, and Dominica.

The Leeward Antilles are the so-called ABC Islands off the coast of South America -- Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.
The Greater Antilles are one of the island groups in the Caribbean Sea. Comprising the islands of Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Hispaniola (containing the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, the Greater Antilles constitute over 94% of the land mass of the entire West Indies,[1] as well as over 90% of its population.


BEST CRUISE CHOICE/Tropical Cruise and Travel/Blog: Making Your Port Day As Smooth As Possible

BEST CRUISE CHOICE/Tropical Cruise and Travel/Blog: Making Your Port Day As Smooth As Possible: CRUISE TIPS Making Your Port Day As Smooth As Possible BY  EMRYS THAKKAR - Founder and Editor of Cruise Hive One of the main rea...

Making Your Port Day As Smooth As Possible

Making Your Port Day As Smooth As Possible
BY EMRYS THAKKAR - Founder and Editor of Cruise Hive

One of the main reasons for booking your dream cruise holiday are the ports that the cruise ship calls at. On many voyages the ports are what defines the cruise and can make a huge difference in the experience.
Cruise Hive is going to look at some ideas on how you can make the port day as smooth as possible because in many cases it can be more stressful than actually enjoyable. You may even be scared if it’s a ports of call you know nothing about.
Cruise Line Information
The cruise line will surely provide information on the cruises upcoming port of call. To do this some lines will put on a talk show by ships staff to explain important information and what to do when on land. Extra details about the port are usually given in your package details along with daily newsletters given onboard the ship. Always check the cabin television too for port information as most cruise lines will have a dedicated channel for this. The details provided usually tell the best places to visit while on land including shore excursions and restaurants. They will also tell you the best beaches to enjoy and even provide suggested fees that you could be charged.
CRUISE TIP: Listen to the experts and read the port guides given.
When a cruise ship come into port the locals are always right at the cruise terminal entrance ready to take your money. Most ports have agreements with the local authorities with transports. You’ll often see trolley or minibus taxi’s available but be careful because the drivers will try to charge more especially if their just single public taxis.
Try and stay in large groups and if you know any other fellow passengers that are going to the same place as you then why not travel together, it will also be more fun and you get to make new friends on your cruise. Another point to note is in some ports they will have a big board near the transport pick up and drop off points with fair prices to popular tourist places.
CRUISE TIP: Don’t use taxi’s outside the port area.
Make sure you don’t take all your valuable items on shore with you. You can leave them in your stateroom safe or give to the information desk as some cruise lines do offer a secure safe service. Make sure you get a bottle of water before you get off because you don;t want to be waiting your shore time looking in the shops to buy water. Plan your day and just get the amount of cash needed, in most cases Caribbean ports will take dollars but other cruise regions will use that countries own currency.
CRUISE TIP: Use your cabin safe, don’t keep ALL your valuables on you in port.
It would be wise to have breakfast onboard before you get off the ship and then have lunch outside. An important aspect of experiencing a port of call are the local restaurants. Usually the cruise line will give information on the most recommended places to eat on shore. Try to choose a place that is local and serves local dishes so you can try something new and gain the most experience from the port. Don’t try to take any fresh food back onboard with you as it’s not allowed. That means you’ll have to eat as much as possible while on shore! We know that won’t be a problem.
CRUISE TIP: Eat local dishes at local restaurants.
What do you really need when going ashore? Well in today’s world there is at least one device passengers will take but the most important is a phone. It would be wise to know the emergency number of the country and to check to see if your phone will work in port. it’s suggested to check online or simply ask the cruise ships information desk about his. Electronic devices can be heavy especially when carrying more than two so try to limit them. Cruise ship passengers are often surprised at how often they have to walk in port and if it’s a hot climate it can be struggle.
CRUISE TIP: Limit electronic devices but always have a phone.
Time Limit
Time in port is precious so decide what you want to do the day before at the latest so you can book shore excursions if needed and purchase items that you might have not brought with you. Try to find a balance when visiting the port of call and choose a nice place to relax and dine at when you can. Everyone has their own way of experiencing a port of call but we do suggest that something new is done, you’ll be surprised at how much you enjoy it. Don’t spend time visiting the local pharmacy unless it’s urgent, try to make a list before your cruise on urgent items that you might need.

CRUISE TIP: Plan and be organized before the day you go ashore

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cruises Out Of Baltimore

The Caribbean Islands make the perfect destination for cruising. From the Cayman Islands to Barbados, from the British Virgin Islands to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Bermuda, uncover secluded vistas and tropical wildlife hidden in this tropical paradise. The Caribbean Isles let you sample many ways of living: admire the influence of European colonies including architecture derived from British and French cultures. With hundreds of islands and endless beaches, there are so many ways for you and your family to experience this infinitely inviting landscape. The great part about this is you can sail out of the port of Baltimore.

Local CruiseOne® Travel Agency Launches Revolutionary Video Library

Local CruiseOne® Travel Agency Launches
Revolutionary Video Library

Library will have 35 travel videos by end of year with additional ones
being added throughout 2015

Baltimore, Maryland (February 13, 2015) Local Cruise One travel agency Best Cruise Choice has added a video library of travel vlogs, blogs that are primarily video content, on its website to assist consumers in their vacation decision-making process.  With 26 travel videos already created and 35 expected to be completed by year-end, these vlogs provide consumers a first-person look at what it’s like to stay at a resort or travel on a cruise by showcasing unique destinations, various cruise ships and different experiences available on land and at sea, as well as additional background information and insider tips.

“This will enhance our Know before you go travelers education program, we are really excited,” said Ted Coates, Cruise One franchise owner and vacation specialist.

Google studies show that online travel video usage is increasing approximately 55 percent, and that these videos are influential in the early stages of the travel planning process including when consumers are thinking about taking a trip and when choosing a destination. According to the same study, 90 percent of travelers take action after viewing an online travel video. The CruiseOne videos drive emotion and create a connection with the viewer by being fun and engaging.

As part of World Travel Holdings, one of the nation’s top travel retail networks, CruiseOne offers consumers the lowest possible pricing on cruise and land vacations through its relationships with every major cruise line and many tour operators.

The vlogs can be found on Coates’s CruiseOne website, , under the dropdown menus for Cruise Lines, Explore More, Cruise Destinations, The Experience, and Resorts & Tours.  For more information or to book a dream vacation with Best Cruise Choice, please call 410-340-4155

About CruiseOne®
Celebrating 22 years in business, the home-based travel franchise CruiseOne® is ranked in the top one percent of all franchises worldwide and is a member of the International Franchise Association. As part of World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company, CruiseOne franchisees are able to offer their customers the lowest possible pricing on vacations with its 100 percent “Best Price and Satisfaction Guarantee.” CruiseOne has received partner of the year, a top-ranking status, by all the major cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line®, Royal Caribbean International®, Celebrity Cruises® and Carnival® Cruise Line. For more information on CruiseOne, visit 

Media Contact:
Ted Coates

7 Ways to Cut Down Your Luggage: A Caribbean Budget Travel Tip

You have finally decided to take that long sought-after Caribbean vacation. Days before your departure you’re so excited you could hardly sleep and you spend most of your time packing things that you feel might contribute to maximizing your fun in the sun. 
But wait just a minute and think about what you’re doing. Before you place those two extra snorkeling gears, swimsuits, sneakers, golf clubs, and what-have-you, ask yourself whether you really need these things.
Because these days the lines at security and customs are long. The world is changing and this is just one of the consequences of that change. There’s no doubt the lines are going to get even longer as time goes. . Even the simple task of going through a metal detector can take forever. Even longer if you have too many suitcases with you, not to mention that other suitcase you have for your little “extras?” Now, going through airport security and customs is REALLY going to take forever.  
The biggest and most common error that travelers commit, is to bring too much luggage with them. Think about it. Do you really need four extra pairs of swimming trunks for a week-long vacation? While your fear of leaving behind something crucial is understandable, think first about being bogged down with a collection of bulky bags. Consider the circumstances and realize that the latter is really far more damaging than the former. 
Packing less for your Caribbean travel is prudent not only because it is less time-consuming and gives you the power to get through customs much more quickly, but also because it can save you money. A lot, in fact, starting with the amount of time you save by just breezing past customs instead of getting stuck there, and as a consequence, be late for your flight. The world waits for no man, as the saying goes. Your plane certainly won’t wait for you when other passengers are already in their seats and roaring to go so you’ll be forced to buy a new ticket for the next flight. Which brings us to allowing amble time to get through security in the first place. 
Strategize: Mobility is Key to Budget Travels 
Whether you are going to the Caribbean, or Hawaii, or the Bahamas, or Europe, or Asia, the key to an effective budget travel is mobility. For instance, it is most likely that when an innkeeper is quoting a high price you’re going to walk. And when the air courier service arranged a $300 USD flight to Europe for you, it means you are limited to two carry-on bags for your overseas trip. 
There are several more examples that clearly portray how being able to move easily from one place to another is important in budget travels. In fact, a common one (and one I’m sure you are familiar with) is the subway, which is admittedly a cheaper ride from the airport than a cab. When you decide to take it, you’re going to inconvenience yourself and others on the train with four or five bags at your feet. Better hail that cab then and cross your fingers that the dollar meter won’t take too much chunk off your budget. 
Are you beginning to get the idea? Budget strategy really does depend on mobility. In fact, I’m willing to bet that every strategy or plan out there designed to help you budget for that dream vacation of yours is hinged on your mobile ease. 
Well, of course, there are suitcases with wheels these days so tagging along five or so suitcases isn’t as bad as it used to. Plus, some travelers have the muscle and strength to get those bags where they need to go. But whether you are capable or not, wheels or not, your trip won’t get off to a good start when you find out that your budget room in Puerto Rico is up five narrow flights of stairs. It isn’t a very picture, that one. 
Moreover, the Caribbean is comprised of thousands of different islands. If you decide to go island-hopping, you’ll be crossing seas and borders, thus multiplying your waits at baggage carousels, as well as the chances that someone will walk away with your “essentials” or help themselves to your valuables when the bags are out of your control. 
Safety Issue: Don’t be a Stranger in a Strange Town 
Granted that travel inconvenience is minimized if you pack less, a more pressing concern is your safety. Ask yourself how safe is it to arrive in an unfamiliar city with a couple or so bags in tow that practically scream “tourist” every which way you go? Might as well wear a placard that say “I’m a tourist, I’m prime catch” around your neck to entice bad elements to take interest in you, because in effect, that’s what you do when two or three bags are in tow. 
The efficient traveler who knows his way around may have only one bag that contains all his bare essentials. After all, that’s how they got their name “bare essentials” in the first place. The barest of the bare. You’re not supposed to bring your whole closet with you when you go on vacation to the Caribbean. Certainly, only novice travelers who don’t know better make that mistake. 
The world is filled with thugs who live for that moment when they spot persons like this. You might become a prime target for a pickpocket, a mugging, or a travel scam. And let’s not forget terrorists who target people with enough money to travel. 
The point is not to be someone you’re not. It’s not even about disguising yourself or camouflaging yourself as one of the locals because that’s hardly likely in the indigenous culture of the Caribbean. The point is to appear “competent” – a confident tourist, so to speak. That’s easy enough to accomplish with a single, lightweight bag slung over your shoulder. And on the plus side, it allows you to keep your money out of a criminal’s pocket.
 So now that you know the merits of packing less to maximize your budget for a Caribbean vacation, here are eight ways we suggest you adopt to help you pack: 
TIP NO. 1: Choose Wisely 
Isn’t that always the norm? After all, you weren’t given these choices just so you can make a bad one. It just doesn’t go well with ordinary human logic. So the goal then is to choose wisely the things you need to include in your luggage. 
But how do you know if choosing that thing is a wise thing to do? Simple. Find out whether the object serves multiple purposes or one crucial function. For example, you are expected to pack essential medicines or other health products not available at your destination. These things have a crucial function to your health and well-being so no one is suggesting that you skimp on them. However, when it comes to clothing, don’t pack them like you do with medicine. You can always buy clothes at your destination after all. The same thing goes with photographic equipment. Boxes and boxes of extra films? High-density lens? Power cams? Tripods? Do you really need those? You can always pack a simple digital camera and just buy the film when you get to the Caribbean hotel you are staying at. 
TIP NO. 2: Laundry Days during the Trip
This makes absolute sense and actually works, especially if your trip is longer than a few days, which your Caribbean vacation will most certainly be. There’s no need to go all out when you do the laundry. Just washing out a few pieces of clothes like your swimming suit in the bathroom sink is enough to do the trick. The extra room you make in your suitcase which would have been occupied by that extra suit could be used for something more vital to your travel. Certainly, spending a few extra minutes in the bathroom is better than dragging a bunch of bulky outfits everywhere you go. And even paying the hotel an extra fee to have them clean your clothes for you is wise, considering the circumstances otherwise. 
Now, when you do decide to do laundry during your Caribbean vacation, make sure the clothes you bring are lightweight. Choose ones with fabric that will dry quickly. Also, have a care that the cloth does not wrinkle easily. 
TIP NO. 3: Color Scheme 
Admittedly, clothes are the one thing you can’t do without. And if you plan to have a lot of fun during your Caribbean vacation, you’re going to need outfits appropriate for dinner, disco night outs, casinos, boating, hiking, etc. Now, the dilemma is that you can’t bring more clothes than you have to. If you were to bring an outfit for each excursion you decide to take on your Caribbean vacation, it’s very likely you’re going to end up with four bags. So what’s the deal?
The answer is color scheme. Hey, the rules didn’t say that the outfits have to be different each time. Basic black goes with almost anything. So does khaki and white. So make sure that among the clothes you pack for your Caribbean budget travel, you include enough basic blacks and whites to allow you to match up your outfits. 
TIP NO. 4: Mail Items Home or Throw Them Away
Now, this tip may only work if your Caribbean trip spans two seasons, but who knows? The idea is this: mail your heavy clothing home. This is something that ingenious backpackers have been known to do in order to keep themselves as wholly mobile as possible. After all, who really wants to be weighed down by a lot of inconsequential stuff? Right. No one.
So take the tip and do away with the bulky stuff you will no longer need during your trip, such as purchases you may have made or soiled clothes. And if you don’t particularly like that outfit, you can even just throw them away. Hey, what are the discount stores at the destination there for anyway but to make it easy for you to buy replacements?
TIP NO. 5: Buy Incidentals
You’re in the Caribbean – a vacation destination you’ve been dreaming about for nearly your entire life. Don’t just stand there and gawk at things from behind the glass panel. Step inside that store and buy something. Not only is it part of experiencing life in the Caribbean, but it will also help ease away your packing trouble because you know that you can easily acquire items that really are missed.
TIP NO. 6: Consider Leaving your Camera at Home 
I know. It’s basically sacrilege. It’s the Caribbean, for pete’s sake! Phone cameras are so good now you really don’t need a camera. 
TIP NO. 7: Pack Sealable Plastic Bags 
Ah, the joys of plastic. This one is pretty nifty and takes virtually zero space in your suitcase. Basically, you can use the plastic bags to store food or separate wet clothes from dry ones. You can even use it to pack your muddy shoes in so the rest of your stuff don’t get soiled. See the basic idea? One single thing, multiple purposes. 
So now that you’ve made it this far, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t tough it out with just one pack on your Caribbean vacation trip. Here’s one last tip, once you’ve laid out all your travel essentials the night before you leave for the Caribbean, try to separate it one more time into the things you need and the things that you absolutely need. The “absolute needs” are what you should pack first.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Five Airport and Airline Secrets and Tips You Should Know

Let’s face it, making your way through the airport isn’t all hot fudge sundaes. Sometimes, It’s liver and cod oil. But getting in and around, knowing the ins and outs, can help.
Here are five secrets and tips about airports and airlines you should know.

1)  CHOOSING THE RIGHT SECURITY LINE. It’s not an exact science, to be sure, but there are some helpful ways to choose the "right" line to speed the process if you don’t have TSA Pre-Check clearance. This video by travel expert Peter Greenberg is chock full of tips from how to pack, what to wear, and to how to spot the "right" line to get into.

2) WHY THE INTERIOR LIGHTS DIM AT NIGHT – We found this one to be fascinating. Thirty pilots, flight attendants and airport workers last year gave insider tips and secrets to Wanna know why those cabin lights dim for night takeoffs and landings? God forbid you need to evacuate the plane upon landing, your eyes will already be adjusted to the darkness and you’ll be able to see outside.
·        3) THERE’S REALLY NO PRIVACY – If you’re thinking there’s privacy in an airplane bathroom, think again. Also from, flight attendants say you are able to unlock airplane lavatories from the outside. There is usually a lock mechanism concealed behind the no smoking tag on the bathroom door. Lift flap, slide bolt, and you're in. In all seriousness, this is again one of those "God forbid" scenarios. Flight attendents need the ability to open the door in case a passenger has a medical emergency in the bathroom.
·        4) GERMS, GERMS, GERMS – Airlines rarely give out pillows and blankets anymore, unless you’ve paid scads of money for first-class, so you don’t have to worry so much about the fact that some of those amenities were just re-folded for the next flight. Yuck. But hang on. Flight attendants tell that the tray tables are not cleaned after every flight. Spilled food is one thing, but one flight attendant told the website she’s seen everything from passengers changing diapers on tray tables to clipping their nails. Think twice before you lay a piece of food down or rest your head on one of those things. Think disposable placemats, available in most drugstores.
·        5) THE HOTTEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE – No, not hot as in hip. Hot as in body temperature. If you’re looking to have the warmest seat on a plane, choose an aisle seat. In the winter and at high altitudes, there is always some cold-air leakage from airplane windows. The further you are from the window, the warmer you will be.