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ORGANIZING YOUR TRIP TO THE CARIBBEAN

Destinations, flights and airline tickets


While buying your tickets your can consult the numerous online ticket sale centers to try and find the magic formula: the fastest and cheapest way! The cost of a ticket to the Caribbean depends on the time of year you decide to travel but also the final destination which can include transfers in smaller planes to reach smaller islands or even final transfers in boats
Try and buy your ticket well ahead of time to get the best offers. We do recommend to buy travel insurance.
For Martinique (FDF, Aeroport Internationa Aime Cesair) and Guadeloupe (PTP, Aeroport International Pole Caraibes) there are numerous daily flights from Paris Orly (approx 8 hour flights); Saint Lucia (UVF, Herwanorra International Airport) – SLU, (George F. Charles Airport) there are direct flights from London and Manchester, or with stopovers from most European Airports (approx 8.5 hours) The Grenadine Islands are easily reached with internal flights from other islands, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Barbados. Not to forget the connections with the States, South America and Canada (see single islands for details)
trip to the caribbean flights
 
residence les creolines martinique

When to go to the Caribbean on holiday?


Climate and budget can help decide when to choose your Caribbean holiday. Obviously Christmas and New Years are very high season, airline tickets and accommodation are much more expensive compared to the rest of the year but if you book early you can still get good deals.
The climate is tropical maritime, with 2 important seasons:
- the dry season, from half November to half May: thunderstorms are rare, temperatures are pleasant around 28/29° C. In this period the climate is a little cooler and dryer than the rest of the year.
- the humid and hot season, that corresponds with the cyclone period, from half May to half November. The dominating trade winds from the east diminish and rains intensify, the temperature are around 30/31°C in the afternoon.
The saying, seasons don’t exist anymore is valid in the Caribbean as well.
Unfortunately climate changes are common as of everywhere else in the world. What is of popular belief is that the cyclone period is imagined as a period of torrential rains. Not true! First of all a “cyclone period” doesn’t mean that there are cyclones and storms all the time, it is certainly a wetter period of the year but it doesn’t rain every day. The rain fall is more frequent and intense during the day alternating with sun. But if you think that in August many islands have school holidays and it’s the moment for camping, going to the beach and sea side and weddings are also frequent...
The months of low season are very nice with not too much rain, airline tickets cost less as do accommodations, up to half than the winter season.
 

The Caribbean via sea

trip to caribbean
For those of you who don’t like flying, the Caribbean islands can be reached via the sea. The trip is a bit long (7 to 15 days depending on the kind of ship and from where you are travelling from) but the experience is unique. The Atlantic cross over can be done by ship – cruise liners or cargos with passenger cabins, from 7 to 15 days, or in sail boat (15 to 20 days). Most ships leave Europe for the Caribbean between November and December.
 

Documents, visas and customs


Check your documents, that is the first thing to do. If you are travelling to Guadeloupe or Martinique and are a European citizen, your id card is sufficient. A passport is necessary for Saint Lucia and for the Grenadines.
For customs information, go to the info page for the single island.
If you are planning on renting a car, you need your European driving license for Martinique and Guadeloupe and an international one for Saint Lucia or the Grenadines, it is also possible to buy a temporary driving license but for this you still need your European license with you.
documents for trip to caribbean
 

Sea links and internal flights

flight caribbean
There are regular links between the Islands of Saint Lucia-Martinique-Dominica-Guadeloupe by sea, and a ferry service that connects Saint Vincent with the main Grenadine Islands.
There are numerous internal flights that connect the main islands (St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Saint Vincent). The Grenadines can be reached via Saint Vincent or the Barbados. The flight connections between the different Caribbean islands are also possible with small private planes that often offer convenient prices.
 

What to put in your suitcase

trip to the caribbean
A vacation at the Caribbean is certainly going to be easy going whether you are on a boat or land. Obviously, good education teaches us that to go into offices, shops, restaurants, public places, etc….you must cover up, swimming costumes and a naked torso is only for the beach! But light weight and comfortable clothing is all you need for most activities. You can pack a few tee-shirts, costumes, a wrap, a light weight jumper or cardigan for the cooler evenings, sandals, flip flops and tennis shoes if you want to go for an excursion. Don’t forget sun creams, sun glasses, anti mosquito lotion for your first night in the Caribbean. And defiantly remember your camera to immortalize the most beautiful sights. Make sure you travel with light luggage, and if you are sailing don’t use rigid luggage but soft duffle bags.
 

Precautions for you trip


Vaccinations are not necessary for a vacation in Martinique, Guadeloupe, the Grenadines or Saint Lucia. But as in all tropical countries you should be generally careful and avoid stagnant water and take extra care of even the smallest wound.
Some mosquitoes can transmit the dengue virus with symptoms similar to a bad flu. There is no prophylaxis and the best is to protect yourself with a good anti mosquito lotion. Take your health card with you and go to your local health office for information while abroad.
Martinique has an excellent health system, the best in all the Caribbean. There are good public hospitals and private clinics. Pharmacies follow the European standard both in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
It is a good idea to take out an insurance policy before your departure.
Go to the single island info page for more specific and detailed information regarding health and safety for each island.