Reviewing The Caribbean Tourism Guidelines

If you’re going to visit any of the Caribbean islands, you might want to find out from Caribbean tourism if there are any requirements or restrictions for the island you are visiting. People often neglect to prepare properly for their trips, making for some interesting situations with customs and other international officials.

While a majority of people traveling to the Caribbean won’t have any problems, there is still a chance that something could go wrong and you could find yourself stuck. There are a lot of horror stories from tourists who have had difficulties in places like Jamaica and Haiti when they’ve strayed too far from the safety of the grounds of the hotels or Caribbean vacation resorts.

Some of the problems could have been avoided had the tourists done a little research on the areas first. Make sure that your hotel isn’t in a bad part of town to begin with, or if you are looking for a place for Caribbean vacation home rental, how safe is the neighborhood?

First and foremost, take some time to learn from Caribbean tourism experts about the country you’ll be visiting. What is the native language? Would it benefit you to take a basic course in Spanish, French or German? It might help you with the locals and understanding what people are saying.

Most of the Caribbean islands have roots that go back to the French, Dutch and Spanish explorers, and while the language may be a version of any one of those, you can still learn enough to communicate. Learn about the culture and customs, too, as what might be considered as normative in your own country might be a major faux pas somewhere else.

Watch the news before you leave and once you reach your destination. Local news can provide you with a lot of information regarding any potential problems in the areas you are choosing to visit. You wouldn’t want to walk into the middle of a political uprising or land smack in the middle of hurricane season.

The US Department of State recommends that, if you are staying abroad for more than two weeks, you register with the US Embassy or Consulate at your destination. Be sure to check with local Caribbean tourism officials as soon as you arrive if you have any questions.

With restrictions on flights changing at a moment’s notice, you can’t afford to save anything for the last minute. Know what you can and can’t take on the flight, call the airport before you leave or check online to find out what is required when going through security and customs.

Anyone traveling to or from the United States by air requires a passport. If you don’t have one, you will have to apply for one and the process could take up to six months. You can expedite the process for a fee and get your passport in a few weeks if you’re willing to pay the extra cash.

Make sure at least one person at home has a copy of your itinerary, the name of your hotel and where you can be reached. Give them the number of your passport and make sure they have back up documentation of your citizenship.

Your children will also have to have their own passports. If you are a single parent, you’ll need a letter of consent from the other parent to prove that you are legally authorized to travel with the child. Transporting a minor across state lines is illegal.

Each country also has its own rules about entry and exit. Some countries may require more than just a passport, and, for example, may want proof of vaccination against certain diseases. When you are leaving a foreign country, some charge what is called an “departure tax”.

Perhaps the biggest Caribbean tourism issue would be if you lose your passport or other identifying documents while traveling overseas. You will need to report the loss immediately to the local police and to the US Embassy.

Bear in mind that these documents won’t be replaceable outside of the US. Insufficient proof of who you are and where you’re from will definitely make the airlines deny you from boarding in Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti and Jamaica.

Look into all Caribbean tourism issues before you leave. Of course it is only common sense that you should never carry firearms or drugs. These items will definitely get you a one way ticket to the local prison. Certain foods, plants and animals are also discouraged for travel. There are also cash restrictions.

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