How to Plan the Perfect Getaway to a Country in the OECS
by Lou-Ann Jordan Jun 5, 2023
The eastern Caribbean comprises various islands, from lovely Puerto Rico to Grenada, the Spice Isle. However, within this grouping, nine independent states readily come to mind because they share the same currency.
Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines are the full members among the 11 countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. These countries are relatively close to each other and use the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) for trade. Why is this important? Because it offers us an excellent opportunity for travel.
Planning a getaway to one or more of the OECS countries is a superb way to spend this year’s holiday vacation. There are forts to visit, snorkelling to do, sulphur springs to soak, sea turtles to watch, gorgeous beaches to lounge on, and, well, take a dip.
Yet, what you’ll find equally delightful is not having to worry about acquiring a different currency or exchange rate, which is a major benefit. All you need to do is decide which islands you’ll visit and begin planning.
We want to help you. Here are helpful tips on how to plan an OECS getaway!
Decide on an OECS country. According to your home base, as you may be from one of the OECS countries, you have eight other islands from which to choose. Also, you may have an opportunity to visit more than one if there’s an option for a ferry. For example, St. Lucia and Dominica offer a ferry service between the islands.
Research daily expenses. For some, you’ll avoid the hassle of currency differences and exchange rates. Yay! Still, you’ll need to consider the island’s economy. There are likely to be differences in taxes as daily expenses for food, clothing, and such may differ from your country. It’s best to know such costs so you can budget well.
Budget for your trip. Once you know the cost of living for the island or islands you plan to visit, start setting money aside for your getaway. Your research will help to ensure your budget is realistic. It will also help you determine how many islands you can actually afford to visit.
Choose an off-peak period to visit. At different times in the Caribbean, ticket and accommodation prices for the islands can soar. Therefore, visiting during an off-peak period may help you save money. Look at the country’s calendar for its major holidays and festivals. If you book early enough, you can land a cheap plane ticket and accommodations during their peak season. Nevertheless, you can still opt to visit when things are slower on the island.
Plan the sites you’ll visit. We recommend you do this step before booking accommodations. It’s your vacation, so plan to have fun. Research the places and sights you’ll like to visit, paying attention to their location. Are most of them close to the town? Are they in the same area or dispersed across the island? Also, take note of the costs. Is access free, or is there a charge? You’ll need to factor these into your budget.
Choose accommodations that are accessible. Often, we’re motivated by prices when making reservations. However, you don’t want to book accommodations that are difficult to get to. If you plan to spend lots of time on the beach, and a specific one at that, then book a hotel on that beach. Similarly, if most of the attractions you plan to visit are in a particular part of the island, it may be best to find lodging there. Doing so will help you cut down on your expenses.
Ask, “What’s the Caricom rate?” Those four little words will save you money! Ask for the Caricom rate if you book accommodation, rent a vehicle, or visit a local attraction. We know you’re sticking to the OECS countries, but all of them are a part of Caricom, and some vendors offer a special reduced rate to visitors from member states. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Also, the extra money may allow you to add other activities to your itinerary.
With these seven tips, you’re all set for your OECS getaway. Now, if you’re wondering how to research accommodation, vehicle rentals and ferry services for your destination, it’s easy. Search FindYello. We’ve got a comprehensive business listing of all the member states in the OECS. Go to the home page, hit the drop-down menu, and select the appropriate country.