How to Prepare for Your First Long-Term Trip to the Caribbean
People go on a long trip to the Caribbean for various reasons.
With several islands perfect for a long holiday or quick getaway, the Caribbean is the best destination for a lengthy vacation. With a variety of accommodation types to choose from, finding a place where you can stay here won’t be a problem.
People who own businesses in the Caribbean or have been assigned here for work can see themselves staying in this part of the world for long periods as well.
But whether you are staying in the Caribbean for a long time for a vacation or for business or work purposes, having a second home here will work to your advantage.
Under the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program, you can own a home in Antigua and Barbuda, one of the most beautiful and safest countries in the Caribbean. You can choose among strategically located, well-designed villas and apartments to purchase and call your second home on this island.
You will then own property in Antigua and Barbuda, which you can reside in whenever you are in this country for holiday or work or business reasons.
Moreover, the nation’s citizenship by investment program allows you to obtain an Antigua and Barbuda passport. This travel document is currently one of the most powerful in the Caribbean and the world. It enables holders visa-free or visa-upon-entry travel to more than 140 jurisdictions.
With a home of your own and a second passport that you can use anytime you travel, you will experience better comfort and convenience in numerous destinations.
Long-Term Travel Planning Tips
If you are preparing for your first long-term trip to the Caribbean, follow these tips to help you throughout the whole process:
1. Check your passport and other necessary documents
Before you start making plans, check your passport. Many countries do not allow entry to people with less than six months left or less than two to four blank pages remaining on their travel document.
Regardless of which country issued your passport, apply for a new one if it is up for renewal soon or running out of space. Additionally, find out if you need a visa to enter your Caribbean destination and get one if you need it.
In case you are interested in applying for a second passport through a citizenship by investment program during your stay here, find out beforehand what documents you should bring to start your application. Consider consulting a citizenship advisor before you travel to learn what you need to prepare.
Lastly, make sure to save soft copies of all your important documents, including your passport. Additionally, bring printed photocopies of these items during your trip.
2. Know which clothes to pack
Although you will be away from home for three months or so, it doesn’t mean that you have to bring all your clothes, shoes, and other possessions. Even if you are currently living in a place with similar weather conditions as the Caribbean, you shouldn’t pack all your summer outfits.
To know which items are best to bring, think about the activities you need and want to participate in. If you are traveling to the Caribbean for work or business, consider your itinerary and the other things you will frequently do. This may include going to the office, attending meetings, and performing your regular tasks.
With these in mind, you have to bring your usual office attire and footwear, in addition to your casual clothes and swimwear.
If you are headed to the Caribbean for a long holiday, pack plenty of comfy casual clothes and beachwear.
When choosing clothes, as much as possible, opt for ones made of light, breathable materials. Do the same for closed footwear that you want to bring, in addition to your flip flops or sandals.
To avoid overpacking, bring enough clothes that will last you for two weeks. This should give you enough spare outfits to use while the dirty ones are being washed.
For footwear, pack three pairs: one dress-up pair, one casual pair, and your flip flops or sandals. Wear the fourth pair, your most comfortable sneakers or shoes, on the day of your trip.
3. Manage your finances
Whether you are using your personal money or a budget provided specifically for your upcoming trip, the last thing you want to happen is to run out of money or spend more than you need to.
As such, before your flight, think about the usual expenses you will incur. These include accommodation, meals, transportation, or car rental fees.
Additionally, consider the other things you need or want to buy and activities you will be engaging in. This means budgeting for your daily latte or Frappuccino and rental fees for snorkeling and scuba diving gears.
Make sure you include all these in your budget and create a weekly one that will allow you to live comfortably and enjoy your stay in the Caribbean.
Don’t forget to include travel insurance in your overall budget.
Lastly, notify your bank that you will be traveling. Sign up for online bill payments so that you won’t miss paying any and ensure you can still use your credit and debit card in your destination.
4. Get a checkup
Whether you are required to get a medical exam or not, since you are going away for a long time, see your physician and get a checkup before your trip.
Check if you are up-to-date on all your vaccines and find out if you need additional ones for the country you will visit. Make sure you get them before your trip.
Also, ensure you have any prescriptions that you need on hand. Bring as many prescribed medicines as allowed to avoid running out while abroad.
Finally, see your dentist as well. Have your teeth checked and cleaned and cavities filled if there are any.
5. Prepare your travel tech essentials
Lastly, make sure you have everything you need to be productive at work and enjoy your stay in the Caribbean by bringing all your travel gadgets.
These should include your smartphone, laptop, camera, and tablet if you have one. Also, pack your headphones, portable charger, and universal plug adapter.
Most places in Antigua offer Wi-Fi and it is one of the only islands in the Eastern Caribbean with fibre optic fast internet so you should find yourself well-connected, albeit you may wish to completely unplug!
Another tip would be to take two charging cables for your laptop if you intend to use it whilst in the Caribbean since it may be difficult to get a replacement in the event one breaks. Ensure you pack these items properly so that they don’t get damaged easily and you can find them quickly.
Whether you are embarking on long-term travel to the Caribbean for a holiday, business, or work, when you prepare well for your trip, you will get more out of it and achieve your target goals. Moreover, you can do other things that can help you start working on your future plans.
Kal Kennard is the Managing Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.