Caribbean Travel Guides – Are They Worth It?

As well as being a raving shopaholic, Jane Morris is also a dedicated Travel Buff. This is just one article on her many visits to the lush clear waters of the Caribbean

Imagine all the stories and films you have seen on pirates in the Caribbean, Spanish galleons laden with gold, pretty girls all around, beautiful white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, clear blue seas, and reefs that have ripped the bottom out of many a fine sailing ship, now beautiful diving territory.

Well, this is what makes up the beauty, the mystery, and the attraction for many people as a dream holiday. In fact, there is so much to do that unless you plan your holiday carefully there is so much to miss.

That us why it is so important that you know all there is to know about the vacation destination of your dreams – that is exactly what a Caribbean travel guide offers.

But are Caribbean travel guides really godsend? Or are they just patronizing materials designed for commercial purposes?

Well, they’re probably a little of both actually. After all, the people behind Caribbean travel guides do need a source of income in order to continue to publish their guides. But a tremendous amount of research has been placed in these guides so don’t dismiss them as useless sales and promotion material.

What else is more nifty, informative and convenient than a Caribbean travel guide?

Sure, the Internet may prove more updated when it comes to information, but you can’t carry the Internet everywhere. And believe it or not, it’s always much more gratifying to pull out a Caribbean travel guide from your carry case, flip a few pages open, then slip it right back when you’re tired of reading. It sure beats having to wait in the airport, sitting bored silly and wondering whether or not your flight’s going to be delayed.

That said, don’t cling to travel guides religiously. Many travelers make that mistake. They are not the bibles that they are made out to be by some people. You should know that published materials, including travel guides, are out of date the moment they are published, because by then, there would have been new updated material that came up and it would be too late to include them.

So, how are you supposed to use Caribbean travel guides then? How would you know which information to believe and which facts are outdated? Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to that. To get the most out of your Caribbean travel guide, use them sparingly for basic orientation.

So once you have the basics right down to a tee, go out there and discover the towns and cities on your own. That is, after all, what traveling is all about – adventure and discovery of new things. At the very least, when all other signs look foreign, the information on museums and places of interest are great.

Remember where such facilities exist, always try and look for the local ‘City’ tour. I did just that on my first holiday in Cuba over 15 years ago. After a 2 hour tour on a coach, I was fully oriented with the sites, and then settled down to a delightful tour on foot – clutching my trusty travel guide of course, so I didn’t miss any of the delights that the beautiful but run-down city has to offer.

However, when it comes to hotels and restaurants, each to his own taste and budget. Remember that bargains rise in price with popularity, so there’s every bit of chance that that hot new deal in your Caribbean travel guide isn’t much of a deal anymore, considering how pricey it has become. And then sometimes, too, the places get easily full with foreigners and travelers like you, so you can’t always expect your Caribbean travel guide to point you in the right place all the time.

Then, if you do wander around on your own, you will surely find quality rooms with reasonable prices. They may be located in out-of-the-way places that Caribbean travel guide writers may not know about. Remember that because you in the destination, you are in a far better place to get what you want out of your vacation.

So to close it off, don’t be a sad type who writes to say that “it wasn’t like what you said in the book”.

Here’s a tip: open your eyes, and if the island you are on is Spanish – make sure you can speak some of the local language, as you will get such a nicer welcome from the locals in the infrequently visited spots – and make sure you take your time to explore for yourself!

15 Traveling Tips You Must Know Before Traveling Overseas

Traveling could be exciting or frustrating depending on traveling journey you’ve experienced. However, if you are fully prepared for your traveling, then everything should be more enjoyable than miserable. Here are 15 useful traveling tips you must know before traveling overseas. I advise you to go over all of them before you plan your traveling journey. You’ll be surprised how easy to neglect some of these traveling tips, and how important they are for ensuring a successful and enjoyable journey.

  1. Avoid wearing anything that contains metal when traveling through the security checkpoint. Things such as clothing, jewelry, or other accessories that contain metal should be avoided.
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  3. A valid passport is recognized internationally as a travel document. Some countries requires a visa to access. If you need a visa, apply two months ahead of time to avoid paying high-fees for emergency situation.
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  5. If you travel with a child who has your custody, make sure you have a passport for that child as well. If the child is not yours, make sure you bring along a signed, notarized document from the parent(s).
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  7. Be familiarized yourself with the destination. Find out its culture, food, laws, and mostly avoid known dangers.
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  9. Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime. If you become a victim of crime, contact consular officer to solve the problem.
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  11. Avoid to travel to the country that your own country has no diplomatic relation with.
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  13. Be familiarized yourself with conditions at destination that might affect your health. Make sure you check your overseas medical insurance coverage. It may not cover you overseas. If you plan to stay long, you may consider to buy a short-term policy to cover you there.
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  15. Consult your doctor before you bring medications or fill prescriptions. Carry a letter from your physician if necessary. Always put your medications in your carry-on bag for easy access.
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  17. For people who wear glasses/contact lens, it is advice to take an extra pair of glasses or take disposable contact lens with you. Always put your glasses or contact lens in your easy-access bag.
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  19. Make sure you have a photocopy of your passport, credit cards, or any other import items with you while traveling. Keep one set of these copies at home.
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  21. If you travel with your pet, find out ahead of time to see whether you are allowed to take your pet with you. If you are allowed, get some tips of traveling with your pet from your vet.
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  23. Disabled travelers have to find out the standards of accessibility in certain countries. When making reservations, inform the travel agent about your disability and may request a wheelchair be brought to the gate upon your arrival.
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  25. For people who adopt a child oversea, you need to obtain an immigration visa for that child in the country of adoption.
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  27. Don’t carry too much cash with you for your trip, but make sure you have enough money in case of an emergency. Avoid putting all your money in one place.
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  29. Find out what items you can or cannot bring back with you upon returning to your home country.

In short, one must plan well for traveling overseas. Knowing the above 15 traveling tips before traveling overseas may have saved you tons of headaches. Your traveling journey may bring you more memorial joys than unpleasing experience.

The Usefulness of Travel Guides

When you mention the words ‘travel guide’ to someone, they may interpret it in 2 ways: a person who will guide you to certain destinations and a type of catalogue that can help you find your way when traveling and exploring a new place. In this piece of information, we will look at how each of the options can be useful to people who travel.

The person who is known as a travel guide is supposed to know all the destinations of a certain place well. The guide must know where the exciting places can be found so that tourists can be taken there to enjoy their stay in the new country. If the guide has to take the tourists to the game parks or game reserves, he must know the times when animals can be seen or when exciting activities can be found. For example, if the tour guide is from Africa, he must have knowledge of when the migration of the wild beasts happens. This migration is an awesome sight. Many have only heard of it but never seen it. The guide is supposed to make sure that his visitors get the ultimate experience of being in new place so that they can go back to their homes with great memories.

The guide should also know all the places where people can relax and have a meal. He should be able to treat them to some of the local delicacies of that country. He should also take them round to the some of the pre-historic sites that are famous.

On the other hand, the documented travel guide can be in the form of a book, brochure or pamphlet. There are some airlines which offer these travel guides for free. There are also some local hotels that will give tourists travel guides to find their way around the city or town. Such documents usually include information about restaurants, hotels and other recreational facilities that can make a tourist’s life a bit easier. Most of the travel guides have maps especially of major cities or towns.

So, which one does one choose?

This answer can only be determined by the tourist. Getting a person to act as a guide will definitely cost you more compared to using the booklet. However, you will get to enjoy and explore more places. The ultimate choice lies with the tourists, the activities they want to enjoy and the amount of money they are willing to spend.